The banner of the South. (Augusta, Ga.) 1868-1870, October 08, 1870, Image 1
VOL. 111. Only a Word- A frivolous word, a sharp retort, A parting in angry haste, The sun t hat rose on a bower of bliss, The loving look and the tender kiss, Has set on a barren waste. Where pilgrim tread with weary feet Paths destined never more to meet. A frivolous word, a sharp retort, A moment that blots out years, Two lives are wrecked on a stormy shore, Where billows of passion surge and roar To break in a spray of tears; Tears shed to blind tbe severed pair Drifting seaward and drowning there. A frivolous word, a sharp retort A flash from a passing eloud, Two hearts are scathed to their inmost core, Are ashes and dust for evermore. Two faces turn to the crowd, Masked by pride with a life-long lie, To hide the scars of the agony. A frivolous word, a sharp retort, Alas ! that it should be so ! The petulant speech, the careless toDgue, Have wrought more evil, aud done more wrong, Have brought to the world more woe Than all the armies age to age Pecords on hist’ry’s blood-stained page. [All the Year Hound. Flight of Empress Eugenie. Late and Full Particulars of the Flight from the Tuileries Sad and Awful Historical Scenes—On the Gazelle to England--The Arrival at Hastings- Melting of Mother ami Son—He Les sips' Noble Services—llow Engenie was Abandoned by Her Haines d 1 Honneur. } PHO3ITIIE WORLD CORRESPONDENT, j Hastings, September 11.— -The doubts and uncertainties as to the movements —I might almost say as to the fate—of the Empress of the French, which even those most in the confidence of the imperial family professed to have felt during the last few days, were cleared up by the an nouncement publicly made on Saturday that her Majesty had arrived at this an cient port. The fact of her arrival had only been disclosed some few hours before to the authorities themselves, and they, of cou-se, made no revelation whatever un til they had perfectly satisfied themselves that they were acting in accordance with the wishes of the illustrious fugitive. The Empress reached Hastings on Thursday night between 9 and 10, but it was not un til Friday that even tbe authorities of the town became aware of the rank of their guest. The secret once our, however, rapidly got wind, and in a short time the story of the Empress’ flight in the attrac tive form of a dozen different versions was in everybody’s mouth, and was duly published with all its contradictions and all its absurdities in the London journals. I am in a position to give you, on the very best authority, a tolerably exact account of her Majesty’s adventures during the event ful hours between the announcement in Paris o*’ the capitulation of Sedan—and which announcement was made in Paris on Sunday morning, the 4- h-and the Empress’ arrival hero on Thursday evening. It is hardly too much to say that during the whole of that period the unhappy lady scarcely enjoyed one moment’s repose cither of body or of mind. It would be more correct to date this period of terrible anxiety from the Saturday. Early on that day tho Empress had a long and painful interview with tbe Count de Palikao, in which she exerted all her influence to in duce him to defer the publication of the dreadful news which had just been com municated to her until some further de tails should arrive which might perhaps give it. a more favorable complexion. The Count, who is known to have owed his elevation mainly to the Empress's favor, bait yielded, and consented to inform the Chamber of what had happened only in general terms. He was clear-sighted enough, however, to know that in doing this he was only aggravating the difficul ties or his own petition, and after taking leave of her Majesty his manner was so agi tated that one of the Deputies of the Left, who met him before hia entrance into the Chamber, at ODce divined that the Minis ter was keeping the secret of some terrible disaster from the public knowledge. His first guarded communication was accord ingly received with great impatience by the Chamber, and when he left :he Assembly to prepare for the midnight sitting, in which he had resolved to tel! the whole truth, he retired to his own apartments and carefully avoided another interview with the Empress, although her Majesly, as though to confirm hirn in the purpose which she held to be essential to the safe ty of the dynasty, sent for him on two sepa rate occasions. These details, which haven’t been published, besides their value as a contribution to history, are essential to a right understanding of the Empress’s posi tion. Her Majesty was not long in learn ing what had transpired in the Chamber at the midnight session. The news was brought to her by one of the gentlemen of the household. She received it apparently unmoved, but she at once—notwithstand ing the lateness of the hour—retired to a small private chapel attached to her apart ments, and in about a quarter of an hour she again appeared before her astonished attendants, and sent one of them with a ring drawn from her own finger to the dis comfitted Count de Palikao, who doubtless was not slow in divining the irony of a present received for a service which he had failed to perform. The Empress took do rest whatever