Memoirs of Marie Antoinette
By Campan

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Book 5. - Chapter

The ever-memorable oath of the States General, taken at the Tennis Court of Versailles, was followed by the royal sitting of the 23d of June. In this seance the King declared that the Orders must vote separately, and threatened, if further obstacles were met with, to himself act for the good of the people. The Queen looked on M. Necker’s not accompanying the King as treachery or criminal cowardice: she said that he had converted a remedy into poison; that being in full popularity, his audacity, in openly disavowing the step taken by his sovereign, had emboldened the factious, and led away the whole Assembly; and that he was the more culpable inasmuch as he had the evening before given her his word to accompany the King. In vain did M. Necker endeavour to excuse himself by saying that his advice had not been followed.

Soon afterwards the insurrections of the 11th, 12th, and 14th of July– [The Bastille was taken on the 14th July, 1789.]–opened the disastrous drama with which France was threatened. The massacre of M. de Flesselles and M. de Launay drew bitter tears from the Queen, and the idea that the King had lost such devoted subjects wounded her to the heart.

The character of the movement was no longer merely that of a popular insurrection; cries of “Vive la Nation! Vive le Roi! Vive la Liberte!" threw the strongest light upon the views of the reformers. Still the people spoke of the King with affection, and appeared to think him favourable to the national desire for the reform of what were called abuses; but they imagined that he was restrained by the opinions and influence of the Comte d’Artois and the Queen; and those two august personages were therefore objects of hatred to the malcontents. The dangers incurred by the Comte d’Artois determined the King’s first step with the States General. He attended their meeting on the morning of the 15th of July with his brothers, without pomp or escort; he spoke standing and uncovered, and pronounced these memorable words: “I trust myself to you; I only wish to be at one with my nation, and, counting on the affection and fidelity of my subjects, I have given orders to the troops to remove from Paris and Versailles.” The King returned on foot from the chamber of the States General to his palace; the deputies crowded after him, and formed his escort, and that of the Princes who accompanied him. The rage of the populace was pointed against the Comte d’Artois, whose unfavourable opinion of the double representation was an odious crime in their eyes. They repeatedly cried out, “The King for ever, in spite of you and your opinions, Monseigneur!” One woman had the impudence to come up to the King and ask him whether what he had been doing was done sincerely, and whether he would not be forced to retract it.

The courtyards of the Chateau were thronged with an immense concourse of people; they demanded that the King and Queen, with their children, should make their appearance in the balcony. The Queen gave me the key of the inner doors, which led to the Dauphin’s apartments, and desired me to go to the Duchesse de Polignac to tell her that she wanted her son, and had directed me to bring him myself into her room, where she waited to show him to the people. The Duchess said this order indicated that she was not to accompany the Prince. I did not answer; she squeezed my hand, saying, “Ah! Madame Campan, what a blow I receive!” She embraced the child and me with tears. She knew how much I loved and valued the goodness and the noble simplicity of her disposition. I endeavoured to reassure her by saying that I should bring back the Prince to her; but she persisted, and said she understood the order, and knew what it meant. She then retired to her private room, holding her handkerchief to her eyes. One of the under-governesses asked me whether she might go with the Dauphin; I told her the Queen had given no order to the contrary, and we hastened to her Majesty, who was waiting to lead the Prince to the balcony.

Having executed this sad commission, I went down into the courtyard, where I mingled with the crowd. I heard a thousand vociferations; it was easy to see, by the difference between the language and the dress of some persons among the mob, that they were in disguise. A woman, whose face was covered with a black lace veil, seized me by the arm with some violence, and said, calling me by my name, “I know you very well; tell your Queen not to meddle with government any longer; let her leave her husband and our good States General to effect the happiness of the people.” At the same moment a man, dressed much in the style of a marketman, with his hat pulled down over his eyes, seized me by the other arm, and said, “Yes, yes; tell her over and over again that it will not be with these States as with the others, which produced no good to the people; that the nation is too enlightened in 1789 not to make something more of them; and that there will not now be seen a deputy of the ’Tiers Etat’ making a speech with one knee on the ground; tell her this, do you hear? “I was struck with dread; the Queen then appeared in the balcony. "Ah!” said the woman in the veil, “the Duchess is not with her."–"No," replied the man, “but she is still at Versailles; she is working underground, molelike; but we shall know how to dig her out.” The detestable pair moved away from me, and I reentered the palace, scarcely able to support myself. I thought it my duty to relate the dialogue of these two strangers to the Queen; she made me repeat the particulars to the King.

About four in the afternoon I went across the terrace to Madame Victoire’s apartments; three men had stopped under the windows of the throne-chamber. “Here is that throne,” said one of them aloud, “the vestiges of which will soon be sought for.” He added a thousand invectives against their Majesties. I went in to the Princess, who was at work alone in her closet, behind a canvass blind, which prevented her from being seen by those without. The three men were still walking upon the terrace; I showed them to her, and told her what they had said. She rose to take a nearer view of them, and informed me that one of them was named Saint-Huruge; that he was sold to the Duc d’Orleans, and was furious against the Government, because he had been confined once under a ’lettre de cachet’ as a bad character.

The King was not ignorant of these popular threats; he also knew the days on which money was scattered about Paris, and once or twice the Queen prevented my going there, saying there would certainly be a riot the next day, because she knew that a quantity of crown pieces had been distributed in the faubourgs.

     [I have seen a six-franc crown piece, which certainly served to pay
     some wretch on the night of the 12th of July; the words “Midnight,
     12th July, three pistols,” were rather deeply engraven on it.  They
     were, no doubt, a password for the first insurrection.

On the evening of the 14th of July the King came to the Queen’s apartments, where I was with her Majesty alone; he conversed with her respecting the scandalous report disseminated by the factious, that he had had the Chamber of the National Assembly undermined, in order to blow it up; but he added that it became him to treat such absurd assertions with contempt, as usual; I ventured to tell him that I had the evening before supped with M. Begouen, one of the deputies, who said that there were very respectable persons who thought that this horrible contrivance had been proposed without the King’s knowledge. “Then,” said his Majesty, “as the idea of such an atrocity was not revolting to so worthy a man as M. Begouen, I will order the chamber to be examined early to- morrow morning.” In fact, it will be seen by the King’s, speech to the National Assembly, on the 15th of July, that the suspicions excited obtained his attention. “I know,” said he in the speech in question, "that unworthy insinuations have been made; I know there are those who have dared to assert that your persons are not safe; can it be necessary to give you assurances upon the subject of reports so culpable, denied beforehand by my known character?”

The proceedings of the 15th of July produced no mitigation of the disturbances. Successive deputations of poissardes came to request the King to visit Paris, where his presence alone would put an end to the insurrection.

On the 16th a committee was held in the King’s apartments, at which a most important question was discussed: whether his Majesty should quit Versailles and set off with the troops whom he had recently ordered to withdraw, or go to Paris to tranquillise the minds of the people. The Queen was for the departure. On the evening of the 16th she made me take all her jewels out of their cases, to collect them in one small box, which she might carry off in her own carriage. With my assistance she burnt a large quantity of papers; for Versailles was then threatened with an early visit of armed men from Paris.

The Queen, on the morning of the 16th, before attending another committee at the King’s, having got her jewels ready, and looked over all her papers, gave me one folded up but not sealed, and desired me not to read it until she should give me an order to do so from the King’s room, and that then I was to execute its contents; but she returned herself about ten in the morning; the affair was decided; the army was to go away without the King; all those who were in imminent danger were to go at the same time. “The King will go to the Hotel de Ville to-morrow,” said the Queen to me; “he did not choose this course for himself; there were long debates on the question; at last the King put an end to them by rising and saying, ’Well, gentlemen, we must decide; am I to go or to stay? I am ready to do either.’ The majority were for the King staying; time will show whether the right choice has been made.” I returned the Queen the paper she had given me, which was now useless; she read it to me; it contained her orders for the departure; I was to go with her, as well on account of my office about her person as to serve as a teacher to Madame. The Queen tore the paper, and said, with tears in her eyes, “When I wrote this I thought it would be useful, but fate has ordered otherwise, to the misfortune of us all, as I much fear.”

After the departure of the troops the new administration received thanks; M. Necker was recalled. The artillery soldiers were undoubtedly corrupted. “Wherefore all these guns?” exclaimed the crowds of women who filled the streets. “Will you kill your mothers, your wives, your children?"–"Don’t be afraid,” answered the soldiers; “these guns shall rather be levelled against the tyrant’s palace than against you!”

The Comte d’Artois, the Prince de Conde, and their children set off at the same time with the troops. The Duc and Duchesse de Polignac, their daughter, the Duchesse de Guiche, the Comtesse Diane de Polignac, sister of the Duke, and the Abbe de Baliviere, also emigrated on the same night. Nothing could be more affecting than the parting of the Queen and her friend; extreme misfortune had banished from their minds the recollection of differences to which political opinions alone had given rise. The Queen several times wished to go and embrace her once more after their sorrowful adieu, but she was too closely watched. She desired M. Campan to be present at the departure of the Duchess, and gave him a purse of five hundred Louis, desiring him to insist upon her allowing the Queen to lend her that sum to defray her expenses on the road. The Queen added that she knew her situation; that she had often calculated her income, and the expenses occasioned by her place at Court; that both husband and wife having no other fortune than their official salaries, could not possibly have saved anything, however differently people might think at Paris.

M. Campan remained till midnight with the Duchess to see her enter her carriage. She was disguised as a femme de chambre, and got up in front of the Berlin; she requested M. Campan to remember her frequently to the Queen, and then quitted for ever that palace, that favour, and that influence which had raised her up such cruel enemies. On their arrival at Sens the travellers found the people in a state of insurrection; they asked all those who came from Paris whether the Polignacs were still with the Queen. A group of inquisitive persons put that question to the Abbe de Baliviere, who answered them in the firmest tone, and with the most cavalier air, that they were far enough from Versailles, and that we had got rid of all such bad people. At the following stage the postilion got on the doorstep and said to the Duchess, “Madame, there are some good people left in the world: I recognised you all at Sens.” They gave the worthy fellow a handful of gold.

On the breaking out of these disturbances an old man above seventy years of age gave the Queen an extraordinary proof of attachment and fidelity. M. Peraque, a rich inhabitant of the colonies, father of M. d’Oudenarde, was coming from Brussels to Paris; while changing horses he was met by a young man who was leaving France, and who recommended him if he carried any letters from foreign countries to burn them immediately, especially if he had any for the Queen. M. Peraque had one from the Archduchess, the Gouvernante of the Low Countries, for her Majesty. He thanked the stranger, and carefully concealed his packet; but as he approached Paris the insurrection appeared to him so general and so violent, that he thought no means could be relied on for securing this letter from seizure. He took upon him to unseal it, and learned it by heart, which was a wonderful effort for a man at his time of life, as it contained four pages of writing. On his arrival at Paris he wrote it down, and then presented it to the Queen, telling her that the heart of an old and faithful subject had given him courage to form and execute such a resolution. The Queen received M. Peraque in her closet, and expressed her gratitude in an affecting manner most honourable to the worthy old man. Her Majesty thought the young stranger who had apprised him of the state of Paris was Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, who was very devoted to her, and who left Paris at that time.

The Marquise de Tourzel replaced the Duchess de Polignac. She was selected by the Queen as being the mother of a family and a woman of irreproachable conduct, who had superintended the education of her own daughters with the greatest success.

The King went to Paris on the 17th of July, accompanied by the Marechal de Beauvau, the Duc de Villeroi, and the Duc de Villequier; he also took the Comte d’Estaing, and the Marquis de Nesle, who were then very popular, in his carriage. Twelve Body Guards, and the town guard of Versailles, escorted him to the Pont du Jour, near Sevres, where the Parisian guard was waiting for him. His departure caused equal grief and alarm to his friends, notwithstanding the calmness he exhibited. The Queen restrained her tears, and shut herself up in her private rooms with her family. She sent for several persons belonging to her Court; their doors were locked. Terror had driven them away. The silence of death reigned throughout the palace; they hardly dared hope that the King would return? The Queen had a robe prepared for her, and sent orders to her stables to have all her equipages ready. She wrote an address of a few lines for the Assembly, determining to go there with her family, the officers of her palace, and her servants, if the King should be detained prisoner at Paris. She got this address by heart; it began with these words: “Gentlemen, I come to place in your hands the wife and family of your sovereign; do not suffer those who have been united in heaven to be put asunder on earth.” While she was repeating this address she was often interrupted by tears, and sorrowfully exclaimed: “They will not let him return!”

It was past four when the King, who had left Versailles at ten in the morning, entered the Hotel de Ville. At length, at six in the evening, M. de Lastours, the King’s first page, arrived; he was not half an hour in coming from the Barriere de la Conference to Versailles. Everybody knows that the moment of calm in Paris was that in which the unfortunate sovereign received the tricoloured cockade from M. Bailly, and placed it in his hat. A shout of “Vive le Roi!” arose on all sides; it had not been once uttered before. The King breathed again, and with tears in his eyes exclaimed that his heart stood in need of such greetings from the people. One of his equerries (M. de Cubieres) told him the people loved him, and that he could never have doubted it. The King replied in accents of profound sensibility:

“Cubieres, the French loved Henri IV., and what king ever better deserved to be beloved?”

     [Louis XVI. cherished the memory of Henri IV.: at that moment he
     thought of his deplorable end; but he long before regarded him as a
     model.  Soulavie says on the subject: “A tablet with the inscription
     ’Resurrexit’ placed upon the pedestal of Henri IV.’s statue on the
     accession of Louis XVI. flattered him exceedingly.  ’What a fine
     compliment,’ said he, ’if it were true!  Tacitus himself never wrote
     anything so concise or so happy.’  Louis XVI. wished to take the
     reign of that Prince for a model.  In the following year the party
     that raised a commotion among the people on account of the dearness
     of corn removed the tablet inscribed Resurrexit from the statue of
     Henri IV., and placed it under that of Louis XV., whose memory was
     then detested, as he was believed to have traded on the scarcity of
     food.  Louis XVI., who was informed of it, withdrew into his private
     apartments, where he was found in a fever shedding tears; and during
     the whole of that day he could not be prevailed upon either to dine,
     walk out, or sup.  From this circumstance we may judge what he
     endured at the commencement of the Revolution, when he was accused
     of not loving the French people."–NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

His return to Versailles filled his family with inexpressible joy; in the arms of the Queen, his sister, and his children, he congratulated himself that no accident had happened; and he repeated several times, “Happily no blood has been shed, and I swear that never shall a drop of French blood be shed by my order,"–a determination full of humanity, but too openly avowed in such factious times!

The King’s last measure raised a hope in many that general tranquillity would soon enable the Assembly to resume its, labours, and promptly bring its session to a close. The Queen never flattered herself so far; M. Bailly’s speech to the King had equally wounded her pride and hurt her feelings. “Henri IV. conquered his people, and here are the people conquering their King.” The word “conquest” offended her; she never forgave M. Bailly for this fine academical phrase.

Five days after the King’s visit to Paris, the departure of the troops, and the removal of the Princes and some of the nobility whose influence seemed to alarm the people, a horrible deed committed by hired assassins proved that the King had descended the steps of his throne without having effected a reconciliation with his people.

M. Foulon, adjoint to the administration while M. de Broglie was commanding the army assembled at Versailles, had concealed himself at Viry. He was there recognised, and the peasants seized him, and dragged him to the Hotel de Ville. The cry for death was heard; the electors, the members of committee, and M. de La Fayette, at that time the idol of Paris, in vain endeavoured to save the unfortunate man. After tormenting him in a manner which makes humanity shudder, his body was dragged about the streets, and to the Palais Royal, and his heart was carried by women in the midst of a bunch of white carnations! M. Berthier, M. Foulon’s son-in-law, intendant of Paris, was seized at Compiegne, at the same time that his father-in-law was seized at Viry, and treated with still more relentless cruelty.

The Queen was always persuaded that this horrible deed was occasioned by some indiscretion; and she informed me that M. Foulon had drawn up two memorials for the direction of the King’s conduct at the time of his being called to Court on the removal of M. Necker; and that these memorials contained two schemes of totally different nature for extricating the King from the dreadful situation in which he was placed. In the first of these projects M. Foulon expressed himself without reserve respecting the criminal views of the Duc d’Orleans; said that he ought to be put under arrest, and that no time should be lost in commencing a prosecution against him, while the criminal tribunals were still in existence; he likewise pointed out such deputies as should be apprehended, and advised the King not to separate himself from his army until order was restored.

His other plan was that the King should make himself master of the revolution before its complete explosion; he advised his Majesty to go to the Assembly, and there, in person, to demand the cahiers,

     [Cahiers, the memorials or lists of complaints, grievances, and
     requirements of the electors drawn up by the primary assemblies and
     sent with the deputies.]

and to make the greatest sacrifices to satisfy the legitimate wishes of the people, and not to give the factious time to enlist them in aid of their criminal designs. Madame Adelaide had M. Foulon’s two memorials read to her in the presence of four or five persons. One of them, Comte Louis de Narbonne, was very intimate with Madame de Stael, and that intimacy gave the Queen reason to believe that the opposite party had gained information of M. Foulon’s schemes.

It is known that young Barnave, during an aberration of mind, since expiated by sincere repentance, and even by death, uttered these atrocious words: “Is then the blood now, flowing so pure?” when M. Berthier’s son came to the Assembly to implore the eloquence of M. de Lally to entreat that body to save his father’s life. I have since been informed that a son of M. Foulon, having returned to France after these first ebullitions of the Revolution, saw Barnave, and gave him one of those memorials in which M. Foulon advised Louis XVI. to prevent the revolutionary explosion by voluntarily granting all that the Assembly required before the 14th of July. “Read this memorial,” said he; “I have brought it to increase your remorse: it is the only revenge I wish to inflict on you.” Barnave burst into tears, and said to him all that the profoundest grief could dictate.

Chapter II.

After the 14th of July, by a manoeuvre for which the most skilful factions of any age might have envied the Assembly, the whole population of France was armed and organised into a National Guard. A report was spread throughout France on the same day, and almost at the same hour, that four thousand brigands were marching towards such towns or villages as it was wished to induce to take arms. Never was any plan better laid; terror spread at the same moment all over the kingdom. In 1791 a peasant showed me a steep rock in the mountains of the Mont d’Or on which his wife concealed herself on the day when the four thousand brigands were to attack their village, and told me they had been obliged to make use of ropes to let her down from the height which fear alone had enabled her to climb.

Versailles was certainly the place where the national military uniform appeared most offensive. All the King’s valets, even of the lowest class, were metamorphosed into lieutenants or captains; almost all the musicians of the chapel ventured one day to make their appearance at the King’s mass in a military costume; and an Italian soprano adopted the uniform of a grenadier captain. The King was very much offended at this conduct, and forbade his servants to appear in his presence in so unsuitable a dress.

The departure of the Duchesse de Polignac naturally left the Abbe de Vermond exposed to all the dangers of favouritism. He was already talked of as an adviser dangerous to the nation. The Queen was alarmed at it, and recommended him to remove to Valenciennes, where Count Esterhazy was in command. He was obliged to leave that place in a few days and set off for Vienna, where he remained.

On the night of the 17th of July the Queen, being unable to sleep, made me watch by her until three in the morning. I was extremely surprised to hear her say that it would be a very long time before the Abbe de Vermond would make his appearance at Court again, even if the existing ferment should subside, because he would not readily be forgiven for his attachment to the Archbishop of Sens; and that she had lost in him a very devoted servant. Then she suddenly remarked to me, that although he was not much prejudiced against me I could not have much regard for him, because he could not bear my father-in-law to hold the place of secretary of the closet. She went on to say that I must have studied the Abbe’s character, and, as I had sometimes drawn her portraits of living characters, in imitation of those which were fashionable in the time of Louis XIV., she desired me to sketch that of the Abbe, without any reserve. My astonishment was extreme; the Queen spoke of the man who, the day before, had been in the greatest intimacy with her with the utmost coolness, and as a person whom, perhaps, she might never see again! I remained petrified; the Queen persisted, and told me that he had been the enemy of my family for more than twelve years, without having been able to injure it in her opinion; so that I had no occasion to dread his return, however severely I might depict him. I promptly summarised my ideas about the favourite; but I only remember that the portrait was drawn with sincerity, except that everything which could denote antipathy was kept out of it. I shall make but one extract from it: I said that he had been born talkative and indiscreet, and had assumed a character of singularity and abruptness in order to conceal those two failings. The Queen interrupted me by saying, “Ah! how true that is!” I have since discovered that, notwithstanding the high favour which the Abbe de Vermond enjoyed, the Queen took precautions to guard herself against an ascendency the consequences of which she could not calculate.

On the death of my father-in-law his executors placed in my hands a box containing a few jewels deposited by the Queen with M. Campan on the departure from Versailles of the 6th of October, and two sealed packets, each inscribed, “Campan will take care of these papers for me.” I took the two packets to her Majesty, who kept the jewels and the larger packet, and, returning me the smaller, said, “Take care of that for me as your father-in-law did.”

After the fatal 10th of August, 1792,–[The day of the attack on the Tuileries, slaughter of the Swiss guard, and suspension of the King from his functions.]–when my house was about to be surrounded, I determined to burn the most interesting papers of which I was the depositary; I thought it my duty, however, to open this packet, which it might perhaps be necessary for me to preserve at all hazards. I saw that it contained a letter from the Abbe de Vermond to the Queen. I have already related that in the earlier days of Madame de Polignac’s favour he determined to remove from Versailles, and that the Queen recalled him by means of the Comte de Mercy. This letter contained nothing but certain conditions for his return; it was the most whimsical of treaties; I confess I greatly regretted being under the necessity of destroying it. He reproached the Queen for her infatuation for the Comtesse Jules, her family, and society; and told her several truths about the possible consequences of a friendship which ranked that lady among the favourites of the Queens of France, a title always disliked by the nation. He complained that his advice was neglected, and then came to the conditions of his return to Versailles; after strong assurances that he would never, in all his life, aim at the higher church dignities, he said that he delighted in an unbounded confidence; and that he asked but two things of her Majesty as essential: the first was, not to give him her orders through any third person, and to write to him herself; he complained much that he had had no letter in her own hand since he had left Vienna; then he demanded of her an income of eighty thousand livres, in ecclesiastical benefices; and concluded by saying that, if she condescended to assure him herself that she would set about procuring him what he wished, her letter would be sufficient in itself to show him that her Majesty had accepted the two conditions he ventured to make respecting his return. No doubt the letter was written; at least it is very certain that the benefices were granted, and that his absence from Versailles lasted only a single week.

In the course of July, 1789, the regiment of French guards, which had been in a state of insurrection from the latter end of June, abandoned its colours. One single company of grenadiers remained faithful, to its post at Versailles. M. le Baron de Leval was the captain of this company. He came every evening to request me to give the Queen an account of the disposition of his soldiers; but M. de La Fayette having sent them a note, they all deserted during the night and joined their comrades, who were enrolled in the Paris guard; so that Louis XVI. on rising saw no guard whatever at the various posts entrusted to them.

The decrees of the 4th of August, by which all privileges were abolished, are well known.

     ["It was during the night of the 4th of August,” says Rivarol, “that
     the demagogues of the nobility, wearied with a protracted discussion
     upon the rights of man, and burning to signalise their zeal, rose
     all at once, and with loud exclamations called for the last sighs of
     the feudal system.  This demand electrified the Assembly.  All heads
     were frenzied.  The younger sons of good families, having nothing,
     were delighted to sacrifice their too fortunate elders upon the
     altar of the country; a few country cures felt no less pleasure in
     renouncing the benefices of others; but what posterity will hardly
     believe is that the same enthusiasm infected the whole nobility;
     zeal walked hand in hand with malevolence; they made sacrifice upon
     sacrifice.  And as in Japan the point of honour lies in a man’s
     killing himself in the presence of the person who has offended him,
     so did the deputies of the nobility vie in striking at themselves
     and their constituents.  The people who were present at this noble
     contest increased the intoxication of their new allies by their
     shouts; and the deputies of the commons, seeing that this memorable
     night would only afford them profit without honour, consoled their
     self-love by wondering at what Nobility, grafted upon the Third
     Estate, could do.  They named that night the ’night of dupes’; the
     nobles called it the ’night of sacrifices’."–NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

The King sanctioned all that tended to the diminution of his own personal gratifications, but refused his consent to the other decrees of that tumultuous night; this refusal was one of the chief causes of the ferments of the month of October.

In the early part of September meetings were held at the Palais Royal, and propositions made to go to Versailles; it was said to be necessary to separate the King from his evil counsellors, and keep him, as well as the Dauphin, at the Louvre. The proclamations by the officers of the commune for the restoration of tranquillity were ineffectual; but M. de La Fayette succeeded this time in dispersing the populace. The Assembly declared itself permanent; and during the whole of September, in which no doubt the preparations were made for the great insurrections of the following month, the Court was not disturbed.

The King had the Flanders regiment removed to Versailles; unfortunately the idea of the officers of that regiment fraternising with the Body Guards was conceived, and the latter invited the former to a dinner, which was given in the great theatre of Versailles, and not in the Salon of Hercules, as some chroniclers say. Boxes were appropriated to various persons who wished to be present at this entertainment. The Queen told me she had been advised to make her appearance on the occasion, but that under existing circumstances she thought such a step might do more harm than good; and that, moreover, neither she nor the King ought directly to have anything to do with such a festival. She ordered me to go, and desired me to observe everything closely, in order to give a faithful account of the whole affair.

The tables were set out upon the stage; at them were placed one of the Body Guard and an officer of the Flanders regiment alternately. There was a numerous orchestra in the room, and the boxes were filled with spectators. The air, “O Richard, O mon Roi!” was played, and shouts of "Vive de Roi!” shook the roof for several minutes. I had with me one of my nieces, and a young person brought up with Madame by her Majesty. They were crying “Vive le Roi!” with all their might when a deputy of the Third Estate, who was in the next box to mine, and whom I had never seen, called to them, and reproached them for their exclamations; it hurt him, he said, to see young and handsome Frenchwomen brought up in such servile habits, screaming so outrageously for the life of one man, and with true fanaticism exalting him in their hearts above even their dearest relations; he told them what contempt worthy American women would feel on seeing Frenchwomen thus corrupted from their earliest infancy. My niece replied with tolerable spirit, and I requested the deputy to put an end to the subject, which could by no means afford him any satisfaction, inasmuch as the young persons who were with me lived, as well as myself, for the sole purpose of serving and loving the King. While I was speaking what was my astonishment at seeing the King, the Queen, and the Dauphin enter the chamber! It was M. de Luxembourg who had effected this change in the Queen’s determination.

The enthusiasm became general; the moment their Majesties arrived the orchestra repeated the air I have just mentioned, and afterwards played a song in the “Deserter,” “Can we grieve those whom we love?” which also made a powerful impression upon those present: on all sides were heard praises of their Majesties, exclamations of affection, expressions of regret for what they had suffered, clapping of hands, and shouts of “Vive le Roi! Vive la Reine! Vive le Dauphin!” It has been said that white cockades were worn on this occasion; that was not the case; the fact is, that a few young men belonging to the National Guard of Versailles, who were invited to the entertainment, turned the white lining of their national cockades outwards. All the military men quitted the hall, and reconducted the King and his family to their apartments. There was intoxication in these ebullitions of joy: a thousand extravagances were committed by the military, and many of them danced under the King’s windows; a soldier belonging to the Flanders regiment climbed up to the balcony of the King’s chamber in order to shout “Vive le Roi!” nearer his Majesty; this very soldier, as I have been told by several officers of the corps, was one of the first and most dangerous of their insurgents in the riots of the 5th and 6th of October. On the same evening another soldier of that regiment killed himself with a sword. One of my relations, chaplain to the Queen, who supped with me, saw him stretched out in a corner of the Place d’Armes; he went to him to give him spiritual assistance, and received his confession and his last sighs. He destroyed himself out of regret at having suffered himself to be corrupted by the enemies of his King, and said that, since he had seen him and the Queen and the Dauphin, remorse had turned his brain.

I returned home, delighted with all that I had seen.

I found a great many people there. M. de Beaumetz, deputy for Arras, listened to my description with a chilling air, and, when I had finished, told me that all that had passed was terrific; that he knew the disposition of the Assembly, and that the greatest misfortunes would follow the drama of that night; and he begged my leave to withdraw that he might take time for deliberate reflection whether he should on the very next day emigrate, or pass over to the left side of the Assembly. He adopted the latter course, and never appeared again among my associates.

On the 2d of October the military entertainment was followed up by a breakfast given at the hotel of the Body Guards. It is said that a discussion took place whether they should not march against the Assembly; but I am utterly ignorant of what passed at that breakfast. From that moment Paris was constantly in commotion; there were continual mobs, and the most virulent proposals were heard in all public places; the conversation was invariably about proceeding to Versailles. The King and Queen did not seem apprehensive of such a measure, and took no precaution against it; even when the army had actually left Paris, on the evening of the 5th of October, the King was shooting at Meudon, and the Queen was alone in her gardens at Trianon, which she then beheld for the last time in her life. She was sitting in her grotto absorbed in painful reflection, when she received a note from the Comte de Saint-Priest, entreating her to return to Versailles. M. de Cubieres at the same time went off to request the King to leave his sport and return to the palace; the King did so on horseback, and very leisurely. A few minutes afterwards he was informed that a numerous body of women, which preceded the Parisian army, was at Chaville, at the entrance of the avenue from Paris.

The scarcity of bread and the entertainment of the Body Guards were the pretexts for the insurrection of the 5th and 6th of October, 1789; but it is clear to demonstration that this new movement of the people was a part of the original plan of the factious, insomuch as, ever since the beginning of September, a report had been industriously circulated that the King intended to withdraw, with his family and ministers, to some stronghold; and at all the popular assemblies there had been always a great deal said about going to Versailles to seize the King.

At first only women showed themselves; the latticed doors of the Chateau were closed, and the Body Guard and Flanders regiment were drawn up in the Place d’Armes. As the details of that dreadful day are given with precision in several works, I will only observe that general consternation and disorder reigned throughout the interior of the palace.

I was not in attendance on the Queen at this time. M. Campan remained with her till two in the morning. As he was leaving her she condescendingly, and with infinite kindness, desired him to make me easy as to the dangers of the moment, and to repeat to me M. de La Fayette’s own words, which he had just used on soliciting the royal family to retire to bed, undertaking to answer for his army.

The Queen was far from relying upon M. de La Fayette’s loyalty; but she has often told me that she believed on that day, that La Fayette, having affirmed to the King, in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, that he would answer for the army of Paris, would not risk his honour as a commander, and was sure of being able to redeem his pledge. She also thought the Parisian army was devoted to him, and that all he said about his being forced to march upon Versailles was mere pretence.

On the first intimation of the march of the Parisians, the Comte de Saint-Priest prepared Rambouillet for the reception of the King, his family, and suite, and the carriages were even drawn out; but a few cries of “Vive le Roi!” when the women reported his Majesty’s favourable answer, occasioned the intention of going away to be given up, and orders were given to the troops to withdraw.

     [Compare this account with the particulars given in the “Memoirs” of
     Ferribres, Weber, Bailly, and Saint-Priest, from the latter of which
     the following sentence is taken:

     “M. d’Estaing knew not what to do with the Body Guards beyond
     bringing them into the courtyard of the ministers, and shutting the
     grilles.  Thence they proceeded to the terrace of the Chateau, then
     to Trianon, and lastly to Rambouillet.

     “I could not refrain from expressing to M. d’Estaing, when he came
     to the King, my astonishment at not seeing him make any military
     disposition.  ’Monsieur,’ replied he, ’I await the orders of the
     King’ (who did not open his mouth).  ’When the King gives no
     orders,’ pursued I, ’a general should decide for himself in a
     soldierly manner.’  This observation remained unanswered."]

The Body Guards were, however, assailed with stones and musketry while they were passing from the Place d’Armes to, their hotel. Alarm revived; again it was thought necessary that the royal family should go away; some carriages still remained ready for travelling; they were called for; they were stopped by a wretched player belonging to the theatre of the town, seconded by the mob: the opportunity for flight had been lost.

The insurrection was directed against the Queen in particular; I shudder even now at the recollection of the poissardes, or rather furies, who wore white aprons, which they screamed out were intended to receive the bowels of Marie Antoinette, and that they would make cockades of them, mixing the most obscene expressions with these horrible threats.

The Queen went to bed at two in the morning, and even slept, tired out with the events of so distressing a day. She had ordered her two women to bed, imagining there was nothing to dread, at least for that night; but the unfortunate Princess was indebted for her life to that feeling of attachment which prevented their obeying her. My sister, who was one of the ladies in question, informed me next day of all that I am about to relate.

On leaving the Queen’s bedchamber, these ladies called their femmes de chambre, and all four remained sitting together against her Majesty’s bedroom door. About half-past four in the morning they heard horrible yells and discharges of firearms; one ran to the Queen to awaken her and get her out of bed; my sister flew to the place from which the tumult seemed to proceed; she opened the door of the antechamber which leads to the great guard-room, and beheld one of the Body Guard holding his musket across the door, and attacked by a mob, who were striking at him; his face was covered with blood; he turned round and exclaimed: “Save the Queen, madame; they are come to assassinate her!” She hastily shut the door upon the unfortunate victim of duty, fastened it with the great bolt, and took the same precaution on leaving the next room. On reaching the Queen’s chamber she cried out to her, “Get up, Madame! Don’t stay to dress yourself; fly to the King’s apartment!” The terrified Queen threw herself out of bed; they put a petticoat upon her without tying it, and the two ladies conducted her towards the oile-de-boeuf. A door, which led from the Queen’s dressing-room to that apartment, had never before been fastened but on her side. What a dreadful moment! It was found to be secured on the other side. They knocked repeatedly with all their strength; a servant of one of the King’s valets de chambre came and opened it; the Queen entered the King’s chamber, but he was not there. Alarmed for the Queen’s life, he had gone down the staircases and through the corridors under the oeil-de-boeuf, by means of which he was accustomed to go to the Queen’s apartments without being under the necessity of crossing that room. He entered her Majesty’s room and found no one there but some Body Guards, who had taken refuge in it. The King, unwilling to expose their lives, told them to wait a few minutes, and afterwards sent to desire them to go to the oeil-de-boeuf. Madame de Tourzel, at that time governess of the children of France, had just taken Madame and the Dauphin to the King’s apartments. The Queen saw her children again. The reader must imagine this scene of tenderness and despair.

It is not true that the assassins penetrated to the Queen’s chamber and pierced the bed with their swords. The fugitive Body Guards were the only persons who entered it; and if the crowd had reached so far they would all have been massacred. Besides, when the rebels had forced the doors of the antechamber, the footmen and officers on duty, knowing that the Queen was no longer in her apartments, told them so with that air of truth which always carries conviction. The ferocious horde instantly rushed towards the oeil-de-boeuf, hoping, no doubt, to intercept her on her way.

Many have asserted that they recognised the Duc d’Orleans in a greatcoat and slouched hat, at half-past four in the morning, at the top of the marble staircase, pointing out with his hand the guard-room, which led to the Queen’s apartments. This fact was deposed to at the Chatelet by several individuals in the course of the inquiry instituted respecting the transactions of the 5th and 6th of October.

     [The National Assembly was sitting when information of the march of
     the Parisians was given to it by one of the deputies who came from
     Paris.  A certain number of the members were no strangers, to this
     movement.  It appears that Mirabeau wished to avail himself of it to
     raise the Duc d’Orleans to the throne.  Mounier, who presided over
     the National Assembly, rejected the idea with horror.  “My good
     man,” said Mirabeau to him, “what difference will it make to you to
     have Louis XVII. for your King instead of Louis XVI.?” (The Duc
     d’Orleans was baptised Louis.)]

The prudence and honourable feeling of several officers of the Parisian guards, and the judicious conduct of M. de Vaudreuil, lieutenant-general of marine, and of M. de Chevanne, one of the King’s Guards, brought about an understanding between the grenadiers of the National Guard of Paris and the King’s Guard. The doors of the oeil-de-boeuf were closed, and the antechamber which precedes that room was filled with grenadiers who wanted to get in to massacre the Guards. M. de Chevanne offered himself to them as a victim if they wished for one, and demanded what they would have. A report had been spread through their ranks that the Body Guards set them at defiance, and that they all wore black cockades. M. de Chevanne showed them that he wore, as did the corps, the cockade of their uniform; and promised that the Guards should exchange it for that of the nation. This was done; they even went so far as to exchange their grenadiers’ caps for the hats of the Body Guards; those who were on guard took off their shoulder-belts; embraces and transports of fraternisation instantly succeeded to the savage eagerness to murder the band which had shown so much fidelity to its sovereign. The cry was now “Vivent le Roi, la Nation, et les Gardes-du-corps!”

The army occupied the Place d’Armes, all the courtyards of the Chateau, and the entrance to the avenue. They called for the Queen to appear in the balcony: she came forward with Madame and the Dauphin. There was a cry of “No children!” Was this with a view to deprive her of the interest she inspired, accompanied as she was by her young family, or did the leaders of the democrats hope that some madman would venture to aim a mortal blow at her person? The unfortunate Princess certainly was impressed with the latter idea, for she sent away her children, and with her hands and eyes raised towards heaven, advanced upon the balcony like a self-devoted victim.

A few voices shouted “To Paris!” The exclamation soon became general. Before the King agreed to this removal he wished to consult the National Assembly, and caused that body to be invited to sit at the Chateau. Mirabeau opposed this measure. While these discussions were going forward it became more and more difficult to restrain the immense disorderly multitude. The King, without consulting any one, now said to the people: “You wish, my children, that I should follow you to Paris: I consent, but on condition that I shall not be separated from my wife and family.” The King added that he required safety also for his Guards; he was answered by shouts of “Vivo le Roi! Vivent les Gardes-du-corps!" The Guards, with their hats in the air, turned so as to exhibit the. cockade, shouted “Vive le Roi! Vive la Nation!” shortly afterwards a general discharge of all the muskets took place, in token of joy. The King and Queen set off from Versailles at one o’clock. The Dauphin, Madame, the King’s daughter, Monsieur, Madame,–[Madame, here, the wife of Monsieur le Comte de Provence.]– Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de Tourzel, were in the carriage; the Princesse de Chimay and the ladies of the bedchamber for the week, the King’s suite and servants, followed in Court carriages; a hundred deputies in carriages, and the bulk of the Parisian army, closed the procession.

The poissardes went before and around the carriage of their Majesties, Crying, “We shall no longer want bread! We have the baker, the baker’s wife, and the baker’s boy with us!” In the midst of this troop of cannibals the heads of two murdered Body Guards were carried on poles. The monsters, who made trophies of them, conceived the horrid idea of forcing a wigmaker of Sevres to dress them up and powder their bloody locks. The unfortunate man who was forced to perform this dreadful work died in consequence of the shock it gave him.

     [The King did not leave Versailles till one o’clock.  The Queen, the
     Dauphin, Madame Royale, Monsieur, Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de
     Tourzel were in his Majesty’s carriage.  The hundred deputies in
     their carriages came next.  A detachment of brigands, bearing the
     heads of the two Body Guards in triumph, formed the advance guard,
     and set out two hours earlier.  These cannibals stopped a moment at
     Sevres, and carried their cruelty to the length of forcing an
     unfortunate hairdresser to dress the gory heads; the bulk of the
     Parisian army followed them closely.  The King’s carriage was
     preceded by the ’poissardes’, who had arrived the day before from
     Paris, and a rabble of prostitutes, the vile refuse of their sex,
     still drunk with fury and wine.  Several of them rode astride upon
     cannons, boasting, in the most horrible songs, of the crimes they
     had committed themselves, or seen others commit.  Those who were
     nearest the King’s carriage sang ballads, the allusions in which by
     means of their vulgar gestures they applied to the Queen.  Wagons,
     full of corn and flour,–which had been brought into Versailles,
     formed a train escorted by grenadiers, and surrounded by women and
     bullies, some armed with pikes, and some carrying long branches of
     poplar.  At some distance this part of the procession had a most
     singular effect: it looked like a moving forest, amidst which shone
     pike-heads and gun-barrels.  In the paroxysms of their brutal joy
     the women stopped passengers, and, pointing to the King’s carriage,
     howled in their ears: “Cheer up, friends; we shall no longer be in
     want of bread!  We bring you the baker, the baker’s wife, and the
     baker’s little boy!”  Behind his Majesty’s carriage were several of
     his faithful Guards, some on foot, and some on horseback, most of
     them uncovered, all unarmed, and worn out with hunger and fatigue;
     the dragoons, the Flanders regiment, the hundred Swiss, and the
     National Guards preceded, accompanied, or followed the file of
     carriages.  I witnessed this heartrending spectacle; I saw the
     ominous procession.  In the midst of all the tumult, clamour, and
     singing, interrupted by frequent discharges of musketry, which the
     hand of a monster or a bungler might so easily render fatal, I saw
     the Queen preserving most courageous tranquillity of soul, and an
     air of nobleness and inexpressible dignity, and my eyes were
     suffused with tears of admiration and grief.–"Memoirs of Bertrand
     de Molleville."]

