Dreaming always of his future destiny, and pondering often on the failure of his past attempt to realise it, Louis Napoleon had by this time convinced himself that a second effort could not but have a very different issue. Ever more clearly in his ears rang the wild acclamations with which he had been hailed by the one regiment in France to whom he had appeared as the Emperor’s undoubted heir; ever more significant seemed those answering cheers which had greeted the acquittal of his fellow-prisoners at Strasburg. As he looked back on the events of that October morning, the attempt took new form in his memory. It was no longer a forlorn hope which for an instant had come marvellously near to success; rather it was a practically certain triumph which by a fatality, through a series of perverse mischances, 1had been snatched from his very grasp. And if so much was true in 1836, what was not possible in 1840? In the former year his name, his very existence, was all but unknown in France. Now, thanks to the Strasburg affair itself, and to his own most skilful handling of its consequences, all the world knew that there existed in his person a vigorous and persistent claimant to the imperial inheritance. Then his only precedent had been the Emperor’s return from Elba; now that precedent seemed not weakened but fortified by his own initial experience at Strasburg. Then he had been merely his uncle’s nephew; now he might almost hope that France had taken notice of his individual existence.