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

Louis Philippe I.

  • [King of the French; son of Philip Égalité, Duc d’Orleans; born in Paris, Oct. 6, 1773; travelled in the United States, 1796; returned to France with the Bourbons; proclaimed king on the fall of that house, July, 1830; made conquests in Algeria; opposed electoral reform, which led to the revolution of 1848, when the king abdicated and retired to England, where he died, August, 1850.]
  • Le juste milieu.

  • In an address to the deputies of Gaillac, after his accession to the throne, Louis Philippe said, “We shall endeavor to maintain the proper mean (le juste milieu), equally removed from the abuse of royal power, and the excesses of popular power.” This recalls the maxim of Cleobulus, one of the “Seven Wise Men,” king of Lindus, in Rhodes, in the sixth century B.C.; “Keep the golden mean” ([Greek]); the aurea mediocritas of Horace:—
  • “He that holds fast the golden mean,
  • And lives contentedly between
  • The little and the great,
  • Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
  • Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door.”
  • Odes, II. 10, 5.
  • Although the phrase, le juste milieu, gave a name to the moderate and pacific policy of the “citizen king,” it did not originate with him, but first occurs in a letter of Voltaire to Count d’Argental, Nov. 28, 1765, and in Pascal, “Pensées,” 1692.
  • On being appointed lieutenant-general of the army, immediately before the revolution of July, the Duc d’Orleans issued a proclamation, which, referring to the source of disagreement between the French people and their rulers since the Restoration, that the charters granted by the kings were not observed by them, declared, “The charter shall henceforth be a verity” (La charte sera désormais une vérité). It was surreptitiously altered by the government, so as to read in general terms, “A charter shall henceforth be a verity.” Better known out of France are the words entente cordiale, which were used by Louis Philippe in a speech from the throne in January, 1843, to express the friendly relations existing between France and England during Guizot’s administration of foreign affairs, after his residence in England as ambassador in 1840.