The progress of the procession was so slow that it was near six in the evening when this august family, made prisoners by their own people, arrived at the Hotel de Ville. Bailly received them there; they were placed upon a throne, just when that of their ancestors had been overthrown. The King spoke in a firm yet gracious manner; he said that he always came with pleasure and confidence among the inhabitants of his good city of Paris. M. Bailly repeated this observation to the representatives of the commune, who came to address the King; but he forgot the word confidence. The Queen instantly and loudly reminded him of the omission. The King and Queen, their children, and Madame Elisabeth, retired to the Tuileries. Nothing was ready for their reception there. All the living-rooms had been long given up to persons belonging to the Court; they hastily quitted them on that day, leaving their furniture, which was purchased by the Court. The Comtesse de la Marck, sister to the Marechaux de Noailles and de Mouchy, had occupied the apartments now appropriated to the Queen. Monsieur and Madame retired to the Luxembourg.

The Queen had sent for me on the morning of the 6th of October, to leave me and my father-in-law in charge of her most valuable property. She took away only her casket of diamonds. Comte Gouvernet de la Tour-du- Pin, to whom the military government of Versailles was entrusted ’pro tempore’, came and gave orders to the National Guard, which had taken possession of the apartments, to allow us to remove everything that we should deem necessary for the Queen’s accommodation.

I saw her Majesty alone in her private apartments a moment before her departure for Paris; she could hardly speak; tears bedewed her face, to which all the blood in her body seemed to have rushed; she condescended to embrace me, gave her hand to M. Campan to kiss, and said to us, “Come immediately and settle at Paris; I will lodge you at the Tuileries; come, and do not leave me henceforward; faithful servants at moments like these become useful friends; we are lost, dragged away, perhaps to death; when kings become prisoners they are very near it.”

I had frequent opportunities during the course of our misfortunes of observing that the people never entirely give their allegiance to factious leaders, but easily escape their control when some cause reminds them of their duty. As soon as the most violent Jacobins had an opportunity of seeing the Queen near at hand, of speaking to her, and of hearing her voice, they became her most zealous partisans; and even when she was in the prison of the Temple several of those who had contributed to place her there perished for having attempted to get her out again.

On the morning of the 7th of October the same women who the day before surrounded the carriage of the august prisoners, riding on cannons and uttering the most abusive language, assembled under the Queen’s windows, upon the terrace of the Chateau, and desired to see her. Her Majesty appeared. There are always among mobs of this description orators, that is to say, beings who have more assurance than the rest; a woman of this description told the Queen that she must now remove far from her all such courtiers as ruin kings, and that she must love the inhabitants of her good city. The Queen answered that she had loved them at Versailles, and would likewise love them at Paris. “Yes, yes,” said another; “but on the 14th of July you wanted to besiege the city and have it bombarded; and on the 6th of October you wanted to fly to the frontiers.” The Queen replied, affably, that they had been told so, and had believed it; that there lay the cause of the unhappiness of the people and of the best of kings. A third addressed a few words to her in German: the Queen told her she did not understand it; that she had become so entirely French as even to have forgotten her mother tongue. This declaration was answered with “Bravo!” and clapping of hands; they then desired her to make a compact with them. “Ah,” said she, “how can I make a compact with you, since you have no faith in that which my duty points out to me, and which I ought for my own happiness to respect?” They asked her for the ribbons and flowers out of her hat; her Majesty herself unfastened them and gave them; they were divided among the party, which for above half an hour cried out, without ceasing, “Marie Antoinette for ever! Our good Queen for ever!”

Two days after the King’s arrival at Paris, the city and the National Guard sent to request the Queen to appear at the theatre, and prove by her presence and the King’s that it was with pleasure they resided in their capital. I introduced the deputation which came to make this request. Her Majesty replied that she should have infinite pleasure in acceding to the invitation of the city of Paris; but that time must be allowed her to soften the recollection of the distressing events which had just occurred, and from which she had suffered too much. She added, that having come into Paris preceded by the heads of the faithful Guards who had perished before the door of their sovereign, she could not think that such an entry into the capital ought to be followed by rejoicings; but that the happiness she had always felt in appearing in the midst of the inhabitants of Paris was not effaced from her memory, and that she should enjoy it again as soon as she found herself able to do so.

Their Majesties found some consolation in their private life: from Madame’s–[Madame, here, the Princesse Marie Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette.]–gentle manners and filial affection, from the accomplishments and vivacity of the little Dauphin, and the attention and tenderness of the pious Princess Elisabeth, they still derived moments of happiness. The young Prince daily gave proofs of sensibility and penetration; he was not yet beyond female care, but a private tutor, the Abbe Davout, gave him all the instruction suitable to his age; his memory was highly cultivated, and he recited verses with much grace and feeling.

     [On the 19th of October, that is to say, thirteen days after he had
     taken up his abode at Paris, the King went, on foot and almost
     alone, to review some detachments of the National Guard.  After the
     review Louis XVI. met with a child sweeping the street, who asked
     him for money.  The child called the King “M. le Chevalier.”  His
     Majesty gave him six francs.  The little sweeper, surprised at
     receiving so large a sum, cried out, “Oh! I have no change; you will
     give me money another time.”  A person who accompanied the monarch
     said to the child, “Keep it all, my friend; the gentleman is not
     chevalier, he is the eldest of the family."–NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

The day after the arrival of the Court at Paris, terrified at hearing some noise in the gardens of the Tuileries, the young prince threw himself into the arms of the Queen, crying out, “Grand-Dieu, mamma! will it be yesterday over again?” A few days after this affecting exclamation, he went up to the King, and looked at him with a pensive air. The King asked him what he wanted; he answered, that he had something very serious to say to him. The King having prevailed on him to explain himself, the young Prince asked why his people, who formerly loved him so well, were all at once angry with him; and what he had done to irritate them so much. His father took him upon his knees, and spoke to him nearly as follows: “I wished, child, to render the people still happier than they were; I wanted money to pay the expenses occasioned by wars. I asked my people for money, as my predecessors have always done; magistrates, composing the Parliament, opposed it, and said that my people alone had a right to consent to it. I assembled the principal inhabitants of every town, whether distinguished by birth, fortune, or talents, at Versailles; that is what is called the States General. When they were assembled they required concessions of me which I could not make, either with due respect for myself or with justice to you, who will be my successor; wicked men inducing the people to rise have occasioned the excesses of the last few days; the people must not be blamed for them.”

The Queen made the young Prince clearly comprehend that he ought to treat the commanders of battalions, the officers of the National Guard, and all the Parisians who were about him, with affability; the child took great pains to please all those people, and when he had had an opportunity of replying obligingly to the mayor or members of the commune he came and whispered in his mother’s ear, “Was that right?”

He requested M. Bailly to show him the shield of Scipio, which is in the royal library; and M. Bailly asking him which he preferred, Scipio or Hannibal, the young Prince replied, without hesitation, that he preferred him who had defended his own country. He gave frequent proofs of ready wit. One day, while the Queen was hearing Madame repeat her exercises in ancient history, the young Princess could not at the moment recollect the name of the Queen of Carthage; the Dauphin was vexed at his sister’s want of memory, and though he never spoke to her in the second person singular, he bethought himself of the expedient of saying to her, “But ’dis donc’ the name of the Queen, to mamma; ’dis donc’ what her name was.”

Shortly after the arrival of the King and his family at Paris the Duchesse de Luynes came, in pursuance of the advice of a committee of the Constitutional Assembly, to propose to the Queen a temporary retirement from France, in order to leave the constitution to perfect itself, so that the patriots should not accuse her of influencing the King to oppose it. The Duchess knew how far the schemes of the conspirers extended, and her attachment to the Queen was the principal cause of the advice she gave her. The Queen perfectly comprehended the Duchesse de Luynes’s motive; but replied that she would never leave either the King or her son; that if she thought herself alone obnoxious to public hatred she would instantly offer her life as a sacrifice;–but that it was the throne which was aimed at, and that, in abandoning the King, she should be merely committing an act of cowardice, since she saw no other advantage in it than that of saving her own life.

One evening, in the month of November, 1790, I returned home rather late; I there found the Prince de Poix; he told me he came to request me to assist him in regaining his peace of mind; that at the commencement of the sittings of the National Assembly he had suffered himself to be seduced into the hope of a better order of things; that he blushed for his error, and that he abhorred plans which had already produced such fatal results; that he broke with the reformers for the rest of his life; that he had given in his resignation as a deputy of the National Assembly; and, finally, that he was anxious that the Queen should not sleep in ignorance of his sentiments. I undertook his commission, and acquitted myself of it in the best way I could; but I was totally unsuccessful. The Prince de Poix remained at Court; he there suffered many mortifications, never ceasing to serve the King in the most dangerous commissions with that zeal for which his house has always been distinguished.

When the King, the Queen, and the children were suitably established at the Tuileries, as well as Madame Elisabeth and the Princesse de Lamballe, the Queen resumed her usual habits; she employed her mornings in superintending the education of Madame, who received all her lessons in her presence, and she herself began to work large pieces of tapestry. Her mind was too much occupied with passing events and surrounding dangers to admit her of applying herself to reading; the needle was the only employment which could divert her.

     [There was long preserved at Paris, in the house of Mademoiselle
     Dubuquois, a tapestry-worker, a carpet worked by the Queen and
     Madame Elisabeth for the large room of her Majesty’s ground-floor
     apartments at the Tuileries.  The Empress Josephine saw and admired
     this carpet, and desired it might be taken care of, in the hope of
     one day sending it to Madame–MADAME CAMPAN.]

She received the Court twice a week before going to mass, and on those days dined in public with the King; she spent the rest of the time with her family and children; she had no concert, and did not go to the play until 1791, after the acceptation of the constitution. The Princesse de Lamballe, however, had some evening parties in her apartments at the Tuileries, which were tolerably brilliant in consequence of the great number of persons who attended them. The Queen was present at a few of these assemblies; but being soon convinced that her present situation forbade her appearing much in public, she remained at home, and conversed as she sat at work. The sole topic of her discourse was, as may well be supposed, the Revolution. She sought to discover the real opinions of the Parisians respecting her, and how she could have so completely lost the affections of the people, and even of many persons in the higher ranks. She well knew that she ought to impute the whole to the spirit of party, to the hatred of the Duc d’Orleans, and the folly of the French, who desired to have a total change in the constitution; but she was not the less desirous of ascertaining the private feelings of all the people in power.

From the very commencement of the Revolution General Luckner indulged in violent sallies against her. Her Majesty, knowing that I was acquainted with a lady who had been long connected with the General, desired me to discover through that channel what was the private motive on which Luckner’s hatred against her was founded. On being questioned upon this point, he answered that Marechal de Segur had assured him he had proposed him for the command of a camp of observation, but that the Queen had made a bar against his name; and that this ’par’, as he called it, in his German accent, he could not forget.

The Queen ordered me to repeat this reply to the King myself, and said to him: “See, Sire, whether I was not right in telling you that your ministers, in order to give themselves full scope in the distribution of favours, persuaded the French that I interfered in everything; there was not a single license given out in the country for the sale of salt or tobacco but the people believed it was given to one of my favourites.”

“That is very, true,” replied the King; “but I find it very difficult to believe that Marechal de Segur ever said any such thing to Luckner; he knew too well that you never interfered in the distribution of favours.

“That Luckner is a good-for-nothing fellow, and Segur is a brave and honourable man who never uttered such a falsehood; however, you are right; and because you provided for a few dependents, you are most unjustly reported to have disposed of all offices, civil and military.”

All the nobility who had not left Paris made a point of presenting themselves assiduously to the King, and there was a considerable influx to the Tuileries. Marks of attachment were exhibited even in external symbols; the women wore enormous bouquets of lilies in their bosoms and upon their heads, and sometimes even bunches of white ribbon. At the play there were often disputes between the pit and the boxes about removing these ornaments, which the people thought dangerous emblems. National cockades were sold in every corner of Paris; the sentinels stopped all who did not wear them; the young men piqued themselves upon breaking through this regulation, which was in some degree sanctioned by the acquiescence of Louis XVI. Frays took place, which were to be regretted, because they excited a spirit of lawlessness. The King adopted conciliatory measures with the Assembly in order to promote tranquillity; the revolutionists were but little disposed to think him sincere; unfortunately the royalists encouraged this incredulity by incessantly repeating that the King was not free, and that all that he did was completely null, and in no way bound him for the time to come. Such was the heat and violence of party spirit that persons the most sincerely attached to the King were not even permitted to use the language of reason, and recommend greater reserve in conversation. People would talk and argue at table without considering that all the servants belonged to the hostile army; and it may truly be said there was as much imprudence and levity in the party assailed as there was cunning, boldness, and perseverance in that which made the attack.

Chapter III.

In February, 1790, another matter gave the Court much uneasiness; a zealous individual of the name of Favras had conceived the scheme of carrying off the King, and affecting a counter-revolution. Monsieur, probably out of mere benevolence, gave him some money, and thence arose a report that he thereby wished to favour the execution of the enterprise. The step taken by Monsieur in going to the Hotel de Ville to explain himself on this matter was unknown to the Queen; it is more than probable that the King was acquainted with it. When judgment was pronounced upon M. de Favras the Queen did not conceal from me her fears about the confessions of the unfortunate man in his last moments.

I sent a confidential person to the Hotel de Ville; she came to inform the Queen that the condemned had demanded to be taken from Notre-Dame to the Hotel de Ville to make a final declaration, and give some particulars verifying it. These particulars compromised nobody; Favras corrected his last will after writing it, and went to the scaffold with heroic courage and coolness. The judge who read his condemnation to him told him that his life was a sacrifice which he owed to public tranquillity. It was asserted at the time that Favras was given up as a victim in order to satisfy the people and save the Baron de Besenval, who was a prisoner in the Abbaye.

     [Thomas Mahy, Marquis de Favras, was accused in the month of
     December, 1789, of having conspired against the Revolution.  Having
     been arrested by order of the committee of inquiry of the National
     Assembly, he was transferred to the Chatelet, where he defended
     himself with much coolness and presence of mind, repelling the
     accusations brought against him by Morel, Turcati, and Marquis, with
     considerable force.  These witnesses declared he had imparted his
     plan to them; it was to be carried into execution by 12,000 Swiss
     and 12,000 Germans, who were to be assembled at Montargis, thence to
     march upon Paris, carry off the King, and assassinate Bailly, La
     Fayette, and Necker.  The greater number of these charges he denied,
     and declared that the rest related only to the levy of a troop
     intended to favour the revolution preparing in Brabant.  The judge
     having refused to disclose who had denounced him, he complained to
     the Assembly, which passed to the order of the day.  His death was
     obviously inevitable.  During the whole time of the proceedings the
     populace never ceased threatening the judges and shouting, “A la
     lanterne!”  It was even necessary to keep numerous troops and
     artillery constantly ready to act in the courtyard of the Chatelet.
     The judges, who had just acquitted M. de Besenval in an affair
     nearly similar, doubtless dreaded the effects of this fury.  When
     they refused to hear Favras’s witnesses in exculpation, he compared
     them to the tribunal of the Inquisition.  The principal charge
     against him was founded on a letter from M. de Foucault, asking him,
     “where are your troops?  in which direction will they enter Paris?
     I should like to be employed among them.”  Favras was condemned to
     make the ’amende honorable’ in front of the Cathedral, and to be
     hanged at the Place de Greve.  He heard this sentence with wonderful
     calmness, and said to his judges, “I pity you much if the testimony
     of two men is sufficient to induce you to condemn.”  The judge
     having said to him, “I have no other consolation to hold out to you
     than that which religion affords,” he replied, nobly, “My greatest
     consolation is that which I derive from my innocence."–"Biographic

On the morning of the Sunday following this execution M. de la Villeurnoy came to my house to tell me that he was going that day to the public dinner of the King and Queen to present Madame de Favras and her son, both of them in mourning for the brave Frenchman who fell a sacrifice for his King; and that all the royalists expected to see the Queen load the unfortunate family with favours. I did all that lay in my power to prevent this proceeding. I foresaw the effect it would have upon the Queen’s feeling heart, and the painful constraint she would experience, having the horrible Santerre, the commandant of a battalion of the Parisian guard, behind her chair during dinner-time. I could not make M. de la Villeurnoy comprehend my argument; the Queen was gone to mass, surrounded by her whole Court, and I had not even means of apprising her of his intention.

When dinner was over I heard a knocking at the door of my apartment, which opened into the corridor next that of the Queen; it was herself. She asked me whether there was anybody with me; I was alone; she threw herself into an armchair, and told me she came to weep with me over the foolish conduct of the ultras of the King’s party. “We must fall,” said she, “attacked as we are by men who possess every talent and shrink from no crime, while we are defended only by those who are no doubt very estimable, but have no adequate idea of our situation. They have exposed me to the animosity of both parties by presenting the widow and son of Favras to me. Were I free to act as I wish, I should take the child of the man who has just sacrificed himself for us and place him at table between the King and myself; but surrounded by the assassins who have destroyed his father, I did not dare even to cast my eyes upon him. The royalists will blame me for not having appeared interested in this poor child; the revolutionists will be enraged at the idea that his presentation should have been thought agreeable to me.” However, the Queen added that she knew Madame de Favras was in want, and that she desired me to send her next day, through a person who could be relied on, a few rouleaus of fifty Louis, and to direct that she should be assured her Majesty would always watch over the fortunes of herself and her son.

In the month of March following I had an opportunity of ascertaining the King’s sentiments respecting the schemes which were continually proposed to him for making his escape. One night about ten o’clock Comte d’Inisdal, who was deputed by the nobility, came to request that I would see him in private, as he had an important matter to communicate to me. He told me that on that very night the King was to be carried off; that the section of the National Guard, that day commanded by M. d’Aumont, was gained over, and that sets of horses, furnished by some good royalists, were placed in relays at suitable distances; that he had just left a number of the nobility assembled for the execution of this scheme, and that he had been sent to me that I might, through the medium of the Queen, obtain the King’s positive consent to it before midnight; that the King was aware of their plan, but that his Majesty never would speak decidedly, and that it was necessary he should consent to the undertaking. I greatly displeased Comte d’Inisdal by expressing my astonishment that the nobility at the moment of the execution of so important a project should send to me, the Queen’s first woman, to obtain a consent which ought to have been the basis of any well-concerted scheme. I told him, also, that it would be impossible for me to go at that time to the Queen’s apartments without exciting the attention of the people in the antechambers; that the King was at cards with the Queen and his family, and that I never broke in upon their privacy unless I was called for. I added, however, that M. Campan could enter without being called; and if the Count chose to give him his confidence he might rely upon him.

My father-in-law, to whom Comte d’Inisdal repeated what he had said to me, took the commission upon himself, and went to the Queen’s apartments. The King was playing at whist with the Queen, Monsieur, and Madame; Madame Elisabeth was kneeling on a stool near the table. M. Campan informed the Queen of what had been communicated to me; nobody uttered a word. The Queen broke silence and said to the King, “Do you hear, Sire, what Campan says to us?"–"Yes, I hear,” said the King, and continued his game. Monsieur, who was in the habit of introducing passages from plays into his conversation, said to my father-in-law, “M. Campan, that pretty little couplet again, if you please;” and pressed the King to reply. At length the Queen said, “But something must be said to Campan.” The King then spoke to my father-in-law in these words: “Tell M. d’Inisdal that I cannot consent to be carried off!” The Queen enjoined M. Campan to take care and, report this answer faithfully. “You understand,” added she, "the King cannot consent to be carried off.”

Comte d’Inisdal was very much dissatisfied with the King’s answer, and went out, saying, “I understand; he wishes to throw all the blame, beforehand, upon those who are to devote themselves for him.”

He went away, and I thought the enterprise would be abandoned. However, the Queen remained alone with me till midnight, preparing her cases of valuables, and ordered me not to go to bed. She imagined the King’s answer would be understood as a tacit consent, and merely a refusal to participate in the design. I do not know what passed in the King’s apartments during the night; but I occasionally looked out at the windows: I saw the garden clear; I heard no noise in the palace, and day at length confirmed my opinion that the project had been given up. “We must, however, fly,” said the Queen to me, shortly afterwards; “who knows how far the factious may go? The danger increases every day.”

     [The disturbances of the 13th of April, 1790, occasioned by the
     warmth of the discussions upon Dom Gerle’s imprudent motion in the
     National Assembly, having afforded room for apprehension that the
     enemies of the country would endeavour to carry off the King from
     the capital, M. de La Fayette promised to keep watch, and told Louis
     XVI. that if he saw any alarming movement among the disaffected he
     would give him notice of it by the discharge of a cannon from Henri
     IV.’s battery on the Pont Neuf.  On the same night a few casual
     discharges of musketry were heard from the terrace of the Tuileries.
     The King, deceived by the noise, flew to the Queen’s apartments; he
     did not find her; he ran to the Dauphin’s room, where he found the
     Queen holding her son in her arms. “Madame;” said the King to her,
     “I have been seeking you; and you have made me uneasy.”  The Queen,
     showing her son, said to him, “I was at my post."–"Anecdotes of the
     Reign of Louis XVI."]

This Princess received advice and memorials from all quarters. Rivarol addressed several to her, which I read to her. They were full of ingenious observations; but the Queen did not find that they, contained anything of essential service under the circumstances in which the royal family was placed. Comte du Moustier also sent memorials and plans of conduct. I remember that in one of his writings he said to the King, "Read ’Telemachus’ again, Sire; in that book which delighted your Majesty in infancy you will find the first seeds of those principles which, erroneously followed up by men of ardent imaginations, are bringing on the explosion we expect every moment.” I read so many of these memorials that I could hardly give a faithful account of them, and I am determined to note in this work no other events than such as I witnessed; no other words than such as (notwithstanding the lapse of time) still in some measure vibrate in my ears.

Comte de Segur, on his return from Russia, was employed some time by the Queen, and had a certain degree of influence over her; but that did not last long. Comte Augustus de la Marck likewise endeavoured to negotiate for the King’s advantage with the leaders of the factious. M. de Fontanges, Archbishop of Toulouse, possessed also the Queen’s confidence; but none of the endeavours which were made on the spot produced any, beneficial result. The Empress Catherine II. also conveyed her opinion upon the situation of Louis XVI. to the Queen, and her Majesty made me read a few lines in the Empress’s own handwriting, which concluded with these words:

“Kings ought to proceed in their career undisturbed by the cries of the people, even as the moon pursues her course unimpeded by the baying of dogs.” This maxim of the despotic sovereign of Russia was very inapplicable to the situation of a captive king.

Meanwhile the revolutionary party followed up its audacious enterprise in a determined manner, without meeting any opposition. The advice from without, as well from Coblentz as from Vienna, made various impressions upon the members of the royal family, and those cabinets were not in accordance with each other. I often had reason to infer from what the Queen said to me that she thought the King, by leaving all the honour of restoring order to the Coblentz party,–[The Princes and the chief of the emigrant nobility assembled at Coblentz, and the name was used to designate the reactionary party.]–would, on the return of the emigrants, be put under a kind of guardianship which would increase his own misfortunes. She frequently said to me, “If the emigrants succeed, they will rule the roast for a long time; it will be impossible to refuse them anything; to owe the crown to them would be contracting too great an obligation.” It always appeared to me that she wished her own family to counterbalance the claims of the emigrants by disinterested services. She was fearful of M. de Calonne, and with good reason. She had proof that this minister was her bitterest enemy, and that he made use of the most criminal means in order to blacken her reputation. I can testify that I have seen in the hands of the Queen a manuscript copy of the infamous memoirs of the woman De Lamotte, which had been brought to her from London, and in which all those passages where a total ignorance of the customs of Courts had occasioned that wretched woman to make blunders which would have been too palpable were corrected in M. de Calonne’s own handwriting.

The two King’s Guards who were wounded at her Majesty’s door on the 6th of October were M. du Repaire and M. de Miomandre de Sainte-Marie; on the dreadful night of the 6th of October the latter took the post of the former the moment he became incapable of maintaining it.

A considerable number of the Body Guards, who were wounded on the 6th of October, betook themselves to the infirmary at Versailles. The brigands wanted to make their way into the infirmary in order to massacre them. M. Viosin, head surgeon of that infirmary, ran to the entrance hall, invited the assailants to refresh themselves, ordered wine to be brought, and found means to direct the Sister Superior to remove the Guards into a ward appropriated to the poor, and dress them in the caps and greatcoats furnished by the institution. The good sisters executed this order so promptly that the Guards were removed, dressed as paupers, and their beds made, while the assassins were drinking. They searched all the wards, and fancied they saw no persons there but the sick poor; thus the Guards were saved.

M. de Miomandre was at Paris, living on terms of friendship with another of the Guards, who, on the same day, received a gunshot wound from the brigands in another part of the Chateau. These two officers, who were attended and cured together at the infirmary of Versailles, were almost constant companions; they were recognised at the Palais Royal, and insulted. The Queen thought it necessary for them to quit Paris. She desired me to write to M. de Miomandre de Sainte-Marie, and tell him to come to me at eight o’clock in the evening; and then to communicate to him her wish to hear of his being in safety; and ordered me, when he had made up his mind to go, to tell him in her name that gold could not repay such a service as he had rendered; that she hoped some day to be in sufficiently happy circumstances to recompense him as she ought; but that for the present her offer of money was only that of a sister to a brother situated as he then was, and that she requested he would take whatever might be necessary to discharge his debts at Paris and defray the expenses of his journey. She told me also to desire he would bring his. friend Bertrand with him, and to make him the same offer.

The two Guards came at the appointed hour, and accepted, I think, each one or two hundred louis. A moment afterwards the Queen opened my door; she was accompanied by the King and Madame Elisabeth; the King stood with his back against the fireplace; the Queen sat down upon a sofa and Madame Elisabeth sat near her; I placed myself behind the Queen, and the two Guards stood facing the King. The Queen told them that the King wished to see before they went away two of the brave men who had afforded him the strongest proofs of courage and attachment. Miomandre said all that the Queen’s affecting observations were calculated to inspire. Madame Elisabeth spoke of the King’s gratitude; the Queen resumed the subject of their speedy departure, urging the necessity of it; the King was silent; but his emotion was evident, and his eyes were suffused with tears. The Queen rose, the King went out, and Madame Elisabeth followed him; the Queen stopped and said to me, in the recess of a window, “I am sorry I brought the King here! I am sure Elisabeth thinks with me; if the King had but given utterance to a fourth part of what he thinks of those brave men they would have been in ecstacies; but he cannot overcome his diffidence.”

The Emperor Joseph died about this time. The Queen’s grief was not excessive; that brother of whom she had been so proud, and whom she had loved so tenderly, had probably suffered greatly in her opinion; she reproached him sometimes, though with moderation, for having adopted several of the principles of the new philosophy, and perhaps she knew that he looked upon our troubles with the eye of the sovereign of Germany rather than that of the brother of the Queen of France.

The Emperor on one occasion sent the Queen an engraving which represented unfrocked nuns and monks. The first were trying on fashionable dresses, the latter were having their hair arranged; the picture was always left in the closet, and never hung up. The Queen told me to have it taken away; for she was hurt to see how much influence the philosophers had over her brother’s mind and actions.

Mirabeau had not lost the hope of becoming the last resource of the oppressed Court; and at this time some communications passed between the Queen and him. The question was about an office to be conferred upon him. This transpired, and it must have been about this period that the Assembly decreed that no deputy could hold an office as a minister of the King until the expiration of two years after the cessation of his legislative functions. I know that the Queen was much hurt at this decision, and considered that the Court had lost a promising opening.

The palace of the Tuileries was a very disagreeable residence during the summer, which made the Queen wish to go to St. Cloud. The removal was decided on without any opposition; the National Guard of Paris followed the Court thither. At this period new opportunities of escape were presented; nothing would have been more easy than to execute them. The King had obtained leave (!) to go out without guards, and to be accompanied only by an aide-de-camp of M. de La Fayette. The Queen also had one on duty with her, and so had the Dauphin. The King and Queen often went out at four in the afternoon, and did not return until eight or nine.

I will relate one of the plans of emigration which the Queen communicated to me, the success of which seemed infallible. The royal family were to meet in a wood four leagues from St. Cloud; some persons who could be fully relied on were to accompany the King, who was always followed by his equerries and pages; the Queen was to join him with her daughter and Madame Elisabeth. These Princesses, as well as the Queen, had equerries and pages, of whose fidelity no doubt could be entertained. The Dauphin likewise was to be at the place of rendezvous with Madame de Tourzel; a large berlin and a chaise for the attendants were sufficient for the whole family; the aides-de-camp were to have been gained over or mastered. The King was to leave a letter for the President of the National Assembly on his bureau at St. Cloud. The people in the service of the King and Queen would have waited until nine in the evening without anxiety, because the family sometimes did not return until that hour. The letter could not be forwarded to Paris until ten o’clock at the earliest. The Assembly would not then be sitting; the President must have been sought for at his own house or elsewhere; it would have been midnight before the Assembly could have been summoned and couriers sent off to have the royal family stopped; but the latter would have been six or seven hours in advance, as they would have started at six leagues’ distance from Paris; and at this period travelling was not yet impeded in France.

The Queen approved of this plan; but I did not venture to interrogate her, and I even thought if it were put in execution she would leave me in ignorance of it. One evening in the month of June the people of the Chateau, finding the King did not return by nine o’clock, were walking about the courtyards in a state of great anxiety. I thought the family, was gone, and I could scarcely breathe amidst the confusion of my good wishes, when I heard the sound of the carriages. I confessed to the Queen that I thought she had set off; she told me she must wait until Mesdames the King’s aunts had quitted France, and afterwards see whether the plan agreed with those formed abroad.

Chapter IV.

There was a meeting at Paris for the first federation on the 14th of July, 1790, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille. What an astonishing assemblage of four hundred thousand men, of whom there were not perhaps two hundred who did not believe that the King found happiness and glory in the order of things then being established. The love which was borne him by all, with the exception of those who meditated his ruin, still reigned in the hearts of the French in the departments; but if I may judge from those whom I had an opportunity of seeing, it was totally impossible to enlighten them; they were as much attached to the King as to the constitution, and to the constitution as to the King; and it was impossible to separate the one from the other in their hearts and minds.

The Court returned to St. Cloud after the federation. A wretch, named Rotondo, made his way into the palace with the intention of assassinating the Queen. It is known that he penetrated to the inner gardens: the rain prevented her Majesty from going out that day. M. de La Fayette, who was aware of this plot, gave all the sentinels the strictest orders, and a description of the monster was distributed throughout the palace by order of the General. I do not know how he was saved from punishment. The police belonging to the King discovered that there was likewise a scheme on foot for poisoning the Queen. She spoke to me, as well as to her head physician, M. Vicq-d’Azyr, about it, without the slightest emotion, but both he and I consulted what precautions it would be proper to take. He relied much upon the Queen’s temperance; yet he recommended me always to have a bottle of oil of sweet almonds within reach, and to renew it occasionally, that oil and milk being, as is known, the most certain antidotes to the divellication of corrosive poisons.

The Queen had a habit which rendered M. Vicq-d’Azyr particularly uneasy: there was always some pounded sugar upon the table in her Majesty’s bedchamber; and she frequently, without calling anybody, put spoonfuls of it into a glass of water when she wished to drink. It was agreed that I should get a considerable quantity of sugar powdered; that I should always have some papers of it in my bag, and that three or four times a day, when alone in the Queen’s room, I should substitute it for that in her sugar-basin. We knew that the Queen would have prevented all such precautions, but we were not aware of her reason. One day she caught me alone making this exchange, and told me, she supposed it was agreed on between myself and M. Vicq-d’Azyr, but that I gave myself very unnecessary trouble. “Remember,” added she, “that not a grain of poison will be put in use against me. The Brinvilliers do not belong to this century: this age possesses calumny, which is a much more convenient instrument of death; and it is by that I shall perish.”

Even while melancholy presentiments afflicted this unfortunate Princess, manifestations of attachment to her person, and to the King’s cause, would frequently raise agreeable illusions in her mind, or present to her the affecting spectacle of tears shed for her sorrows. I was one day, during this same visit to St. Cloud, witness of a very touching scene, which we took great care to keep secret. It was four in the afternoon; the guard was not set; there was scarcely anybody at St. Cloud that day, and I was reading to the Queen, who was at work in a room the balcony of which hung over the courtyard. The windows were closed, yet we heard a sort of inarticulate murmur from a great number of voices. The Queen desired me to go and see what it was; I raised the muslin curtain, and perceived more than fifty persons beneath the balcony: this group consisted of women, young and old, perfectly well dressed in the country costume, old chevaliers of St. Louis, young knights of Malta, and a few ecclesiastics. I told the Queen it was probably an assemblage of persons residing in the neighbourhood who wished to see her. She rose, opened the window, and appeared in the balcony; immediately all these worthy people said to her, in an undertone: “Courage, Madame; good Frenchmen suffer for you, and with you; they pray for you. Heaven will hear their prayers; we love you, we respect you, we will continue to venerate our virtuous King.” The Queen burst into tears, and held her handkerchief to her eyes. “Poor Queen! she weeps!” said the women and young girls; but the dread of exposing her Majesty, and even the persons who showed so much affection for her, to observation, prompted me to take her hand, and prevail upon her to retire into her room; and, raising my eyes, I gave the excellent people to understand that my conduct was dictated by prudence. They comprehended me, for I heard, “That lady is right;” and afterwards, “Farewell, Madame!” from several of them; and all this in accents of feeling so true and so mournful, that I am affected at the recollection of them even after a lapse of twenty years.

A few days afterwards the insurrection of Nancy took place.

     [The insurrection of the troops at Nancy broke out in August 1790,
     and was put down by Marechal de Bouille on the last day of that
     month.  See “Bouille,” p. 195.]

Only the ostensible cause is known; there was another, of which I might have been in full possession, if the great confusion I was in upon the subject had not deprived me of the power of paying attention to it. I will endeavour to make myself understood. In the early part of September the Queen, as she was going to bed, desired me to let all her people go, and to remain with her myself; when we were alone she said to me, “The King will come here at midnight. You know that he has always shown you marks of distinction; he now proves his confidence in you by selecting you to write down the whole affair of Nancy from his dictation. He must have several copies of it.” At midnight the King came to the Queen’s apartments, and said to me, smiling, “You did not expect to become my secretary, and that, too, during the night.” I followed the King into the council chamber. I found there sheets of paper, an inkstand, and pens all ready prepared. He sat down by my side and dictated to me the report of the Marquis de Bouille, which he himself copied at the same time. My hand trembled; I wrote with difficulty; my reflections scarcely left me sufficient power of attention to listen to the King. The large table, the velvet cloth, seats which ought to have been filled by none but the King’s chief councillors; what that chamber had been, and what it was at that moment, when the King was employing a woman in an office which had so little affinity with her ordinary functions; the misfortunes which had brought him to the necessity of doing so,–all these ideas made such an impression upon me that when I had returned to the Queen’s apartments I could not sleep for the remainder of the night, nor could I remember what I had written.

The more I saw that I had the happiness to be of some use to my employers, the more scrupulously careful was I to live entirely with my family; and I never indulged in any conversation which could betray the intimacy to which I was admitted; but nothing at Court remains long concealed, and I soon saw I had many enemies. The means of injuring others in the minds of sovereigns are but too easily obtained, and they had become still more so, since the mere suspicion of communication with partisans of the Revolution was sufficient to forfeit the esteem and confidence of the King and Queen; happily, my conduct protected me, with them, against calumny. I had left St. Cloud two days, when I received at Paris a note from the Queen, containing these words:

“Come to St. Cloud immediately; I have something concerning you to communicate.” I set off without loss of time. Her Majesty told me she had a sacrifice to request of me; I answered that it was made. She said it went so far as the renunciation of a friend’s society; that such a renunciation was always painful, but that it must be particularly so to me; that, for her own part, it might have been very useful that a deputy, a man of talent, should be constantly received at my house; but at this moment she thought only of my welfare. The Queen then informed me that the ladies of the bedchamber had, the preceding evening, assured her that M. de Beaumetz, deputy from the nobility of Artois, who had taken his seat on the left of the Assembly, spent his whole time at my house. Perceiving on what false grounds the attempt to injure, me was based, I replied respectfully, but at the same time smiling, that it was impossible for me to make the sacrifice exacted by her Majesty; that M. de Beaumetz, a man of great judgment, had not determined to cross over to the left of the Assembly with the intention of afterwards making himself unpopular by spending his time with the Queen’s first woman; and that, ever since the 1st of October, 1789, I had seen him nowhere but at the play, or in the public walks, and even then without his ever coming to speak to me; that this line of conduct had appeared to me perfectly consistent: for whether he was desirous to please the popular party, or to be sought after by the Court, he could not act in any other way towards me. The Queen closed this explanation by saying, “Oh! it is clear, as clear as the day! this opportunity for trying to do you an injury is very ill chosen; but be cautious in your slightest actions; you perceive that the confidence placed in you by the King and myself raises you up powerful enemies.”

The private communications which were still kept up between the Court and Mirabeau at length procured him an interview with the Queen, in the gardens of St. Cloud. He left Paris on horseback, on pretence of going into the country, to M. de Clavieres, one of his friends; but he stopped at one of the gates of the gardens of St. Cloud, and was led to a spot situated in the highest part of the private garden, where the Queen was waiting for him. She told me she accosted him by saying, “With a common enemy, with a man who had sworn to destroy monarchy without appreciating its utility among a great people, I should at this moment be guilty of a most ill-advised step; but in speaking to a Mirabeau,” etc. The poor Queen was delighted at having discovered this method of exalting him above all others of his principles; and in imparting the particulars of this interview to me she said, “Do you know that those words, ’a Mirabeau,’ appeared to flatter him exceedingly.” On leaving the Queen he said to her with warmth, “Madame, the monarchy is saved!” It must have been soon afterwards that Mirabeau received considerable sums of money. He showed it too plainly by the increase of his expenditure. Already did some of his remarks upon the necessity of arresting the progress of the democrats circulate in society. Being once invited to meet a person at dinner who was very much attached to the Queen, he learned that that person withdrew on hearing that he was one of the guests; the party who invited him told him this with some degree of satisfaction; but all were very much astonished when they heard Mirabeau eulogise the absent guest, and declare that in his place he would have done the same; but, he added, they had only to invite that person again in a few months, and he would then dine with the restorer of the monarchy. Mirabeau forgot that it was more easy to do harm than good, and thought himself the political Atlas of the whole world.

Outrages and mockery were incessantly mingled with the audacious proceedings of the revolutionists. It was customary to give serenades under the King’s windows on New Year’s Day. The band of the National Guard repaired thither on that festival in 1791; in allusion to the liquidation of the debts of the State, decreed by the Assembly, they played solely, and repeatedly, that air from the comic opera of the "Debts,” the burden of which is, “But our creditors are paid, and that makes us easy.”

On the same day some “conquerors of the Bastille,” grenadiers of the Parisian guard, preceded by military music, came to present to the young Dauphin, as a New Year’s gift, a box of dominoes, made of some of the stone and marble of which that state prison was built. The Queen gave me this inauspicious curiosity, desiring me to preserve it, as it would be a curious illustration of the history of the Revolution. Upon the lid were engraved some bad verses, the purport of which was as follows: “Stones from those walls, which enclosed the innocent victims of arbitrary power, have been converted into a toy, to be presented to you, Monseigneur, as a mark of the people’s love; and to teach you their power.”

The Queen said that M. de La Fayette’s thirst for popularity induced him to lend himself, without discrimination, to all popular follies. Her distrust of the General increased daily, and grew so powerful that when, towards the end of the Revolution, he seemed willing to support the tottering throne, she could never bring herself to incur so great an obligation to him.

M. de J––-, a colonel attached to the staff of the army, was fortunate enough to render several services to the Queen, and acquitted himself with discretion and dignity of various important missions.

