THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CORONATION
THE coronation of Louis XVI. took place the 11th of June, 1775, and since that time there had been none. For Louis XVII. there was none but that of sorrow. Louis XVIII. had desired it eagerly, but he was not sufficiently strong or alert to bear the fatigue of a ceremony so long and complicated, and his infirmities would have been too evident beneath the vault of the ancient Cathedral of Rheims. An interval of fifty years -- from 1775 to 1825 -- separated the coronation of Louis XVI. from that of his brother Charles X. How many things had passed in that half-century, one of the most fruitful in vicissitudes and catastrophes, one of the strangest and most troubled of which history has preserved the memory!
Chateaubriand, who, later, in his Mémoires d'outretombe, so full of sadness and bitterness, was to speak of the coronation in a tone of scepticism verging on raillery, celebrated at the accession of Charles, in almost epic language, the merits of this traditional solemnity without which a "Very Christian King" was not yet completely King. In his pamphlet, Le