on the Saturday night, though she sought no counsel with any of her Ministers. On the Sunday the fatal news communicated to the Chamber over night was published throughout Paris, and long before noon the Place de la Concorde ■was filled with a crowd whose furious shouts could be distinctly heard in the place in which the unfortunate lady sat almost alone. It is difficult to find words of reprobation adequate to the infamous conduct of the personal attendants of the Regent. For the most part they did not await even the dawning of the day of trial for the Empress they were bound to serve and the woman they had professed to venerate and to love. The ‘‘gentle man” who had taken the Empress’s ring to Count Palikao did not return, and though bis fellows had the grace to wait until they were dismissed for the night, not one was found ia attendance in the morning, and with tbe exception of Madame Le Breton —the wife of the gen eral of that name—and two other Indies whose names I have not been able to as certain, the Empress was abandoned by ali in this most trying hour. The unhap py lady, from the testimony of Madame Le Breton, seems to have fallen into a kind of stupor from which both the shouts of the meb, growing more and more threatening every instant, and the prayers and entreaties of the ladies in attendance were powerless to rouse her. At this most crititical juncture M. de Lesseps, a long tried and faithful friend of the Empress, arrived unannounced in her apartments. His passage from ihe Rue de Kivoli to the T jom in which the Empress sat had not been impeded by a single person ! He had of course passed the seDtry in the court yard without being challenged, but of the innumerable chamberlains, ushers, rods, slicks, and “stones” in waiting, whose duty it was to bar the approach of a pri vate person to the presence of royalty, not one remained in the ante-chambers or the corridors of that splendid palace in which they had fattened and grown old on the Imperial bounty. The worst remains to be told: A few lacqueys were indeed flitting about the Regent’s apartment?, bat they were on precisely the same pur poses as the miduight thief in a house — to lay hand on every valuable which they could carry off without a prospect of de tection. They had too readily divined the full meaning and significance of the hoarse murmurs of the crowd in the square. They knew that the Second Empire and the Regency were alike at an end, and they gave them selves up with all the innate gusto of their natures to the congenial task of plunder ing the dead. Even the presence of M. de Lesseps was not sufficient to restrain them. The line old man is said to have for a mo ment given way to the impulse of an i honest indignation, and to have seized one of the marauders with the intention of dragging him into the court-yard and handing him owr to the police, but lie was quickly recalled to a more pressing duty by Madame le Breton, who implored him -A.TTGTJSTA, G\A.., OCTOBER 8, 1870. to lose no time in offering his services to the Empress. There was indeed but little time to lose. M. de Lesseps had scarcely exchanged a hurried greeting with her Majesty,when a loud shout announced that the mob had made their way into the pri vate gardens of the palace. This, coupled with the urgent exhortations of M. de Lesseps, had the effect of partially rousing the Empress to a sense of her position; but she still seemed to cling to the idea that salvation for the dynasty as well as for the nation lay in the deliberations of the Assembly, and, pointing in the direc tion of the Corps Legislatif, she requested that the Ministers might at once be in formed of tlio indignities to which she was exposed. The embarrassment and anguish of those who surrounded her at this mo ment, I am assured, was fearful. “I have come,” said M. do Lesseps, “not to risk your Majesty’s safety by an appeal to men who cannot provide for their own, but to atk you to e mfide in me.” “Bat the Assembly ? ’ said one of the ladies who seemed to share the Empress’s delusion* “The Assembly, Madame 4 ” replied M. de Lesseps, not without a touch of that irony, which never quite abandons a French man in even the most trying circumstances, “is at this moment the nation. The rabble of Paris by one successful rush have elect ed themselves to the Chamber, and they are now probably voting tbe new constitu tion by acclamation de pied from the benches of the Bight.” The Empress rose, motioned to one of the ladi6s for her bonnet and gloves and for a short waking jacket which were held in readiness for her, and turning to M. ue Lessep9 with a mournful smile on her fea tures, she said quietly, “Which way?” M. da Lesseps walked out of the apart ments with a hasty steps, followed by the Empress and the three ladies, and travers ed the large hall in which the ceremony of opening the Legislature has hitherto been performed be made his way to the famous long gallery of the Louvre, which runs paralieil with the river side of the build ing, and turned the handle of a door at the further end (communicating with a staircase and the street), only to find it locked! It was a fearfully anxious moment. The very custodians of the Louvre had de serted their post, and there was no