     [During the Queen’s detention in the Temple he introduced himself
     Into that prison in the dress of a lamplighter, and there discharged
     his duty unrecognised.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

Their Majesties had the highest confidence in him, although it frequently happened that his prudence, when inconsiderate projects were under discussion, brought upon him the charge of adopting the principles of the constitutionals. Being sent to Turin, he had some difficulty in dissuading the Princes from a scheme they had formed at that period of reentering France, with a very weak army, by way of Lyons; and when, in a council which lasted till three o’clock in the morning, he showed his instructions, and demonstrated that the measure would endanger the King, the Comte d’Artois alone declared against the plan, which emanated from the Prince de Conde.

Among the persons employed in subordinate situations, whom the critical circumstances of the times involved in affairs of importance, was M. de Goguelat, a geographical engineer at Versailles, and an excellent draughtsman. He made plans of St. Cloud and Trianon for the Queen; she was very much pleased with them, and had the engineer admitted into the staff of the army. At the commencement of the Revolution he was sent to Count Esterhazy, at Valenciennes, in the capacity of aide-de-camp. The latter rank was given him solely to get him away from Versailles, where his rashness endangered the Queen during the earlier months of the Assembly of the States General. Making a parade of his devotion to the King’s interests, he went repeatedly to the tribunes of the Assembly, and there openly railed at all the motions of the deputies, and then returned to the Queen’s antechamber, where he repeated all that he had just heard, or had had the imprudence to say. Unfortunately, at the same time that the Queen sent away M. de Goguelat, she still believed that, in a dangerous predicament, requiring great self-devotion, the man might be employed advantageously. In 1791 he was commissioned to act in concert with the Marquis de Bouille in furtherance of the King’s intended escape.

     [See the “Memoirs” of M. de Bouille, those of the Duc de Choiseul,
     and the account of the journey to Varennes, by M. de Fontanges, in
     “Weber’s Memoirs."–NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

Projectors in great numbers endeavoured to introduce themselves not only to the Queen, but to Madame Elisabeth, who had communications with many individuals who took upon themselves to make plans for the conduct of the Court. The Baron de Gilliers and M. de Vanoise were of this description; they went to the Baronne de Mackau’s, where the Princess spent almost all her evenings. The Queen did not like these meetings, where Madame Elisabeth might adopt views in opposition to the King’s intentions or her own.

The Queen gave frequent audiences to M. de La Fayette. One day, when he was in her inner closet, his aides-de-camp, who waited for him, were walking up and down the great room where the persons in attendance remained. Some imprudent young women were thoughtless enough to say, with the intention of being overheard by those officers, that it was very alarming to see the Queen alone with a rebel and a brigand. I was annoyed at their indiscretion, and imposed silence on them. One of them persisted in the appellation “brigand.” I told her that M. de La Fayette well deserved the name of rebel, but that the title of leader of a party was given by history to every man commanding forty thousand men, a capital, and forty leagues of country; that kings had frequently treated with such leaders, and if it was convenient to the Queen to do the same, it remained for us only to be silent and respect her actions. On the morrow the Queen, with a serious air; but with the greatest kindness, asked what I had said respecting M. de La Fayette on the preceding day; adding that she had been assured I had enjoined her women silence, because they did not like him, and that I had taken his part. I repeated what had passed to the Queen, word for word. She condescended to tell me that I had done perfectly right.

Whenever any false reports respecting me were conveyed to her she was kind enough to inform me of them; and they had no effect on the confidence with which she continued to honour me, and which I am happy to think I have justified even at the risk of my life.

Mesdames, the King’s aunts, set out from Bellevue in the beginning of the year 1791. Alexandre Berthier, afterwards Prince de Neufchatel, then a colonel on the staff of the army, and commandant of the National Guard of Versailles, facilitated the departure of Mesdames. The Jacobins of that town procured his dismissal, and he ran the greatest risk, on account of having rendered this service to these Princesses.

I went to take leave of Madame Victoire. I little thought that I was then seeing her for the last time. She received me alone in her closet, and assured

     [General Berthier justified the monarch’s confidence by a firm and
     prudent line of conduct which entitled him to the highest military
     honours, and to the esteem of the great warrior whose fortune,
     dangers, and glory he afterwards shared.  This officer, full of
     honour, and gifted with the highest courage, was shut into the
     courtyard of Bellevue by his own troop, and ran great risk of being
     murdered.  It was not until the 14th of March that he succeeded in
     executing his instructions ("Memoirs of Mesdames,” by Montigny,
     vol. i.)]

me that she hoped, as well as wished, soon to return to France; that the French would be much to be pitied if the excesses of the Revolution should arrive at such a pitch as to force her to prolong her absence. I knew from the Queen that the departure of Mesdames was deemed necessary, in order to leave the King free to act when he should be compelled to go away with his family. It being impossible that the constitution of the clergy should be otherwise than in direct opposition to the religious principles of Mesdames, they thought their journey to Rome would be attributed to piety alone. It was, however, difficult to deceive an Assembly which weighed the slightest actions of the royal family, and from that moment they were more than ever alive to what was passing at the Tuileries.

Mesdames were desirous of taking Madame Elisabeth to Rome. The free exercise of religion, the happiness of taking refuge with the head of the Church, and the prospect of living in safety with her aunts, whom she tenderly loved, were sacrificed by that virtuous Princess to her attachment to the King.

The oath required of priests by the civil constitution of the clergy introduced into France a division which added to the dangers by which the King was already surrounded.

     [The priests were required to swear to the civil constitution of the
     clergy of 1790, by which all the former bishoprics and parishes were
     remodelled, and the priests and bishops elected by the people.  Most
     refused, and under the name of ’pretres insermentes’ (as opposed to
     the few who took the oath, ’pretres assermentes’) were bitterly
     persecuted.  A simple promise to obey the constitution of the State
     was substituted by Napoleon as soon as he came to power.]

Mirabeau spent a whole night with the cure of St. Eustache, confessor of the King and Queen, to persuade him to take the oath required by that constitution. Their Majesties chose another confessor, who remained unknown.

A few months afterwards (2d April, 1791), the too celebrated Mirabeau, the mercenary democrat and venal royalist, terminated his career. The Queen regretted him, and was astonished at her own regret; but she had hoped that he who had possessed adroitness and weight enough to throw everything into confusion would have been able by the same means to repair the mischief he had caused. Much has been said respecting the cause of Mirabeau’s death. M. Cabanis, his friend and physician, denied that he was poisoned. M. Vicq-d’Azyr assured the Queen that the ’proces- verbal’ drawn up on the state of the intestines would apply just as well to a case of death produced by violent remedies as to one produced by poison. He said, also, that the report had been faithful; but that it was prudent to conclude it by a declaration of natural death, since, in the critical state in which France then was, if a suspicion of foul play were admitted, a person innocent of any such crime might be sacrificed to public vengeance.

Book 6. - Chapter V.

In the beginning of the spring of 1791, the King, tired of remaining at the Tuileries, wished to return to St. Cloud. His whole household had already gone, and his dinner was prepared there. He got into his carriage at one; the guard mutinied, shut the gates, and declared they would not let him pass. This event certainly proceeded from some suspicion of a plan to escape. Two persons who drew near the King’s carriage were very ill treated. My father-in-law was violently laid hold of by the guards, who took his sword from him. The King and his family were obliged to alight and return to their apartments.

They did not much regret this outrage in their hearts; they saw in it a justification, even in the eyes of the people, of their intention to leave Paris.

So early as the month of March in the same year, the Queen began to busy herself in preparing for her departure. I spent that month with her, and executed a great number of secret orders which she gave me respecting the intended event. It was with uneasiness that I saw her occupied with cares which seemed to me useless, and even dangerous, and I remarked to her that the Queen of France would find linen and gowns everywhere. My observations were made in vain; she determined to have a complete wardrobe with her at Brussels, as well for her children as herself. I went out alone and almost disguised to purchase the articles necessary and have them made up.

I ordered six chemises at the shop of one seamstress, six at that of another, gowns, combing cloths, etc. My sister had a complete set of clothes made for Madame, by the measure of her eldest daughter, and I ordered clothes for the Dauphin from those of my son. I filled a trunk with these things, and addressed them, by the Queen’s orders, to one of her women, my aunt, Madame Cardon,–a widow living at Arras, by virtue of an unlimited leave of absence,–in order that she might be ready to start for Brussels, or any other place, as soon as she should be directed to do so. This lady had landed property in Austrian Flanders, and could at any time quit Arras unobserved.

The Queen was to take only her first woman in attendance with her from Paris. She apprised me that if I should not be on duty at the moment of departure, she would make arrangements for my joining her. She determined also to take her travelling dressing-case. She consulted me on her idea of sending it off, under pretence of making a present of it to the Archduchess Christina, Gouvernante of the Netherlands. I ventured to oppose this plan strongly, and observed that, amidst so many people who watched her slightest actions, there would be found a sufficient number sharp-sighted enough to discover that it was only a pretext for sending away the property in question before her own departure; she persisted in her intention, and all I could arrange was that the dressing-case should not be removed from her apartment, and that M. de charge d’afaires from the Court of Vienna during the absence of the Comte de Mercy, should come and ask her, at her toilet, before all her people, to order one exactly like her own for Madame the Gouvernante of the Netherlands. The Queen, therefore, commanded me before the charge d’affaires to order the article in question. This occasioned only an expense of five hundred louis, and appeared calculated to lull suspicion completely.

About the middle of May, 1791, a month after the Queen had ordered me to bespeak the dressing-case, she asked me whether it would soon be finished. I sent for the ivory-turner who had it in hand. He could not complete it for six weeks. I informed the Queen of this, and she told me she should not be able to wait for it, as she was to set out in the course of June. She added that, as she had ordered her sister’s dressing-case in the presence of all her attendants, she had taken a sufficient precaution, especially by saying that her sister was out of patience at not receiving it, and that therefore her own must be emptied and cleaned, and taken to the charge d’affaires, who would send it off. I executed this order without any, appearance of mystery. I desired the wardrobe woman to take out of the dressing-case all that it contained, because that intended for the Archduchess could not be finished for some time; and to take great care to leave no remains of the perfumes which might not suit that Princess.

The woman in question executed her commission punctually; but, on the evening of that very day, the 15th of May, 1791, she informed M. Bailly, the Mayor of Paris, that preparations were making at the Queen’s residence for a departure; and that the dressing-case was already sent off, under pretence of its being presented to the Archduchess Christina.

     [After the return from Varennes M. Bailly put this woman’s
     deposition into the Queen’s hands.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

It was necessary, likewise, to send off all the diamonds belonging to the Queen. Her Majesty shut herself up with me in a closet in the entresol, looking into the garden of the Tuileries, and we packed all the diamonds, rubies, and pearls she possessed in a small chest. The cases containing these ornaments, being altogether of considerable bulk, had been deposited, ever since the 6th of October, 1789, with the valet de chambre who had the care of the Queen’s jewels. That faithful servant, himself detecting the use that was to be made of the valuables, destroyed all the boxes, which were, as usual, covered with red morocco, marked with the cipher and arms of France. It would have been impossible for him to hide them from the eyes of the popular inquisitors during the domiciliary visits in January, 1793, and the discovery might have formed a ground of accusation against the Queen.

I had but a few articles to place in the box when the Queen was compelled to desist from packing it, being obliged to go down to cards, which began at seven precisely. She therefore desired me to leave all the diamonds upon the sofa, persuaded that, as she took the key of her closet herself, and there was a sentinel under the window, no danger was to be apprehended for that night, and she reckoned upon returning very early next day to finish the work.

The same woman who had given information of the sending away of the dressing-case was also deputed by the Queen to take care of her more private rooms. No other servant was permitted to enter them; she renewed the flowers, swept the carpets, etc. The Queen received back the key, when the woman had finished putting them in order, from her own hands; but, desirous of doing her duty well, and sometimes having the key in her possession for a few minutes only, she had probably on that account ordered one without the Queen’s knowledge. It is impossible not to believe this, since the despatch of the diamonds was the subject of a second accusation which the Queen heard of after the return from Varennes. She made a formal declaration that her Majesty, with the assistance of Madame Campan, had packed up all her jewelry some time before the departure; that she was certain of it, as she had found the diamonds, and the cotton which served to wrap them, scattered upon the sofa in the Queen’s closet in the ’entresol’; and most assuredly she could only have seen these preparations in the interval between seven in the evening and seven in the morning. The Queen having met me next day at the time appointed, the box was handed over to Leonard, her Majesty’s hairdresser,–[This unfortunate man, after having emigrated for some time, returned to France, and perished upon the scaffold.–NOTE BY EDITOR]–who left the country with the Duc de Choiseul. The box remained a long time at Brussels, and at length got into the hands of Madame la Duchesse d’Angouleme, being delivered to her by the Emperor on her arrival at Vienna.

In order not to leave out any of the Queen’s diamonds, I requested the first tirewoman to give me the body of the full dress, and all the assortment which served for the stomacher of the full dress on days of state, articles which always remained at the wardrobe.

The superintendent and the dame d’honneur being absent, the first tirewoman required me to sign a receipt, the terms of which she dictated, and which acquitted her of all responsibility for these diamonds. She had the prudence to burn this document on the 10th of August, 1792. –[The date of the sack of the Tuileries and slaughter of the Swiss Guard]–The Queen having determined, upon the arrest at Varennes, not to have her diamonds brought back to France, was often anxious about them during the year which elapsed between that period and the 10th of August, and dreaded above all things that such a secret should be discovered.

In consequence of a decree of the Assembly, which deprived the King of the custody of the Crown diamonds, the Queen had at this time already given up those which she generally used.

She preferred the twelve brilliants called Hazarins, from the name of the Cardinal who had enriched the treasury with them, a few rose-cut diamonds, and the Sanci. She determined to deliver, with her own hands, the box containing them to the commissioner nominated by the National Assembly to place them with the Crown diamonds. After giving them to him, she offered him a row of pearls of great beauty, saying to him that it had been brought into France by Anne of Austria; that it was invaluable, on account of its rarity; that, having been appropriated by that Princess to the use of the Queens and Dauphinesses, Louis XV. had placed it in her hands on her arrival in France; but that she considered it national property. “That is an open question, Madame,” said the commissary. “Monsieur,” replied the Queen, “it is one for me to decide, and is now settled.”

My father-in-law, who was dying of the grief he felt for the misfortunes of his master and mistress, strongly interested and occupied the thoughts of the Queen. He had been saved from the fury of the populace in the courtyard of the Tuileries.

On the day on which the King was compelled by an insurrection to give up a journey to St. Cloud, her Majesty looked upon this trusty servant as inevitably lost, if, on going away, she should leave him in the apartment he occupied in the Tuileries. Prompted by her apprehensions, she ordered M. Vicq-d’Azyr, her physician, to recommend him the waters of Mont d’Or in Auvergne, and to persuade him to set off at the latter end of May. At the moment of my going away the Queen assured me that the grand project would be executed between the 15th and the 20th of June; that as it was not my month to be on duty, Madame Thibaut would take the journey; but that she had many directions to give me before I went. She then desired me to write to my aunt, Madame Cardon, who was by that time in possession of the clothes which I had ordered, that as soon as she should receive a letter from M. Augur, the date of which should be accompanied with a B, an L, or an M, she was to proceed with her property to Brussels, Luxembourg, or Montmedy. She desired me to explain the meaning of these three letters clearly to my sister, and to leave them with her in writing, in order that at the moment of my going away she might be able to take my place in writing to Arras.

The Queen had a more delicate commission for me; it was to select from among my acquaintance a prudent person of obscure rank, wholly devoted to the interests of the Court, who would be willing to receive a portfolio which she was to give up only to me, or some one furnished with a note from the Queen. She added that she would not travel with this portfolio, and that it was of the utmost importance that my opinion of the fidelity of the person to whom it was to be entrusted should be well founded. I proposed to her Madame Vallayer Coster, a painter of the Academy, and an amiable and worthy artist, whom I had known from my infancy. She lived in the galleries of the Louvre. The choice seemed a good one. The Queen remembered that she had made her marriage possible by giving her a place in the financial offices, and added that gratitude ought sometimes to be reckoned on. She then pointed out to me the valet belonging to her toilet, whom I was to take with me, to show him the residence of Madame Coster, so that he might not mistake it when he should take the portfolio to her. The day before her departure the Queen particularly recommended me to proceed to Lyons and the frontiers as soon as she should have started. She advised me to take with me a confidential person, fit to remain with M. Campan when I should leave him, and assured me that she would give orders to M. ––– to set off as soon as she should be known to be at the frontiers in order to protect me in going out. She condescended to add that, having a long journey to make in foreign countries, she determined to give me three hundred louis.

I bathed the Queen’s hands with tears at the moment of this sorrowful separation; and, having money at my disposal, I declined accepting her gold. I did not dread the road I had to travel in order to rejoin her; all my apprehension was that by treachery or miscalculation a scheme, the safety of which was not sufficiently clear to me, should fail. I could answer for all those who belonged to the service immediately about the Queen’s person, and I was right; but her wardrobe woman gave me well- founded reason for alarm. I mentioned to the Queen many revolutionary remarks which this woman had made to me a few days before. Her office was directly under the control of the first femme de chambre, yet she had refused to obey the directions I gave her, talking insolently to me about "hierarchy overturned, equality among men,” of course more especially among persons holding offices at Court; and this jargon, at that time in the mouths of all the partisans of the Revolution, was terminated by an observation which frightened me. “You know many important secrets, madame,” said this woman to me, “and I have guessed quite as many. I am not a fool; I see all that is going forward here in consequence of the bad advice given to the King and Queen; I could frustrate it all if I chose.” This argument, in which I had been promptly silenced, left me pale and trembling. Unfortunately, as I began my narrative to the Queen with particulars of this woman’s refusal to obey me,–and sovereigns are all their lives importuned with complaints upon the rights of places,– she believed that my own dissatisfaction had much to do with the step I was taking; and she did not sufficiently fear the woman. Her office, although a very inferior one, brought her in nearly fifteen thousand francs a year. Still young, tolerably handsome, with comfortable apartments in the entresols of the Tuileries, she saw a great deal of company, and in the evening had assemblies, consisting of deputies of the revolutionary party. M. de Gouvion, major-general of the National Guard, passed almost every day with her; and it is to be presumed that she had long worked for the party in opposition to the Court. The Queen asked her for the key of a door which led to the principal vestibule of the Tuileries, telling her she wished to have a similar one, that she might not be under the necessity of going out through the pavilion of Flora. M. de Gouvion and M. de La Fayette would, of course, be apprised of this circumstance, and well-informed persons have assured me that on the very night of the Queen’s departure this wretched woman had a spy with her, who saw the royal family set off.

As soon as I had executed all the Queen’s orders, on the 30th of May, 1791, I set out for Auvergne, and was settled in the gloomy narrow valley of Mont d’Or, when, about four in the afternoon of the 25th of June, I heard the beat of a drum to call the inhabitants of the hamlet together. When it had ceased I heard a hairdresser from Bresse proclaim in the provincial dialect of Auvergne: “The King and Queen were taking flight in order to ruin France, but I come to tell you that they are stopped, and are well guarded by a hundred thousand men under arms.” I still ventured to hope that he was repeating only a false report, but he went on: “The Queen,” with her well-known haughtiness, lifted up the veil which covered her face, and said to the citizens who were upbraiding the King, “Well, since you recognise your sovereign, respect him.” Upon hearing these expressions, which the Jacobin club of Clermont could not have invented, I exclaimed, “The news is true!”

I immediately learnt that, a courier being come from Paris to Clermont, the ’procureur’ of the commune had sent off messengers to the chief places of the canton; these again sent couriers to the districts, and the districts in like manner informed the villages and hamlets which they contained. It was through this ramification, arising from the establishment of clubs, that the afflicting intelligence of the misfortune of my sovereigns reached me in the wildest part of France, and in the midst of the snows by which we were environed.

On the 28th I received a note written in a hand which I recognised as that of M. Diet,–[This officer was slain in the Queen’s chamber on the 10th of August]–usher of the Queen’s chamber, but dictated by her Majesty. It contained these words: “I am this moment arrived; I have just got into my bath; I and my family exist, that is all. I have suffered much. Do not return to Paris until I desire you. Take good care of my poor Campan, soothe his sorrow. Look for happier times." This note was for greater safety addressed to my father-in-law’s valet-de -chambre. What were my feelings on perceiving that after the most distressing crisis we were among the first objects of the kindness of that unfortunate Princess!

M. Campan having been unable to benefit by the waters of Mont d’Or, and the first popular effervescence having subsided, I thought I might return to Clermont. The committee of surveillance, or that of general safety, had resolved to arrest me there; but the Abbe Louis, formerly a parliamentary counsellor, and then a member of the Constituent Assembly, was kind enough to affirm that I was in Auvergne solely for the purpose of attending my father-in-law, who was extremely ill. The precautions relative to my absence from Paris were limited to placing us under the surveillance of the ’procureur’ of the commune, who was at the same time president of the Jacobin club; but he was also a physician of repute, and without having any doubt that he had received secret orders relative to me, I thought it would favour the chances of our safety if I selected him to attend my patient. I paid him according to the rate given to the best Paris physicians, and I requested him to visit us every morning and every evening. I took the precaution to subscribe to no other newspaper than the Moniteur. Doctor Monestier (for that was the physician’s name) frequently took upon himself to read it to us. Whenever he thought proper to speak of the King and Queen in the insulting and brutal terms at that time unfortunately adopted throughout France, I used to stop him and say, coolly, “Monsieur, you are here in company with the servants of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette. Whatever may be the wrongs with which the nation believes it has to reproach them, our principles forbid our losing sight of the respect due to them from us.” Notwithstanding that he was an inveterate patriot, he felt the force of this remark, and even procured the revocation of a second order for our arrest, becoming responsible for us to the committee of the Assembly, and to the Jacobin society.

The two chief women about the Dauphin, who had accompanied the Queen to Varennes, Diet, her usher, and Camot, her garcon de toilette,–the women on account of the journey, and the men in consequence of the denunciation of the woman belonging to the wardrobe,–were sent to the prisons of the Abbaye. After my departure the garcon de toilette whom I had taken to Madame Vallayer Coster’s was sent there with the portfolio she had agreed to receive. This commission could not escape the detestable spy upon the Queen. She gave information that a portfolio had been carried out on the evening of the departure, adding that the King had placed it upon the Queen’s easy-chair, that the garcon de toilette wrapped it up in a napkin and took it under his arm, and that she did not know where he had carried it. The man, who was remarkable for his fidelity, underwent three examinations without making the slightest disclosure. M. Diet, a man of good family, a servant on whom the Queen placed particular reliance, likewise experienced the severest treatment. At length, after a lapse of three weeks, the Queen succeeded in obtaining the release of her servants.

The Queen, about the 15th of August, had me informed by letter that I might come back to Paris without being under any apprehension of arrest there, and that she greatly desired my return. I brought my father-in- law back in a dying state, and on the day preceding that of the acceptation of the constitutional act, I informed the Queen that he was no more. “The loss of Lassonne and Campan,” said she, as she applied her handkerchief to her streaming eyes, “has taught me how valuable such subjects are to their masters. I shall never find their equals.”

I resumed my functions about the Queen on the 1st of September, 1791. She was unable then to converse with me on all the lamentable events which had occurred since the time of my leaving her, having on guard near her an officer whom she dreaded more than all the others. She merely told me that I should have some secret services to perform for her, and that she would not create uneasiness by long conversations with me, my return being a subject of suspicion. But next day the Queen, well knowing the discretion of the officer who was to be on guard that night, had my bed placed very near hers, and having obtained the favour of having the door shut, when I was in bed she began the narrative of the journey, and the unfortunate arrest at Varennes. I asked her permission to put on my gown, and kneeling by her bedside I remained until three o’clock in the morning, listening with the liveliest and most sorrowful interest to the account I am about to repeat, and of which I have seen various details, of tolerable exactness, in papers of the time.

The King entrusted Count Fersen with all the preparations for departure. The carriage was ordered by him; the passport, in the name of Madame de Korf, was procured through his connection with that lady, who was a foreigner. And lastly, he himself drove the royal family, as their coachman, as far as Bondy, where the travellers got into their berlin. Madame Brunier and Madame Neuville, the first women of Madame and the Dauphin, there joined the principal carriage. They were in a cabriolet. Monsieur and Madame set out from the Luxembourg and took another road. They as well as the King were recognised by the master of the last post in France, but this man, devoting himself to the fortunes of the Prince, left the French territory, and drove them himself as postilion. Madame Thibaut, the Queen’s first woman, reached Brussels without the slightest difficulty. Madame Cardon, from Arras, met with no hindrance; and Leonard, the Queen’s hairdresser, passed through Varennes a few hours before the royal family. Fate had reserved all its obstacles for the unfortunate monarch.

Nothing worthy of notice occurred in the beginning of the journey. The travellers were detained a short time, about twelve leagues from Paris, by some repairs which the carriage required. The King chose to walk up one of the hills, and these two circumstances caused a delay of three hours, precisely at the time when it was intended that the berlin should have been met, just before reaching Varennes, by the detachment commanded by M. de Goguelat. This detachment was punctually stationed upon the spot fixed on, with orders to wait there for the arrival of certain treasure, which it was to escort; but the peasantry of the neighbourhood, alarmed at the sight of this body of troops, came armed with staves, and asked several questions, which manifested their anxiety. M. de Goguelat, fearful of causing a riot, and not finding the carriage arrive as he expected, divided his men into two companies, and unfortunately made them leave the highway in order to return to Varennes by two cross roads. The King looked out of the carriage at Ste. Menehould, and asked several questions concerning the road. Drouet, the post-master, struck by the resemblance of Louis to the impression of his head upon the assignats, drew near the carriage, felt convinced that he recognised the Queen also, and that the remainder of the travellers consisted of the royal family and their suite, mounted his horse, reached Varennes by cross roads before the royal fugitives, and gave the alarm.–[Varennes lies between Verdun and Montmedy, and not far from the French frontier.]

The Queen began to feel all the agonies of terror; they were augmented by the voice of a person unknown, who, passing close to the carriage in full gallop, cried out, bending towards the window without slackening his speed, “You are recognised!” They arrived with beating hearts at the gates of Varennes without meeting one of the horsemen by whom they were to have been escorted into the place. They were ignorant where to find their relays, and some minutes were lost in waiting, to no purpose. The cabriolet had preceded them, and the two ladies in attendance found the bridge already blocked up with old carts and lumber. The town guards were all under arms. The King at last entered Varennes. M. de Goguelat had arrived there with his detachment. He came up to the King and asked him if he chose to effect a passage by force! What an unlucky question to put to Louis XVI., who from the very beginning of the Revolution had shown in every crisis the fear he entertained of giving the least order which might cause an effusion of blood! “Would it be a brisk action?" said the King. “It is impossible that it should be otherwise, Sire," replied the aide-decamp. Louis XVI. was unwilling to expose his family. They therefore went to the house of a grocer, Mayor of Varennes. The King began to speak, and gave a summary of his intentions in departing, analogous to the declaration he had made at Paris. He spoke with warmth and affability, and endeavoured to demonstrate to the people around him that he had only put himself, by the step he had taken, into a fit situation to treat with the Assembly, and to sanction with freedom the constitution which he would maintain, though many of its articles were incompatible with the dignity of the throne, and the force by which it was necessary that the sovereign should be surrounded. Nothing could be more affecting, added the Queen, than this moment, in which the King felt bound to communicate to the very humblest class of his subjects his principles, his wishes for the happiness of his people, and the motives which had determined him to depart.

Whilst the King was speaking to this mayor, whose name was Sauce, the Queen, seated at the farther end of the shop, among parcels of soap and candles, endeavoured to make Madame Sauce understand that if she would prevail upon her husband to make use of his municipal authority to cover the flight of the King and his family, she would have the glory of having contributed to restore tranquillity to France. This woman was moved; she could not, without streaming eyes, see herself thus solicited by her Queen; but she could not be got to say anything more than, “Bon Dieu, Madame, it would be the destruction of M. Sauce; I love my King, but I love my husband too, you must know, and he would be answerable, you see." Whilst this strange scene was passing in the shop, the people, hearing that the King was arrested, kept pouring in from all parts. M. de Goguelat, making a last effort, demanded of the dragoons whether they would protect the departure of the King; they replied only by murmurs, dropping the points of their swords. Some person unknown fired a pistol at M. de Goguelat; he was slightly wounded by the ball. M. Romeuf, aide- de-camp to M. de La Fayette, arrived at that moment. He had been chosen, after the 6th of October, 1789, by the commander of the Parisian guard to be in constant attendance about the Queen. She reproached him bitterly with the object of his mission. “If you wish to make your name remarkable, monsieur,” said the Queen to him, “you have chosen strange and odious means, which will produce the most fatal consequences.” This officer wished to hasten their departure. The Queen, still cherishing the hope of seeing M. de Bouille arrive with a sufficient force to extricate the King from his critical situation, prolonged her stay at Varennes by every means in her power.

The Dauphin’s first woman pretended to be taken ill with a violent colic, and threw herself upon a bed, in the hope of aiding the designs of her superiors; she went and implored for assistance. The Queen understood her perfectly well, and refused to leave one who had devoted herself to follow them in such a state of suffering. But no delay in departing was allowed. The three Body Guards (Valory, Du Moustier, and Malden) were gagged and fastened upon the seat of the carriage. A horde of National Guards, animated with fury and the barbarous joy with which their fatal triumph inspired them, surrounded the carriage of the royal family.

The three commissioners sent by the Assembly to meet the King, MM. de Latour-Maubourg, Barnave, and Potion, joined them in the environs of Epernay. The two last mentioned got into the King’s carriage. The Queen astonished me by the favourable opinion she had formed of Barnave. When I quitted Paris a great many persons spoke of him only with horror. She told me he was much altered, that he was full of talent and noble feeling. “A feeling of pride which I cannot much blame in a young man belonging to the Tiers Etat,” she said, “made him applaud everything which smoothed the road to rank and fame for that class in which he was born. And if we get the power in our own hands again, Barnave’s pardon is already written on our hearts.” The Queen added, that she had not the same feeling towards those nobles who had joined the revolutionary party, who had always received marks of favour, often to the injury of those beneath them in rank, and who, born to be the safeguard of the monarchy, could never be pardoned for having deserted it. She then told me that Barnave’s conduct upon the road was perfectly correct, while Potion’s republican rudeness was disgusting; that the latter ate and drank in the King’s berlin in a slovenly manner, throwing the bones of the fowls out through the window at the risk of sending them even into the King’s face; lifting up his glass, when Madame Elisabeth poured him out wine, to show her that there was enough, without saying a word; that this offensive behaviour must have been intentional, because the man was not without education; and that Barnave was hurt at it. On being pressed by the Queen to take something, “Madame,” replied Barnave, “on so solemn an occasion the deputies of the National Assembly ought to occupy your Majesties solely about their mission, and by no means about their wants." In short, his respectful delicacy, his considerate attentions, and all that he said, gained the esteem not only of the Queen, but of Madame Elisabeth also.

The King began to talk to Petion about the situation of France, and the motives of his conduct, which were founded upon the necessity of giving to the executive power a strength necessary for its action, for the good even of the constitutional act, since France could not be a republic. "Not yet, ’tis true,” replied Petion, “because the French are not ripe enough for that.” This audacious and cruel answer silenced the King, who said no more until his arrival at Paris. Potion held the little Dauphin upon his knees, and amused himself with curling the beautiful light hair of the interesting child round his fingers; and, as he spoke with much gesticulation, he pulled his locks hard enough to make the Dauphin cry out. “Give me my son,” said the Queen to him; “he is accustomed to tenderness and delicacy, which render him little fit for such familiarity.”

The Chevalier de Dampierre was killed near the King’s carriage upon leaving Varennes. A poor village cure, some leagues from the place where the crime was committed, was imprudent enough to draw near to speak to the King; the cannibals who surrounded the carriage rushed upon him. "Tigers,” exclaimed Barnave, “have you ceased to be Frenchmen? Nation of brave men, are you become a set of assassins?” These words alone saved the cure, who was already upon the ground, from certain death. Barnave, as he spoke to them, threw himself almost out of the coach window, and Madame Elisabeth, affected by this noble burst of feeling, held him by the skirt of his coat. The Queen, while speaking of this event, said that on the most momentous occasions whimsical contrasts always struck her, and that even at such a moment the pious Elisabeth holding Barnave by the flap of his coat was a ludicrous sight.

The deputy was astonished in another way. Madame Elisabeth’s comments upon the state of France, her mild and persuasive eloquence, and the, ease and simplicity with which she talked to him, yet without sacrificing her dignity in the slightest degree, appeared to him unique, and his heart, which was doubtless inclined to right principles though he had followed the wrong path, was overcome by admiration. The conduct of the two deputies convinced the Queen of the total separation between the republican and constitutional parties. At the inns where she alighted she had some private conversation with Barnave. The latter said a great deal about the errors committed by the royalists during the Revolution, adding that he had found the interest of the Court so feebly and so badly defended that he had been frequently tempted to go and offer it, in himself, an aspiring champion, who knew the spirit of the age and nation. The Queen asked him what was the weapon he would have recommended her to use.

“Popularity, Madame.”

“And how could I use that,” replied her Majesty, “of which I have been deprived?”

“Ah! Madame, it was much more easy for you to regain it, than for me to acquire it.”

The Queen mainly attributed the arrest at Varennes to M. de Goguelat; she said he calculated the time that would be spent in the journey erroneously. He performed that from Montmedy to Paris before taking the King’s last orders, alone in a post-chaise, and he founded all his calculations upon the time he spent thus. The trial has been made since, and it was found that a light carriage without any courier was nearly three hours less in running the distance than a heavy carriage preceded by a courier.

The Queen also blamed him for having quitted the high-road at Pont-de- Sommevelle, where the carriage was to meet the forty hussars commanded by him. She thought that he ought to have dispersed the very small number of people at Varennes, and not have asked the hussars whether they were for the King or the nation; that, particularly, he ought to have avoided taking the King’s orders, as he was previously aware of the reply M. d’Inisdal had received when it was proposed to carry off the King.

After all that the Queen had said to me respecting the mistakes made by M. de Goguelat, I thought him of course disgraced. What was my surprise when, having been set at liberty after the amnesty which followed the acceptance of the constitution, he presented himself to the Queen, and was received with the greatest kindness! She said he had done what he could, and that his zeal ought to form an excuse for all the rest.

     [Full details of the preparations for the flight to Varennes will be
     found in “Le Comte de Fersen et La Cour de France,” Paris, Didot et
     Cie, 1878 (a review of which was given in the Quarterly Review for
     July, 1880), and in the “Memoirs of the Marquis de Bouille”, London,
     Cadell and Davis, 1797; Count Fersen being the person who planned
     the actual escape, and De Bouille being in command of the army which
     was to receive the King.  The plan was excellent, and would
     certainly have succeeded, if it had not been for the royal family
     themselves.  Marie Antoinette, it will have been seen by Madame
     Campan’s account, nearly wrecked the plan from inability to do
     without a large dressing or travelling case.  The King did a more
     fatal thing.  De Bouille had pointed out the necessity for having in
     the King’s carriage an officer knowing the route, and able to show
     himself to give all directions, and a proper person had been
     provided.  The King, however, objected, as “he could not have the
     Marquis d’Agoult in the same carriage with himself; the governess of
     the royal children, who was to accompany them, having refused to
     abandon her privilege of constantly remaining with her charge.”  See
     “De Bouille,” pp. 307 and 334.  Thus, when Louis was recognised at
     the window of the carriage by Drouet, he was lost by the very danger
     that had been foreseen, and this wretched piece of etiquette led to
     his death.]

When the royal family was brought back from Varennes to the Tuileries, the Queen’s attendants found the greatest difficulty in making their way to her apartments; everything had been arranged so that the wardrobe woman, who had acted as spy, should have the service; and she was to be assisted in it only by her sister and her sister’s daughter.

M. de Gouvion, M. de La Fayette’s aide-de-camp, had this woman’s portrait placed at the foot of the staircase which led to the Queen’s apartments, in order that the sentinel should not permit any other women to make their way in. As soon as the Queen was informed of this contemptible precaution, she told the King of it, who sent to ascertain the fact. His Majesty then called for M. de La Fayette, claimed freedom in his household, and particularly in that of the Queen, and ordered him to send a woman in, whom no one but himself could confide out of the palace. M. de La Fayette was obliged to comply.

On the day when the return of the royal family was expected, there were no carriages in motion in the streets of Paris. Five or six of the Queen’s women, after being refused admittance at all the other gates, went with one of my sisters to that of the Feuillans, insisting that the sentinel should admit them. The poissardes attacked them for their boldness in resisting the order excluding them. One of them seized my sister by the arm, calling her the slave of the Austrian. “Hear me," said my sister to her, “I have been attached to the Queen ever since I was fifteen years of age; she gave me my marriage portion; I served her when she was powerful and happy. She is now unfortunate. Ought I to abandon her?"–"She is right,” cried the poissardes; “she ought not to abandon her mistress; let us make an entry for them.” They instantly surrounded the sentinel, forced the passage, and introduced the Queen’s women, accompanying them to the terrace of the Feuillans. One of these furies, whom the slightest impulse would have driven to tear my sister to pieces, taking her under her protection, gave her advice by which she might reach the palace in safety. “But of all things, my dear friend," said she to her, “pull off that green ribbon sash; it is the color of that D’Artois, whom we will never forgive.”

The measures adopted for guarding the King were rigorous with respect to the entrance into the palace, and insulting as to his private apartments. The commandants of battalion, stationed in the salon called the grand cabinet, and which led to the Queen’s bedchamber, were ordered to keep the door of it always open, in order that they might have their eyes upon the royal family. The King shut this door one day; the officer of the guard opened it, and told him such were his orders, and that he would always open it; so that his Majesty in shutting it gave himself useless trouble. It remained open even during the night, when the Queen was in bed; and the officer placed himself in an armchair between the two doors, with his head turned towards her Majesty. They only obtained permission to have the inner door shut when the Queen was rising. The Queen had the bed of her first femme de chambre placed very near her own; this bed, which ran on casters, and was furnished with curtains, hid her from the officer’s sight.

Madame de Jarjaye, my companion, who continued her functions during the whole period of my absence, told me that one night the commandant of battalion, who slept between the two doors, seeing that she was sleeping soundly, and that the Queen was awake, quitted his post and went close to her Majesty, to advise her as to the line of conduct she should pursue. Although she had the kindness to desire him to speak lower in order that he might not disturb Madame de Jarjaye’s rest, the latter awoke, and nearly died with fright at seeing a man in the uniform of the Parisian guard so near the Queen’s bed. Her Majesty comforted her, and told her not to rise; that the person she saw was a good Frenchman, who was deceived respecting the intentions and situation of his sovereign and herself, but whose conversation showed sincere attachment to the King.

There was a sentinel in the corridor which runs behind the apartments in question, where there is a staircase, which was at that time an inner one, and enabled the King and Queen to communicate freely. This post, which was very onerous, because it was to be kept four and twenty hours, was often claimed by Saint Prig, an actor belonging to the Theatre Francais. He took it upon himself sometimes to contrive brief interviews between the King and Queen in this corridor. He left them at a distance, and gave them warning if he heard the slightest noise. M. Collot, commandant of battalion of the National Guard, who was charged with the military duty of the Queen’s household, in like manner softened down, so far as he could with prudence, all, the revolting orders he received; for instance, one to follow the Queen to the very door of her wardrobe was never executed. An officer of the Parisian guard dared to speak insolently of the Queen in her own apartment. M. Collot wished to make a complaint to M. de La Fayette against him, and have him dismissed. The Queen opposed it, and condescended to say a few words of explanation and kindness to the man; he instantly became one of her most devoted partisans.

The first time I saw her Majesty after the unfortunate catastrophe of the Varennes journey, I found her getting out of bed; her features were not very much altered; but after the first kind words she uttered to me she took off her cap and desired me to observe the effect which grief had produced upon her hair. It had become, in one single night, as white as that of a woman of seventy. Her Majesty showed me a ring she had just had mounted for the Princesse de Lamballe; it contained a lock of her whitened hair, with the inscription, “Blanched by sorrow.” At the period of the acceptance of the constitution the Princess wished to return to France. The Queen, who had no expectation that tranquillity would be restored, opposed this; but the attachment of Madame de Lamballe to the royal family impelled her to come and seek death.

