March 21 1815: Imperial Instead of Royal

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On March 21 1815, John Quincy Adams is in Paris and writes in his diary.

21st. About two o’clock I walked out on the Boulevards, and saw some of the troops entering the city. I had found by my newspaper, which was brought me this morning, with the title of Journal de l’Empire, that the Emperor had arrived between eight and nine o’clock last evening at the Palace of the Tuileries, at the head of the same troops which had been sent out in the morning to oppose him. I went around by the Place Vendome, and through the garden of the Tuileries, to the Place du Carrousel, where there were several regiments of cavalry passing successively in review before the Emperor. I mixed with the crowd of people, heard their cries of “Vive l’Empereur!” and heard their conversations among themselves. The troops were the same garrison of Paris which had been sent out against Napoleon, and who entered the city with him last evening. The front of their helmets and the clasps of their belts were still glowing with the arms of the Bourbons, the three flower de luces. There appeared to be much satisfaction among the soldiers, but among the people I saw scarcely any manifestation of sentiment, excepting in the cries of “Vive l’Empereur!” in which a very small part of the people present joined their voices. There was a man passing among the throng with a basket of three-colored cockades, and crying, “Voici, Messieurs, les cocardes de la bonne couleur—la couleur qui ne se salit pas.” The crowd were laughing and joking, and talking of the Rhine, the natural boundary of France, and swearing vengeance against the Prussians. Between four and five o’clock I returned home, without having obtained a sight of the Emperor. He did not leave the palace.

Evening at the opera—” La Caravane du Caire,” with the ballet of” Venus and Adonis.” The house was very thin, and the parterre chiefly consisted of persons who came for the purpose of making a cry of” Vive l’Empereur!” There were several passages in the opera which this audience chose to understand as applicable to the present juncture, and which were boisterously applauded. One song particularly, sung by Madame Albert, and then in chorus, beginning, “La victoire est a nous,” was most absurdly applied, and occasioned great shouting. She was required to repeat it, and immediately complied. The royal arms were removed from the curtain and the royal box, and the imperial eagle had taken their place. Even the title-page of the opera had an eagle over the flower de luces, which the boys who sell them had not had time to paste over. All the theatres have taken the title of imperial instead of royal. The Emperor Napoleon has already appointed most of his Ministers, and all the gazettes of Paris, which were yesterday showering upon him every execration, this day announce that his Majesty has arrived at his Palace of the Tuileries

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