mes senger within hail. The shouts grew louder and louder as the crowd approach ed the palace. It seemed madness to at tempt to return. The Empress still maintained an at titude of passive courage. lam told that she did not betray the slightest sign cf agitation until she pointed, whh a hasty gesture, at one of the young ladies who, from the deadly paleness that overspread her features, seemed to he about to faint, though happily the fugitives were spared th’s threatened embarrassment. For a few seconds, which must have seemed an eternity to the unhappy ladies, M. de Lesseps remained perfectly still and silent, as within himself what course to adopt. The Empress meanwhile sank on one of the fauteuils opposite to Rubens’ grand series of the 4 * Arrival of Mary do Medicis.” “There is but one thing to do,” said M. de Lesseps, suddenly breaking silence. “I will step out upon the terrac.3 and ad dress the crowd, while your Majesty and the ladies—. But where is Madume le Breton ?” Madame le Breton had hastily left the long gallery at the moment when tbe pro gress of the fugitives was arrested by the door. The question bad hardly left the lips of their conductor when she appeared at the other end of the gallery, holding the key in her hand. She had remembered that the door was always locked on the side nearest the Tuileries, and she had rapidly descended the small private staircase leading from the inner salle, and had herself taken the key from the labeled hook in the porter’s lodge. The fugitives gained the other staircase and the street. M. de Lessens proceeded them and called two cabs. By this time, to judge from the accounts already pub lished, the mob must have been in the apartments which the Empress had just quitted. A hasty consultation took plrce at the foot of the staircase. It was already un derstood that the Empress’s des nation was England, but she wasat first unwill ing to take any attendants with her. Madame le Breton however insisted with so much quiet earnestness of purpose on her right, as the lady who had been long est in attendance on the Empress to ac company her, that her Majesty at leDgfch consented. The other two ladies, it was arranged, should at once proceed to the house of a friend in the Faubourg St. Germain —a .strange refuge .'or the parti sans of the Imperial cause, while the Empress wit < Madame le Breton should accompany M. de Lesseps to his house ia tbe Boulevard Mtdesheibres. # Not a soul was passing m tho ladies in attendance were entering their coach. The Empress was not so fortunate. The coach door was closed on her and the window was about to be drawn up when a gamin —that “terrible infant” of Paris —who was making the best of way along the gutter to the Pace de la Concorde, stopped suddenly, and honoring the occu pants of the coach with an impertinent stare, exclaimed “voil a Madame Bona parte,” But before he had time to give fuller expression to his astonishment, the coach had rolled away. The incident, I perceive, has already found its way into the papers and the gamin has been credited with the more respectful exclamation, “voila I’lmpera tive.” The version I furnish you, how ever, rests on the best authority, and it is only necessary to remember if collateral evidence be needed, that the extreme Red?, among which party, doubtless, the gamin s acquaintances principally lay, have never given either Napoleon or his wife the im perial title. The Empress reached the house in the Boulevard Malesherbes in safety and with out attracting any further attention. In the evening, still within the safe shelter of a hackney coach, she was conducted to the Northwestern station in the Place du Havre, and early the next day she was at the pretty, and, thanks to the lateness of the season, the almost deserted, bathing place of Deauville, on the northern coast, w'neie she remained incognito in the shel ter of a second rate hotel, while M. de Lesseps went out to make the necessary arrangements for her embarkation. Meanwhile the Empress was a prey to the keenest anxiety about the Prince Im perial, who had left the country some few dayß before. Ilis destination -was known, but whether he had reached that destina tion was as yet a secret. In point of fact, on the Monday evening, 'while M. de Les seps was engaged in the search for a ves sel at Deanville, the Prince was alighting from an omnibus at the d*>or of the Hotel de la Oouronne at Mons, whence the gen tlemen who accompanied him at once com municated by- telegraph, through the inter mediary of a trusted friend at Paris, with M. Lesseps and the Empress. The result was that the son was directed to proceed at once to Hastings, where lie arrived via Ostend and Dover on the following Tues day*. Owing to some misunderstanding, however, in the arrangements, the Em press had no communication witli her son after Monday evening until the moment of her subsequent meeting with him in England. This uncertainty as to his movements contributed greatly to her anxiety to ac celerate her departure, but notwithstand ing the many pressing reasons for speed, there were others equally pressing tor delay. The main difficulty was to find a ship, the crew of which might safely be trusted to preserve the secret of the impe