When I returned to Paris most of the harsh precautions were abandoned; the doors were not kept open; greater respect was paid to the sovereign; it was known that the constitution soon to be completed would be accepted, and a better order of things was hoped for.

Chapter VI.

On my arrival at Paris on the 25th of August I found the state of feeling there much more temperate than I had dared to hope. The conversation generally ran upon the acceptance of the constitution, and the fetes which would be given in consequence. The struggle between the Jacobins and the constitutionals on the 17th of July, 1791, nevertheless had thrown the Queen into great terror for some moments; and the firing of the cannon from the Champ de Mars upon a party which called for a trial of the King, and the leaders of which were in the very bosom of the Assembly, left the most gloomy impressions upon her mind.

The constitutionals, the Queen’s connection with whom was not slackened by the intervention of the three members already mentioned, had faithfully served the royal family during their detention.

“We still hold the wire by which this popular mass is moved,” said Barnave to M. de J––- one day, at the same time showing him a large volume, in which the names of all those who were influenced with the power of gold alone were registered. It was at that time proposed to hire a considerable number of persons in order to secure loud acclamations when the King and his family should make their appearance at the play upon the acceptance of the constitution. That day, which afforded a glimmering hope of tranquillity, was the 14th of September; the fetes were brilliant; but already fresh anxieties forbade the royal family to encourage much hope.

The Legislative Assembly, which had just succeeded the Constituent Assembly (October, 1791), founded its conduct upon the wildest republican principles; created from the midst of popular assemblies, it was wholly inspired by the spirit which animated them. The constitution, as I have said, was presented to the King on the 3d of September, 1791. The ministers, with the exception of M. de Montmorin, insisted upon the necessity of accepting the constitutional act in its entirety. The Prince de Kaunitz–[Minister of Austria]– was of the same opinion. Malouet wished the King to express himself candidly respecting any errors or dangers that he might observe in the constitution. But Duport and Barnave, alarmed at the spirit prevailing in the Jacobin Club,

     [The extreme revolutionary party, so called from the club,
     originally “Breton,” then “Amis de la Constitution,” sitting at the
     convent of the Dominicans (called in France Jacobins) of the Rue
     Saint Honore.]

and even in the Assembly, where Robespierre had already denounced them as traitors to the country, and dreading still greater evils, added their opinions to those of the majority of the ministers and M. de Kaunitz; those who really desired that the constitution should be maintained advised that it should not be accepted thus literally. The King seemed inclined to this advice; and this is one of the strongest proofs of his sincerity.

Alexandre Lameth, Duport, and Barnave, still relying on the resources of their party, hoped to have credit for directing the King through the influence they believed they had acquired over the mind of the Queen. They also consulted people of acknowledged talent, but belonging to no council nor to any assembly. Among these was M. Dubucq, formerly intendant of the marine and of the colonies. He answered laconically in one phrase: “Prevent disorder from organising itself.”

The letter written by the King to the Assembly, claiming to accept the constitution in the very place where it had been created, and where he announced he would be on the 14th September at mid-day, was received with transport, and the reading was repeatedly interrupted by plaudits. The sitting terminated amidst the greatest enthusiasm, and M. de La Fayette obtained the release of all those who were detained on account of the King’s journey [to Varennes], the abandonment of all proceedings relative to the events of the Revolution, and the discontinuance of the use of passports and of temporary restraints upon free travelling, as well in the interior as without. The whole was conceded by acclamation. Sixty members were deputed to go to the King and express to him fully the satisfaction his Majesty’s letter had given. The Keeper of the Seals quitted the chamber, in the midst of applause, to precede the deputation to the King.

The King answered the speech addressed to him, and concluded by saying to the Assembly that a decree of that morning, which had abolished the order of the Holy Ghost, had left him and his son alone permission to be decorated with it; but that an order having no value in his eyes, save for the power of conferring it, he would not use it.

The Queen, her son, and Madame, were at the door of the chamber into which the deputation was admitted. The King said to the deputies, “You see there my wife and children, who participate in my sentiments;” and the Queen herself confirmed the King’s assurance. These apparent marks of confidence were very inconsistent with the agitated state of her mind. "These people want no sovereigns,” said she. “We shall fall before their treacherous though well-planned tactics; they are demolishing the monarchy stone by stone.”

Next day the particulars of the reception of the deputies by the King were reported to the Assembly, and excited warm approbation. But the President having put the question whether the Assembly ought not to remain seated while the King took the oath “Certainly,” was repeated by many voices; “and the King, standing, uncovered.” M. Malouet observed that there was no occasion on which the nation, assembled in the presence of the King, did not acknowledge him as its head; that the omission to treat the head of the State with the respect due to him would be an offence to the nation, as well as to the monarch. He moved that the King should take the oath standing, and that the Assembly should also stand while he was doing so. M. Malouet’s observations would have carried the decree, but a deputy from Brittany exclaimed, with a shrill voice, that he had an amendment to propose which would render all unanimous. “Let us decree,” said he, “that M. Malouet, and whoever else shall so please, may have leave to receive the King upon their knees; but let us stick to the decree.”

The King repaired to the chamber at mid-day. His speech was followed by plaudits which lasted several minutes. After the signing of the constitutional act all sat down. The President rose to deliver his speech; but after he had begun, perceiving that the King did not rise to hear him, he sat down again. His speech made a powerful impression; the sentence with which it concluded excited fresh acclamations, cries of "Bravo!” and “Vive le Roi!"–"Sire, “said he, “how important in our eyes, and how dear to our hearts–how sublime a feature in our history– must be the epoch of that regeneration which gives citizens to France, and a country to Frenchmen,–to you, as a king, a new title of greatness and glory, and, as a man, a source of new enjoyment.” The whole Assembly accompanied the King on his return, amidst the people’s cries of happiness, military music, and salvoes of artillery.

At length I hoped to see a return of that tranquillity which had so long vanished from the countenances of my august master and mistress. Their suite left them in the salon; the Queen hastily saluted the ladies, and returned much affected; the King followed her, and, throwing himself into an armchair, put his handkerchief to his eyes. “Ah! Madame,” cried he, his voice choked by tears, “why were you present at this sitting? to witness–” these words were interrupted by sobs. The Queen threw herself upon her knees before him, and pressed him in her arms. I remained with them, not from any blamable curiosity, but from a stupefaction which rendered me incapable of determining what I ought to do. The Queen said to me, “Oh! go, go!” with an accent which expressed, “Do not remain to see the dejection and despair of your sovereign!” I withdrew, struck with the contrast between the shouts of joy without the palace and the profound grief which oppressed the sovereigns within. Half an hour afterwards the Queen sent for me. She desired to see M. de Goguelat, to announce to him his departure on that very night for Vienna. The renewed attacks upon the dignity of the throne which had been made during the sitting; the spirit of an Assembly worse than the former; the monarch put upon a level with the President, without any deference to the throne,– all this proclaimed but too loudly that the sovereignty itself was aimed at. The Queen no longer saw any ground for hope from the Provinces. The King wrote to the Emperor; she told me that she would herself, at midnight, bring the letter which M. de Goguelat was to bear to the Emperor, to my room.

During all the remainder of the day the Chateau and the Tuileries were crowded; the illuminations were magnificent. The King and Queen were requested to take an airing in their carriage in the Champs-Elysees, escorted by the aides-decamp, and leaders of the Parisian army, the Constitutional Guard not being at the time organised. Many shouts of "Vive le Roi!” were heard; but as often as they ceased, one of the mob, who never quitted the door of the King’s carriage for a single instant, exclaimed with a stentorian voice, “No, don’t believe them! Vive la Nation!” This ill-omened cry struck terror into the Queen.

A few days afterwards M. de Montmorin sent to say he wanted to speak to me; that he would come to me, if he were not apprehensive his doing so would attract observation; and that he thought it would appear less conspicuous if he should see me in the Queen’s great closet at a time which he specified, and when nobody would be there. I went. After having made some polite observations upon the services I had already performed, and those I might yet perform, for my master and mistress, he spoke to me of the King’s imminent danger, of the plots which were hatching, and of the lamentable composition of the Legislative Assembly; and he particularly dwelt upon the necessity of appearing, by prudent remarks, determined as much as possible to abide by the act the King had just recognised. I told him that could not be done without committing ourselves in the eyes of the royalist party, with which moderation was a crime; that it was painful to hear ourselves taxed with being constitutionalists, at the same time that it was our opinion that the only constitution which was consistent with the King’s honour, and the happiness and tranquillity of his people, was the absolute power of the sovereign; that this was my creed, and it would pain me to give any room for suspicion that I was wavering in it.

“Could you ever believe,” said he, “that I should desire any other order of things? Have you any doubt of my attachment to the King’s person, and the maintenance of his rights?”

“I know it, Count,” replied I; “but you are not ignorant that you lie under the imputation of having adopted revolutionary ideas.”

“Well, madame, have resolution enough to dissemble and to conceal your real sentiments; dissimulation was never more necessary. Endeavours are being made to paralyse the evil intentions of the factious as much as possible; but we must not be counteracted here by certain dangerous expressions which are circulated in Paris as coming from the King and Queen.”

I told him that I had been already struck with apprehension of the evil which might be done by the intemperate observations of persons who had no power to act; and that I had felt ill consequences from having repeatedly enjoined silence on those in the Queen’s service.

“I know that,” said the Count; “the Queen informed me of it, and that determined me to come and request you to increase and keep alive, as much as you can, that spirit of discretion which is so necessary.”

While the household of the King and Queen were a prey to all these fears, the festivities in celebration of the acceptance of the constitution proceeded. Their Majesties went to the Opera; the audience consisted entirely of persons who sided with the King, and on that day the happiness of seeing him for a short time surrounded by faithful subjects might be enjoyed. The acclamations were then sincere.

“La Coquette Corrigee” had been selected for representation at the Theatre Francais solely because it was the piece in which Mademoiselle Contat shone most. Yet the notions propagated by the Queen’s enemies coinciding in my mind with the name of the play, I thought the choice very ill-judged. I was at a loss, however, how to tell her Majesty so; but sincere attachment gives courage. I explained myself; she was obliged to me, and desired that another play might be performed. They accordingly selected “La Gouvernante,” almost equally unfortunate in title.

The Queen, Madame the King’s daughter, and Madame Elisabeth were all well received on this occasion. It is true that the opinions and feelings of the spectators in the boxes could not be otherwise than favourable, and great pains had been taken, previously to these two performances, to fill the pit with proper persons. But, on the other hand, the Jacobins took the same precautions on their side at the Theatre Italien, and the tumult was excessive there. The play was Gretry’s “Les Evenements Imprevus." Unfortunately, Madame Dugazon thought proper to bow to the Queen as she sang the words, “Ah, how I love my mistress!” in a duet. Above twenty voices immediately exclaimed from the pit, “No mistress! no master! liberty!” A few replied from the boxes and slips, “Vive le Roi! vive la Reine!” Those in the pit answered, “No master! no Queen!” The quarrel increased; the pit formed into parties; they began fighting, and the Jacobins were beaten; tufts of their black hair flew about the theatre.– [At this time none but the Jacobins had discontinued the use of hairpowder.–MADAME CAMPAN.]– A military guard arrived. The Faubourg St. Antoine, hearing of what was going on at the Theatre Italien, flocked together, and began to talk of marching towards the scene of action. The Queen preserved the calmest demeanour; the commandants of the guard surrounded and encouraged her; they conducted themselves promptly and discreetly. No accident happened. The Queen was highly applauded as she quitted the theatre; it was the last time she was ever in one!

While couriers were bearing confidential letters from the King to the Princes, his brothers, and to the foreign sovereigns, the Assembly invited him to write to the Princes in order to induce them to return to France. The King desired the Abbe de Montesquiou to write the letter he was to send; this letter, which was admirably composed in a simple and affecting style, suited to the character of Louis XVI., and filled with very powerful arguments in favour of the advantages to be derived from adopting the principles of the constitution, was confided to me by the King, who desired me to make him a copy of it.

At this period M. M––-, one of the intendants of Monsieur’s household, obtained a passport from the Assembly to join that Prince on business relative to his domestic concerns. The Queen selected him to be the bearer of this letter. She determined to give it to him herself, and to inform him of its object. I was astonished at her choice of this courier. The Queen assured me he was exactly the man for her purpose, that she relied even upon his indiscretion, and that it was merely necessary that the letter from the King to his brothers should be known to exist. The Princes were doubtless informed beforehand on the subject by the private correspondence. Monsieur nevertheless manifested some degree of surprise, and the messenger returned more grieved than pleased at this mark of confidence, which nearly cost him his life during the Reign of Terror.

Among the causes of uneasiness to the Queen there was one which was but too well founded, the thoughtlessness of the French whom she sent to foreign Courts. She used to say that they had no sooner passed the frontiers than they disclosed the most secret matters relative to the King’s private sentiments, and that the leaders of the Revolution were informed of them through their agents, many of whom were Frenchmen who passed themselves off as emigrants in the cause of their King.

After the acceptance of the constitution, the formation of the King’s household, as well military as civil, formed a subject of attention. The Duc de Brissac had the command of the Constitutional Guard, which was composed of officers and men selected from the regiments, and of several officers drawn from the National Guard of Paris. The King was satisfied with the feelings and conduct of this band, which, as is well known, existed but a very short time.

The new constitution abolished what were called honours, and the prerogatives belonging to them. The Duchesse de Duras resigned her place of lady of the bedchamber, not choosing to lose her right to the tabouret at Court. This step hurt the Queen, who saw herself forsaken through the loss of a petty privilege at a time when her own rights and even life were so hotly attacked. Many ladies of rank left the Court for the same reason. However, the King and Queen did not dare to form the civil part of their household, lest by giving the new names of the posts they should acknowledge the abolition of the old ones, and also lest they should admit into the highest positions persons not calculated to fill them well. Some time was spent in discussing the question, whether the household should be formed without chevaliers and without ladies of honour. The Queen’s constitutional advisers were of opinion that the Assembly, having decreed a civil list adequate to uphold the splendour of the throne, would be dissatisfied at seeing the King adopting only a military household, and not forming his civil household upon the new constitutional plan. “How is it, Madame,” wrote Barnave to the Queen, "that you will persist in giving these people even the smallest doubt as to your sentiments? When they decree you a civil and a military household, you, like young Achilles among the daughters of Lycomedes, eagerly seize the sword and scorn the mere ornaments.” The Queen persisted in her determination to have no civil household. “If,” said she, “this constitutional household be formed, not a single person of rank will remain with us, and upon a change of affairs we should be obliged to discharge the persons received into their place.”

“Perhaps,” added she, “perhaps I might find one day that I had saved the nobility, if I now had resolution enough to afflict them for a time; I have it not. When any measure which injures them is wrested from us they sulk with me; nobody comes to my card party; the King goes unattended to bed. No allowance is made for political necessity; we are punished for our very misfortunes.”

The Queen wrote almost all day, and spent part of the night in reading: her courage supported her physical strength; her disposition was not at all soured by misfortunes, and she was never seen in an ill-humour for a moment. She was, however, held up to the people as a woman absolutely furious and mad whenever the rights of the Crown were in any way attacked.

I was with her one day at one of her windows. We saw a man plainly dressed, like an ecclesiastic, surrounded by an immense crowd. The Queen imagined it was some abbe whom they were about to throw into the basin of the Tuileries; she hastily opened her window and sent a valet de chambre to know what was going forward in the garden. It was Abbe Gregoire, whom the men and women of the tribunes were bringing back in triumph, on account of a motion he had just made in the National Assembly against the royal authority. On the following day the democratic journalists described the Queen as witnessing this triumph, and showing, by expressive gestures at her window, how highly she was exasperated by the honours conferred upon the patriot.

The correspondence between the Queen and the foreign powers was carried on in cipher. That to which she gave the preference can never be detected; but the greatest patience is requisite for its use. Each correspondent must have a copy of the same edition of some work. She selected “Paul and Virginia.” The page and line in which the letters required, and occasionally a monosyllable, are to be found are pointed out in ciphers agreed upon. I assisted her in finding the letters, and frequently I made an exact copy for her of all that she had ciphered, without knowing a single word of its meaning.

There were always several secret committees in Paris occupied in collecting information for the King respecting the measures of the factions, and in influencing some of the committees of the Assembly. M. Bertrand de Molleville was in close correspondence with the Queen. The King employed M. Talon and others; much money was expended through the latter channel for the secret measures. The Queen had no confidence in them. M. de Laporte, minister of the civil list and of the household, also attempted to give a bias to public opinion by means of hireling publications; but these papers influenced none but the royalist party, which did not need influencing. M. de Laporte had a private police which gave him some useful information.

I determined to sacrifice myself to my duty, but by no means to any intrigue, and I thought that, circumstanced as I was, I ought to confine myself to obeying the Queen’s orders. I frequently sent off couriers to foreign countries, and they were never discovered, so many precautions did I take. I am indebted for the preservation of my own existence to the care I took never to admit any deputy to my abode, and to refuse all interviews which even people of the highest importance often requested of me; but this line of conduct exposed me to every species of ill-will, and on the same day I saw myself denounced by Prud’homme, in his ’Gazette Revolutionnaire’, as capable of making an aristocrat of the mother of the Gracchi, if a person so dangerous as myself could have got into her household; and by Gauthier’s Gazette Royaliste, as a monarchist, a constitutionalist, more dangerous to the Queen’s interests than a Jacobin.

At this period an event with which I had nothing to do placed me in a still more critical situation. My brother, M. Genet, began his diplomatic career successfully. At eighteen he was attached to the embassy to Vienna; at twenty he was appointed chief secretary of Legation in England, on occasion of the peace of 1783. A memorial which he presented to M. de Vergennes upon the dangers of the treaty of commerce then entered into with England gave offence to M. de Calonne, a patron of that treaty, and particularly to M. Gerard de Rayneval, chief clerk for foreign affairs. So long as M. de Vergennes lived, having upon my father’s death declared himself the protector of my brother, he supported him against the enemies his views had created. But on his death M. de Montmorin, being much in need of the long experience in business which he found in M. de Rayneval, was guided solely by the latter. The office of which my brother was the head was suppressed. He then went to St. Petersburg, strongly recommended to the Comte de Segur, minister from France to that Court, who appointed him secretary of Legation. Some time afterwards the Comte de Segur left him at St. Petersburg, charged with the affairs of France. After his return from Russia, M. Genet was appointed ambassador to the United States by the party called Girondists, the deputies who headed it being from the department of the Gironde. He was recalled by the Robespierre party, which overthrew the former faction, on the 31st of May, 1793, and condemned to appear before the Convention. Vice-President Clinton, at that time Governor of New York, offered him an asylum in his house and the hand of his daughter, and M. Genet established himself prosperously in America.

When my brother quitted Versailles he was much hurt at being deprived of a considerable income for having penned a memorial which his zeal alone had dictated, and the importance of which was afterwards but too well understood. I perceived from his correspondence that he inclined to some of the new notions. He told me it was right he should no longer conceal from me that he sided with the constitutional party; that the King had in fact commanded it, having himself accepted the constitution; that he would proceed firmly in that course, because in this case disingenuousness would be fatal, and that he took that side of the question because he had had it proved to him that the foreign powers would not serve the King’s cause without advancing pretensions prompted by long-standing interests, which always would influence their councils; that he saw no salvation for the King and Queen but from within France, and that he would serve the constitutional King as he served him before the Revolution. And lastly, he requested me to impart to the Queen the real sentiments of one of his Majesty’s agents at a foreign Court. I immediately went to the Queen and gave her my brother’s letter; she read it attentively, and said, “This is the letter of a young man led astray by discontent and ambition; I know you do not think as he does; do not fear that you will lose the confidence of the King and myself.” I offered to discontinue all correspondence with my brother; she opposed that, saying it would be dangerous. I then entreated she would permit me in future to show her my own and my brother’s letters, to which she consented. I wrote warmly to my brother against the course he had adopted. I sent my letters by sure channels; he answered me by the post, and no longer touched upon anything but family affairs. Once only he informed me that if I should write to him respecting the affairs of the day he would give me no answer. “Serve your august mistress with the unbounded devotion which is due from you,” said he, “and let us each do our duty. I will only observe to you that at Paris the fogs of the Seine often prevent people from seeing that immense capital, even from the Pavilion of Flora, and I see it more clearly from St. Petersburg." The Queen said, as she read this letter, “Perhaps he speaks but too truly; who can decide upon so disastrous a position as ours has become?" The day on which I gave the Queen my brother’s first letter to read she had several audiences to give to ladies and other persons belonging to the Court, who came on purpose to inform her that my brother was an avowed constitutionalist and revolutionist. The Queen replied, “I know it; Madame Campan has told me so.” Persons jealous of my situation having subjected me to mortifications, and these unpleasant circumstances recurring daily, I requested the Queen’s permission to withdraw from Court. She exclaimed against the very idea, represented it to me as extremely dangerous for my own reputation, and had the kindness to add that, for my sake as well as for her own, she never would consent to it. After this conversation I retired to my apartment. A few minutes later a footman brought me this note from the Queen: “I have never ceased to give you and yours proofs of my attachment; I wish to tell you in writing that I have full faith in your honour and fidelity, as well as in your other good qualities; and that I ever rely on the zeal and address you exert to serve me.”

     [I had just received this letter from the Queen when M. de la
     Chapelle, commissary-general of the King’s household, and head of
     the offices of M. de Laporte, minister of the civil list, came to
     see me.  The palace having been already sacked by the brigands on
     the 20th of June, 1792, he proposed that I should entrust the paper
     to him, that he might place it in a safer situation than the
     apartments of the Queen.  When he returned into his offices he
     placed the letter she had condescended to write to me behind a large
     picture in his closet; but on the loth of August M. de la Chapelle
     was thrown into the prisons of the Abbaye, and the committee of
     public safety established themselves in his offices, whence they
     issued all their decrees of death.  There it was that a villainous
     servant belonging to M. de Laporte went to declare that in the
     minister’s apartments, under a board in the floor, a number of
     papers would be found.  They were brought forth, and M. de Laporte
     was sent to the scaffold, where he suffered for having betrayed the
     State by serving his master and sovereign.  M. de la Chapelle was
     saved, as if by a miracle, from the massacres of the 2d of
     September.  The committee of public safety having removed to the
     King’s apartments at the Tuileries, M. de la Chapelle had permission
     to return to his closet to take away some property belonging to him.
     Turning round the picture, behind which he had hidden the Queen’s
     letter, he found it in the place into which he had slipped it, and,
     delighted to see that I was safe from the ill consequences the
     discovery of this paper might have brought upon me, he burnt it
     instantly.  In times of danger a mere nothing may save life or
     destroy it.–MADAME CAMPAN]

At the moment that I was going to express my gratitude to the Queen I heard a tapping at the door of my room, which opened upon the Queen’s inner corridor. I opened it; it was the King. I was confused; he perceived it, and said to me, kindly: “I alarm you, Madame Campan; I come, however, to comfort you; the Queen has told me how much she is hurt at the injustice of several persons towards you. But how is it that you complain of injustice and calumny when you see that we are victims of them? In some of your companions it is jealousy; in the people belonging to the Court it is anxiety. Our situation is so disastrous, and we have met with so much ingratitude and treachery, that the apprehensions of those who love us are excusable! I could quiet them by telling them all the secret services you perform for us daily; but I will not do it. Out of good-will to you they would repeat all I should say, and you would be lost with the Assembly. It is much better, both for you and for us, that you should be thought a constitutionalist. It has been mentioned to me a hundred times already; I have never contradicted it; but I come to give you my word that if we are fortunate enough to see an end of all this, I will, at the Queen’s residence, and in the presence of my brothers, relate the important services you have rendered us, and I will recompense you and your son for them.” I threw myself at the King’s feet and kissed his hand. He raised me up, saying, “Come, come, do not grieve; the Queen, who loves you, confides in you as I do.”

Down to the day of the acceptance it was impossible to introduce Barnave into the interior of the palace; but when the Queen was free from the inner guard she said she would see him. The very great precautions which it was necessary for the deputy to take in order to conceal his connection with the King and Queen compelled them to spend two hours waiting for him in one of the corridors of the Tuileries, and all in vain. The first day that he was to be admitted, a man whom Barnave knew to be dangerous having met him in the courtyard of the palace, he determined to cross it without stopping, and walked in the gardens in order to lull suspicion. I was desired to wait for Barnave at a little door belonging to the entresols of the palace, with my hand upon the open lock. I was in that position for an hour. The King came to me frequently, and always to speak to me of the uneasiness which a servant belonging to the Chateau, who was a patriot, gave him. He came again to ask me whether I had heard the door called de Decret opened. I assured him nobody had been in the corridor, and he became easy. He was dreadfully apprehensive that his connection with Barnave would be discovered. “It would,” said the King, “be a ground for grave accusations, and the unfortunate man would be lost.” I then ventured to remind his Majesty that as Barnave was not the only one in the secret of the business which brought him in contact with their Majesties, one of his colleagues might be induced to speak of the association with which they were honoured, and that in letting them know by my presence that I also was informed of it, a risk was incurred of removing from those gentlemen part of the responsibility of the secret. Upon this observation the King quitted me hastily and returned a moment afterwards with the Queen. “Give me your place,” said she; “I will wait for him in my turn. You have convinced the King. We must not increase in their eyes the number of persons informed of their communications with us.”

The police of M. de Laporte, intendant of the civil list, apprised him, as early as the latter end of 1791, that a man belonging to the King’s offices who had set up as a pastrycook at the Palais Royal was about to resume the duties of his situation, which had devolved upon him again on the death of one who held it for life; that he was so furious a Jacobin that he had dared to say it would be a good thing for France if the King’s days were shortened. His duty was confined to making the pastry; he was closely watched by the head officers of the kitchen, who were devoted to his Majesty; but it is so easy to introduce a subtle poison into made dishes that it was determined the King and Queen should eat only plain roast meat in future; that their bread should be brought to them by M. Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, intendant of the smaller apartments, and that he should likewise take upon himself to supply the wine. The King was fond of pastry; I was directed to order some, as if for myself, sometimes of one pastry-cook, and sometimes of another. The pounded sugar, too, was kept in my room. The King, the Queen, and Madame Elisabeth ate together, and nobody remained to wait on them. Each had a dumb waiter and a little bell to call the servants when they were wanted. M. Thierry used himself to bring me their Majesties’ bread and wine, and I locked them up in a private cupboard in the King’s closet on the ground floor. As soon as the King sat down to table I took in the pastry and bread. All was hidden under the table lest it might be necessary to have the servants in. The King thought it dangerous as well as distressing to show any apprehension of attempts against his person, or any mistrust of his officers of the kitchen. As he never drank a whole bottle of wine at his meals (the Princesses drank nothing but water), he filled up that out of which he had drunk about half from the bottle served up by the officers of his butlery. I took it away after dinner. Although he never ate any other pastry than that which I brought, he took care in the same manner that it should seem that he had eaten of that served at table. The lady who succeeded me found this duty all regulated, and she executed it in the same manner; the public never was in possession of these particulars, nor of the apprehensions which gave rise to them. At the end of three or four months the police of M. de Laporte gave notice that nothing more was to be dreaded from that sort of plot against the King’s life; that the plan was entirely changed; and that all the blows now to be struck would be directed as much against the throne as against the person of the sovereign.

There are others besides myself who know that at this time one of the things about which the Queen most desired to be satisfied was the opinion of the famous Pitt. She would sometimes say to me, “I never pronounce the name of Pitt without feeling a chill like that of death.” (I repeat here her very expressions.) “That man is the mortal enemy of France; and he takes a dreadful revenge for the impolitic support given by the Cabinet of Versailles to the American insurgents. He wishes by our destruction to guarantee the maritime power of his country forever against the efforts made by the King to improve his marine power and their happy results during the last war. He knows that it is not only the King’s policy but his private inclination to be solicitous about his fleets, and that the most active step he has taken during his whole reign was to visit the port of Cherbourg. Pitt had served the cause of the French Revolution from the first disturbances; he will perhaps serve it until its annihilation. I will endeavour to learn to what point he intends to lead us, and I am sending M.––- to London for that purpose. He has been intimately connected with Pitt, and they have often had political conversations respecting the French Government. I will get him to make him speak out, at least so far as such a man can speak out." Some time afterwards the Queen told me that her secret envoy was returned from London, and that all he had been able to wring from Pitt, whom he found alarmingly reserved, was that he would not suffer the French monarchy to perish; that to suffer the revolutionary spirit to erect an organised republic in France would be a great error, affecting the tranquillity of Europe. “Whenever,” said she, “Pitt expressed himself upon the necessity of supporting monarchy in France, he maintained the most profound silence upon what concerns the monarch. The result of these conversations is anything but encouraging; but, even as to that monarchy which he wishes to save, will he have means and strength to save it if he suffers us to fall?”

The death of the Emperor Leopold took place on the 1st of March, 1792. When the news of this event reached the Tuileries, the Queen was gone out. Upon her return I put the letter containing it into her hands. She exclaimed that the Emperor had been poisoned; that she had remarked and preserved a newspaper, in which, in an article upon the sitting of the Jacobins, at the time when the Emperor Leopold declared for the coalition, it was said, speaking of him, that a pie-crust would settle that matter. At this period Barnave obtained the Queen’s consent that he should read all the letters she should write. He was fearful of private correspondences that might hamper the plan marked out for her; he mistrusted her Majesty’s sincerity on this point; and the diversity of counsels, and the necessity of yielding, on the one hand, to some of the views of the constitutionalists, and on the other, to those of the French Princes, and even of foreign Courts, were unfortunately the circumstances which most rapidly impelled the Court towards its ruin.

However, the emigrants showed great apprehensions of the consequences which might follow in the interior from a connection with the constitutionalists, whom they described as a party existing only in idea, and totally without means of repairing their errors. The Jacobins were preferred to them, because, said they, there would be no treaty to be made with any one at the moment of extricating the King and his family from the abyss in which they were plunged.

Chapter VII.

In the beginning of the year 1792, a worthy priest requested a private interview with me. He had learned the existence of a new libel by Madame de Lamotte. He told me that the people who came from London to get it printed in Paris only desired gain, and that they were ready to deliver the manuscript to him for a thousand louis, if he could find any friend of the Queen disposed to make that sacrifice for her peace; that he had thought of me, and if her Majesty would give him the twenty-four thousand francs, he would hand the manuscript to me.

I communicated this proposal to the Queen, who rejected it, and desired me to answer that at the time when she had power to punish the hawkers of these libels she deemed them so atrocious and incredible that she despised them too much to stop them; that if she were imprudent and weak enough to buy a single one of them, the Jacobins might possibly discover the circumstance through their espionage; that were this libel brought up, it would be printed nevertheless, and would be much more dangerous when they apprised the public of the means she had used to suppress it.

Baron d’Aubier, gentleman-in-ordinary to the King, and my particular friend, had a good memory and a clear way of communicating the substance of the debates and decrees of the National Assembly. I went daily to the Queen’s apartments to repeat all this to the King, who used to say, on seeing me, “Ah! here’s the Postillon par Calais,"–a newspaper of the time.

M. d’Aubier one day said to me: “The Assembly has been much occupied with an information laid by the workmen of the Sevres manufactory. They brought to the President’s office a bundle of pamphlets which they said were the life of Marie Antoinette. The director of the manufactory was ordered up to the bar, and declared he had received orders to burn the printed sheets in question in the furnaces used for baking his china.”

While I was relating this business to the Queen the King coloured and held his head down over his plate. The Queen said to him, “Do you know anything about this, Sire?” The King made no answer. Madame Elisabeth requested him to explain what it meant. Louis was still silent. I withdrew hastily. A few minutes afterwards the Queen came to my room and informed me that the King, out of regard for her, had purchased the whole edition struck off from the manuscript which I had mentioned to her, and that M. de Laporte had not been able to devise any more secret way of destroying the work than that of having it burnt at Sevres, among two hundred workmen, one hundred and eighty of whom must, in all probability, be Jacobins! She told me she had concealed her vexation from the King; that he was in consternation, and that she could say nothing, since his good intentions and his affection for her had been the cause of the mistake.

     [M. de Laporte had by order of the King bought up the whole edition
     of the “Memoirs” of the notorious Madame de Lamotte against the
     Queen.  Instead of destroying them immediately, he shut them up in
     one of the closets in his house, The alarming and rapid growth of
     the rebellion, the arrogance of the crowd of brigands, who in great
     measure composed the populace of Paris, and the fresh excesses daily
     resulting from it, rendered the intendant of the civil list
     apprehensive that some mob might break into his house, carry off
     these “Memoirs,” and spread them among the public.  In order to
     prevent this he gave orders to have the “Memoirs” burnt with every
     necessary precaution; and the clerk who received the order entrusted
     the execution of it to a man named Riston, a dangerous Intriguer,
     formerly an advocate of Nancy, who had a twelve-month before escaped
     the gallows by favour of the new principles and the patriotism of
     the new tribunals, although convicted of forging the great seal, and
     fabricating decrees of the council.  This Riston, finding himself
     entrusted with a commission which concerned her Majesty, and the
     mystery attending which bespoke something of importance, was less
     anxious to execute it faithfully than to make a parade of this mark
     of confidence.  On the 30th of May, at ten in the morning, he had
     the sheets carried to the porcelain manufactory at Sevres, in a cart
     which he himself accompanied, and made a large fire of them before
     all the workmen, who were expressly forbidden to approach it.  All
     these precautions, and the suspicions to which they gave rise, under
     such critical circumstances, gave so much publicity to this affair
     that it was denounced to the Assembly that very night.  Brissot, and
     the whole Jacobin party, with equal effrontery and vehemence,
     insisted that the papers thus secretly burnt could be no other than
     the registers and documents of the correspondence of the Austrian
     committee.  M. de Laporte was ordered to the bar, and there gave the
     most precise account of the circumstances.  Riston was also called
     up, and confirmed M. de Laporte’s deposition.  But these
     explanations, however satisfactory, did not calm the violent ferment
     raised in the Assembly by this affair.–"Memoirs of Bertrand de

Some time afterwards the Assembly received a denunciation against M. de Montmorin. The ex-minister was accused of having neglected forty despatches from M. Genet, the charge d’affaires from France in Russia, not having even unsealed them, because M. Genet acted on constitutional principles. M. de Montmorin appeared at the bar to answer this accusation. Whatever distress I might feel in obeying the order I had received from the King to go and give him an account of the sitting, I thought I ought not to fail in doing so. But instead of giving my brother his family name, I merely said “your Majesty’s charge d’affaires at St. Petersburg.”

The King did me the favour to say that he noticed a reserve in my account, of which he approved. The Queen condescended to add a few obliging remarks to those of the King. However, my office of journalist gave me in this instance so much pain that I took an opportunity, when the King was expressing his satisfaction to me at the manner in which I gave him this daily account, to tell him that its merits belonged wholly to M. d’Aubier; and I ventured to request the King to suffer that excellent man to give him an account of the sittings himself. I assured the King that if he would permit it, that gentleman might proceed to the Queen’s apartments through mine unseen; the King consented to the arrangement. Thenceforward M. d’Aubier gave the King repeated proofs of zeal and attachment.

The Cure of St. Eustache ceased to be the Queen’s confessor when he took the constitutional oath. I do not remember the name of the ecclesiastic who succeeded him; I only know that he was conducted into her apartments with the greatest mystery. Their Majesties did not perform their Easter devotions in public, because they could neither declare for the constitutional clergy, nor act so as to show that they were against them.

The Queen did perform her Easter devotions in 1792; but she went to the chapel attended only by myself. She desired me beforehand to request one of my relations, who was her chaplain, to celebrate a mass for her at five o’clock in the morning. It was still dark; she gave me her arm, and I lighted her with a taper. I left her alone at the chapel door. She did not return to her room until the dawn of day.

Dangers increased daily. The Assembly were strengthened in the eyes of the people by the hostilities of the foreign armies and the army of the Princes. The communication with the latter party became more active; the Queen wrote almost every day. M. de Goguelat possessed her confidence for all correspondence with the foreign parties, and I was obliged to have him in my apartments; the Queen asked for him very frequently, and at times which she could not previously appoint.

All parties were exerting themselves either to ruin or to save the King. One day I found the Queen extremely agitated; she told me she no longer knew where she was; that the leaders of the Jacobins offered themselves to her through the medium of Dumouriez; or that Dumouriez, abandoning the Jacobins, had come and offered himself to her; that she had granted him an audience; that when alone with her, he had thrown himself at her feet, and told her that he had drawn the ’bonnet rouge’ over his head to the very ears; but that he neither was nor could be a Jacobin; that the Revolution had been suffered to extend even to that rabble of destroyers who, thinking of nothing but pillage, were ripe for anything, and might furnish the Assembly with a formidable army, ready to undermine the remains of a throne already but too much shaken. Whilst speaking with the utmost ardour he seized the Queen’s hand and kissed it with transport, exclaiming, “Suffer yourself to be saved!” The Queen told me that the protestations of a traitor were not to be relied on; that the whole of his conduct was so well known that undoubtedly the wisest course was not to trust to it;

     [The sincerity of General Dumouriez cannot be doubted in this
     instance.  The second volume of his Memoirs shows how unjust the
     mistrust and reproaches of the Queen were.  By rejecting his
     services, Marie Antoinette deprived herself of her only remaining
     support.  He who saved France in the defiles of Argonne would
     perhaps have saved France before the 20th of June, had he obtained
     the full confidence of Louis XVI. and the Queen.–NOTE BY THE

that, moreover, the Princes particularly recommended that no confidence should be placed in any proposition emanating from within the kingdom; that the force without became imposing; and that it was better to rely upon their success, and upon the protection due from Heaven to a sovereign so virtuous as Louis XVI. and to so just a cause.

The constitutionalists, on their part, saw that there had been nothing more than a pretence of listening to them. Barnave’s last advice was as to the means of continuing, a few weeks longer, the Constitutional Guard, which had been denounced to the Assembly, and was to be disbanded. The denunciation against the Constitutional Guard affected only its staff, and the Duc de Brissac. Barnave wrote to the Queen that the staff of the guard was already attacked; that the Assembly was about to pass a decree to reduce it; and he entreated her to prevail on the King, the very instant the decree should appear, to form the staff afresh of persons whose names he sent her. Barnave said that all who were set down in it passed for decided Jacobins, but were not so in fact; that they, as well as himself, were in despair at seeing the monarchical government attacked; that they had learnt to dissemble their sentiments, and that it would be at least a fortnight before the Assembly could know them well, and certainly before it could succeed in making them unpopular; that it would be necessary to take advantage of that short space of time to get away from Paris, immediately after their nomination. The Queen was of opinion that she ought not to yield to this advice. The Duc de Brissac was sent to Orleans, and the guard was disbanded.

Barnave, seeing that the Queen did not follow his counsel in anything, and convinced that she placed all her reliance on assistance from abroad, determined to quit Paris. He obtained a last audience. “Your misfortunes, Madame,” said he, “and those which I anticipate for France,. determined me to sacrifice myself to serve you. I see, however, that my advice does not agree with the views of your Majesties. I augur but little advantage from the plan you are induced to pursue,–you are too remote from your succours; you will be lost before they reach you. Most ardently do I wish I may be mistaken in so lamentable a prediction; but I am sure to pay with my head for the interest your misfortunes have raised in me, and the services I have sought to render you. I request, for my sole reward, the honour of kissing your hand.” The Queen, her eyes suffused with tears, granted him that favour, and remained impressed with a favourable idea of his sentiments. Madame Elisabeth participated in this opinion, and the two Princesses frequently spoke of Barnave. The Queen also received M. Duport several times, but with less mystery. Her connection with the constitutional deputies transpired. Alexandre de Lameth was the only one of the three who survived the vengeance of the Jacobins.

     [Barnave was arrested at Grenoble.  He remained in prison in that
     town fifteen months, and his friends began to hope that he would be
     forgotten, when an order arrived that he should be removed to Paris.
     At first he was imprisoned in the Abbaye, but transferred to the
     Conciergerie, and almost immediately taken before the revolutionary
     tribunal.  He appeared there with wonderful firmness, summed up the
     services he had rendered to the cause of liberty with his usual
     eloquence, and made such an impression upon the numerous auditors
     that, although accustomed to behold only conspirators worthy of
     death in all those who appeared before the tribunal, they themselves
     considered his acquittal certain.  The decree of death was read
     amidst the deepest silence; but Barnave’a firmness was immovable.
     When he left the court, he cast upon the judges, the jurors, and the
     public looks expressive of contempt and indignation.  He was led to
     his fate with the respected Duport du Tertre, one of the last
     ministers of Louis XVI. when he had ascended the scaffold, Barnave
     stamped, raised his eyes to heaven, and said: “This, then, is the
     reward of all that I have done for liberty!”  He fell on the 29th of
     October, 1793, in the thirty-second year of his age; his bust was
     placed in the Grenoble Museum.  The Consular Government placed his
     statue next to that of Vergniaud, on the great staircase of the
     palace of the Senate.–"Biographie de Bruxelles."]

