Pièce 39 - Mention d’une chasse faite par le duc de Wellington dans la forêt de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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Mention d’une chasse faite par le duc de Wellington dans la forêt de Saint-Germain-en-Laye


  • septembre 1814 (Production)

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Officier britannique.

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« [p. 40] The following week the Duke hunted at [p. 41] St. Germain-en-Laye ; interesting from its historical recollections, but, although it is a large town, it has a melancholy air of desolation in its grass-grown streets and straggling edifices. The royal château, once the
favourite residence of Marguerite de Valois, Henry II, Henry IV, Francis I, and the birthplace of Charles IX and Louis XIV, is now converted into a military prison, and surrounded by a wall for security. Here the " mind's eye" may dwell on bygone days, and bring before it scenes of past times. How vividly does this venerable pile remind one of the bon roi Henry IV, and the graceful good-humour of that popular monarch. Here our bigoted James II resided for twelve years, holding the semblance of a court. Part of his body was buried in the parish church, where a monument has since been raised by George IV, at his own expense, to the memory of one described upon it
''Magnus in Prosperis, in Adversis Major,
Jacobus 2us, Anglorum Rex."
Acting upon the law of Solon, since universally adopted, [p. 42] of "de mortuis nil nisi
bonum", we will not say what the epitaph ought to have been; but, to call a monarch
great in prosperity "who had shown so thorough a disregard for the religion and constitution of his country", is even too untruthful for a monumental tablet.
The forest occupies a promontory, formed by a sweeping bend of the river Seine, and is one of the largest in France, having a circuit of twenty-one miles. In the centre of it, is the Pavilion de la Meute, begun by Francis I, whose refined taste is proverbial throughout his own country, and whose style is now so much appreciated in England. »

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William Pitt Lennox, Three years with the duke of Wellington in private life, by an ex-aid-de-camp, 2e édition, Londres, Saunders and Otley, 1853, p. 40-42.

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