rial incognita, for it was almost hopeless to expect that the fact of there being such & secret could be effectually preserved from all on board. Fatigued with a search which threaten ed to become altogether hopeless, M. de Lesseps, on the evening of Monday, enter ed a small local yachting club at Deanville to look over the papers before presenting himself at the hotel where the imperial fugitive was hiding, when he was greeted by a gentleman whom he at once recog nized. It was Sir John Monta gu B ur goyne, a young Crimean hero, who had enjoyed the friendship of M. de Lesseps for many ycers. Sir John at once, according to his own statement, divined that something un usua' was in the wind from the presence ol M. de Lesseps at such a season, in such a place. His own presence was accounted for by the fact that he was awaiting the arrival of Lady Burgcyne from Switzer land, and his yacht a> he explained to M. de Lessees was under orders to sail on the Wednesday for England. M. de Lesseps knew his man and knew that frankness was the surest way to gain the object which presented itself with lightning quickness to his mirid. Sir John had barely finished informing him of these particulars when, laying his band upon the Englishman’s arm, the great engineer said : “Sir John, will you do me the very greatest service I ever demanded of any human being ?” “Name it.” said the gallant soldier. “Will you find me three places on vonr yacht for the passage to England on Wed nesday ?” “Is that all ?” said Sir John, laughing ; “the places will be ready for you.” There was again a momentary pause, during which M. de Lesseps fixedly re garded the young man. “Do you know?” he asked rapidly, as if ashamed of the doubts which had prompt ed his scrutiny—“do you know whom you will carry with you as my companion de voyage ?” Sir John smiled and shook his head. “Her Imperal Majesty the Empress of the French,” said M. de Lesseps quietly. The two men rose and clasped hands. No word was spoken, but they understood one another. M. de Lesseps was affected to tears, and Sir John was scarcely less moved. I pass over the introduction of Sir John and subsequently of Lady Burgoyne to the Empress, about which, in the hurrv with which I collected these notes, I failed to obtain particulars. It is sufficient to say that on the Thursday evening the Em press, with Madame Le Breton, proceed ed on board the yacht without any one being in the secret but the owners of the little vessel. A novel incident had nearly compro mised her safety even at this juncture. Sir John had spokeu to the mate about his intention to bring two English ladies on board for the voyage across. Madame Le Breton had scarcely reached the deck when the man, touching his cap, asked her some question relative to the accomoda tion in her rather rapidly extemporized berth, to which she was, of course, utterly unable to reply. The Empress, however, who speaks English perfectly, came to her rebel’and, by Madame Li Breton’s wish, apologized to the man ior the iguorance of' her “French waiting maid.” Early in the morning the French pilot came on board, and while the fugitives were still sleeping below, with the excep tion of M. de Lesseps, whQ remained on deck during the whole of the voyage, the English yacht Gazelle of sixty tOD3 bur den, bearing the Empress of France and her fortunes, sailed out of the harbor of Deanville and made straight for Ryde. This short sleep was, 1 am assured, the only one which the Empress had enjoyed since the preceding Friday night, bhe had found it impossible to close h- r eyes while she remained ou the soil of' France, and her sleep, according to Madume Lo Breton’s account,* was fitful and disturbed while she remained on the yacht. Early on Thursday morning the little vessel cut into Ryde, and the Empress taking a most affecctionate leave of her generous hosts, made her way to the York Hotel, where she she partook breakfast* She then crossed by the ordinary steamer to Portsmouth, where she immediately took train for Hastings, arriving there at about 9on Thursday night. She did not at once proceed to the hotel at which the Prince had been directed to put up, but, by direction of M. de Lesseps, she re mained at the waiting-room ot the station while that gentleman went out to recon noitre. M. de Lesseps, on reaching the hotel, cautiously made his inquiries, an nounced himself as soon as he ascertained that the Prince was there in safety, and •alter a hasty interview was leaving the house to return to the railway station, when a veiled figure rushed past him on the stairs. It was the Empress. Her maternal anxiety had been too great to allow of her remaining quietly for M. de Lesseps’ re turn. ft he had followed him through the streets to the hotel with the intention cl remaining at. the door; but hearing the voice of the Prince Imperial, who had ad vanced to the head of the stairs with M. da Lesseps, she had been unable longer to control her feelings, and before her aston ished guide could restrain her either by voice or gesture, mother and son wore loeked in a close and almost convulsive et:- braev Tho scene was more than touching —it was aw: f in its intensity of sorrow, it was witnessed not only by the high per- No. 30.