THE TOMBS OF SAINT-DENIS
THE funeral solemnities of Louis XVIII. seemed to the people a mortuary triumph of Royalty over the Revolution and the Empire. The profanations of 1793 were expiated. Napoleon was left with the willow of Saint Helena; the descendant of Saint Louis and of Louis XIV. had the basilica of his ancestors as a place of sepulture, and the links of time's chain were again joined. The obsequies of Louis XVIII. suggested a multitude of reflections. It was the first time since the death of Louis XV. in 1774, that such a ceremony had taken place. As was said by the Moniteur: --
"This solemnity, absolutely novel for the greater number of the present generation, offered an aspect at once mournful and imposing. A monarch so justly regretted, a king so truly Christian, coming to take his place among the glorious remains of the martyrs of his race and the bones of his ancestors, -- profaned, scattered by the revolutionary tempest, but which he had been able again to gather, -- was a grave subject of reflection, a spectacle touching in its purpose and majestic in the pomp with which it was surrounded."