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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Charles X.

  • [King of France, youngest brother of Louis XVI.; born 1757; joined the royalist emigration, 1789; entered Paris with the allies, 1814; succeeded his brother, Louis XVIII., 1824; gradually surrounded himself with reactionary ministers, until the violation of the charter, July 25, 1830, caused the three days’ revolution, at the end of which Charles ceased to reign; retired to England, and thence to Göritz, Austria, where he died, October, 1836.]
  • Nothing is altered in France: there is only one Frenchman more (Il n’y a rien de changé en France: il n’y a qu’un Français de plus).

  • An expression contained in a proclamation issued by Charles when Comte d’Artois, and published in the “Moniteur,” or official newspaper, upon the restoration of Louis XVIII., April 12, 1814. In discussing the authorship of this famous remark, Büchmann (“Geflügelte Worte”) calls attention to its unfortunate similarity with the “phrase,” to use Sieyès’ word, employed by Camille Desmoulins in voting for the death of Louis XVI., Charles’s brother: “A dead king is not a man less” (Un roi mort n’est pas un homme le moins). The phrase did not, however, originate with the Comte d’Artois, but, according to “The Contemporary Review,” February, 1854, formed the opening of an address composed in his name by Count Beugnot, at the instigation of Talleyrand, Chancellor Pasquier and others, to allay any fear that the restoration meant a return to the ideas of the old régime. The address began as follows: “No more controversy! Peace and France! Finally I behold it again: nothing therein is changed except that there is one Frenchman more.”
  • The mot became so popular that it was parodied on all occasions. The arrival of the first giraffe in Paris was celebrated by the circulation of a medal bearing the words, “Nothing is changed: there is only one animal more” (il n’y a qu’un bête de plus), in which a sarcastic allusion to the Bourbons may be detected, bête having a contemptuous signification unknown to its English equivalent. When Francis I., Emperor of Austria, died in 1835, and Prince Metternich remained at the head of affairs, which he conducted in the same reactionary spirit as before, it was said, “Nothing is altered: there is only one Austrian less.” On the appointment of Talleyrand to be vice-grand elector of the empire, Fouché said, “Among so many offices it will not count; it is only one vice more” (ce n’est qu’un vice de plus).
  • I have no wish to ride like my brother in a cart.

  • That is, in the tumbril of the Revolution; or, as it is sometimes given, “I would rather mount a horse than the cart,” rather exile than death. When urged to make concessions to the feeling which, in July, 1830, broke out in revolution, Charles X. preferred abdication to death; as his brother, in his opinion, perished by yielding too much. Asserting at another time that there was no middle course between the throne and the scaffold, Talleyrand maliciously suggested the post-chaise.
  • Before, however, setting out, as Charles II. said, on his travels, the king attended a ball given at the Palais Royal, June 5, 1830, to the king of Naples, by his brother-in-law the Duc d’Orleans, soon to be Louis Philippe I. Two thousand guests crowded the salons; the people filled the gardens, where rows of lights sprang from tree to tree, and from arcade to arcade. During the evening a presentiment of coming events filled the mind of the Comte de Salvandy, a former minister to Naples; and passing before the host, who was receiving the compliments of his guests upon the brilliancy of the occasion, he said, “You are giving us quite a Neapolitan fête, prince: we are dancing upon a volcano” (nous dansons sur un volcan); alluding to the habit of the peasantry, who thoughtlessly dance upon the slopes of Vesuvius, which may at any moment overwhelm them. In little more than a month Charles X. had taken the post-chaise, and Louis Philippe was hailed as the “citizen king.”