The National Guard, which succeeded the King’s Guard, having occupied the gates of the Tuileries, all who came to see the Queen were insulted with impunity. Menacing cries were uttered aloud even in the Tuileries; they called for the destruction of the throne, and the murder of the sovereign; the grossest insults were offered by the very lowest of the mob.

About this time the King fell into a despondent state, which amounted almost to physical helplessness. He passed ten successive days without uttering a single word, even in the bosom of his family; except, indeed, when playing at backgammon after dinner with Madame Elisabeth. The Queen roused him from this state, so fatal at a critical period, by throwing herself at his feet, urging every alarming idea, and employing every affectionate expression. She represented also what he owed to his family; and told him that if they were doomed to fall they ought to fall honourably, and not wait to be smothered upon the floor of their apartment.

About the 15th of June, 1792, the King refused his sanction to the two decrees ordaining the deportation of priests and the formation of a camp of twenty thousand men under the walls of Paris. He himself wished to sanction them, and said that the general insurrection only waited for a pretence to burst forth. The Queen insisted upon the veto, and reproached herself bitterly when this last act of the constitutional authority had occasioned the day of the 20th of June.

A few days previously about twenty thousand men had gone to the Commune to announce that, on the 20th, they would plant the tree of liberty at the door of the National Assembly, and present a petition to the King respecting the veto which he had placed upon the decree for the deportation of the priests. This dreadful army crossed the garden of the Tuileries, and marched under the Queen’s windows; it consisted of people who called themselves the citizens of the Faubourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau. Clothed in filthy rags, they bore a most terrifying appearance, and even infected the air. People asked each other where such an army could come from; nothing so disgusting had ever before appeared in Paris.

On the 20th of June this mob thronged about the Tuileries in still greater numbers, armed with pikes, hatchets, and murderous instruments of all kinds, decorated with ribbons of the national colours, Shouting, “The nation for ever! Down with the veto!” The King was without guards. Some of these desperadoes rushed up to his apartment; the door was about to be forced in, when the King commanded that it should be opened. Messieurs de Bougainville, d’Hervilly, de Parois, d’Aubier, Acloque, Gentil, and other courageous men who were in the apartment of M. de Septeuil, the King’s first valet de chambre, instantly ran to his Majesty’s apartment. M. de Bougainville, seeing the torrent furiously advancing, cried out, “Put the King in the recess of the window, and place benches before him.” Six royalist grenadiers of the battalion of the Filles Saint Thomas made their way by an inner staircase, and ranged themselves before the benches. The order given by M. de Bougainville saved the King from the blades of the assassins, among whom was a Pole named Lazousky, who was to strike the first blow. The King’s brave defenders said, “Sire, fear nothing.” The King’s reply is well known: "Put your hand upon my heart, and you will perceive whether I am afraid." M. Vanot, commandant of battalion, warded off a blow aimed by a wretch against the King; a grenadier of the Filles Saint Thomas parried a sword- thrust made in the same direction. Madame Elisabeth ran to her brother’s apartments; when she reached the door she heard loud threats of death against the Queen: they called for the head of the Austrian. “Ah! let them think I am the Queen,” she said to those around her, “that she may have time to escape.”

The Queen could not join the King; she was in the council chamber, where she had been placed behind the great table to protect her, as much as possible, against the approach of the barbarians. Preserving a noble and becoming demeanour in this dreadful situation, she held the Dauphin before her, seated upon the table. Madame was at her side; the Princesse de Lamballe, the Princesse de Tarente, Madame de la Roche-Aymon, Madame de Tourzel, and Madame de Mackau surrounded her. She had fixed a tricoloured cockade, which one of the National Guard had given her, upon her head. The poor little Dauphin was, like the King, shrouded in an enormous red cap. The horde passed in files before the table;

     [One of the circumstances of the 20th of June which most vexed the
     King’s friends being that of his wearing the bonnet rouge nearly
     three hours, I ventured to ask him for some explanation of a fact so
     strikingly in contrast with the extraordinary intrepidity shown by
     his Majesty during that horrible day.  This was his answer: “The
     cries of ’The nation for ever!’ violently increasing around me, and
     seeming to be addressed to me, I replied that the nation had not a
     warmer friend than myself.  Upon this an ill-looking man, making his
     way through the crowd, came up to me and said, rather roughly,
     ’Well, if you speak the truth, prove it by putting on this red cap.’
     ’I consent,’ replied I.  One or two of them immediately came forward
     and placed the cap upon my hair, for it was too small for my head.
     I was convinced, I knew not why, that his intention was merely to
     place the cap upon my head for a moment, and then to take it off
     again; and I was so completely taken up with what was passing before
     me that I did not feel whether the cap did or did not remain upon my
     hair.  I was so little aware of it that when I returned to my room I
     knew only from being told so that it was still there.  I was very
     much surprised to find it upon my head, and was the more vexed at it
     because I might have taken it off immediately without the smallest
     difficulty.  But I am satisfied that if I had hesitated to consent
     to its being placed upon my head the drunken fellow who offered it
     to me would have thrust his pike into my stomach."–"Memoirs of
     Bertrand de Molleville."]

the sort of standards which they carried were symbols of the most atrocious barbarity. There was one representing a gibbet, to which a dirty doll was suspended; the words “Marie Antoinette a la lanterne” were written beneath it. Another was a board, to which a bullock’s heart was fastened, with “Heart of Louis XVI.” written round it. And a third showed the horn of an ox, with an obscene inscription.

One of the most furious Jacobin women who marched with these wretches stopped to give vent to a thousand imprecations against the Queen. Her Majesty asked whether she had ever seen her. She replied that she had not. Whether she had done her any, personal wrong? Her answer was the same; but she added:

“It is you who have caused the misery of the nation.”

“You have been told so,” answered the Queen; “you are deceived. As the wife of the King of France, and mother of the Dauphin, I am a French- woman; I shall never see my own country again, I can be happy or unhappy only in France; I was happy when you loved me.”

The fury began to weep, asked her pardon, and said, “It was because I did not know you; I see that you are good.”

Santerre, the monarch of the faubourgs, made his subjects file off as quickly as he could; and it was thought at the time that he was ignorant of the object of this insurrection, which was the murder of the royal family. However, it was eight o’clock in the evening before the palace was completely cleared. Twelve deputies, impelled by attachment to the King’s person, ranged themselves near him at the commencement of the insurrection; but the deputation from the Assembly did not reach the Tuileries until six in the evening; all the doors of the apartments were broken. The Queen pointed out to the deputies the state of the King’s palace, and the disgraceful manner in which his asylum had been violated under the very eyes of the Assembly; she saw that Merlin de Thionville was so much affected as to shed tears while she spoke.

“You weep, M. Merlin,” said she to him, “at seeing the King and his family so cruelly treated by a people whom he always wished to make happy.”

“True, Madame,” replied Merlin; “I weep for the misfortunes of a beautiful and feeling woman, the mother of a family; but do not mistake, not one of my tears falls for either King or Queen; I hate kings and queens,–it is my religion.”

The Queen could not appreciate this madness, and saw all that was to be apprehended by persons who evinced it.

All hope was gone, and nothing was thought of but succour from abroad. The Queen appealed to her family and the King’s brothers; her letters probably became more pressing, and expressed apprehensions upon the tardiness of relief. Her Majesty read me one to herself from the Archduchess Christina, Gouvernante of the Low Countries: she reproached the Queen for some of her expressions, and told her that those out of France were at least as much alarmed as herself at the King’s situation and her own; but that the manner of attempting to assist her might either save her or endanger her safety; and that the members of the coalition were bound to act prudently, entrusted as they were with interests so dear to them.

The 14th of July, 1792, fixed by the constitution as the anniversary of the independence of the nation drew near. The King and Queen were compelled to make their appearance on the occasion; aware that the plot of the 20th of June had their assassination for its object, they had no doubt but that their death was determined on for the day of this national festival. The Queen was recommended, in order to give the King’s friends time to defend him if the attack should be made, to guard him against the first stroke of a dagger by making him wear a breastplate. I was directed to get one made in my apartments: it was composed of fifteen folds of Italian taffety, and formed into an under-waistcoat and a wide belt. This breastplate was tried; it resisted all thrusts of the dagger, and several balls were turned aside by it. When it was completed the difficulty was to let the King try it on without running the risk of being surprised. I wore the immense heavy waistcoat as an under- petticoat for three days without being able to find a favourable moment. At length the King found an opportunity one morning to pull off his coat in the Queen’s chamber and try on the breastplate.

The Queen was in bed; the King pulled me gently by the gown, and drew me as far as he could from the Queen’s bed, and said to me, in a very low tone of voice: “It is to satisfy her that I submit to this inconvenience: they will not assassinate me; their scheme is changed; they will put me to death another way.” The Queen heard the King whispering to me, and when he was gone out she asked me what he had said. I hesitated to answer; she insisted that I should, saying that nothing must be concealed from her, and that she was resigned upon every point.

When she was informed of the King’s remark she told me she had guessed it, that he had long since observed to her that all which was going forward in France was an imitation of the revolution in England in the time of Charles I., and that he was incessantly reading the history of that unfortunate monarch in order that he might act better than Charles had done at a similar crisis. “I begin to be fearful of the King’s being brought to trial,” continued the Queen; “as to me, I am a foreigner; they will assassinate me. What will become of my poor children?”

These sad ejaculations were followed by a torrent of tears. I wished to give her an antispasmodic; she refused it, saying that only happy women could feel nervous; that the cruel situation to which she was reduced rendered these remedies useless. In fact, the Queen, who during her happier days was frequently attacked by hysterical disorders, enjoyed more uniform health when all the faculties of her soul were called forth to support her physical strength.

I had prepared a corset for her, for the same purpose as the King’s under-waistcoat, without her knowledge; but she would not make use of it; all my entreaties, all my tears, were in vain. “If the factions assassinate me,” she replied, “it will be a fortunate event for me; they will deliver me from a most painful existence.” A few days after the King had tried on his breastplate I met him on a back staircase. I drew back to let him pass. He stopped and took my hand; I wished to kiss his; he would not suffer it, but drew me towards him by the hand, and kissed both my cheeks without saying a single word.

The fear of another attack upon the Tuileries occasioned scrupulous search among the King’s papers

I burnt almost all those belonging to the Queen. She put her family letters, a great deal of correspondence which she thought it necessary to preserve for the history of the era of the Revolution, and particularly Barnave’s letters and her answers, of which she had copies, into a portfolio, which she entrusted to M. de J––. That gentleman was unable to save this deposit, and it was burnt. The Queen left a few papers in her secretaire. Among them were instructions to Madame de Tourzel, respecting the dispositions of her children and the characters and abilities of the sub-governesses under that lady’s orders. This paper, which the Queen drew up at the time of Madame de Tourzel’s appointment, with several letters from Maria Theresa, filled with the best advice and instructions, was printed after the 10th of August by order of the Assembly in the collection of papers found in the secretaires of the King and Queen.

Her Majesty had still, without reckoning the income of the month, one hundred and forty thousand francs in gold. She was desirous of depositing the whole of it with me; but I advised her to retain fifteen hundred louis, as a sum of rather considerable amount might be suddenly necessary for her. The King had an immense quantity of papers, and unfortunately conceived the idea of privately making, with the assistance of a locksmith who had worked with him above ten years, a place of concealment in an inner corridor of his apartments. The place of concealment, but for the man’s information, would have been long undiscovered? The wall in which it was made was painted to imitate large stones, and the opening was entirely concealed among the brown grooves which formed the shaded part of these painted stones. But even before this locksmith had denounced what was afterwards called the iron closet to the Assembly, the Queen was aware that he had talked of it to some of his friends; and that this man, in whom the King from long habit placed too much confidence, was a Jacobin. She warned the King of it, and prevailed on him to fill a very large portfolio with all the papers he was most interested in preserving, and entrust it to me. She entreated him in my presence to leave nothing in this closet; and the King, in order to quiet her, told her that he had left nothing there. I would have taken the portfolio and carried it to my apartment, but it was too heavy for me to lift. The King said he would carry it himself; I went before to open the doors for him. When he placed the portfolio in my inner closet he merely said, “The Queen will tell you what it contains." Upon my return to the Queen I put the question to her, deeming, from what the King had said, that it was necessary I should know. “They are,” the Queen answered me, “such documents as would be most dangerous to the King should they go so far as to proceed to a trial against him. But what he wishes me to tell you is, that the portfolio contains a ’proces-verbal’ of a cabinet council, in which the King gave his opinion against the war. He had it signed by all the ministers, and, in case of a trial, he trusts that this document will be very useful to him.” I asked the Queen to whom she thought I ought to commit the portfolio. “To whom you please," answered she; “you alone are answerable for it. Do not quit the palace even during your vacation months: there may be circumstances under which it would be very desirable that we should be able to have it instantly.”

At this period M. de La Fayette, who had probably given up the idea of establishing a republic in France similar to that of the United States, and was desirous to support the first constitution which he had sworn to defend, quitted his army and came to the Assembly for the purpose of supporting by his presence and by an energetic speech a petition signed by twenty thousand citizens against the late violation of the residence of the King and his family. The General found the constitutional party powerless, and saw that he himself had lost his popularity. The Assembly disapproved of the step he had taken; the King, for whom it, was taken, showed no satisfaction at it, and he saw himself compelled to return to his army as quickly as he could. He thought he could rely on the National Guard; but on the day of his arrival those officers who were in the King’s interest inquired of his Majesty whether they were to forward the views of Gendral de La Fayette by joining him in such measures as he should pursue during his stay at Paris. The King enjoined them not to do so. From this answer M. de La Fayette perceived that he was abandoned by the remainder of his party in the Paris guard.

On his arrival a plan was presented to the Queen, in which it was proposed by a junction between La Fayette’s army and the King’s party to rescue the royal family and convey them to Rouen. I did not learn the particulars of this plan; the Queen only said to me upon the subject that M. de La Fayette was offered to them as a resource; but that it would be better for them to perish than to owe their safety to the man who had done them the most mischief, or to place themselves under the necessity of treating with him.

I passed the whole month of July without going to bed; I was fearful of some attack by night. There was one plot against the Queen’s life which has never been made known. I was alone by her bedside at one o’clock in the morning; we heard somebody walking softly down the corridor, which passes along the whole line of her apartments, and which was then locked at each end. I went out to fetch the valet de chambre; he entered the corridor, and the Queen and myself soon heard the noise of two men fighting. The unfortunate Princess held me locked in her arms, and said to me, “What a situation! insults by day and assassins by night!" The valet de chambre cried out to her from the corridor, “Madame, it is a wretch that I know; I have him!"–"Let him go,” said the Queen; “open the door to him; he came to murder me; the Jacobins would carry him about in triumph to-morrow.” The man was a servant of the King’s toilet, who had taken the key of the corridor out of his Majesty’s pocket after he was in bed, no doubt with the intention of committing the crime suspected. The valet de chambre, who was a very strong man, held him by the wrists, and thrust him out at the door. The wretch did not speak a word. The valet de chambre said, in answer to the Queen, who spoke to him gratefully of the danger to which he had exposed himself, that he feared nothing, and that he had always a pair of excellent pistols about him for no other purpose than to defend her Majesty. The next day M. de Septeuil had all the locks of the King’s inner apartments changed. I did the same by those of the Queen.

We were every moment told that the Faubourg St. Antoine was preparing to march against the palace. At four o’clock one morning towards the latter end of July a person came to give me information to that effect. I instantly sent off two men, on whom I could rely, with orders to proceed to the usual places for assembling, and to come back speedily and give me an account of the state of the city. We knew that at least an hour must elapse before the populace or the faubourgs assembled on the site of the Bastille could reach the Tuileries. It seemed to me sufficient for the Queen’s safety that all about her should be awakened. I went softly into her room; she was asleep; I did not awaken her. I found General de W–– in the great closet; he told me the meeting was, for this once, dispersing. The General had endeavoured to please the populace by the same means as M. de La Fayette had employed. He saluted the lowest poissarde, and lowered his hat down to his very stirrup. But the populace, who had been flattered for three years, required far different homage to its power, and the poor man was unnoticed. The King had been awakened, and so had Madame Elisabeth, who had gone to him. The Queen, yielding to the weight of her griefs, slept till nine o’clock on that day, which was very unusual with her. The King had already been to know whether she was awake; I told him what I had done, and the care I had taken not to disturb her. He thanked me, and said, “I was awake, and so was the whole palace; she ran no risk. I am very glad to see her take a little rest. Alas! her griefs double mine!” What was my chagrin when, upon awaking and learning what had passed, the Queen burst into tears from regret at not having been called, and began to upbraid me, on whose friendship she ought to have been able to rely, for having served her so ill under such circumstances! In vain did I reiterate that it had been only a false alarm, and that she required to have her strength recruited. "It is not diminished,” said she; “misfortune gives us additional strength. Elisabeth was with the King, and I was asleep,–I who am determined to perish by his side! I am his wife; I will not suffer him to incur the smallest risk without my sharing it.”

Chapter VIII.

During July the correspondence of M. Bertrand de Molleville with the King and Queen was most active. M. de Marsilly, formerly a lieutenant of the Cent-Suisses of the Guard, was the bearer of the letters.

     [I received by night only the King’s answer, written with his own
     hand, in the margin of my letter.  I always sent him back with the
     day’s letter that to which he had replied the day before, so that my
     letters and his answers, of which I contented myself with taking
     notes only, never remained with me twenty-four hours.  I proposed
     this arrangement to his Majesty to remove all uneasiness from his
     mind; my letters were generally delivered to the King or the Queen
     by M. de Marsilly, captain of the King’s Guard, whose attachment and
     fidelity were known to their Majesties.  I also sometimes employed
     M. Bernard de Marigny, who had left Brest for the purpose of sharing
     with his Majesty’s faithful servants the dangers which threatened
     the King.–"Memoirs of Bertrand de Molleville,” vol.  ii., p.  12.]

He came to me the first time with a note from the Queen directed to M. Bertrand himself. In this note the Queen said: “Address yourself with full confidence to Madame Campan; the conduct of her brother in Russia has not at all influenced her sentiments; she is wholly devoted to us; and if, hereafter, you should have anything to say to us verbally, you may rely entirely upon her devotion and discretion.”

The mobs which gathered almost nightly in the faubourgs alarmed the Queen’s friends; they entreated her not to sleep in her room on the ground floor of the Tuileries. She removed to the first floor, to a room which was between the King’s apartments and those of the Dauphin. Being awake always from daybreak, she ordered that neither the shutters nor the window-blinds should be closed, that her long sleepless nights might be the less weary. About the middle of one of these nights, when the moon was shining into her bedchamber, she gazed at it, and told me that in a month she should not see that moon unless freed from her chains, and beholding the King at liberty. She then imparted to me all that was concurring to deliver them; but said that the opinions of their intimate advisers were alarmingly at variance; that some vouched for complete success, while others pointed out insurmountable dangers. She added that she possessed the itinerary of the march of the Princes and the King of Prussia: that on such a day they would be at Verdun, on another day at such a place, that Lille was about to be besieged, but that M. de J––-, whose prudence and intelligence the King, as well as herself, highly valued, alarmed them much respecting the success of that siege, and made them apprehensive that, even were the commandant devoted to them, the civil authority, which by the constitution gave great power to the mayors of towns, would overrule the military commandant. She was also very uneasy as to what would take place at Paris during the interval, and spoke to me of the King’s want of energy, but always in terms expressive of her veneration for his virtues and her attachment to himself.– "The King,” said she, “is not a coward; he possesses abundance of passive courage, but he is overwhelmed by an awkward shyness, a mistrust of himself, which proceeds from his education as much as from his disposition. He is afraid to command, and, above all things, dreads speaking to assembled numbers. He lived like a child, and always ill at ease under the eyes of Louis XV., until the age of twenty-one. This constraint confirmed his timidity.

“Circumstanced as we are, a few well-delivered words addressed to the Parisians, who are devoted to him, would multiply the strength of our party a hundredfold: he will not utter them. What can we expect from those addresses to the people which he has been advised to post up? Nothing but fresh outrages. As for myself, I could do anything, and would appear on horseback if necessary. But if I were really to begin to act, that would be furnishing arms to the King’s enemies; the cry against the Austrian, and against the sway of a woman, would become general in France; and, moreover, by showing myself, I should render the King a mere nothing. A queen who is not regent ought, under these circumstances, to remain passive and prepare to die.”

The garden of the Tuileries was full of maddened men, who insulted all who seemed to side with the Court. “The Life of Marie Antoinette” was cried under the Queen’s windows, infamous plates were annexed to the book, the hawkers showed them to the passersby. On all sides were heard the jubilant outcries of a people in a state of delirium almost as frightful as the explosion of their rage. The Queen and her children were unable to breathe the open air any longer. It was determined that the garden of the Tuileries should be closed: as soon as this step was taken the Assembly decreed that the whole length of the Terrace des Feuillans belonged to it, and fixed the boundary between what was called the national ground and the Coblentz ground by a tricoloured ribbon stretched from one end of the terrace to the other. All good citizens were ordered, by notices affixed to it, not to go down into the garden, under pain of being treated in the same manner as Foulon and Berthier. A young man who did not observe this written order went down into the garden; furious outcries, threats of la lanterne, and the crowd of people which collected upon the terrace warned him of his imprudence, and the danger which he ran. He immediately pulled off his shoes, took out his handkerchief, and wiped the dust from their soles. The people cried out, "Bravo! the good citizen for ever!” He was carried off in triumph. The shutting up of the Tuileries did not enable the Queen and her children to walk in the garden. The people on the terrace sent forth dreadful shouts, and she was twice compelled to return to her apartments.

In the early part of August many zealous persons offered the King money; he refused considerable sums, being unwilling to injure the fortunes of individuals. M. de la Ferte, intendant of the ’menus plaisirs’, brought me a thousand louis, requesting me to lay them at the feet of the Queen. He thought she could not have too much money at so perilous a time, and that every good Frenchman should hasten to place all his ready money in her hands. She refused this sum, and others of much greater amount which were offered to her.

     [M. Auguie, my brother-in-law, receiver-general of the finances,
     offered her, through his wife, a portfolio containing one hundred
     thousand crowns in paper money.  On this occasion the Queen said the
     most affecting things to my sister, expressive of her happiness at
     having contributed to the fortunes of such faithful subjects as
     herself and her husband, but declined her offer.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

However, a few days afterwards, she told me she would accept M. de la Ferte’s twenty-four thousand francs, because they would make up a sum which the King had to expend. She therefore directed, me to go and receive those twenty-four thousand francs, to add them to the one hundred thousand francs she had placed in my hands, and to change the whole into assignats to increase their amount. Her orders were executed, and the assignats were delivered to the King. The Queen informed me that Madame Elisabeth had found a well-meaning man who had engaged to gain over Petion by the bribe of a large sum of money, and that deputy would, by a preconcerted signal, inform the King of the success of the project. His Majesty soon had an opportunity of seeing Petion, and on the Queen asking him before me if he was satisfied with him, the King replied, “Neither more nor less satisfied than usual; he did not make the concerted signal, and I believe I have been cheated.” The Queen then condescended to explain the whole of the enigma to me. “Petion,” said she, “was, while talking to the King, to have kept his finger fixed upon his right eye for at least two seconds."–"He did not even put his hand up to his chin," said the King; “after all, it is but so much money stolen: the thief will not boast of it, and the affair will remain a secret. Let us talk of something else.” He turned to me and said, “Your father was an intimate friend of Mandat, who now commands the National Guard; describe him to me; what ought I to expect from him?” I answered that he was one of his Majesty’s most faithful subjects, but that with a great deal of loyalty he possessed very little sense, and that he was involved in the constitutional vortex. “I understand,” said the King; “he is a man who would defend my palace and my person, because that is enjoined by the constitution which he has sworn to support, but who would fight against the party in favour of sovereign authority; it is well to know this with certainty.”

On the next day the Princesse de Lamballe sent for me very early in the morning. I found her on a sofa facing a window that looked upon the Pont Royal. She then occupied that apartment of the Pavilion of Flora which was on a level with that of the Queen. She desired me to sit down by her. Her Highness had a writing-desk upon her knees. “You have had many enemies,” said she; “attempts have been made to deprive you of the Queen’s favour; they have been far from successful. Do you know that even I myself, not being so well acquainted with you as the Queen, was rendered suspicious of you; and that upon the arrival of the Court at the Tuileries I gave you a companion to be a spy upon you; and that I had another belonging to the police placed at your door! I was assured that you received five or six of the most virulent deputies of the Tiers Etat; but it was that wardrobe woman whose rooms were above you.

“In short,” said the Princess, “persons of integrity have nothing to fear from the evil-disposed when they belong to so upright a prince as the King. As to the Queen, she knows you, and has loved you ever since she came into France. You shall judge of the King’s opinion of you: it was yesterday evening decided in the family circle that, at a time when the Tuileries is likely to be attacked, it was necessary to have the most faithful account of the opinions and conduct of all the individuals composing the Queen’s service. The King takes the same precaution on his part respecting all who are about him. He said there was with him a person of great integrity, to whom he would commit this inquiry; and that, with regard to the Queen’s household, you must be spoken to, that he had long studied your character, and that he esteemed your veracity.”

The Princess had a list of the names of all who belonged to the Queen’s chamber on her desk. She asked me for information respecting each individual. I was fortunate in having none but the most favourable information to give. I had to speak of my avowed enemy in the Queen’s chamber; of her who most wished that I should be responsible for my brother’s political opinions. The Princess, as the head of the chamber, could not be ignorant of this circumstance; but as the person in question, who idolised the King and Queen, would not have hesitated to sacrifice her life in order to save theirs, and as possibly her attachment to them, united to considerable narrowness of intellect and a limited education, contributed to her jealousy of me, I spoke of her in the highest terms.

The Princess wrote as I dictated, and occasionally looked at me with astonishment. When I had done I entreated her to write in the margin that the lady alluded to was my declared enemy. She embraced me, saying, "Ah! do not write it! we should not record an unhappy circumstance which ought to be forgotten.” We came to a man of genius who was much attached to the Queen, and I described him as a man born solely to contradict, showing himself an aristocrat with democrats, and a democrat among aristocrats; but still a man of probity, and well disposed to his sovereign. The Princess said she knew many persons of that disposition, and that she was delighted I had nothing to say against this man, because she herself had placed him about the Queen.

The whole of her Majesty’s chamber, which consisted entirely of persons of fidelity, gave throughout all the dreadful convulsions of the Revolution proofs of the greatest prudence and self-devotion. The same cannot be said of the antechambers. With the exception of three or four, all the servants of that class were outrageous Jacobins; and I saw on those occasions the necessity of composing the private household of princes of persons completely separated from the class of the people.

The situation of the royal family was so unbearable during the months which immediately preceded the 10th of August that the Queen longed for the crisis, whatever might be its issue. She frequently said that a long confinement in a tower by the seaside would seem to her less intolerable than those feuds in which the weakness of her party daily threatened an inevitable catastrophe.

     [A few days before the 10th of August the squabbles between the
     royalists and the Jacobins, and between the Jacobins and the
     constitutionalists, increased in warmth; among the latter those men
     who defended the principles they professed with the greatest talent,
     courage, and constancy were at the same time the most exposed to
     danger.  Montjoie says: “The question of dethronement was discussed
     with a degree of frenzy in the Assembly.  Such of the deputies as
     voted against it were abused, ill treated, and surrounded by
     assassins.  They had a battle to fight at every step they took; and
     at length they did not dare to sleep in their own houses.  Of this
     number were Regnault de Beaucaron, Froudiere, Girardin, and
     Vaublanc.  Girardin complained of having been struck in one of the
     lobbies of the Assembly.  A voice cried out to him, ’Say where were
     you struck.’  ’Where?’ replied Girardin, ’what a question!  Behind.
     Do assassins ever strike otherwise?"]

Not only were their Majesties prevented from breathing the open air, but they were also insulted at the very foot of the altar. The Sunday before the last day of the monarchy, while the royal family went through the gallery to the chapel, half the soldiers of the National Guard exclaimed, "Long live the King!” and the other half, “No; no King! Down with the veto!” and on that day at vespers the choristers preconcerted to use loud and threatening emphasis when chanting the words, “Deposuit potentes de sede,” in the “Magnificat.” Incensed at such an irreverent proceeding, the royalists in their turn thrice exclaimed, “Et reginam,” after the "Domine salvum fac regem.” The tumult during the whole time of divine service was excessive.

At length the terrible night of the 10th of August, 1792, arrived. On the preceding evening Potion went to the Assembly and informed it that preparations were making for an insurrection on the following day; that the tocsin would sound at midnight; and that he feared he had not sufficient means for resisting the attack which was about to take place. Upon this information the Assembly passed to the order of the day. Petion, however, gave an order for repelling force by force.

     [Petion was the Mayor of Paris, and Mandat on this day was
     commandant of the National Guard.  Mandat was assassinated that
     night.–"Thiers,” vol. i., p. 260.]

M. Mandat was armed with this order; and, finding his fidelity to the King’s person supported by what he considered the law of the State, he conducted himself in all his operations with the greatest energy. On the evening of the 9th I was present at the King’s supper. While his Majesty was giving me various orders we heard a great noise at the door of the apartment. I went to see what was the cause of it, and found the two sentinels fighting. One said, speaking of the King, that he was hearty in the cause of the constitution, and would defend it at the peril of his life; the other maintained that he was an encumbrance to the only constitution suitable to a free people. They were almost ready to cut one another’s throats. I returned with a countenance which betrayed my emotion. The King desired to know what was going forward at his door; I could not conceal it from him. The Queen said she was not at all surprised at it, and that more than half the guard belonged to the Jacobin party.

The tocsin sounded at midnight. The Swiss were drawn up like walls; and in the midst of their soldierlike silence, which formed a striking contrast with the perpetual din of the town guard, the King informed M. de J––-, an officer of the staff, of the plan of defence laid down by General Viomenil. M. de J––- said to me, after this private conference, “Put your jewels and money into your pockets; our dangers are unavoidable; the means of defence are nil; safety might be obtained by some degree of energy in the King, but that is the only virtue in which he is deficient.”

An hour after midnight the Queen and Madame Elisabeth said they would lie down on a sofa in a room in the entresols, the windows of which commanded the courtyard of the Tuileries.

The Queen told me the King had just refused to put on his quilted under- waistcoat; that he had consented to wear it on the 14th of July because he was merely going to a ceremony where the blade of an assassin was to be apprehended, but that on a day on which his party might fight against the revolutionists he thought there was something cowardly in preserving his life by such means.

During this time Madame Elisabeth disengaged herself from some of her clothing which encumbered her in order to lie down on the sofa: she took a cornelian pin out of her cape, and before she laid it down on the table she showed it to me, and desired me to read a motto engraved upon it round a stalk of lilies. The words were, “Oblivion of injuries; pardon for offences."–"I much fear,” added that virtuous Princess, “this maxim has but little influence among our enemies; but it ought not to be less dear to us on that account.”

     [The exalted piety of Madame Elisabeth gave to all she said and did
     a noble character, descriptive of that of her soul.  On the day on
     which this worthy descendant of Saint Louis was sacrificed, the
     executioner, in tying her hands behind her, raised up one of the
     ends of her handkerchief.  Madame Elisabeth, with calmness, and in a
     voice which seemed not to belong to earth, said to him, “In the name
     of modesty, cover my bosom.”  I learned this from Madame de Serilly,
     who was condemned the same day as the Princess, but who obtained a
     respite at the moment of the execution, Madame de Montmorin, her
     relation, declaring that her cousin was enceinte.-MADAME CAMPAN.]

The Queen desired me to sit down by her; the two Princesses could not sleep; they were conversing mournfully upon their situation when a musket was discharged in the courtyard. They both quitted the sofa, saying, "There is the first shot, unfortunately it will not be the last; let us go up to the King.” The Queen desired me to follow her; several of her women went with me.

At four o’clock the Queen came out of the King’s chamber and told us she had no longer any hope; that M. Mandat, who had gone to the Hotel de Ville to receive further orders, had just been assassinated, and that the people were at that time carrying his head about the streets. Day came. The King, the Queen, Madame Elisabeth, Madame, and the Dauphin went down to pass through the ranks of the sections of the National Guard; the cry of “Vive le Roi!” was heard from a few places. I was at a window on the garden side; I saw some of the gunners quit their posts, go up to the King, and thrust their fists in his face, insulting him by the most brutal language. Messieurs de Salvert and de Bridges drove them off in a spirited manner. The King was as pale as a corpse. The royal family came in again. The Queen told me that all was lost; that the King had shown no energy; and that this sort of review had done more harm than good.

I was in the billiard-room with my companions; we placed ourselves upon some high benches. I then saw M. d’Hervilly with a drawn sword in his hand, ordering the usher to open the door to the French noblesse. Two hundred persons entered the room nearest to that in which the family were; others drew up in two lines in the preceding rooms. I saw a few people belonging to the Court, many others whose features were unknown to me, and a few who figured technically without right among what was called the noblesse, but whose self-devotion ennobled them at once. They were all so badly armed that even in that situation the indomitable French liveliness indulged in jests. M. de Saint-Souplet, one of the King’s equerries, and a page, carried on their shoulders instead of muskets the tongs belonging to the King’s antechamber, which they had broken and divided between them. Another page, who had a pocket-pistol in his hand, stuck the end of it against the back of the person who stood before him, and who begged he would be good enough to rest it elsewhere. A sword and a pair of pistols were the only arms of those who had had the precaution to provide themselves with arms at all. Meanwhile, the numerous bands from the faubourgs, armed with pikes and cutlasses, filled the Carrousel and the streets adjacent to the Tuileries. The sanguinary Marseillais were at their head, with cannon pointed against the Chateau. In this emergency the King’s Council sent M. Dejoly, the Minister of Justice, to the Assembly to request they would send the King a deputation which might serve as a safeguard to the executive power. His ruin was resolved on; they passed to the order of the day. At eight o’clock the department repaired to the Chateau. The procureur-syndic, seeing that the guard within was ready to join the assailants, went into the King’s closet and requested to speak to him in private. The King received him in his chamber; the Queen was with him. There M. Roederer told him that the King, all his family, and the people about them would inevitably perish unless his Majesty immediately determined to go to the National Assembly. The Queen at first opposed this advice, but the procureur-syndic told her that she rendered herself responsible for the deaths of the King, her children, and all who were in the palace. She no longer objected. The King then consented to go to the Assembly. As he set out, he said to the minister and persons who surrounded him, “Come, gentlemen, there is nothing more to be done here.”

     ["The King hesitated, the Queen manifested the highest
     dissatisfaction.  ’What!’ said she,’ are we alone; is there nobody
     who can act?’–’Yes, Madame, alone; action is useless–resistance is
     impossible.’ One of the members of the department, M. Gerdrot,
     insisted on the prompt execution of the proposed measure.  ’Silence,
     monsieur,’ said the Queen to him; ’silence; you are the only person
     who ought to be silent here; when the mischief is done, those who
     did it should not pretend to wish to remedy it.’ .  .  .

     “The King remained mute; nobody spoke.  It was reserved for me to
     give the last piece of advice.  I had the firmness to say, ’Let us
     go, and not deliberate; honour commands it, the good of the State
     requires it.  Let us go to the National Assembly; this step ought to
     have been taken long ago: ’Let us go,’ said the King, raising his
     right hand; ’let us start; let us give this last mark of self-
     devotion, since it is necessary.’  The Queen was persuaded.  Her
     first anxiety was for the King, the second for her son; the King had
     none.  ’M. Roederer–gentlemen,’ said the Queen, ’you answer for the
     person of the King; you answer for that of my son.’–’Madame,’
     replied M. Roederer, ’we pledge ourselves to die at your side; that
     is all we can engage for.’"–MONTJOIE, “History of Marie

The Queen said to me as she left the King’s chamber, “Wait in my apartments; I will come to you, or I will send for you to go I know not whither.” She took with her only the Princesse de Lamballe and Madame de Tourzel. The Princesse de Tarente and Madame de la Roche-Aymon were inconsolable at being left at the Tuileries; they, and all who belonged to the chamber, went down into the Queen’s apartments.

We saw the royal family pass between two lines formed by the Swiss grenadiers and those of the battalions of the Petits-Peres and the Filles Saint Thomas. They were so pressed upon by the crowd that during that short passage the Queen was robbed of her watch and purse. A man of great height and horrible appearance, one of such as were to be seen at the head of all the insurrections, drew near the Dauphin, whom the Queen was leading by the hand, and took him up in his arms. The Queen uttered a scream of terror, and was ready to faint. The man said to her, “Don’t be frightened, I will do him no harm;” and he gave him back to her at the entrance of the chamber.

I leave to history all the details of that too memorable day, confining myself to recalling a few of the frightful scenes acted in the interior of the Tuileries after the King had quitted the palace.

The assailants did not know that the King and his family had betaken themselves to the Assembly; and those who defended the palace from the aide of the courts were equally ignorant of it. It is supposed that if they had been aware of the fact the siege would never have taken place.

     [In reading of the events of the 10th of August, 1792, the reader
     must remember that there was hardly any armed force to resist the
     mob.  The regiments that had shown signs of being loyal to the King
     had been removed from Paris by the Assembly.  The Swiss had been
     deprived of their own artillery, and the Court had sent one of their
     battalions into Normandy at a time when there was an idea of taking
     refuge there.  The National Guard were either disloyal or
     disheartened, and the gunners, especially of that force at the
     Tuileries, sympathised with the mob.  Thus the King had about 800 or
     900 Swiss and little more than one battalion of the National Guard.
     Mandat, one of the six heads of the legions of the National Guard,
     to whose turn the command fell on that day, was true to his duty,
     but was sent for to the Hotel de Ville and assassinated.  Still the
     small force, even after the departure of the King, would have
     probably beaten off the mob had not the King given the fatal order
     to the Swiss to cease firing.  (See Thiers’s “Revolution Francaise,"
     vol.  i., chap.  xi.) Bonaparte’s opinion of the mob may be judged
     by his remarks on the 20th June, 1792, when, disgusted at seeing the
     King appear with the red cap on his head, he exclaimed, “Che
     coglione!  Why have they let in all that rabble?  Why don’t they
     sweep off 400 or 500 of them with the cannon?  The rest would then
     set off.”  ("Bourrienne,” vol. i., p.13, Bentley, London, 1836.)
     Bonaparte carried out his own plan against a far stronger force of
     assailants on the Jour des Sections, 4th October, 1795.]

The Marseillais began by driving from their posts several Swiss, who yielded without resistance; a few of the assailants fired upon them; some of the Swiss officers, seeing their men fall, and perhaps thinking the King was still at the Tuileries, gave the word to a whole battalion to fire. The aggressors were thrown into disorder, and the Carrousel was cleared in a moment; but they soon returned, spurred on by rage and revenge. The Swiss were but eight hundred strong; they fell back into the interior of the Chateau; some of the doors were battered in by the guns, others broken through with hatchets; the populace rushed from all quarters into the interior of the palace; almost all the Swiss were massacred; the nobles, flying through the gallery which leads to the Louvre, were either stabbed or shot, and the bodies thrown out of the windows.

M. Pallas and M. de Marchais, ushers of the King’s chamber, were killed in defending the door of the council chamber; many others of the King’s servants fell victims to their fidelity. I mention these two persons in particular because, with their hats pulled over their brows and their swords in their hands, they exclaimed, as they defended themselves with unavailing courage, “We will not survive!–this is our post; our duty is to die at it.” M. Diet behaved in the same manner at the door of the Queen’s bedchamber; he experienced the same fate. The Princesse de Tarente had fortunately opened the door of the apartments; otherwise, the dreadful band seeing several women collected in the Queen’s salon would have fancied she was among us, and would have immediately massacred us had we resisted them. We were, indeed, all about to perish, when a man with a long beard came up, exclaiming, in the name of Potion, “Spare the women; don’t dishonour the nation!” A particular circumstance placed me in greater danger than the others. In my confusion I imagined, a moment before the assailants entered the Queen’s apartments, that my sister was not among the group of women collected there; and I went up into an ’entresol’, where I supposed she had taken refuge, to induce her to come down, fancying it safer that we should not be separated. I did not find her in the room in question; I saw there only our two femmes de chambre and one of the Queen’s two heyducs, a man of great height and military aspect. I saw that he was pale, and sitting on a bed. I cried out to him, “Fly! the footmen and our people are already safe."–"I cannot," said the man to me; “I am dying of fear.” As he spoke I heard a number of men rushing hastily up the staircase; they threw themselves upon him, and I saw him assassinated.

