S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
Comte de Chambord
[Henri, Duc de Bordeaux, son of the Duc de Berri who was assassinated in 1820, and grandson of Charles X.; born in Paris 1820; after the Revolution, he lived out of France; was the last representative of the elder branch of the French Bourbons, and was called by his adherents Henri Cinq; died Aug. 24, 1883.]
I will never consent to become the legitimate king of the Revolution (Je ne consentirai jamais à devenir le roi légitime de la Révolution).
He wrote in May, 1871, after an unsuccessful attempt of the Legitimists to effect a monarchical restoration: To the country belongs the word, to God the hour (La parole est à la patrie, lheure est à Dieu).
In 1873 a fusion took place between the Orleanists, or the adherents of the younger branch of the Bourbons, represented by the Comte de Paris, grandson of Louis Philippe, and the Legitimists, who rallied around the Comte de Chambord. Thiers had been forced from the presidency; a reactionary cabinet under his successor, Marshal MacMahon, stood ready to overthrow the existing form of government. The hour seemed to have come: it was only necessary to give the word. The efforts of the Fusionists were directed to obtaining the consent of the Comte de Chambord, in the event of his restoration, to the adoption of the tricolor, the badge of the Revolution, originally the colors, red, white, and blue, of the Duc dOrleans (Égalité), as the national flag of France, instead of the white flag and the fleurs-de-lis of Henry IV., the first Bourbon king. However much a matter of sentiment it might seem to be, Marshal MacMahon himself, by birth and education a Legitimist, but all his life a soldier under the tricolor, saw the folly of an attempt to return to a flag with which the present generation of Frenchmen was unacquainted. In a conversation with the Orleanist, Duc dAudriffet-Pasquier, he is reported to have said, although he subsequently denied it, If the white flag were raised in opposition to the tricolor, the chassepots would go off of themselves! (Si le drapeau blanc était développé en face du drapeau tricolore, les chassepots partiraient tout seuls!) The attempt was unavailing. The Comte de Chambord refused to recognize a legitimated revolution. Henry V., he replied, cannot abandon the white flag of Henry IV. (Henri Cinq ne peut abandonner le drapeau blanc de Henri Quatre). As the Orleans princes, on their side, could not give up the colors which symbolized their devotion to the cause of the revolutions of 1789 and 1830, by which they had risen to power, the fusion failed of practical results; and the exile of Frohsdorf remained Henri Cinq only to a waning group of politicians and grandes dames.
The chassepot in the mot attributed to Marshal MacMahon was a breech-loading rifle (named after its inventor, M. Chassepot), which was adopted by the government in 1866, and first used by the French force, which, with the papal troops, defeated Garibaldi at Mentana, Nov. 3, 1867. In his report of the battle Gen. de Failly said, The chassepot has done wonders.