, with a text elaborated by Chiara Piola Caselli after Victor Hugo's last political speech addressed to the Assemblée législative, "Sur la Revision de la Constitution" (18 July 1851),(Links to an external site.)and premiered in Rome on 19 November 2009, in the auditorium of the Institut français, Centre Saint-Louis, French Embassy to the Holy See, by Piccola Accademia degli Specchi featuring the composer Matthias Kadar(Links to an external site.).(Links to an external site.)Declining years and death[edit(Links to an external site.)]Hugo on his deathbed, 1885Catafalque below the Arc de Triomphe(Links to an external site.)in Paris, 1 June 1885Tomb of Victor Hugo at the Panthéon(Links to an external site.)When Hugo returned to Paris in 1870, the country hailed him as a national hero. He was confident that he would be offered the dictatorship, as shown by the notes he kept at the time: "Dictatorship is a crime. This is a crime I amgoing to commit", but he felt he had to assume that responsibility.(Links to an external site.)Despite his popularity, Hugo lost his bid for re-election to the National Assembly in 1872.Throughout his life Hugo kept believing in unstoppable humanistic progress. In his last public address on 3 August 1879 he prophesied in an over-optimistic way, "In the twentieth century war will be dead, the scaffold will be dead, hatred will be dead, frontier boundaries will be dead, dogmas will be dead; man will live."(Links to an external site.)Within a brief period, he suffered a mild stroke, his daughter Adèle was interned in an insane asylum(Links to an external site.), and his two sons died. (Adèle's biography inspired the movie The Story of Adele H.(Links to an external site.)) His wife Adèle had died in 1868.His faithful mistress, Juliette Drouet(Links to an external site.), died in 1883, only two years before his own death. Despite his personal loss, Hugo remained committed to the cause of political change. On 30 January 1876, he was elected to the newly created Senate. This last phase of his political career was considered a failure. Hugo was a maverick and achieved little in the Senate.Hugo suffered a mild stroke on 27 June 1878.(Links to an external site.)(Links to an external site.)To honour the fact that he was entering his 80th year, one of the greatest tributes to a living writer was held. The celebrations began on 25 June 1881, when Hugo was presented with a Sèvres(Links to an external site.)vase, thetraditional gift for sovereigns. On 27 June, one of the largest parades in French history was held.
Marchers stretched from the Avenue d'Eylau, where the author was living, down the Champs-Élysées(Links to an external site.), and all the way to the centre of Paris. The paraders marched for six hours past Hugo as he sat at the window at his house. Every inch and detail of the event was for Hugo; theofficial guides even wore cornflowers as an allusion to Fantine's song in Les Misérables. On 28 June, the city of Paris changed the name of the Avenue d'Eylau to Avenue Victor-Hugo(Links to an external site.).