I ran towards the staircase, followed by our women. The murderers left the heyduc to come to me. The women threw themselves at their feet, and held their sabres. The narrowness of the staircase impeded the assassins; but I had already felt a horrid hand thrust into my back to seize me by my clothes, when some one called out from the bottom of the staircase, “What are you doing above there? We don’t kill women.” I was on my knees; my executioner quitted his hold of me, and said, “Get up, you jade; the nation pardons you.”

The brutality of these words did not prevent my suddenly experiencing an indescribable feeling which partook almost equally of the love of life and the idea that I was going to see my son, and all that was dear to me, again. A moment before I had thought less of death than of the pain which the steel, suspended over my head, would occasion me. Death is seldom seen so close without striking his blow. I heard every syllable uttered by the assassins, just as if I had been calm.

Five or six men seized me and my companions, and, having made us get up on benches placed before the windows, ordered us to call out, “The nation for ever!”

I passed over several corpses; I recognised that of the old Vicomte de Broves, to whom the Queen had sent me at the beginning of the night to desire him and another old man in her name to go home. These brave men desired I would tell her Majesty that they had but too strictly obeyed the King’s orders in all circumstances under which they ought to have exposed their own lives in order to preserve his; and that for this once they would not obey, though they would cherish the recollection of the Queen’s goodness.

Near the grille, on the side next the bridge, the men who conducted me asked whither I wished to go. Upon my inquiring, in my turn, whether they were at liberty to take me wherever I might wish to go, one of them, a Marseillais, asked me, giving me at the same time a push with the butt end of his musket, whether I still doubted the power of the people? I answered “No,” and I mentioned the number of my brother-in-law’s house. I saw my sister ascending the steps of the parapet of the bridge, surrounded by members of the National Guard. I called to her, and she turned round. “Would you have her go with you?” said my guardian to me. I told him I did wish it. They called the people who were leading my sister to prison; she joined me.

Madame de la Roche-Aymon and her daughter, Mademoiselle Pauline de Tourzel, Madame de Ginestoux, lady to the Princesse de Lamballe, the other women of the Queen, and the old Comte d’Affry, were led off together to the Abbaye.

Our progress from the Tuileries to my sister’s house was most distressing. We saw several Swiss pursued and killed, and musket-shots were crossing each other in all directions. We passed under the walls of the Louvre; they were firing from the parapet into the windows of the gallery, to hit the knights of the dagger; for thus did the populace designate those faithful subjects who had assembled at the Tuileries to defend the King.

The brigands broke some vessels of water in the Queen’s first antechamber; the mixture of blood and water stained the skirts of our white gowns. The poissardes screamed after us in the streets that we were attached to the Austrian. Our protectors then showed some consideration for us, and made us go up a gateway to pull off our gowns; but our petticoats being too short, and making us look like persons in disguise, other poissardes began to bawl out that we were young Swiss dressed up like women. We then saw a tribe of female cannibals enter the street, carrying the head of poor Mandat. Our guards made us hastily enter a little public-house, called for wine, and desired us to drink with them. They assured the landlady that we were their sisters, and good patriots. Happily the Marseillais had quitted us to return to the Tuileries. One of the men who remained with us said to me in a low voice: “I am a gauze-worker in the faubourg. I was forced to march; I am not for all this; I have not killed anybody, and have rescued you. You ran a great risk when we met the mad women who are carrying Mandat’s head. These horrible women said yesterday at midnight, upon the site of the Bastille, that they must have their revenge for the 6th of October, at Versailles, and that they had sworn to kill the Queen and all the women attached to her; the danger of the action saved you all.”

As I crossed the Carrousel, I saw my house in flames; but as soon as the first moment of affright was over, I thought no more of my personal misfortunes. My ideas turned solely upon the dreadful situation of the Queen.

On reaching my sister’s we found all our family in despair, believing they should never see us again. I could not remain in her house; some of the mob, collected round the door, exclaimed that Marie Antoinette’s confidante was in the house, and that they must have her head. I disguised myself, and was concealed in the house of M. Morel, secretary for the lotteries. On the morrow I was inquired for there, in the name of the Queen. A deputy, whose sentiments were known to her, took upon himself to find me out.

I borrowed clothes, and went with my sister to the Feuillans–[A former monastery near the Tuileries, so called from the Bernardines, one of the Cistercian orders; later a revolutionary club.]–We got there at the same time with M. Thierry de Ville d’Avray, the King’s first valet de chambre. We were taken into an office, where we wrote down our names and places of abode, and we received tickets for admission into the rooms belonging to Camus, the keeper of the Archives, where the King was with his family.

As we entered the first room, a person who was there said to me, “Ah! you are a brave woman; but where is that Thierry,

     [M. Thierry, who never ceased to give his sovereign proofs of
     unalterable attachment, was one of the victims of the 2d of
     September.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

that man loaded with his master’s bounties?"–"He is here,” said I; “he is following me. I perceive that even scenes of death do not banish jealousy from among you.”

Having belonged to the Court from my earliest youth, I was known to many persons whom I did not know. As I traversed a corridor above the cloisters which led to the cells inhabited by the unfortunate Louis XVI. and his family, several of the grenadiers called me by name. One of them said to me, “Well, the poor King is lost! The Comte d’Artois would have managed it better."–"Not at all,” said another.

The royal family occupied a small suite of apartments consisting of four cells, formerly belonging to the ancient monastery of the Feuillans. In the first were the men who had accompanied the King: the Prince de Poix, the Baron d’Aubier, M. de Saint-Pardou, equerry to Madame Elisabeth, MM. de Goguelat, de Chamilly, and de Hue. In the second we found the King; he was having his hair dressed; he took two locks of it, and gave one to my sister and one to me. We offered to kiss his hand; he opposed it, and embraced us without saying anything. In the third was the Queen, in bed, and in indescribable affliction. We found her accompanied only by a stout woman, who appeared tolerably civil; she was the keeper of the apartments. She waited upon the Queen, who as yet had none of her own people about her. Her Majesty stretched out her arms to us, saying, "Come, unfortunate women; come, and see one still more unhappy than yourselves, since she has been the cause of all your misfortunes. We are ruined,” continued she; “we have arrived at that point to which they have been leading us for three years, through all possible outrages; we shall fall in this dreadful revolution, and many others will perish after us. All have contributed to our downfall; the reformers have urged it like mad people, and others through ambition, for the wildest Jacobin seeks wealth and office, and the mob is eager for plunder. There is not one real patriot among all this infamous horde. The emigrant party have their intrigues and schemes; foreigners seek to profit by the dissensions of France; every one has a share in our misfortunes.”

The Dauphin came in with Madame and the Marquise de Tourzel. On seeing them the Queen said to me, “Poor children! how heartrending it is, instead of handing down to them so fine an inheritance, to say it ends with us!” She afterwards conversed with me about the Tuileries and the persons who had fallen; she condescended also to mention the burning of my house. I looked upon that loss as a mischance which ought not to dwell upon her mind, and I told her so. She spoke of the Princesse de Tarente, whom she greatly loved and valued, of Madame de la Roche-Aymon and her daughter, of the other persons whom she had left at the palace, and of the Duchesse de Luynes, who was to have passed the night at the Tuileries. Respecting her she said, “Hers was one of the first heads turned by the rage for that mischievous philosophy; but her heart brought her back, and I again found a friend in her.”

     [During the Reign of Terror I withdrew to the Chateau de Coubertin,
     near that of Dampierre.  The Duchesse de Luynes frequently came to
     ask me to tell her what the Queen had said about her at the
     Feuillans.  She would say as she went away, “I have often need to
     request you to repeat those words of the Queen."–MADAME CAMPAN.]

I asked the Queen what the ambassadors from foreign powers had done under existing circumstances. She told me that they could do nothing; and that the wife of the English ambassador had just given her a proof of the personal interest she took in her welfare by sending her linen for her son.

I informed her that, in the pillaging of my house, all my accounts with her had been thrown into the Carrousel, and that every sheet of my month’s expenditure was signed by her, sometimes leaving four or five inches of blank paper above her signature, a circumstance which rendered me very uneasy, from an apprehension that an improper use might be made of those signatures. She desired me to demand admission to the committee of general safety, and to make this declaration there. I repaired thither instantly and found a deputy, with whose name I have never become acquainted. After hearing me he said that he would not receive my deposition; that Marie Antoinette was now nothing more than any other Frenchwoman; and that if any of those detached papers bearing her signature should be misapplied, she would have, at a future period, a right to lodge a complaint, and to support her declaration by the facts which I had just related. The Queen then regretted having sent me, and feared that she had, by her very caution, pointed out a method of fabricating forgeries which might be dangerous to her; then again she exclaimed, “My apprehensions are as absurd as the step I made you take. They need nothing more for our ruin; all has been told.”

She gave us details of what had taken place subsequently to the King’s arrival at the Assembly. They are all well known, and I have no occasion to record them; I will merely mention that she told us, though with much delicacy, that she was not a little hurt at the King’s conduct since he had quitted the Tuileries; that his habit of laying no restraint upon his great appetite had prompted him to eat as if he had been at his palace; that those who did not know him as she did, did not feel the piety and the magnanimity of his resignation, all which produced so bad an effect that deputies who were devoted to him had warned him of it; but no change could be effected.

I still see in imagination, and shall always see, that narrow cell at the Feuillans, hung with green paper, that wretched couch whence the dethroned, Queen stretched out her arms to us, saying that our misfortunes, of which she was the cause, increased her own. There, for the last time, I saw the tears, I heard the sobs of her whom high birth, natural endowments, and, above all, goodness of heart, had seemed to destine to adorn any throne, and be the happiness of any people! It is impossible for those who lived with Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette not to be fully convinced, while doing full justice to the King’s virtues, that if the Queen had been from the moment of her arrival in France the object of the care and affection of a prince of decision and authority, she would have only added to the glory of his reign.

What affecting things I have heard the Queen say in the affliction caused her by the belief of part of the Court and the whole of the people that she did not love France! How did that opinion shock those who knew her heart and her sentiments! Twice did I see her on the point of going from her apartments in the Tuileries into the gardens, to address the immense throng constantly assembled there to insult her. “Yes,” exclaimed she, as she paced her chamber with hurried steps, “I will say to them Frenchmen, they have had the cruelty to persuade you that I do not love France!–I! the mother of a Dauphin who will reign over this noble country!–I! whom Providence has seated upon the most powerful throne of Europe! Of all the daughters of Maria Theresa am I not that one whom fortune has most highly favoured? And ought I not to feel all these advantages? What should I find at Vienna? Nothing but sepulchres! What should I lose in France? Everything which can confer glory!”

I protest I only repeat her own words; the soundness of her judgment soon pointed out to her the dangers of such a proceeding. “I should descend from the throne,” said she, “merely, perhaps, to excite a momentary sympathy, which the factious would soon render more injurious than beneficial to me.”

Yes, not only did Marie Antoinette love France, but few women took greater pride in the courage of Frenchmen. I could adduce a multitude of proofs of this; I will relate two traits which demonstrate the noblest enthusiasm: The Queen was telling me that, at the coronation of the Emperor Francis II., that Prince, bespeaking the admiration of a French general officer, who was then an emigrant, for the fine appearance of his troops, said to him, “There are the men to beat your sans culottes!" "That remains to be seen, Sire,” instantly replied the officer. The Queen added, “I don’t know the name of that brave Frenchman, but I will learn it; the King ought to be in possession of it.” As she was reading the public papers a few days before the 10th of August, she observed that mention was made of the courage of a young man who died in defending the flag he carried, and shouting, “Vive la Nation!"–"Ah! the fine lad!" said the Queen; “what a happiness it would have been for us if such men had never left off crying, ’Vive de Roi!’”

In all that I have hitherto said of this most unfortunate of women and of queens, those who did not live with her, those who knew her but partially, and especially the majority of foreigners, prejudiced by infamous libels, may imagine I have thought it my duty to sacrifice truth on the altar of gratitude. Fortunately I can invoke unexceptionable witnesses; they will declare whether what I assert that I have seen and heard appears to them either untrue or improbable.

Book 7. - Chapter IX

The Queen having been robbed of her purse as she was passing from the Tuileries to the Feuillans, requested my sister to lend her twenty-five louis.

     [On being interrogated the Queen declared that these five and twenty
     louis had been lent to her by my sister; this formed a pretence for
     arresting her and me, and led to her death.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

I spent part of the day at the Feuillans, and her Majesty told me she would ask Potion to let me be with her in the place which the Assembly should decree for her prison. I then returned home to prepare everything that might be necessary for me to accompany her.

On the same day (11th August), at nine in the evening, I returned to the Feuillans. I found there were orders at all the gates forbidding my being admitted. I claimed a right to enter by virtue of the first permission which had been given to me; I was again refused. I was told that the Queen had as many people as were requisite about her. My sister was with her, as well as one of my companions, who came out of the prisons of the Abbaye on the 11th. I renewed my solicitations on the 12th; my tears and entreaties moved neither the keepers of the gates, nor even a deputy, to whom I addressed myself.

I soon heard of the removal of Louis XVI. and his family to the Temple. I went to Potion accompanied by M. Valadon, for whom I had procured a place in the post-office, and who was devoted to me. He determined to go up to Potion alone; he told him that those who requested to be confined could not be suspected of evil designs, and that no political opinion could afford a ground of objection to these solicitations. Seeing that the well-meaning man did not succeed, I thought to do more in person; but Petion persisted in his refusal, and threatened to send me to La Force. Thinking to give me a kind of consolation, he added I might be certain that all those who were then with Louis XVI. and his family would not stay with them long. And in fact, two or three days afterwards the Princesse de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel, her daughter, the Queen’s first woman, the first woman of the Dauphin and of Madame, M. de Chamilly, and M. de Hue were carried off during the night and transferred to La Force. After the departure of the King and Queen for the Temple, my sister was detained a prisoner in the apartments their Majesties had quitted for twenty-four hours.

From this time I was reduced to the misery of having no further intelligence of my august and unfortunate mistress but through the medium of the newspapers or the National Guard, who did duty at the Temple.

The King and Queen said nothing to me at the Feuillans about the portfolio which had been deposited with me; no doubt they expected to see me again. The minister Roland and the deputies composing the provisional government were very intent on a search for papers belonging to their Majesties. They had the whole of the Tuileries ransacked. The infamous Robespierre bethought himself of M. Campan, the Queen’s private secretary, and said that his death was feigned; that he was living unknown in some obscure part of France, and was doubtless the depositary of all the important papers. In a great portfolio belonging to the King there had been found a solitary letter from the Comte d’Artois, which, by its date, and the subjects of which it treated, indicated the existence of a continued correspondence. (This letter appeared among the documents used on the trial of Louis XVI.) A former preceptor of my son’s had studied with Robespierre; the latter, meeting him in the street, and knowing the connection which had subsisted between him and the family of M. Campan, required him to say, upon his honour, whether he was certain of the death of the latter. The man replied that M. Campan had died at La Briche in 1791, and that he had seen him interred in the cemetery of Epinay. “well, then,” resumed Robespierre, “bring me the certificate of his burial at twelve to-morrow; it is a document for which I have pressing occasion.” Upon hearing the deputy’s demand I instantly sent for a certificate of M. Campan’s burial, and Robespierre received it at nine o’clock the next morning. But I considered that, in thinking of my father-in-law, they were coming very near me, the real depositary of these important papers. I passed days and nights in considering what I could do for the best under such circumstances.

I was thus situated when the order to inform against those who had been denounced as suspected on the 10th of August led to domiciliary visits. My servants were told that the people of the quarter in which I lived were talking much of the search that would be made in my house, and came to apprise me of it. I heard that fifty armed men would make themselves masters of M. Auguies house, where I then was. I had just received this intelligence when M. Gougenot, the King’s maitre d’hotel and receiver- general of the taxes, a man much attached to his sovereign, came into my room wrapped in a ridingcloak, under which, with great difficulty, he carried the King’s portfolio, which I had entrusted to him. He threw it down at my feet, and said to me, “There is your deposit; I did not receive it from our unfortunate King’s own hands; in delivering it to you I have executed my trust.” After saying this he was about to withdraw. I stopped him, praying him to consult with me what I ought to do in such a trying emergency. He would not listen to my entreaties, or even hear me describe the course I intended to pursue. I told him my abode was about to be surrounded; I imparted to him what the Queen had said to me about the contents of the portfolio. To all this he answered, “There it is; decide for yourself; I will have no hand in it.” Upon that I remained a few seconds thinking, and my conduct was founded upon the following reasons. I spoke aloud, although to myself; I walked about the room with agitated steps; M. Gougenot was thunderstruck. “Yes,” said I, "when we can no longer communicate with our King and receive his orders, however attached we may be to him, we can only serve him according to the best of our own judgment. The Queen said to me, ’This portfolio contains scarcely anything but documents of a most dangerous description in the event of a trial taking place, if it should fall into the hands of revolutionary persons.’ She mentioned, too, a single document which would, under the same circumstances, be useful. It is my duty to interpret her words, and consider them as orders. She meant to say, ’You will save such a paper, you will destroy the rest if they are likely to be taken from you.’ If it were not so, was there any occasion for her to enter into any detail as to what the portfolio contained? The order to keep it was sufficient. Probably it contains, moreover, the letters of that part of the family which has emigrated; there is nothing which may have been foreseen or decided upon that can be useful now; and there can be no political thread which has not been cut by the events of the 10th of August and the imprisonment of the King. My house is about to be surrounded; I cannot conceal anything of such bulk; I might, then, through want of foresight, give up that which would cause the condemnation of the King. Let us open the portfolio, save the document alluded to, and destroy the rest.” I took a knife and cut open one side of the portfolio. I saw a great number of envelopes endorsed by the King’s own hand. M. Gougenot found there the former seals of the King,

     [No doubt it was in order to have the ancient seals ready at a
     moment’s notice, in case of a counter-revolution, that the Queen
     desired me not to quit the Tuileries.  M. Gougenot threw the seals
     into the river, one from above the Pont Neuf, and the other from
     near the Pont Royal.–MADAME CAMPAN.]

such as they were before the Assembly had changed the inscription. At this moment we heard a great noise; he agreed to tie up the portfolio, take it again under his cloak, and go to a safe place to execute what I had taken upon me to determine. He made me swear, by all I held most sacred, that I would affirm, under every possible emergency, that the course I was pursuing had not been dictated to me by anybody; and that, whatever might be the result, I would take all the credit or all the blame upon myself. I lifted up my hand and took the oath he required; he went out. Half an hour afterwards a great number of armed men came to my house; they placed sentinels at all the outlets; they broke open secretaires and closets of which they had not the keys; they ’searched the flower-pots and boxes; they examined the cellars; and the commandant repeatedly said, “Look particularly for papers.” In the afternoon M. Gougenot returned. He had still the seals of France about him, and he brought me a statement of all that he had burnt.

The portfolio contained twenty letters from Monsieur, eighteen or nineteen from the Comte d’Artois, seventeen from Madame Adelaide, eighteen from Madame Victoire, a great many letters from Comte Alexandre de Lameth, and many from M. de Malesherbes, with documents annexed to them. There were also some from M. de Montmorin and other ex-ministers or ambassadors. Each correspondence had its title written in the King’s own hand upon the blank paper which contained it. The most voluminous was that from Mirabeau. It was tied up with a scheme for an escape, which he thought necessary. M. Gougenot, who had skimmed over these letters with more attention than the rest, told me they were of so interesting a nature that the King had no doubt kept them as documents exceedingly valuable for a history of his reign, and that the correspondence with the Princes, which was entirely relative to what was going forward abroad, in concert with the King, would have been fatal to him if it had been seized. After he had finished he placed in my hands the proces-verbal, signed by all the ministers, to which the King attached so much importance, because he had given his opinion against the declaration of war; a copy of the letter written by the King to the Princes, his brothers, inviting them to return to France; an account of the diamonds which the Queen had sent to Brussels (these two documents were in my handwriting); and a receipt for four hundred thousand francs, under the hand of a celebrated banker. This sum was part of the eight hundred thousand francs which the Queen had gradually saved during her reign, out of her pension of three hundred thousand francs per annum, and out of the one hundred thousand francs given by way of present on the birth of the Dauphin.

This receipt, written on a very small piece of paper, was in the cover of an almanac. I agreed with M. Gougenot, who was obliged by his office to reside in Paris, that he should retain the proces-verbal of the Council and the receipt for the four hundred thousand francs, and that we should wait either for orders or for the means of transmitting these documents to the King or Queen; and I set out for Versailles.

The strictness of the precautions taken to guard the illustrious prisoners was daily increased. The idea that I could not inform the King of the course I had adopted of burning his papers, and the fear that I should not be able to transmit to him that which he had pointed out as necessary, tormented me to such a degree that it is wonderful my health endured the strain.

The dreadful trial drew near. Official advocates were granted to the King; the heroic virtue of M. de Malesherbes induced him to brave the most imminent dangers, either to save his master or to perish with him. I hoped also to be able to find some means of informing his Majesty of what I had thought it right to do. I sent a man, on whom I could rely, to Paris, to request M. Gougenot to come to me at Versailles he came immediately. We agreed that he should see M. de Malesherbes without availing himself of any intermediate person for that purpose.

M. Gougenot awaited his return from the Temple at the door of his hotel, and made a sign that he wished to speak to him. A moment afterwards a servant came to introduce him into the magistrates’ room. He imparted to M. de Malesherbes what I had thought it right to do with respect to the King’s papers, and placed in his hands the proces-verbal of the Council, which his Majesty had preserved in order to serve, if occasion required it, for a ground of his defence. However, that paper is not mentioned in either of the speeches of his advocate; probably it was determined not to make use of it.

I stop at that terrible period which is marked by the assassination of a King whose virtues are well known; but I cannot refrain from relating what he deigned to say in my favour to M. de Malesherbes:

“Let Madame Campan know that she did what I should myself have ordered her to do; I thank her for it; she is one of those whom I regret I have it not in my power to recompense for their fidelity to my person, and for their good services.” I did not hear of this until the morning after he had suffered, and I think I should have sunk under my despair if this honourable testimony had not given me some consolation.

Supplement to Chapter IX.

MADAME CAMPAN’S narrative breaking off abruptly at the time of the painful end met with by her sister, we have supplemented it by abridged accounts of the chief incidents in the tragedy which overwhelmed the royal house she so faithfully served, taken from contemporary records and the best historical authorities.

The Royal Family in the Temple.

The Assembly having, at the instance of the Commune of Paris, decreed that the royal family should be immured in the Temple, they were removed thither from the Feuillans on the 13th of August, 1792, in the charge of Potion, Mayor of Paris, and Santerre, the commandant-general. Twelve Commissioners of the general council were to keep constant watch at the Temple, which had been fortified by earthworks and garrisoned by detachments of the National Guard, no person being allowed to enter without permission from the municipality.

The Temple, formerly the headquarters of the Knights Templars in Paris, consisted of two buildings,–the Palace, facing the Rue de Temple, usually occupied by one of the Princes of the blood; and the Tower, standing behind the Palace.

     [Clery gives a more minute description of this singular building:
     “The small tower of the Temple in which the King was then confined
     stood with its back against the great tower, without any interior
     communication, and formed a long square, flanked by two turrets.  In
     one of these turrets there was a narrow staircase that led from the
     first floor to a gallery on the platform; in the other were small
     rooms, answering to each story of the tower.  The body of the
     building was four stories high.  The first consisted of an
     antechamber, a dining-room, and a small room in the turret, where
     there was a library containing from twelve to fifteen hundred
     volumes.  The second story was divided nearly in the same manner.
     The largest room was the Queen’s bedchamber, in which the Dauphin
     also slept; the second, which was separated from the Queen’s by a
     small antechamber almost without light, was occupied by Madame
     Royale and Madame Elisabeth.  The King’s apartments were on the
     third story.  He slept in the great room, and made a study of the
     turret closet.  There was a kitchen separated from the King’s
     chamber by a small dark room, which had been successively occupied
     by M. de Chamilly and M. de Hue.  The fourth story was shut up; and
     on the ground floor there were kitchens of which no use was made."
     –"Journal,” p. 96.]

The Tower was a square building, with a round tower at each corner and a small turret on one side, usually called the Tourelle. In the narrative of the Duchesse d’Angouleme she says that the soldiers who escorted the royal prisoners wished to take the King alone to the Tower, and his family to the Palace of the Temple, but that on the way Manuel received an order to imprison them all in the Tower, where so little provision had been made for their reception that Madame Elisabeth slept in the kitchen. The royal family were accompanied by the Princesse de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel and her daughter Pauline, Mesdames de Navarre, de Saint-Brice, Thibaut, and Bazire, MM. de Hug and de Chamilly, and three men-servants– An order from the Commune soon removed these devoted attendants, and M. de Hue alone was permitted to return. “We all passed the day together," says Madame Royale. “My father taught my brother geography; my mother history, and to learn verses by heart; and my aunt gave him lessons in arithmetic. My father fortunately found a library which amused him, and my mother worked tapestry . . . . We went every day to walk in the garden, for the sake of my brother’s health, though the King was always insulted by the guard. On the Feast of Saint Louis ’Ca Ira’ was sung under the walls of the Temple. Manuel that evening brought my aunt a letter from her aunts at Rome. It was the last the family received from without. My father was no longer called King. He was treated with no kind of respect; the officers always sat in his presence and never took off their hats. They deprived him of his sword and searched his pockets . . . . Petion sent as gaoler the horrible man –[Rocher, a saddler by trade] who had broken open my father’s door on the 20th June, 1792, and who had been near assassinating him. This man never left the Tower, and was indefatigable in endeavouring to torment him. One time he would sing the ’Caramgnole,’ and a thousand other horrors, before us; again, knowing that my mother disliked the smoke of tobacco, he would puff it in her face, as well as in that of my father, as they happened to pass him. He took care always to be in bed before we went to supper, because he knew that we must pass through his room. My father suffered it all with gentleness, forgiving the man from the bottom of his heart. My mother bore it with a dignity that frequently repressed his insolence." The only occasion, Madame Royale adds, on which the Queen showed any impatience at the conduct of the officials, was when a municipal officer woke the Dauphin suddenly in the night to make certain that he was safe, as though the sight of the peacefully sleeping child would not have been in itself the best assurance.

Clery, the valet de chambre of the Dauphin, having with difficulty obtained permission to resume his duties, entered the Temple on the 24th August, and for eight days shared with M. de Hue the personal attendance; but on the 2d September De Hue was arrested, seals were placed on the little room he had occupied, and Clery passed the night in that of the King. On the following morning Manuel arrived, charged by the Commune to inform the King that De Hue would not be permitted to return, and to offer to send another person. “I thank you,” answered the King. “I will manage with the valet de chambre of my son; and if the Council refuse I will serve myself. I am determined to do it.” On the 3d September Manual visited the Temple and assured the King that Madame de Lamballe and all the other prisoners who had been removed to La Force were well, and safely guarded. “But at three o’clock,” says Madame Royale, “just after dinner, and as the King was sitting down to ’tric trac’ with my mother (which he played for the purpose of having an opportunity of saying a few words to her unheard by the keepers), the most horrid shouts were heard. The officer who happened to be on guard in the room behaved well. He shut the door and the window, and even drew the curtains to prevent their seeing anything; but outside the workmen and the gaoler Rocher joined the assassins and increased the tumult. Several officers of the guard and the municipality now arrived, and on my father’s asking what was the matter, a young officer replied, ’Well, since you will know, it is the head of Madame de Lamballe that they want to show you.’ At these words my mother was overcome with horror; it was the only occasion on which her firmness abandoned her. The municipal officers were very angry with the young man; but the King, with his usual goodness, excused him, saying that it was his own fault, since he had questioned the officer. The noise lasted till five o’clock. We learned that the people had wished to force the door, and that the municipal officers had been enabled to prevent it only by putting a tricoloured scarf across it, and allowing six of the murderers to march round our prison with the head of the Princess, leaving at the door her body, which they would have dragged in also.”

Clery was not so fortunate as to escape the frightful spectacle. He had gone down to dine with Tison and his wife, employed as servants in the Temple, and says: “We were hardly seated when a head, on the end of a pike, was presented at the window. Tison’s wife gave a great cry; the assassins fancied they recognised the Queen’s voice, and responded by savage laughter. Under the idea that his Majesty was still at table, they placed their dreadful trophy where it must be seen. It was the head of the Princesse de Lamballe; although bleeding, it was not disfigured, and her light hair, still in curls, hung about the pike.”

At length the immense mob that surrounded the Temple gradually withdrew, "to follow the head of the Princess de Lamballe to the Palais Royal.”

     [The pike that bore the head was fixed before the Duc d’Orleans’s
     window as he was going to dinner.  It is said that he looked at this
     horrid sight without horror, went into the dining-room, sat down to
     table, and helped his guests without saying a word.  His silence and
     coolness left it doubtful whether the assassins, in presenting him
     this bloody trophy, intended to offer him an insult or to pay him
     homage.–DE MOLLEVILLE’S “Annals of the French Revolution,” vol.
     vii., p.  398.]

Meanwhile the royal family could scarcely believe that for the time their lives were saved. “My aunt and I heard the drums beating to arms all night,” says Madame Royale; “my unhappy mother did not even attempt to sleep. We heard her sobs.”

In the comparative tranquillity which followed the September massacres, the royal family resumed the regular habits they had adopted on entering the Temple. “The King usually rose at six in the morning,” says Clery. "He shaved himself, and I dressed his hair; he then went to his reading- room, which, being very small, the municipal officer on duty remained in the bedchamber with the door open, that he might always keep the King in sight. His Majesty continued praying on his knees for some time, and then read till nine. During that interval, after putting his chamber to rights and preparing the breakfast, I went down to the Queen, who never opened her door till I arrived, in order to prevent the municipal officer from going into her apartment. At nine o’clock the Queen, the children, and Madame Elisabeth went up to the King’s chamber to breakfast. At ten the King and his family went down to the Queen’s chamber, and there passed the day. He employed himself in educating his son, made him recite passages from Corneille and Racine, gave him lessons in geography, and exercised him in colouring the maps. The Queen, on her part, was employed in the education of her daughter, and these different lessons lasted till eleven o’clock. The remaining time till noon was passed in needlework, knitting, or making tapestry. At one o’clock, when the weather was fine, the royal family were conducted to the garden by four municipal officers and the commander of a legion of the National Guard. As there were a number of workmen in the Temple employed in pulling down houses and building new walls, they only allowed a part of the chestnut- tree walk for the promenade, in which I was allowed to share, and where I also played with the young Prince at ball, quoits, or races. At two we returned to the Tower, where I served the dinner, at which time Santerre regularly came to the Temple, attended by two aides-de-camp. The King sometimes spoke to him,–the Queen never.

“After the meal the royal family came down into the Queen’s room, and their Majesties generally played a game of piquet or tric-trac. At four o’clock the King took a little repose, the Princesses round him, each with a book . . . . When the King woke the conversation was resumed, and I gave writing lessons to his son, taking the copies, according to his instructions, from the works of, Montesquieu and other celebrated authors. After the lesson I took the young Prince into Madame Elisabeth’s room, where we played at ball, and battledore and shuttlecock. In the evening the family sat round a table, while the Queen read to them from books of history, or other works proper to instruct and amuse the children. Madame Elisabeth took the book in her turn, and in this manner they read till eight o’clock. After that I served the supper of the young Prince, in which the royal family shared, and the King amused the children with charades out of a collection of French papers which he found in the library. After the Dauphin had supped, I undressed him, and the Queen heard him say his prayers. At nine the King went to supper, and afterwards went for a moment to the Queen’s chamber, shook hands with her and his sister for the night, kissed his children, and then retired to the turret-room, where he sat reading till midnight. The Queen and the Princesses locked themselves in, and one of the municipal officers remained in the little room which parted their chamber, where he passed the night; the other followed his Majesty. In this manner was the time passed as long as the King remained in the small tower.”

But even these harmless pursuits were too often made the means of further insulting and thwarting the unfortunate family. Commissary Le Clerc interrupted the Prince’s writing lessons, proposing to substitute Republican works for those from which the King selected his copies. A smith, who was present when the Queen was reading the history of France to her children, denounced her to the Commune for choosing the period when the Connstable de Bourbon took arms against France, and said she wished to inspire her son with unpatriotic feelings; a municipal officer asserted that the multiplication table the Prince was studying would afford a means of “speaking in cipher,” so arithmetic had to be abandoned. Much the same occurred even with the needlework, the Queen and Princess finished some chairbacks, which they wished to send to the Duchesse de Tarente; but the officials considered that the patterns were hieroglyphics, intended for carrying on a correspondence, and ordered that none of the Princesses work should leave the Temple. The short daily walk in the garden was also embittered by the rude behaviour of the military and municipal gaolers; sometimes, however, it afforded an opportunity for marks of sympathy to be shown. People would station themselves at the windows of houses overlooking the Temple gardens, and evince by gestures their loyal affection, and some of the sentinels showed, even by tears, that their duty was painful to them.

On the 21st September the National Convention was constituted, Petion being made president and Collot d’Herbois moving the “abolition of royalty” amidst transports of applause. That afternoon a municipal officer attended by gendarmes a cheval, and followed by a crowd of people, arrived at the Temple, and, after a flourish of trumpets, proclaimed the establishment of the French Republic. The man, says Clery, “had the voice of a Stentor.” The royal family could distinctly hear the announcement of the King’s deposition. “Hebert, so well known under the title of Pere Duchesne, and Destournelles were on guard. They were sitting near the door, and turned to the King with meaning smiles. He had a book in his hand, and went on reading without changing countenance. The Queen showed the same firmness. The proclamation finished, the trumpets sounded afresh. I went to the window; the people took me for Louis XVI. and I was overwhelmed with insults.”

After the new decree the prisoners were treated with increased harshness. Pens, paper, ink, and pencils were taken from them. The King and Madame Elisabeth gave up all, but the Queen and her daughter each concealed a pencil. “In the beginning of October,” says Madame Royale, “after my father had supped, he was told to stop, that he was not to return to his former apartments, and that he was to be separated from his family. At this dreadful sentence the Queen lost her usual courage. We parted from him with abundance of tears, though we expected to see him again in the morning.

     [At nine o’clock, says Clery, the King asked to be taken to his
     family, but the municipal officers replied that they had “no orders
     for that.”  Shortly afterwards a boy brought the King some bread and
     a decanter of lemonade for his breakfast.  The King gave half the
     bread to Clery, saying, “It seems they have forgotten your
     breakfast; take this, the rest is enough for me.”  Clery refused,
     but the King insisted.  “I could not contain my tears,” he adds;
     “the King perceived them, and his own fell also."]

They brought in our breakfast separately from his, however. My mother would take nothing. The officers, alarmed at her silent and concentrated sorrow, allowed us to see the King, but at meal-times only, and on condition that we should not speak low, nor in any foreign language, but loud and in ’good French.’ We went down, therefore, with the greatest joy to dine with my father. In the evening, when my brother was in bed, my mother and my aunt alternately sat with him or went with me to sup with my father. In the morning, after breakfast, we remained in the King’s apartments while Clery dressed our hair, as he was no longer allowed to come to my mother’s room, and this arrangement gave us the pleasure of spending a few moments more with my father.”

     [When the first deputation from the Council of the Commune visited
     the Temple, and formally inquired whether the King had any complaint
     to make, he replied, “No; while he was permitted to remain with his
     family he was happy."]

The royal prisoners had no comfort except their affection for each other. At that time even common necessaries were denied them. Their small stock of linen had been lent them; by persons of the Court during the time they spent at the Feuillans. The Princesses mended their clothes every day, and after the King had gone to bed Madame Elisabeth mended his. “With much trouble,” says Clrry, “I procured some fresh linen for them. But the workwomen having marked it with crowned letters, the Princesses were ordered to pick them out.” The room in the great tower to which the King had been removed contained only one bed, and no other article of furniture. A chair was brought on which Clery spent the first night; painters were still at work on the room, and the smell of the paint, he says, was almost unbearable. This room was afterwards furnished by collecting from various parts of the Temple a chest of drawers, a small bureau, a few odd chairs, a chimney-glass, and a bed hung with green damask, which had been used by the captain of the guard to the Comte d’Artois. A room for the Queen was being prepared over that of the King, and she implored the workmen to finish it quickly, but it was not ready for her occupation for some time, and when she was allowed to remove to it the Dauphin was taken from her and placed with his father. When their Majesties met again in the great Tower, says Clery, there was little change in the hours fixed for meals, reading, walking and the education of their children. They were not allowed to have mass said in the Temple, and therefore commissioned Clery to get them the breviary in use in the diocese of Paris. Among the books read by the King while in the Tower were Hume’s “History of England” (in the original), Tasso, and the "De Imitatione Christi.” The jealous suspicions of the municipal officers led to the most absurd investigations; a draught-board was taken to pieces lest the squares should hide treasonable papers; macaroons were broken in half to see that they did not contain letters; peaches were cut open and the stones cracked; and Clery was compelled to drink the essence of soap prepared for shaving the King, under the pretence that it might contain poison.

In November the King and all the family had feverish colds, and Clery had an attack of rheumatic fever. On the first day of his illness he got up and tried to dress his master, but the King, seeing how ill he was, ordered him to lie down, and himself dressed the Dauphin. The little Prince waited on Clery all day, and in the evening the King contrived to approach his bed, and said, in a low voice, “I should like to take care of you myself, but you know how we are watched. Take courage; tomorrow you shall see my doctor.” Madame Elisabeth brought the valet cooling draughts, of which she deprived herself; and after Clery was able to get up, the young Prince one night with great difficulty kept awake till eleven o’clock in order to give him a box of lozenges when he went to make the King’s bed.

On 7th December a deputation from the Commune brought an order that the royal family should be deprived of “knives, razors, scissors, penknives, and all other cutting instruments.” The King gave up a knife, and took from a morocco case a pair of scissors and a penknife; and the officials then searched the room, taking away the little toilet implements of gold and silver, and afterwards removing the Princesses’ working materials. Returning to the King’s room, they insisted upon seeing what remained in his pocket-case. “Are these toys which I have in my hand also cutting instruments?” asked the King, showing them a cork-screw, a turn-screw, and a steel for lighting. These also were taken from him. Shortly afterwards Madame Elisabeth was mending the King’s coat, and, having no scissors, was compelled to break the thread with her teeth.

“What a contrast!” he exclaimed, looking at her tenderly. “You wanted nothing in your pretty house at Montreuil.”

“Ah, brother,” she answered, “how can I have any regret when I partake your misfortunes?”

The Queen had frequently to take on herself some of the humble duties of a servant. This was especially painful to Louis XVI. when the anniversary of some State festival brought the contrast between past and present with unusual keenness before him.

“Ah, Madame,” he once exclaimed, “what an employment for a Queen of France! Could they see that at Vienna! Who would have foreseen that, in uniting your lot to mine, you would have descended so low?”

“And do you esteem as nothing,” she replied, “the glory of being the wife of one of the best and most persecuted of men? Are not such misfortunes the noblest honours?"–[Alison’s “History of Europe,” vol. ii., p. 299.]

Meanwhile the Assembly had decided that the King should be brought to trial. Nearly all parties, except the Girondists, no matter how bitterly opposed to each other, could agree in making him the scapegoat; and the first rumour of the approaching ordeal was conveyed to the Temple by Clery’s wife, who, with a friend, had permission occasionally to visit him. “I did not know how to announce this terrible news to the King,” he says; “but time was pressing, and be had forbidden my concealing anything from him. In the evening, while undressing him, I gave him an account of all I had learnt, and added that there were only four days to concert some plan of corresponding with the Queen. The arrival of the municipal officer would not allow me to say more. Next morning, when the King rose, I could not get a moment for speaking with him. He went up with his son to breakfast with the Princesses, and I followed. After breakfast he talked long with the Queen, who, by a look full of trouble, made me understand that they were discussing what I had told the King. During the day I found an opportunity of describing to Madame Elisabeth how much it had cost me to augment the King’s distresses by informing him of his approaching trial. She reassured me, saying that the King felt this as a mark of attachment on my part, and added, ’That which most troubles him is the fear of being separated from us.’ In the evening the King told me how satisfied he was at having had warning that he was to appear before the Convention. ’Continue,’ he said, ’to endeavour to find out something as to what they want to do with me. Never fear distressing me. I have agreed with my family not to seem pre-informed, in order not to compromise you.’”

On the 11th December, at five o’clock in the morning, the prisoners heard the generale beaten throughout Paris, and cavalry and cannon entered the Temple gardens. At nine the King and the Dauphin went as usual to breakfast with the Queen. They were allowed to remain together for an hour, but constantly under the eyes of their republican guardians. At last they were obliged to part, doubtful whether they would ever see each other again. The little Prince, who remained with his father, and was ignorant of the new cause for anxiety, begged hard that the King would play at ninepins with him as usual. Twice the Dauphin could not get beyond a certain number. “Each time that I get up to sixteen,” he said, with some vexation, “I lose the game.” The King did not reply, but Clery fancied the words made a painful impression on him.

At eleven, while the King was giving the Dauphin a reading lesson, two municipal officers entered and said they had come “to take young Louis to his mother.” The King inquired why, but was only told that such were the orders of the Council. At one o’clock the Mayor of Paris, Chambon, accompanied by Chaumette, Procureur de la Commune, Santerre, commandant of the National Guard, and others, arrived at the Temple and read a decree to the King, which ordered that “Louis Capet” should be brought before the Convention. “Capet is not my name,” he replied, “but that of one of my ancestors. I could have wished,” he added, “that you had left my son with me during the last two hours. But this treatment is consistent with all I have experienced here. I follow you, not because I recognise the authority of the Convention, but because I can be compelled to obey it.” He then followed the Mayor to a carriage which waited, with a numerous escort, at the gate of the Temple. The family left behind were overwhelmed with grief and apprehension. “It is impossible to describe the anxiety we suffered,” says Madame Royale. “My mother used every endeavour with the officer who guarded her to discover what was passing; it was the first time she had condescended to question any of these men. He would tell her nothing.”

Trial of the King.–Parting of the Royal Family.–Execution.

The crowd was immense as, on the morning of the 11th December, 1792, Louis XVI. was driven slowly from the Temple to the Convention, escorted by cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Paris looked like an armed camp: all the posts were doubled; the muster-roll of the National Guard was called over every hour; a picket of two hundred men watched in the court of each of the right sections; a reserve with cannon was stationed at the Tuileries, and strong detachments patroled the streets and cleared the road of all loiterers. The trees that lined the boulevards, the doors and windows of the houses, were alive with gazers, and all eyes were fixed on the King. He was much changed since his people last beheld him. The beard he had been compelled to grow after his razors were taken from him covered cheeks, lips, and chin with light-coloured hair, which concealed the melancholy expression of his mouth; he had become thin, and his garments hung loosely on him; but his manner was perfectly collected and calm, and he recognised and named to the Mayor the various quarters through which he passed. On arriving at the Feuillans he was taken to a room to await the orders of the Assembly.

It was about half-past two when the King appeared at the bar. The Mayor and Generaux Santerre and Wittengoff were at his side. Profound silence pervaded the Assembly. All were touched by the King’s dignity and the composure of his looks under so great a reverse of fortune. By nature he had been formed rather to endure calamity with patience than to contend against it with energy. The approach of death could not disturb his serenity.

“Louis, you may be seated,” said Barere. “Answer the questions that shall be put to you.” The King seated himself and listened to the reading of the ’acte enonciatif’, article by article. All the faults of the Court were there enumerated and imputed to Louis XVI. personally. He was charged with the interruption of the sittings of the 20th of June, 1789, with the Bed of Justice held on the 23d of the same month, the aristocratic conspiracy thwarted by the insurrection of the 14th of July, the entertainment of the Life Guards, the insults offered to the national cockade, the refusal to sanction the Declaration of Rights, as well as several constitutional articles; lastly, all the facts which indicated a new conspiracy in October, and which were followed by the scenes of the 5th and 6th; the speeches of reconciliation which had succeeded all these scenes, and which promised a change that was not sincere; the false oath taken at the Federation of the 14th of July; the secret practices of Talon and Mirabeau to effect a counter-revolution; the money spent in bribing a great number of deputies; the assemblage of the “knights of the dagger” on the 28th of February, 1791; the flight to Varennes; the fusilade of the Champ de Mars; the silence observed respecting the Treaty of Pilnitz; the delay in the promulgation of the decree which incorporated Avignon with France; the commotions at Nimes, Montauban, Mende, and Jales; the continuance of their pay to the emigrant Life Guards and to the disbanded Constitutional Guard; the insufficiency of the armies assembled on the frontiers; the refusal to sanction the decree for the camp of twenty thousand men; the disarming of the fortresses; the organisation of secret societies in the interior of Paris; the review of the Swiss and the garrison of the palace on the 10th August; the summoning the Mayor to the Tuileries; and lastly, the effusion of blood which had resulted from these military dispositions. After each article the President paused, and said, “What have you to answer?” The King, in a firm voice, denied some of the facts, imputed others to his ministers, and always appealed to the constitution, from which he declared he had never deviated. His answers were very temperate, but on the charge, “You spilt the blood of the people on the 10th of August,” he exclaimed, with emphasis, “No, monsieur, no; it was not I.”

All the papers on which the act of accusation was founded were then shown to the King, and he disavowed some of them and disputed the existence of the iron chest; this produced a bad impression, and was worse than useless, as the fact had been proved.

     [A secret closet which the King had directed to be constructed in a
     wall in the Tuileries.  The door was of iron, whence it was
     afterwards known by the name of the iron chest.  See Thiers, and

Throughout the examination the King showed great presence of mind. He was careful in his answers never to implicate any members of the constituent, and legislative Assemblies; many who then sat as his judges trembled lest he should betray them. The Jacobins beheld with dismay the profound impression made on the Convention by the firm but mild demeanour of the sovereign. The most violent of the party proposed that he should be hanged that very night; a laugh as of demons followed the proposal from the benches of the Mountain, but the majority, composed of the Girondists and the neutrals, decided that he should be formally tried.

After the examination Santerre took the King by the arm and led him back to the waiting-room of the Convention, accompanied by Chambon and Chaumette. Mental agitation and the length of the proceedings had exhausted him, and he staggered from weakness. Chaumette inquired if he wished for refreshment, but the King refused it. A moment after, seeing a grenadier of the escort offer the Procureur de la Commune half a small loaf, Louis XVI. approached and asked him, in a whisper, for a piece.

“Ask aloud for what you want,” said Chaumette, retreating as though he feared being suspected of pity.

“I asked for a piece of your bread,” replied the King.

“Divide it with me,” said Chaumette. “It is a Spartan breakfast. If I had a root I would give you half."–[Lamartine’s “History of the Girondists,” edit. 1870, vol. ii., p. 313.]

Soon after six in the evening the King returned to the Temple. “He seemed tired,” says Clery, simply, “and his first wish was to be led to his family. The officers refused, on the plea that they had no orders. He insisted that at least they should be informed of his return, and this was promised him. The King ordered me to ask for his supper at half-past eight. The intervening hours he employed in his usual reading, surrounded by four municipals. When I announced that supper was served, the King asked the commissaries if his family could not come down. They made no reply. ’But at least,’ the King said, ’my son will pass the night in my room, his bed being here?’ The same silence. After supper the King again urged his wish to see his family. They answered that they must await the decision of the Convention. While I was undressing him the King said, ’I was far from expecting all the questions they put to me.’ He lay down with perfect calmness. The order for my removal during the night was not executed.” On the King’s return to the Temple being known, “my mother asked to see him instantly,” writes Madame Royale. "She made the same request even to Chambon, but received no answer. My brother passed the night with her; and as he had no bed, she gave him hers, and sat up all the night in such deep affliction that we were afraid to leave her; but she compelled my aunt and me to go to bed. Next day she again asked to see my father, and to read the newspapers, that she might learn the course of the trial. She entreated that if she was to be denied this indulgence, his children, at least, might see him. Her requests were referred to the Commune. The newspapers were refused; but my brother and I were to be allowed to see my father on condition of being entirely separated from my mother. My father replied that, great as his happiness was in seeing his children, the important business which then occupied him would not allow of his attending altogether to his son, and that his daughter could not leave her mother.”

     [During their last interview Madame Elisabeth had given Clery one of
     her handkerchiefs, saying, “You shall keep it so long as my brother
     continues well; if he becomes ill, send it to me among my nephew’s

The Assembly having, after a violent debate, resolved that Louis XVI. should have the aid of counsel, a deputation was sent to the Temple to ask whom he would choose. The King named Messieurs Target and Tronchet. The former refused his services on the ground that he had discontinued practice since 1785; the latter complied at once with the King’s request; and while the Assembly was considering whom to, nominate in Target’s place, the President received a letter from the venerable Malesherbes,

     [Christian Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, an eminent French
     statesman, son of the Chancellor of France, was born at Paris in
     1721.  In 1750 he succeeded his father as President of the Court of
     Aids, and was also made superintendent of the press.  On the
     banishment of the Parliaments and the suppression of the Court of
     Aids, Malesherbes was exiled to his country-seat.  In 1775 he was
     appointed Minister of State.  On the decree of the Convention for
     the King’s trial, he emerged from his retreat to become the
     voluntary advocate of his sovereign.  Malesherbes was guillotined in
     1794, and almost his whole family were extirpated by their merciless

then seventy years old, and “the most respected magistrate in France,” in the course of which he said: “I have been twice called to be counsel for him who was my master, in times when that duty was coveted by every one. I owe him the same service now that it is a duty which many people deem dangerous. If I knew any possible means of acquainting him with my desires, I should not take the liberty of addressing myself to you." Other citizens made similar proposals, but the King, being made acquainted with them by a deputation from the Commune, while expressing his gratitude for all the offers, accepted only that of Malesherbes.

     [The Citoyenne Olympia Degonges, calling herself a free and loyal
     Republican without spot or blame, and declaring that the cold and
     selfish cruelty of Target had inflamed her heroism and roused her
     sensibility, asked permission to assist M, de Malesherbes in
     defending the King.  The Assembly passed to the order of the day on
     this request.–BERTRAND DE MOLLEVILLE, “Annals,” edit.  1802, vol,
     viii., p. 254.]

On 14th December M. Tronchet was allowed to confer with the King, and later in the same day M. de Malesherbes was admitted to the Tower. “The King ran up to this worthy old man, whom he clasped in his arms,” said Clery, “and the former minister melted into tears at the sight of his master.”

     [According to M. de Hue, “The first time M. de Malesherbes entered
     the Temple, the King clasped him in his arms and said, ’Ah, is it
     you, my friend?  You fear not to endanger your own life to save
     mine; but all will be useless.  They will bring me to the scaffold.
     No matter; I shall gain my cause if I leave an unspotted memory
     behind me.’"]

Another deputation brought the King the Act of Accusation and the documents relating to it, numbering more than a hundred, and taking from four o’clock till midnight to read. During this long process the King had refreshments served to the deputies, taking nothing himself till they had left, but considerately reproving Clery for not having supped. From the 14th to the 26th December the King saw his counsel and their colleague M. de Size every day. At this time a means of communication between the royal family and the King was devised: a man named Turgi, who had been in the royal kitchen, and who contrived to obtain employment in the Temple, when conveying the meals of the royal family to their apartments, or articles he had purchased for them, managed to give Madame Elisabeth news of the King. Next day, the Princess, when Turgi was removing the dinner, slipped into his hand a bit of paper on which she had pricked with a pin a request for a word from her brother’s own hand. Turgi gave this paper to Clery, who conveyed it to the King the same evening; and he, being allowed writing materials while preparing his defence, wrote Madame Elisabeth a short note. An answer was conveyed in a ball of cotton, which Turgi threw under Clery’s bed while passing the door of his room. Letters were also passed between the Princess’s room and that of Clery, who lodged beneath her, by means of a string let down and drawn up at night. This communication with his family was a great comfort to the King, who, nevertheless, constantly cautioned his faithful servant. “Take care,” he would say kindly, “you expose yourself too much.”

     [The King’s natural benevolence was constantly shown while in the
     Temple.  His own dreadful position never prevented him from sympathy
     with the smaller troubles of others.  A servant in the Temple named
     Marchand, the father of a family, was robbed of two hundred francs,
     –his wages for two months.  The King observed his distress, asked
     its cause, and gave Clery the amount to be handed to Marchand, with
     a caution not to speak of it to any one, and, above all, not to
     thank the King, lest it should injure him with his employers.]

During his separation from his family the King refused to go into the garden. When it was proposed to him he said, “I cannot make up my mind to go out alone; the walk was agreeable to me only when I shared it with my family.” But he did not allow himself to dwell on painful reflections. He talked freely to the municipals on guard, and surprised them by his varied and practical knowledge of their trades, and his interest in their domestic affairs. On the 19th December the King’s breakfast was served as usual; but, being a fast-day, he refused to take anything. At dinner-time the King said to Clery, “Fourteen years ago you were up earlier than you were to-day; it is the day my daughter was born- -today, her birthday,” he repeated, with tears, “and to be prevented from seeing her!” Madame Royale had wished for a calendar; the King ordered Clery to buy her the “Almanac of the Republic,” which had replaced the "Court Almanac,” and ran through it, marking with a pencil many names.

“On Christmas Day,” Says Clery, “the King wrote his will.”

     [Madame Royale says: “On the 26th December, St. Stephen’s Day, my
     father made his will, because he expected to be assassinated that
     day on his way to the bar of the Convention.  He went thither,
     nevertheless, with his usual calmness."–"Royal Memoirs,” p. 196.]

On the 26th December, 1792, the King appeared a second time before the Convention. M. de Seze, labouring night and day, had completed his defence. The King insisted on excluding from it all that was too rhetorical, and confining it to the mere discussion of essential points.

     [When the pathetic peroration of M, de Seze was read to the King,
     the evening before it was delivered to the Assembly, “I have to
     request of you,” he said, “to make a painful sacrifice; strike out
     of your pleading the peroration.  It is enough for me to appear
     before such judges, and show my entire innocence; I will not move
     their feelings.–"LACRETELLE.]

At half-past nine in the morning the whole armed force was in motion to conduct him from the Temple to the Feuillans, with the same precautions and in the same order as had been observed on the former occasion. Riding in the carriage of the Mayor, he conversed, on the way, with the same composure as usual, and talked of Seneca, of Livy, of the hospitals. Arrived at the Feuillans, he showed great anxiety for his defenders; he seated himself beside them in the Assembly, surveyed with great composure the benches where his accusers and his judges sat, seemed to examine their faces with the view of discovering the impression produced by the pleading of M. de Seze, and more than once conversed smilingly with Tronchet and Malesherbes. The Assembly received his defence in sullen silence, but without any tokens of disapprobation.

Being afterwards conducted to an adjoining room with his counsel, the King showed great anxiety about M. de Seze, who seemed fatigued by the long defence. While riding back to the Temple he conversed with his companions with the same serenity as he had shown on leaving it.

No sooner had the King left the hall of the Convention than a violent tumult arose there. Some were for opening the discussion. Others, complaining of the delays which postponed the decision of this process, demanded the vote immediately, remarking that in every court, after the accused had been heard, the judges proceed to give their opinion. Lanjuinais had from the commencement of the proceedings felt an indignation which his impetuous disposition no longer suffered him to repress. He darted to the tribune, and, amidst the cries excited by his presence, demanded the annulling of the proceedings altogether. He exclaimed that the days of ferocious men were gone by, that the Assembly ought not to be so dishonoured as to be made to sit in judgment on Louis XVI., that no authority in France had that right, and the Assembly in particular had no claim to it; that if it resolved to act as a political body, it could do no more than take measures of safety against the ci-devant King; but that if it was acting as a court of justice it was overstepping all principles, for it was subjecting the vanquished to be tried by the conquerors, since most of the present members had declared themselves the conspirators of the 10th of August. At the word “conspirators” a tremendous uproar arose on all aides. Cries of “Order!"–"To the Abbaye!"–"Down with the Tribune!” were heard. Lanjuinais strove in vain to justify the word “conspirators,” saying that he meant it to be taken in a favourable sense, and that the 10th of August was a glorious conspiracy. He concluded by declaring that he would rather die a thousand deaths than condemn, contrary to all laws, even the most execrable of tyrants.

A great number of speakers followed, and the confusion continually increased. The members, determined not to hear any more, mingled together, formed groups, abused and threatened one another. After a tempest of an hour’s duration, tranquillity was at last restored; and the Assembly, adopting the opinion of those who demanded the discussion on the trial of Louis XVI., declared that it was opened, and that it should be continued, to the exclusion of all other business, till sentence should be passed.

The discussion was accordingly resumed on the 27th, and there was a constant succession of speakers from the 28th to the 31st. Vergniaud at length ascended the tribune for the first time, and an extraordinary eagerness was manifested to hear the Girondists express their sentiments by the lips of their greatest orator.

The speech of Vergniaud produced a deep impression on all his hearers. Robespierre was thunderstruck by his earnest and, persuasive eloquence. Vergniaud, however, had but shaken, not convinced, the Assembly, which wavered between the two parties. Several members were successively heard, for and against the appeal to the people. Brissot, Gensonne, Petion, supported it in their turn. One speaker at length had a decisive influence on the question. Barere, by his suppleness, and his cold and evasive eloquence, was the model and oracle of the centre. He spoke at great length on the trial, reviewed it in all its bearings–of facts, of laws, and of policy–and furnished all those weak minds, who only wanted specious reasons for yielding, with motives for the condemnation of the King. From that moment the unfortunate King was condemned. The discussion lasted till the 7th, and nobody would listen any longer to the continual repetition of the same facts and arguments. It was therefore declared to be closed without opposition, but the proposal of a fresh adjournment excited a commotion among the most violent, and ended in a decree which fixed the 14th of January for putting the questions to the vote.

Meantime the King did not allow the torturing suspense to disturb his outward composure, or lessen his kindness to those around him. On the morning after his second appearance at the bar of the Convention, the commissary Vincent, who had undertaken secretly to convey to the Queen a copy of the King’s printed defence, asked for something which had belonged to him, to treasure as a relic; the King took off his neck handkerchief and gave it him; his gloves he bestowed on another municipal, who had made the same request. “On January 1st,” says Clery, "I approached the King’s bed and asked permission to offer him my warmest prayers for the end of his misfortunes. ’I accept your good wishes with affection,’ he replied, extending his hand to me. As soon as he had risen, he requested a municipal to go and inquire for his family, and present them his good wishes for the new year. The officers were moved by the tone in which these words, so heartrending considering the position of the King, were pronounced . . . . The correspondence between their Majesties went on constantly. The King being informed that Madame Royale was ill, was very uneasy for some days. The Queen, after begging earnestly, obtained permission for M. Brunnier, the medical attendant of the royal children, to come to the Temple. This seemed to quiet him.”

The nearer the moment which was to decide the King’s fate approached, the greater became the agitation in, Paris. “A report was circulated that the atrocities of September were to be repeated there, and the prisoners and their relatives beset the deputies with supplications that they would snatch them from destruction. The Jacobins, on their part, alleged that conspiracies were hatching in all quarters to save Louis XVI. from punishment, and to restore royalty. Their anger, excited by delays and obstacles, assumed a more threatening aspect; and the two parties thus alarmed one another by supposing that each harboured sinister designs.”

On the 14th of January the Convention called for the order of the day, being the final judgment of Louis XVI.

“The sitting of the Convention which concluded the trial,” says Hazlitt, "lasted seventy-two hours. It might naturally be supposed that silence, restraint, a sort of religious awe, would have pervaded the scene. On the contrary, everything bore the marks of gaiety, dissipation, and the most grotesque confusion. The farther end of the hall was converted into boxes, where ladies, in a studied deshabille, swallowed ices, oranges, liqueurs, and received the salutations of the members who went and came, as on ordinary occasions. Here the doorkeepers on the Mountain side opened and shut the boxes reserved for the mistresses of the Duc d’Orleans; and there, though every sound of approbation or disapprobation was strictly forbidden, you heard the long and indignant ’Ha, ha’s!’ of the mother-duchess, the patroness of the bands of female Jacobins, whenever her ears were not loudly greeted with the welcome sounds of death. The upper gallery, reserved for the people, was during the whole trial constantly full of strangers of every description, drinking wine as in a tavern.

“Bets were made as to the issue of the trial in all the neighbouring coffee-houses. Ennui, impatience, disgust sat on almost every countenance. The figures passing and repassing, rendered more ghastly by the pallid lights, and who in a slow, sepulchral voice pronounced only the word–Death; others calculating if they should have time to go to dinner before they gave their verdict; women pricking cards with pins in order to count the votes; some of the deputies fallen asleep, and only waking up to give their sentence,–all this had the appearance rather of a hideous dream than of a reality.”

The Duc d’Orleans, when called on to give his vote for the death of his King and relation, walked with a faltering step, and a face paler than death itself, to the appointed place, and there read these words: "Exclusively governed by my duty, and convinced that all those who have resisted the sovereignty of the people deserve death, my vote is for death!” Important as the accession of the first Prince of the blood was to the Terrorist faction, his conduct in this instance was too obviously selfish and atrocious not to excite a general feeling of indignation; the agitation of the Assembly became extreme; it seemed as if by this single vote the fate of the monarch was irrevocably sealed.

The President having examined the register, the result of the scrutiny was proclaimed as follows

     Against an appeal to the people........... 480
     For an appeal to the people............... 283

Majority for final judgment............... 197

The President having announced that he was about to declare the result of the scrutiny, a profound silence ensued, and he then gave in the following declaration: that, out of 719 votes, 366 were for DEATH, 319 were for imprisonment during the war, two for perpetual imprisonment, eight for a suspension of the execution of the sentence of death until after the expulsion of the family of the Bourbons, twenty-three were for not putting him to death until the French territory was invaded by any foreign power, and one was for a sentence of death, but with power of commutation of the punishment.

After this enumeration the President took off his hat, and, lowering his voice, said: “In consequence of this expression of opinion I declare that the punishment pronounced by the National Convention against Louis Capet is DEATH!”

Previous to the passing of the sentence the President announced on the part of the Foreign Minister the receipt of a letter from the Spanish Minister relative to that sentence. The Convention, however, refused to hear it. [It will be remembered that a similar remonstrance was forwarded by the English Government.]

M. de Malesherbes, according to his promise to the King, went to the Temple at nine o’clock on the morning of the 17th?.

     [Louis was fully prepared for his fate.  During the calling of the
     votes he asked M. de Malesherbes, “Have you not met near the Temple
     the White Lady?"–” What do you mean?” replied he.  “Do you not
     know,” resumed the King with a smile, “that when a prince of our
     house is about to die, a female dressed in white is seen wandering
     about the palace?  My friends,” added he to his defenders, “I am
     about to depart before you for the land of the just, but there, at
     least, we shall be reunited.”  In fact, his Majesty’s only
     apprehension seemed to be for his family.–ALISON.]

“All is lost,” he said to Clery. “The King is condemned.” The King, who saw him arrive, rose to receive him.

     [When M. de Malesherbes went to the Temple to announce the result of
     the vote, he found Louis with his forehead resting on his hands, and
     absorbed in a deep reverie.  Without inquiring concerning his fate,
     he said: “For two hours I have been considering whether, during my
     whole reign, I have voluntarily given any cause of complaint to my
     subjects; and with perfect sincerity I declare that I deserve no
     reproach at their hands, and that I have never formed a wish but for
     their happiness.”  LACRETELLE.]

M. de Malesherbes, choked by sobs, threw himself at his feet. The King raised him up and affectionately embraced him. When he could control his voice, De Malesherbes informed the King of the decree sentencing him to death; he made no movement of surprise or emotion, but seemed only affected by the distress of his advocate, whom he tried to comfort.

On the 20th of January, at two in the afternoon, Louis XVI. was awaiting his advocates, when he heard the approach of a numerous party. He stopped with dignity at the door of his apartment, apparently unmoved: Garat then told him sorrowfully that he was commissioned to communicate to him the decrees of the Convention. Grouvelle, secretary of the Executive Council, read them to him. The first declared Louis XVI. guilty of treason against the general safety of the State; the second condemned him to death; the third rejected any appeal to the people; and the fourth and last ordered his execution in twenty-four hours. Louis, looking calmly round, took the paper from Grouvelle, and read Garat a letter, in which he demanded from the Convention three days to prepare for death, a confessor to assist him in his last moments, liberty to see his family, and permission for them to leave France. Garat took the letter, promising to submit it immediately to the Convention.

Louis XVI. then went back into his room with great composure, ordered his dinner, and ate as usual. There were no knives on the table, and his attendants refused to let him have any. “Do they think me so cowardly," he exclaimed, “as to lay violent hands on myself? I am innocent, and I am not afraid to die.”

The Convention refused the delay, but granted some other demands which he had made. Garat sent for Edgeworth de Firmont, the ecclesiastic whom Louis XVI. had chosen, and took him in his own carriage to the Temple. M. Edgeworth, on being ushered into the presence of the King, would have thrown himself at his feet, but Louis instantly raised him, and both shed tears of emotion. He then, with eager curiosity, asked various questions concerning the clergy of France, several bishops, and particularly the Archbishop of Paris, requesting him to assure the latter that he died faithfully attached to his communion.–The clock having struck eight, he rose, begged M. Edgeworth to wait, and retired with emotion, saying that he was going to see his family. The municipal officers, unwilling to lose sight of the King, even while with his family, had decided that he should see them in the dining-room, which had a glass door, through which they could watch all his motions without hearing what he said. At half- past eight the door opened. The Queen, holding the Dauphin by the hand, Madame Elisabeth, and Madame Royale rushed sobbing into the arms of Louis XVI. The door was closed, and the municipal officers, Clery, and M. Edgeworth placed themselves behind it. During the first moments, it was but a scene of confusion and despair. Cries and lamentations prevented those who were on the watch from distinguishing anything. At length the conversation became more calm, and the Princesses, still holding the King clasped in their arms, spoke with him in a low tone. “He related his trial to my mother,” says Madame Royale, “apologising for the wretches who had condemned him. He told her that he would not consent to any attempt to save him, which might excite disturbance in the country. He then gave my brother some religious advice, and desired him, above all, to forgive those who caused his death; and he gave us his blessing. My mother was very desirous that the whole family should pass the night with my father, but he opposed this, observing to her that he much needed some hours of repose and quiet.” After a long conversation, interrupted by silence and grief, the King put an end to the painful meeting, agreeing to see his family again at eight the next morning. “Do you promise that you will?” earnestly inquired the Princesses. “Yes, yes," sorrowfully replied the King.

     ["But when we were gone,” says his daughter, “he requested that we
     might not be permitted to return, as our presence afflicted him too

At this moment the Queen held him by one arm, Madame Elisabeth by the other, while Madame Royale clasped him round the waist, and the Dauphin stood before him, with one hand in that of his mother. At the moment of retiring Madame Royale fainted; she was carried away, and the King returned to M. Edgeworth deeply depressed by this painful interview. The King retired to rest about midnight; M. Edgeworth threw himself upon a bed, and Clery took his place near the pillow of his master.

Next morning, the 21st of January, at five, the King awoke, called Clery, and dressed with great calmness. He congratulated himself on having recovered his strength by sleep. Clery kindled a fire,, and moved a chest of drawers, out of which he formed an altar. M. Edgeworth put on his pontifical robes, and began to celebrate mass. Clery waited on him, and the King listened, kneeling with the greatest devotion. He then received the communion from the hands of M. Edgeworth, and after mass rose with new vigour, and awaited with composure the moment for going to the scaffold. He asked for scissors that Clery might cut his hair; but the Commune refused to trust him with a pair.

At this moment the drums were beating in the capital. All who belonged to the armed sections repaired to their company with complete submission. It was reported that four or five hundred devoted men, were to make a dash upon the carriage, and rescue the King. The Convention, the Commune, the Executive Council, and the Jacobins were sitting. At eight. in the morning, Santerre, with a deputation from the Commune, the department, and the criminal tribunal, repaired to the Temple. Louis XVI., on hearing them arrive, rose and prepared to depart. He desired Clery to transmit his last farewell to his wife, his sister, and his children; he gave him a sealed packet, hair, and various trinkets, with directions to deliver these articles to them.

     [In the course of the morning the King said to me: “You will give
     this seal to my son and this ring to the Queen, and assure her that
     it is with pain I part with it.  This little packet contains the
     hair of all my family; you will give her that, too.  Tell the Queen,
     my dear sister, and my children, that, although I promised to see
     them again this morning, I have resolved to spare them the pang of
     so cruel a separation.  Tell them how much it costs me to go away
     without receiving their embraces once more!”  He wiped away some
     tears, and then added, in the most mournful accents, “I charge you
     to bear them my last farewell."–CLERY.]

He then clasped his hand and thanked him for his services. After this he addressed himself to one of the municipal officers, requesting him to transmit his last will to the Commune. This officer, who had formerly been a priest, and was named Jacques Roux, brutally replied that his business was to conduct him to execution, and not to perform his commissions. Another person took charge of it, and Louis, turning towards the party, gave with firmness the signal for starting.

Officers of gendarmerie were placed on the front seat of the carriage. The King and M. Edgeworth occupied the back. During the ride, which was rather long, the King read in M. Edgeworth’s breviary the prayers for persons at the point of death; the two gendarmes were astonished at his piety and tranquil resignation. The vehicle advanced slowly, and amidst universal silence. At the Place de la Revolution an extensive space had been left vacant about the scaffold. Around this space were planted cannon; the most violent of the Federalists were stationed about the scaffold; and the vile rabble, always ready to insult genius, virtue, and misfortune, when a signal is given it to do so, crowded behind the ranks of the Federalists, and alone manifested some outward tokens of satisfaction.

At ten minutes past ten the carriage stopped. Louis XVI., rising briskly, stepped out into the Place. Three executioners came up; he refused their assistance, and took off his clothes himself. But, perceiving that they were going to bind his hands, he made a movement of indignation, and seemed ready to resist. M. Edgeworth gave him a last look, and said, “Suffer this outrage, as a last resemblance to that God who is about to be your reward.” At these words the King suffered himself to be bound and conducted to the scaffold. All at once Louis hurriedly advanced to address the people. “Frenchmen,” said he, in a firm voice, “I die innocent of the crimes which are imputed to me; I forgive the authors of my death, and I pray that my blood may not fall upon France.” He would have continued, but the drums were instantly ordered to beat: their rolling drowned his voice; the executioners laid hold of him, and M. Edgeworth took his leave in these memorable words: "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to heaven!” As soon as the blood flowed, furious wretches dipped their pikes and handkerchiefs in it, then dispersed throughout Paris, shouting “Vive la Republique! Vive la Nation!” and even went to the gates of the Temple to display brutal and factious joy.

     [The body of Louis was, immediately after the execution, removed to
     the ancient cemetery of the Madeleine.  Large quantities of
     quicklime were thrown into the grave, which occasioned so rapid a
     decomposition that, when his remains were nought for in 1816, it was
     with difficulty any part could be recovered.  Over the spot where he
     was interred Napoleon commenced the splendid Temple of Glory, after
     the battle of Jena; and the superb edifice was completed by the
     Bourbons, and now forms the Church of the Madeleine, the most
     beautiful structure in Paris.  Louis was executed on the same ground
     where the Queen, Madame Elisabeth, and so many other noble victims
     of the Revolution perished; where Robespierre and Danton afterwards
     suffered; and where the Emperor Alexander and the allied sovereigns
     took their station, when their victorious troops entered Paris in
     1814!  The history of modern Europe has not a scene fraught with
     equally interesting recollections to exhibit.  It is now marked by
     the colossal obelisk of blood-red granite which was brought from
     Thebes, in Upper Egypt, in 1833, by the French Government.–

     The Royal Prisoners.–Separation of the Dauphin from His Family.
     –Removal of the Queen.

On the morning of the King’s execution, according to the narrative of Madame Royale, his family rose at six: “The night before, my mother had scarcely strength enough to put my brother to bed; She threw herself, dressed as she was, on her own bed, where we heard her shivering with cold and grief all night long. At a quarter-past six the door opened; we believed that we were sent for to the King, but it was only the officers looking for a prayer-book for him. We did not, however, abandon the hope of seeing him, till shouts of joy from the infuriated populace told us that all was over. In the afternoon my mother asked to see Clery, who probably had some message for her; we hoped that seeing him would occasion a burst of grief which might relieve the state of silent and choking agony in which we saw her.” The request was refused, and the officers who brought the refusal said Clery was in “a frightful state of despair” at not being allowed to see the royal family; shortly afterwards he was dismissed from the Temple.

“We had now a little more freedom,” continues the Princess; “our guards even believed that we were about to be sent out of France; but nothing could calm my mother’s agony; no hope could touch her heart, and life or death became indifferent to her. Fortunately my own affliction increased my illness so seriously that it distracted her thoughts . . . . My mother would go no more to the garden, because she must have passed the door of what had been my father’s room, and that she could not bear. But fearing lest want of air should prove injurious to my brother and me, about the end of February she asked permission to walk on the leads of the Tower, and it was granted.”

The Council of the Commune, becoming aware of the interest which these sad promenades excited, and the sympathy with which they were observed from the neighbouring houses, ordered that the spaces between the battlements should be filled up with shutters, which intercepted the view. But while the rules for the Queen’s captivity were again made more strict, some of the municipal commissioners tried slightly to alleviate it, and by means of M. de Hue, who was at liberty in Paris, and the faithful Turgi, who remained in the Tower, some communications passed between the royal family and their friends. The wife of Tison, who waited on the Queen, suspected and finally denounced these more lenient guardians,–[Toulan, Lepitre, Vincent, Bruno, and others.]–who were executed, the royal prisoners being subjected to a close examination.

“On the 20th of April,” says Madame Royale, “my mother and I had just gone to bed when Hebert arrived with several municipals. We got up hastily, and these men read us a decree of the Commune directing that we should be searched. My poor brother was asleep; they tore him from his bed under the pretext of examining it. My mother took him up, shivering with cold. All they took was a shopkeeper’s card which my mother had happened to keep, a stick of sealing-wax from my aunt, and from me ’une sacre coeur de Jesus’ and a prayer for the welfare of France. The search lasted from half-past ten at night till four o’clock in the morning.”

The next visit of the officials was to Madame Elisabeth alone; they found in her room a hat which the King had worn during his imprisonment, and which she had begged him to give her as a souvenir. They took it from her in spite of her entreaties. “It was suspicious,” said the cruel and contemptible tyrants.

The Dauphin became ill with fever, and it was long before his mother, who watched by him night and day, could obtain medicine or advice for him. When Thierry was at last allowed to see him his treatment relieved the most violent symptoms, but, says Madame Royale, “his health was never reestablished. Want of air and exercise did him great mischief, as well as the kind of life which this poor child led, who at eight years of age passed his days amidst the tears of his friends, and in constant anxiety and agony.”

While the Dauphin’s health was causing his family such alarm, they were deprived of the services of Tison’s wife, who became ill, and finally insane, and was removed to the Hotel Dieu, where her ravings were reported to the Assembly and made the ground of accusations against the royal prisoners.

     [This woman, troubled by remorse, lost her reason, threw herself at
     the feet of the Queen, implored her pardon, and disturbed the Temple
     for many days with the sight and the noise of her madness.  The
     Princesses, forgetting the denunciations of this unfortunate being,
     in consideration of her repentance and insanity, watched over her by
     turns, and deprived themselves of their own food to relieve her.–
     LAMARTINE, “History of the Girondists,” vol. iii., p.140.]

No woman took her place, and the Princesses themselves made their beds, swept their rooms, and waited upon the Queen.

Far worse punishments than menial work were prepared for them. On 3d July a decree of the Convention ordered that the Dauphin should be separated from his family and “placed in the most secure apartment of the Tower.” As soon as he heard this decree pronounced, says his sister, “he threw himself into my mother’s arms, and with violent cries entreated not to be parted from her. My mother would not let her son go, and she actually defended against the efforts of the officers the bed in which she had placed him. The men threatened to call up the guard and use violence. My mother exclaimed that they had better kill her than tear her child from her. At last they threatened our lives, and my mother’s maternal tenderness forced her to the sacrifice. My aunt and I dressed the child, for my poor mother had no longer strength for anything. Nevertheless, when he was dressed, she took him up in her arms and delivered him herself to the officers, bathing him with her tears, foreseeing that she was never to behold him again. The poor little fellow embraced us all tenderly, and was carried away in a flood of tears. My mother’s horror was extreme when she heard that Simon, a shoemaker by trade, whom she had seen as a municipal officer in the Temple, was the person to whom her child was confided . . . . The officers now no longer remained in my mother’s apartment; they only came three times a day to bring our meals and examine the bolts and bars of our windows; we were locked up together night and day. We often went up to the Tower, because my brother went, too, from the other side. The only pleasure my mother enjoyed was seeing him through a crevice as he passed at a distance. She would watch for hours together to see him as he passed. It was her only hope, her only thought.”

The Queen was soon deprived even of this melancholy consolation. On 1st August, 1793, it was resolved that she should be tried. Robespierre opposed the measure, but Barere roused into action that deep-rooted hatred of the Queen which not even the sacrifice of her life availed to eradicate. “Why do the enemies of the Republic still hope for success?" he asked. “Is it because we have too long forgotten the crimes of the Austrian? The children of Louis the Conspirator are hostages for the Republic . . .but behind them lurks a woman who has been the cause of all the disasters of France.”

At two o’clock on the morning of the following day, the municipal officers “awoke us,” says Madame Royale, “to read to my mother the decree of the Convention, which ordered her removal to the Conciergerie,

     [The Conciergerie was originally, as its name implies, the porter’s
     lodge of the ancient Palace of Justice, and became in time a prison,
     from the custom of confining there persons who had committed
     trifling offences about the Court.]

preparatory to her trial. She heard it without visible emotion, and without speaking a single word. My aunt and I immediately asked to be allowed to accompany my mother, but this favour was refused us. All the time my mother was making up a bundle of clothes to take with her, these officers never left her. She was even obliged to dress herself before them, and they asked for her pockets, taking away the trifles they contained. She embraced me, charging me to keep up my spirits and my courage, to take tender care of my aunt, and obey her as a second mother. She then threw herself into my aunt’s arms, and recommended her children to her care; my aunt replied to her in a whisper, and she was then hurried away. In leaving the Temple she struck her head against the wicket, not having stooped low enough.

     [Mathieu, the gaoler, used to say, “I make Madame Veto and her
     sister and daughter, proud though they are, salute me; for the door
     is so low they cannot pass without bowing."]

The officers asked whether she had hurt herself. ’No,’ she replied, ’nothing can hurt me now.”

The Last Moments of Marie Antoinette.

We have already seen what changes had been made in the Temple. Marie Antoinette had been separated from her sister, her daughter, and her Son, by virtue of a decree which ordered the trial and exile of the last members of the family of the Bourbons. She had been removed to the Conciergerie, and there, alone in a narrow prison, she was reduced to what was strictly necessary, like the other prisoners. The imprudence of a devoted friend had rendered her situation still more irksome. Michonnis, a member of the municipality, in whom she had excited a warm interest, was desirous of introducing to her a person who, he said, wished to see her out of curiosity. This man, a courageous emigrant, threw to her a carnation, in which was enclosed a slip of very fine paper with these words: “Your friends are ready,"–false hope, and equally dangerous for her who received it, and for him who gave it! Michonnis and the emigrant were detected and forthwith apprehended; and the vigilance exercised in regard to the unfortunate prisoner became from that day more rigorous than ever.

     [The Queen was lodged in a room called the council chamber, which
     was considered as the moat unwholesome apartment in the Conciergerie
     on account of its dampness and the bad smells by which it was
     continually affected.  Under pretence of giving her a person to wait
     upon her they placed near her a spy,–a man of a horrible
     countenance and hollow, sepulchral voice.  This wretch, whose name
     was Barassin, was a robber and murderer by profession.  Such was the
     chosen attendant on the Queen of France!  A few days before her
     trial this wretch was removed and a gendarme placed in her chamber,
     who watched over her night and day, and from whom she was not
     separated, even when in bed, but by a ragged curtain.  In this
     melancholy abode Marie Antoinette had no other dress than an old
     black gown, stockings with holes, which she was forced to mend every
     day; and she was entirely destitute of shoes.–DU  BROCA.]

Gendarmes were to mount guard incessantly at the door of her prison, and they were expressly forbidden to answer anything that she might say to them.

That wretch Hebert, the deputy of Chaumette, and editor of the disgusting paper Pere Duchesne, a writer of the party of which Vincent, Ronsin, Varlet, and Leclerc were the leaders–Hebert had made it his particular business to torment the unfortunate remnant of the dethroned family. He asserted that the family of the tyrant ought not to be better treated than any sans-culotte family; and he had caused a resolution to be passed by which the sort of luxury in which the prisoners in the Temple were maintained was to be suppressed. They were no longer to be allowed either poultry or pastry; they were reduced to one sort of aliment for breakfast, and to soup or broth and a single dish for dinner, to two dishes for supper, and half a bottle of wine apiece. Tallow candles were to be furnished instead of wag, pewter instead of silver plate, and delft ware instead of porcelain. The wood and water carriers alone were permitted to enter their room, and that only accompanied by two commissioners. Their food was to be introduced to them by means of a turning box. The numerous establishment was reduced to a cook and an assistant, two men-servants, and a woman-servant to attend to the linen.

As soon as this resolution was passed, Hebert had repaired to the Temple and inhumanly taken away from the unfortunate prisoners even the most trifling articles to which they attached a high value. Eighty Louis which Madame Elisabeth had in reserve, and which she had received from Madame de Lamballe, were also taken away. No one is more dangerous, more cruel, than the man without acquirements, without education, clothed with a recent authority. If, above all, he possess a base nature, if, like Hebert, who was check-taker at the door of a theatre, and embezzled money out of the receipts, he be destitute of natural morality, and if he leap all at once from the mud of his condition into power, he is as mean as he is atrocious. Such was Hebert in his conduct at the Temple. He did not confine himself to the annoyances which we have mentioned. He and some others conceived the idea of separating the young Prince from his aunt and sister. A shoemaker named Simon and his wife were the instructors to whom it was deemed right to consign him for the purpose of giving him a sans-cullotte education. Simon and his wife were shut up in the Temple, and, becoming prisoners with the unfortunate child, were directed to bring him up in their own way. Their food was better than that of the Princesses, and they shared the table of the municipal commissioners who were on duty. Simon was permitted to go down, accompanied by two commissioners, to the court of the Temple, for the purpose of giving the Dauphin a little exercise.

Hebert conceived the infamous idea of wringing from this boy revelations to criminate his unhappy mother. Whether this wretch imputed to the child false revelations, or abused his, tender age and his condition to extort from him what admissions soever he pleased, he obtained a revolting deposition; and as the youth of the Prince did not admit of his being brought before the tribunal, Hebert appeared and detailed the infamous particulars which he had himself either dictated or invented.

It was on the 14th of October that Marie Antoinette appeared before her judges. Dragged before the sanguinary tribunal by inexorable revolutionary vengeance, she appeared there without any chance of acquittal, for it was not to obtain her acquittal that the Jacobins had brought her before it. It was necessary, however, to make some charges. Fouquier therefore collected the rumours current among the populace ever since the arrival of the Princess in France, and, in the act of accusation, he charged her with having plundered the exchequer, first for her pleasures, and afterwards in order to transmit money to her brother, the Emperor. He insisted on the scenes of the 5th and 6th of October, and on the dinners of the Life Guards, alleging that she had at that period framed a plot, which obliged the people to go to Versailles to frustrate it. He afterwards accused her of having governed her husband, interfered in the choice of ministers, conducted the intrigues with the deputies gained by the Court, prepared the journey to Varennes, provoked the war, and transmitted to the enemy’s generals all our plans of campaign. He further accused her of having prepared a new conspiracy on the 10th of August, of having on that day caused the people to be fired upon, having induced her husband to defend himself by taxing him with cowardice; lastly, of having never ceased to plot and correspond with foreigners since her captivity in the Temple, and of having there treated her young son as King. We here observe how, on the terrible day of long- deferred vengeance, when subjects at length break forth and strike such of their princes as have not deserved the blow, everything is distorted and converted into crime. We see how the profusion and fondness for pleasure, so natural to a young princess, how her attachment to her native country, her influence over her husband, her regrets, always more indiscreet in a woman than a man, nay, even her bolder courage, appeared to their inflamed or malignant imaginations.

It was necessary to produce witnesses. Lecointre, deputy of Versailles, who had seen what had passed on the 5th and 6th of October, Hebert, who had frequently visited the Temple, various clerks in the ministerial offices, and several domestic servants of the old Court were summoned.. Admiral d’Estaing, formerly commandant of the guard of Versailles; Manuel, the ex-procureur of the Commune; Latour-du-Pin, minister of war in 1789; the venerable Bailly, who, it was said, had been, with La Fayette, an accomplice in the journey to Varennes; lastly, Valaze one of the Girondists destined to the scaffold, were taken from their prisons and compelled to give evidence.

No precise fact was elicited. Some had seen the Queen in high spirits when the Life Guards testified their attachment; others had seen her vexed and dejected while being conducted to Paris, or brought back from Varennes; these had been present at splendid festivities which must have cost enormous sums; those had heard it said in the ministerial offices that the Queen was adverse to the sanction of the decrees. An ancient waiting-woman of the Queen had heard the Duc de Coigny say, in 1788, that the Emperor had already received two hundred millions from France to make war upon the Turks.

The cynical Hebert, being brought before the unfortunate Queen, dared at length to prefer the charges wrung from the young Prince. He said that Charles Capet had given Simon an account of the journey to Varennes, and mentioned La Fayette and Bailly as having cooperated in it. He then added that this boy was addicted to odious and very premature vices for his age; that he had been surprised by Simon, who, on questioning him, learned that he derived from his mother the vices in which he indulged. Hebert said that it was no doubt the intention of Marie Antoinette, by weakening thus, early the physical constitution of her son, to secure to herself the means of ruling him in case he should ever ascend the throne. The rumours which had been whispered for twenty years by a malicious Court had given the people a most unfavourable opinion of the morals of the Queen. That audience, however, though wholly Jacobin, was disgusted at the accusations of Hebert.

     [Can there be a more infernal invention than that made against the.
     Queen by Hdbert,-namely, that she had had an improper intimacy with
     her own son?  He made use of this sublime idea of which he boasted
     in order to prejudice the women against the Queen, and to prevent
     her execution from exciting pity.  It had, however, no other effect
     than that of disgusting all parties.–PRUDHOMME.]

He nevertheless persisted in supporting them.

     [Hebert did not long survive her in whose sufferings he had taken
     such an infamous part.  He was executed on 26th March, 1794.]

The unhappy mother made no reply. Urged a new to explain herself, she said, with extraordinary emotion, “I thought that human nature would excuse me from answering such an imputation, but I appeal from it to the heart of every mother here present.” This noble and simple reply affected all who heard it.

In the depositions of the witnesses, however, all was not so bitter for Marie Antoinette. The brave D’Estaing, whose enemy she had been, would not say anything to inculpate her, and spoke only of the courage which she had shown on the 5th and 6th of October, and of the noble resolution which she had expressed, to die beside her husband rather than fly. Manuel, in spite of his enmity to the Court during the time of the Legislative Assembly, declared that he could not say anything against the accused. When the venerable Bailly was brought forward, who formerly so often predicted to the Court the calamities which its imprudence must produce, he appeared painfully affected; and when he was asked if he knew the wife of Capet, “Yes,” said he, bowing respectfully, “I have known Madame.” He declared that he knew nothing, and maintained that the declarations extorted from the young Prince relative to the journey to Varennes were false. In recompense for his deposition he was assailed with outrageous reproaches, from which he might judge what fate would soon be awarded to himself.

In all the evidence there appeared but two serious facts, attested by Latour-du-Pin and Valaze, who deposed to them because they could not help it. Latour-du-Pin declared that Marie Antoinette had applied to him for an accurate statement of the armies while he was minister of war. Valaze, always cold, but respectful towards misfortune, would not say anything to criminate the accused; yet he could not help declaring that, as a member of the commission of twenty-four, being charged with his colleagues to examine the papers found at the house of Septeuil, treasurer of the civil list, he had seen bonds for various sums signed Antoinette, which was very natural; but he added that he had also seen a letter in which the minister requested the King to transmit to the Queen the copy of the plan of campaign which he had in his hands. The most unfavourable construction was immediately put upon these two facts, the application for a statement of the armies, and the communication of the plan of campaign; and it was concluded that they could not be wanted for any other purpose than to be sent to the enemy, for it was not supposed that a young princess should turn her attention, merely for her own satisfaction, to matters of administration and military, plans. After these depositions, several others were received respecting the expenses of the Court, the influence of the Queen in public affairs, the scene of the 10th of August, and what had passed in the Temple; and the most vague rumours and most trivial circumstances were eagerly caught at as proofs.

Marie Antoinette frequently repeated, with presence of mind and firmness, that there was no precise fact against her;

     [At first the Queen, consulting only her own sense of dignity, had
     resolved on her trial to make no other reply to the questions of her
     judges than “Assassinate me as you have already assassinated my
     husband!”  Afterwards, however, she determined to follow the example
     of the King, exert herself in her defence, and leave her judges
     without any excuse or pretest for putting her to death.–WEBER’S
     “Memoirs of Marie Antoinette."]

that, besides, though the wife of Louis XVI., she was not answerable for any of the acts of his reign. Fouquier nevertheless declared her to be sufficiently convicted; Chaveau-Lagarde made unavailing efforts to defend her; and the unfortunate Queen was condemned to suffer the same fate as her husband.

Conveyed back to the Conciergerie, she there passed in tolerable composure the night preceding her execution, and, on the morning of the following day, the 16th of October,

     [The Queen, after having written and prayed, slept soundly for some
     hours.  On her waking, Bault’s daughter dressed her and adjusted her
     hair with more neatness than on other days.  Marie Antoinette wore a
     white gown, a white handkerchief covered her shoulders, a white cap
     her hair; a black ribbon bound this cap round her temples ....  The
     cries, the looks, the laughter, the jests of the people overwhelmed
     her with humiliation; her colour, changing continually from purple
     to paleness, betrayed her agitation ....  On reaching the scaffold
     she inadvertently trod on the executioner’s foot.  “Pardon me,” she
     said, courteously.  She knelt for an instant and uttered a half-
     audible prayer; then rising and glancing towards the towers of the
     Temple, “Adieu, once again, my children,” she said; “I go to rejoin
     your father."–LAMARTINE.]

she was conducted, amidst a great concourse of the populace, to the fatal spot where, ten months before, Louis XVI. had perished. She listened with calmness to the exhortations of the ecclesiastic who accompanied her, and cast an indifferent look at the people who had so often applauded her beauty and her grace, and who now as warmly applauded her execution. On reaching the foot of the scaffold she perceived the Tuileries, and appeared to be moved; but she hastened to ascend the fatal ladder, and gave herself up with courage to the executioner.

     [Sorrow had blanched the Queen’s once beautiful hair; but her
     features and air still commanded the admiration of all who beheld
     her; her cheeks, pale and emaciated, were occasionally tinged with a
     vivid colour at the mention of those she had lost.  When led out to
     execution, she was dressed in white; she had cut off her hair with
     her own hands.  Placed in a tumbrel, with her arms tied behind her,
     she was taken by a circuitous route to the Place de la Revolution,
     and she ascended the scaffold with a firm and dignified step, as if
     she had been about to take her place on a throne by the side of her

The infamous wretch exhibited her head to the people, as he was accustomed to do when he had sacrificed an illustrious victim.

          The Last Separation.–Execution of Madame Elisabeth.
          –Death of the Dauphin.

The two Princesses left in the Temple were now almost inconsolable; they spent days and nights in tears, whose only alleviation was that they were shed together. “The company of my aunt, whom I loved so tenderly,” said Madame Royale, “was a great comfort to me. But alas! all that I loved was perishing around me, and I was soon to lose her also . . . . In the beginning of September I had an illness caused solely by my anxiety about my mother; I never heard a drum beat that I did not expect another 3d of September."–[when the head of the Princesse de Lamballe was carried to the Temple.]

In the course of the month the rigour of their captivity was much increased. The Commune ordered that they should only have one room; that Tison (who had done the heaviest of the household work for them, and since the kindness they showed to his insane wife had occasionally given them tidings of the Dauphin) should be imprisoned in the turret; that they should be supplied with only the barest necessaries; and that no one should enter their room save to carry water and firewood. Their quantity of firing was reduced, and they were not allowed candles. They were also forbidden to go on the leads, and their large sheets were taken away, "lest–notwithstanding the gratings!–they should escape from the windows.”

On 8th October, 1793, Madame Royale was ordered to go downstairs, that she might be interrogated by some municipal officers. “My aunt, who was greatly affected, would have followed, but they stopped her. She asked whether I should be permitted to come up again; Chaumette assured her that I should. ’You may trust,’ said he, ’the word of an honest republican. She shall return.’ I soon found myself in my brother’s room, whom I embraced tenderly; but we were torn asunder, and I was obliged to go into another room.–[This was the last time the brother and sister met] . . . Chaumette then questioned me about a thousand shocking things of which they accused my mother and aunt; I was so indignant at hearing such horrors that, terrified as I was, I could not help exclaiming that they were infamous falsehoods.

“But in spite of my tears they still pressed their questions. There were some things which I did not comprehend, but of which I understood enough to make me weep with indignation and horror . . . . They then asked me about Varennes, and other things. I answered as well as I could without implicating anybody. I had always heard my parents say that it were better to die than to implicate anybody.” When the examination was over the Princess begged to be allowed to join her mother, but Chaumette said he could not obtain permission for her to do so. She was then cautioned to say nothing about her examination to her aunt, who was next to appear before them. Madame Elisabeth, her niece declares, “replied with still more contempt to their shocking questions.”

The only intimation of the Queen’s fate which her daughter and her sister-in-law were allowed to receive was through hearing her sentence cried by the newsman. But “we could not persuade ourselves that she was dead,” writes Madame Royale. “A hope, so natural to the unfortunate, persuaded us that she must have been saved. For eighteen months I remained in this cruel suspense. We learnt also by the cries of the newsman the death of the Duc d’Orleans.

     [The Duo d’Orleans, the early and interested propagator of the
     Revolution, was its next victim.  Billaud Varennes said in the
     Convention: “The time has come when all the conspirators should be
     known and struck.  I demand that we no longer pass over in silence a
     man whom we seem to have forgotten, despite the numerous facts
     against him.  I demand that D’ORLEANS be sent to the Revolutionary
     Tribunal.”  The Convention, once his hireling adulators, unanimously
     supported the proposal.  In vain he alleged his having been
     accessory to the disorders of 5th October, his support of the revolt
     on 10th August, 1792, his vote against the King on 17th January,
     1793.  His condemnation was pronounced.  He then asked only for a
     delay of twenty-four hours, and had a repast carefully prepared, on
     which he feasted with avidity.  When led out for execution he gazed
     with a smile on the Palais Royal, the scene of his former orgies.
     He was detained for a quarter of an hour before that palace by the
     order of Robespierre, who had asked his daughter’s hand, and
     promised in return to excite a tumult in which the Duke’s life
     should be saved.  Depraved though he was, he would not consent to
     such a sacrifice, and he met his fate with stoical fortitude.–
     ALLISON, vol. iii., p. 172.]

It was the only piece of news that reached us during the whole winter.”

The severity with which the prisoners were treated was carried into every detail of their life. The officers who guarded them took away their chessmen and cards because some of them were named kings and queens, and all the books with coats of arms on them; they refused to get ointment for a gathering on Madame Elisabeth’s arm; they, would not allow her to make a herb-tea which she thought would strengthen her niece; they declined to supply fish or eggs on fast-days or during Lent, bringing only coarse fat meat, and brutally replying to all remonstances, “None but fools believe in that stuff nowadays.” Madame Elisabeth never made the officials another request, but reserved some of the bread and cafe- au-fait from her breakfast for her second meal. The time during which she could be thus tormented was growing short.

On 9th May, 1794, as the Princesses were going to bed, the outside bolts of the door were unfastened and a loud knocking was heard. “When my aunt was dressed,” says Madame Royale, “she opened the door, and they said to her, ’Citoyenne, come down.’–’And my niece?’–’We shall take care of her afterwards.’ She embraced me, and to calm my agitation promised to return. ’No, citoyenne,’ said the men, ’bring your bonnet; you shall not return.’ They overwhelmed her with abuse, but she bore it patiently, embracing me, and exhorting me to trust in Heaven, and never to forget the last commands of my father and mother.”

Madame Elisabeth was then taken to the Conciergerie, where she was interrogated by the vice-president at midnight,’ and then allowed to take some hours rest on the bed on which Marie Antoinette had slept for the last time. In the morning she was brought before the tribunal, with twenty-four other prisoners, of varying ages and both sexes, some of whom had once been frequently seen at Court.

“Of what has Elisabeth to complain?” Fouquier-Tinville satirically asked. “At the foot of the guillotine, surrounded by faithful nobility, she may imagine herself again at Versailles.”

“You call my brother a tyrant,” the Princess replied to her accuser; “if he had been what you say, you would not be where you are, nor I before you!”

She was sentenced to death, and showed neither surprise nor grief. “I am ready to die,” she said, “happy in the prospect of rejoining in a better world those whom I loved on earth.”

On being taken to the room where those condemned to suffer at the same time as herself were assembled, she spoke to them with so much piety and resignation that they were encouraged by her example to show calmness and courage like her own. The women, on leaving the cart, begged to embrace her, and she said some words of comfort to each in turn as they mounted the scaffold, which she was not allowed to ascend till all her companions had been executed before her eyes.

     [Madame Elisabeth was one of those rare personages only seen at
     distant intervals during the course of ages; she set an example of
     steadfast piety in the palace of kings, she lived amid her family
     the favourite of all and the admiration of the world ....  When I
     went to Versailles Madame Elisabeth was twenty-two years of age.
     Her plump figure and pretty pink colour must have attracted notice,
     and her air of calmness and contentment even more than her beauty.
     She was fond of billiards, and her elegance and courage in riding
     were remarkable.  But she never allowed these amusements to
     interfere with her religious observances.  At that time her wish to
     take the veil at St. Cyr was much talked of, but the King was too
     fond of his sister to endure the separation.  There were also
     rumours of a marriage between Madame Elisabeth and the Emperor
     Joseph.  The Queen was sincerely attached to her brother, and loved
     her sister-in-law most tenderly; she ardently desired this marriage
     as a means of raising the Princess to one of the first thrones in
     Europe, and as a possible means of turning the Emperor from his
     innovations.  She had been very carefully educated, had talent in
     music and painting, spoke Italian and a little Latin, and understood
     mathematics....  Her last moments were worthy of her courage and
     virtue.–D’HEZECQUES’s “Recollections,” pp. 72-75.]

“It is impossible to imagine my distress at finding myself separated from my aunt,” says Madame Royale. “Since I had been able to appreciate her merits, I saw in her nothing but religion, gentleness, meekness, modesty, and a devoted attachment to her family; she sacrificed her life for them, since nothing could persuade her to leave the King and Queen. I never can be sufficiently grateful to her for her goodness to me, which ended only with her life. She looked on me as her child, and I honoured and loved her as a second mother. I was thought to be very like her in countenance, and I feel conscious that I have something of her character. Would to God I might imitate her virtues, and hope that I may hereafter deserve to meet her, as well as my dear parents, in the bosom of our Creator, where I cannot doubt that they enjoy the reward of their virtuous lives and meritorious deaths.”

Madame Royale vainly begged to be allowed to rejoin her mother or her aunt, or at least to know their fate. The municipal officers would tell her nothing, and rudely refused her request to have a woman placed with her. “I asked nothing but what seemed indispensable, though it was often harshly refused,” she says. “But I at least could keep myself clean. I had soap and water, and carefully swept out my room every day. I had no light, but in the long days I did not feel this privation much . . . . I had some religious works and travels, which I had read over and over. I had also some knitting, ’qui m’ennuyait beaucoup’.” Once, she believes, Robespierre visited her prison:

     [It has been said that Robespierre vainly tried to obtain the hand
     of Mademoiselle d’Orleans.  It was also rumoured that Madame Royale
     herself owed her life to his matrimonial ambition.]

“The officers showed him great respect; the people in the Tower did not know him, or at least would not tell me who he was. He stared insolently at me, glanced at my books, and, after joining the municipal officers in a search, retired.”

     [On another occasion “three men in scarfs,” who entered the
     Princess’s room, told her that they did not see why she should wish
     to be released, as she seemed very comfortable!  “It is dreadful,’
     I replied, ’to be separated for more than a year from one’s mother,
     without even hearing what has become of her or of my aunt.’–’You
     are not ill?’–’No, monsieur, but the cruellest illness is that of
     the heart’–’ We can do nothing for you.  Be patient, and submit to
     the justice and goodness of the French people: I had nothing more to
     say."–DUCHESSE D’ANGOULEME, “Royal Memoirs,” p. 273.]

When Laurent was appointed by the Convention to the charge of the young prisoners, Madame Royale was treated with more consideration. “He was always courteous,” she says; he restored her tinderbox, gave her fresh books, and allowed her candles and as much firewood as she wanted, “which pleased me greatly.” This simple expression of relief gives a clearer idea of what the delicate girl must have suffered than a volume of complaints.

But however hard Madame Royale’s lot might be, that of the Dauphin was infinitely harder. Though only eight years old when he entered the Temple, he was by nature and education extremely precocious; “his memory retained everything, and his sensitiveness comprehended everything.” His features “recalled the somewhat effeminate look of Louis XV., and the Austrian hauteur of Maria Theresa; his blue eyes, aquiline nose, elevated nostrils, well-defined mouth, pouting lips, chestnut hair parted in the middle and falling in thick curls on his shoulders, resembled his mother before her years of tears and torture. All the beauty of his race, by both descents, seemed to reappear in him."–[Lamartine]– For some time the care of his parents preserved his health and cheerfulness even in the Temple; but his constitution was weakened by the fever recorded by his sister, and his gaolers were determined that he should never regain strength.

“What does the Convention intend to do with him?” asked Simon, when the innocent victim was placed in his clutches. “Transport him?”


“Kill him?”


“Poison him?”


“What, then?”

“Why, get rid of him.”

For such a purpose they could not have chosen their instruments better. "Simon and his wife, cut off all those fair locks that had been his youthful glory and his mother’s pride. This worthy pair stripped him of the mourning he wore for his father; and as they did so, they called it ’playing at the game of the spoiled king.’ They alternately induced him to commit excesses, and then half starved him. They beat him mercilessly; nor was the treatment by night less brutal than that by day. As soon as the weary boy had sunk into his first profound sleep, they would loudly call him by name, ’Capet! Capet!’ Startled, nervous, bathed in perspiration, or sometimes trembling with cold, he would spring up, rush through the dark, and present himself at Simon’s bedside, murmuring, tremblingly, ’I am here, citizen.’–’Come nearer; let me feel you.’ He would approach the bed as he was ordered, although he knew the treatment that awaited him. Simon would buffet him on the head, or kick him away, adding the remark, ’Get to bed again, wolfs cub; I only wanted to know that you were safe.’ On one of these occasions, when the child had fallen half stunned upon his own miserable couch, and lay there groaning and faint with pain, Simon roared out with a laugh, ’Suppose you were king, Capet, what would you do to me?’ The child thought of his father’s dying words, and said, ’I would forgive you.’"–[THIERS]

The change in the young Prince’s mode of life, and the cruelties and caprices to which he was subjected, soon made him fall ill, says his sister. “Simon forced him to eat to excess, and to drink large quantities of wine, which he detested . . . . He grew extremely fat without increasing in height or strength.” His aunt and sister, deprived of the pleasure of tending him, had the pain of hearing his childish voice raised in the abominable songs his gaolers taught him. The brutality of Simon “depraved at once the body and soul of his pupil. He called him the young wolf of the Temple. He treated him as the young of wild animals are treated when taken from the mother and reduced to captivity,–at once intimidated by blows and enervated by taming. He punished for sensibility; he rewarded meanness; he encouraged vice; he made the child wait on him at table, sometimes striking him on the face with a knotted towel, sometimes raising the poker and threatening to strike him with it.”

     [Simon left the Temple to become a municipal officer.  He was
     involved in the overthrow of Robespierre, and guillotined the day
     after him, 29th July, 1794.]

Yet when Simon was removed the poor young Prince’s condition became even worse. His horrible loneliness induced an apathetic stupor to which any suffering would have been preferable. “He passed his days without any kind of occupation; they did not allow him light in the evening. His keepers never approached him but to give him food;” and on the rare occasions when they took him to the platform of the Tower, he was unable or unwilling to move about. When, in November, 1794, a commissary named Gomin arrived at the Temple, disposed to treat the little prisoner with kindness, it was too late. “He took extreme care of my brother,” says Madame Royale. “For a long time the unhappy child had been shut up in darkness, and he was dying of fright. He was very grateful for the attentions of Gomin, and became much attached to him.” But his physical condition was alarming, and, owing to Gomin’s representations, a commission was instituted to examine him. “The commissioners appointed were Harmond, Mathieu, and Reverchon, who visited ’Louis Charles,’ as he was now called, in the month of February, 1795. They found the young Prince seated at a square deal table, at which he was playing with some dirty cards, making card houses and the like,–the materials having been furnished him, probably, that they might figure in the report as evidences of indulgence. He did not look up from the table as the commissioners entered. He was in a slate-coloured dress, bareheaded; the room was reported as clean, the bed in good condition, the linen fresh; his clothes were also reported as new; but, in spite of all these assertions, it is well known that his bed had not been made for months, that he had not left his room, nor was permitted to leave it, for any purpose whatever, that it was consequently uninhabitable, and that he was covered with vermin and with sores. The swellings at his knees alone were sufficient to disable him from walking. One of the commissioners approached the young Prince respectfully. The latter did not raise his head. Harmond in a kind voice begged him to speak to them. The eyes of the boy remained fixed on the table before him. They told him of the kindly intentions of the Government, of their hopes that he would yet be happy, and their desire that he would speak unreservedly to the medical man that was to visit him. He seemed to listen with profound attention, but not a single word passed his lips. It was an heroic principle that impelled that poor young heart to maintain the silence of a mute in presence of these men. He remembered too well the days when three other commissaries waited on him, regaled him with pastry and wine, and obtained from him that hellish accusation against the mother that he loved. He had learnt by some means the import of the act, so far as it was an injury to his mother. He now dreaded seeing again three commissaries, hearing again kind words, and being treated again with fine promises. Dumb as death itself he sat before them, and remained motionless as stone, and as mute.” [THIERS]

His disease now made rapid progress, and Gomin and Lasne, superintendents of the Temple, thinking it necessary to inform the Government of the melancholy condition of their prisoner, wrote on the register: “Little Capet is unwell.” No notice was taken of this account, which was renewed next day in more urgent terms: “Little Capet is dangerously ill.” Still there was no word from beyond the walls. “We must knock harder,” said the keepers to each other, and they added, “It is feared he will not live,” to the words “dangerously ill.” At length, on Wednesday, 6th May, 1795, three days after the first report, the authorities appointed M. Desault to give the invalid the assistance of his art. After having written down his name on the register he was admitted to see the Prince. He made a long and very attentive examination of the unfortunate child, asked him many questions without being able to obtain an answer, and contented himself with prescribing a decoction of hops, to be taken by spoonfuls every half-hour, from six o’clock in the morning till eight in the evening. On the first day the Prince steadily refused to take it. In vain Gomin several times drank off a glass of the potion in his presence; his example proved as ineffectual as his words. Next day Lasne renewed his solicitations. “Monsieur knows very well that I desire nothing but the good of his health, and he distresses me deeply by thus refusing to take what might contribute to it. I entreat him as a favour not to give me this cause of grief.” And as Lasne, while speaking, began to taste the potion in a glass, the child took what he offered him out of his hands. “You have, then, taken an oath that I should drink it,” said he, firmly; “well, give it me, I will drink it.” From that moment he conformed with docility to whatever was required of him, but the policy of the Commune had attained its object; help had been withheld till it was almost a mockery to supply it.

The Prince’s weakness was excessive; his keepers could scarcely drag him to the, top of the Tower; walking hurt his tender feet, and at every step he stopped to press the arm of Lasne with both hands upon his breast. At last he suffered so much that it was no longer possible for him to walk, and his keeper carried him about, sometimes on the platform, and sometimes in the little tower, where the royal family had lived at first. But the slight improvement to his health occasioned by the change of air scarcely compensated for the pain which his fatigue gave him. On the battlement of the platform nearest the left turret, the rain had, by perseverance through ages, hollowed out a kind of basin. The water that fell remained there for several days; and as, during the spring of 1795, storms were of frequent occurrence, this little sheet of water was kept constantly supplied. Whenever the child was brought out upon the platform, he saw a little troop of sparrows, which used to come to drink and bathe in this reservoir. At first they flew away at his approach, but from being accustomed to see him walking quietly there every day, they at last grew more familiar, and did not spread their wings for flight till he came up close to them. They were always the same, he knew them by sight, and perhaps like himself they were inhabitants of that ancient pile. He called them his birds; and his first action, when the door into the terrace was opened, was to look towards that side,–and the sparrows were always there. He delighted in their chirping, and he must have envied them their wings.

Though so little could be done to alleviate his sufferings, a moral improvement was taking place in him. He was touched by the lively interest displayed by his physician, who never failed to visit him at nine o’clock every morning. He seemed pleased with the attention paid him, and ended by placing entire confidence in M. Desault. Gratitude loosened his tongue; brutality and insult had failed to extort a murmur, but kind treatment restored his speech he had no words for anger, but he found them to express his thanks. M. Desault prolonged his visits as long as the officers of the municipality would permit. When they announced the close of the visit, the child, unwilling to beg them to allow a longer time, held back M. Desault by the skirt of his coat. Suddenly M. Desault’s visits ceased. Several days passed and nothing was heard of him. The keepers wondered at his absence, and the poor little invalid was much distressed at it. The commissary on duty (M. Benoist) suggested that it would be proper to send to the physician’s house to make inquiries as to the cause of so long an absence. Gomin and Larne had not yet ventured to follow this advice, when next day M. Benoist was relieved by M. Bidault, who, hearing M. Desault’s name mentioned as he came in, immediately said, “You must not expect to see him any more; he died yesterday.”

M. Pelletan, head surgeon of the Grand Hospice de l’Humanite, was next directed to attend the prisoner, and in June he found him in so alarming a state that he at once asked for a coadjutor, fearing to undertake the responsibility alone. The physician–sent for form’s sake to attend the dying child, as an advocate is given by law to a criminal condemned beforehand–blamed the officers of the municipality for not having removed the blind, which obstructed the light, and the numerous bolts, the noise of which never failed to remind the victim of his captivity. That sound, which always caused him an involuntary shudder, disturbed him in the last mournful scene of his unparalleled tortures. M. Pelletan said authoritatively to the municipal on duty, “If you will not take these bolts and casings away at once, at least you can make no objection to our carrying the child into another room, for I suppose we are sent here to take charge of him.” The Prince, being disturbed by these words, spoken as they were with great animation, made a sign to the physician to come nearer. “Speak lower, I beg of you,” said he; “I am afraid they will hear you up-stairs, and I should be very sorry for them to know that I am ill, as it would give them much uneasiness.”

At first the change to a cheerful and airy room revived the Prince and gave him evident pleasure, but the improvement did not last. Next day M. Pelletan learned that the Government had acceded to his request for a colleague. M. Dumangin, head physician of the Hospice de l’Unite, made his appearance at his house on the morning of Sunday, 7th June, with the official despatch sent him by the committee of public safety. They repaired together immediately to the Tower. On their arrival they heard that the child, whose weakness was excessive, had had a fainting fit, which had occasioned fears to be entertained that his end was approaching. He had revived a little, however, when the physicians went up at about nine o’clock. Unable to contend with increasing exhaustion, they perceived there was no longer any hope of prolonging an existence worn out by so much suffering, and that all their art could effect would be to soften the last stage of this lamentable disease. While standing by the Prince’s bed, Gomin noticed that he was quietly crying, and asked him. kindly what was the matter. “I am always alone,” he said. “My dear mother remains in the other tower.” Night came,–his last night,– which the regulations of the prison condemned him to pass once more in solitude, with suffering, his old companion, only at his side. This time, however, death, too, stood at his pillow. When Gomin went up to the child’s room on the morning of 8th June, he said, seeing him calm, motionless, and mute:

“I hope you are not in pain just now?”

“Oh, yes, I am still in pain, but not nearly so much,–the music is so beautiful!”

Now there was no music to be heard, either in the Tower or anywhere near.

Gomin, astonished, said to him, “From what direction do you hear this music?”

“From above!”

“Have you heard it long?”

“Since you knelt down. Do you not hear it? Listen! Listen!” And the child, with a nervous motion, raised his faltering hand, as he opened his large eyes illuminated by delight. His poor keeper, unwilling to destroy this last sweet illusion, appeared to listen also.

After a few minutes of attention the child again started, and cried out, in intense rapture, “Amongst all the voices I have distinguished that of my mother!”

These were almost his last words. At a quarter past two he died, Lasne only being in the room. at the time. Lasne acquainted Gomin and Damont, the commissary on duty, with the event, and they repaired to the chamber of death. The poor little royal corpse was carried from the room into that where he had suffered so long,–where for two years he had never ceased to suffer. From this apartment the father had gone to the scaffold, and thence the son must pass to the burial-ground. The remains were laid out on the bed, and the doors of the apartment were set open,– doors which had remained closed ever since the Revolution had seized on a child, then full of vigour and grace and life and health!

At eight o’clock next morning (9th June) four members of the committee of general safety came to the Tower to make sure that the Prince was really dead. When they were admitted to the death-chamber by Lasne and Damont they affected the greatest indifference. “The event is not of the least importance,” they repeated, several times over; “the police commissary of the section will come and receive the declaration of the decease; he will acknowledge it, and proceed to the interment without any ceremony; and the committee will give the necessary directions.” As they withdrew, some officers of the Temple guard asked to see the remains of little Capet. Damont having observed that the guard would not permit the bier to pass without its being opened, the deputies decided that the officers and non-commissioned officers of the guard going off duty, together with those coming on, should be all invited to assure themselves of the child’s death. All having assembled in the room where the body lay, he asked them if they recognised it as that of the ex-Dauphin, son of the last King of France. Those who had seen the young Prince at the Tuileries, or at the Temple (and most of them had), bore witness to its being the body of Louis XVII. When they were come down into the council- room, Darlot drew up the minutes of this attestation, which was signed by a score of persons. These minutes were inserted in the journal of the Temple tower, which was afterwards deposited in the office of the Minister of the Interior.

During this visit the surgeons entrusted with the autopsy arrived at the outer gate of the Temple. These were Dumangin, head physician of the Hospice de l’Unite; Pelletan, head surgeon of the Grand Hospice de l’Humanite; Jeanroy, professor in the medical schools of Paris; and Laasus, professor of legal medicine at the Ecole de Sante of Paris. The last two were selected by Dumangin and Pelletan because of the former connection of M. Lassus with Mesdames de France, and of M. Jeanroy with the House of Lorraine, which gave a peculiar weight to their signatures. Gomin received them in the council-room, and detained them until the National Guard, descending from the second floor, entered to sign the minutes prepared by Darlot. This done, Lasne, Darlot, and Bouquet went up again with the surgeons, and introduced them into the apartment of Louis XVII., whom they at first examined as he lay on his death-bed; but M. Jeanroy observing that the dim light of this room was but little favourable to the accomplishment of their mission, the commissaries prepared a table in the first room, near the window, on which the corpse was laid, and the surgeons began their melancholy operation.

At seven o’clock the police commissary ordered the body to be taken up, and that they should proceed to the cemetery. It was the season of the longest days, and therefore the interment did not take place in secrecy and at night, as some misinformed narrators have said or written; it took place in broad daylight, and attracted a great concourse of people before the gates of the Temple palace. One of the municipals wished to have the coffin carried out secretly by the door opening into the chapel enclosure; but M. Duaser, police commiasary, who was specially entrusted with the arrangement of the ceremony, opposed this indecorous measure, and the procession passed out through the great gate. The crowd that was pressing round was kept back, and compelled to keep a line, by a tricoloured ribbon, held at short distances by gendarmes. Compassion and sorrow were impressed on every countenance.

A small detachment of the troops of the line from the garrison of Paris, sent by the authorities, was waiting to serve as an escort. The bier, still covered with the pall, was carried on a litter on the shoulders of four men, who relieved each other two at a time; it was preceded by six or eight men, headed by a sergeant. The procession was accompanied a long way by the crowd, and a great number of persona followed it even to the cemetery. The name of “Little Capet,” and the more popular title of Dauphin, spread from lip to lip, with exclamations of pity and compassion. The funeral entered the cemetery of Ste. Marguerite, not by the church, as some accounts assert, but by the old gate of the cemetery. The interment was made in the corner, on the left, at a distance of eight or nine feet from the enclosure wall, and at an equal distance from a small house, which subsequently served as a school. The grave was filled up,–no mound marked its place, and not even a trace remained of the interment! Not till then did the commissaries of police and the municipality withdraw, and enter the house opposite the church to draw up the declaration of interment. It was nearly nine o’clock, and still daylight.

     Release of Madame Royale.–Her Marriage to the Duc d’Angouleme.
     –Return to France.–Death.

The last person to hear of the sad events in the Temple was the one for whom they had the deepest and most painful interest. After her brother’s death the captivity of Madame Royale was much lightened. She was allowed to walk in the Temple gardens, and to receive visits from some ladies of the old Court, and from Madame de Chantereine, who at last, after several times evading her questions, ventured cautiously to tell her of the deaths of her mother, aunt, and brother. Madame Royale wept bitterly, but had much difficulty in expressing her feelings. “She spoke so confusedly,” says Madame de la Ramiere in a letter to Madame de Verneuil, "that it was difficult to understand her. It took her more than a month’s reading aloud, with careful study of pronunciation, to make herself intelligible,–so much had she lost the power of expression." She was dressed with plainness amounting to poverty, and her hands were disfigured by exposure to cold and by the menial work she had been so long accustomed to do for herself, and which it was difficult to persuade her to leave off. When urged to accept the services of an attendant, she replied, with a sad prevision of the vicissitudes of her future life, that she did not like to form a habit which she might have again to abandon. She suffered herself, however, to be persuaded gradually to modify her recluse and ascetic habits. It was well she did so, as a preparation for the great changes about to follow.

Nine days after the death of her brother, the city of Orleans interceded for the daughter of Louis XVI., and sent deputies to the Convention to pray for her deliverance and restoration to her family. Names followed this example; and Charette, on the part of the Vendeans, demanded, as a condition of the pacification of La Vendee, that the Princess should be allowed to join her relations. At length the Convention decreed that Madame Royale should be exchanged with Austria for the representatives and ministers whom Dumouriez had given up to the Prince of Cobourg,– Drouet, Semonville, Maret, and other prisoners of importance. At midnight on 19th December, 1795, which was her birthday, the Princess was released from prison, the Minister of the Interior, M. Benezech, to avoid attracting public attention and possible disturbance, conducting her on foot from the Temple to a neighbouring street, where his carriage awaited her. She made it her particular request that Gomin, who had been so devoted to her brother, should be the commissary appointed to accompany her to the frontier; Madame de Soucy, formerly under-governess to the children of France, was also in attendance; and the Princess took with her a dog named Coco, which had belonged to Louis XVI.

     [The mention of the little dog taken from the Temple by Madame
     Royale reminds me how fond all the family were of these creatures.
     Each Princess kept a different kind.  Mesdames had beautiful
     spaniels; little grayhounds were preferred by Madame Elisabeth.
     Louis XVI. was the only one of all his family who had no dogs in his
     room.  I remember one day waiting in the great gallery for the
     King’s retiring, when he entered with all his family and the whole
     pack, who were escorting him.  All at once all the dogs began to
     bark, one louder than another, and ran away, passing like ghosts
     along those great dark rooms, which rang with their hoarse cries.
     The Princesses shouting, calling them, running everywhere after
     them, completed a ridiculous spectacle, which made those august
     persons very merry.–D’HEZECQUES, p. 49.]

She was frequently recognised on her way through France, and always with marks of pleasure and respect.

It might have been supposed that the Princess would rejoice to leave behind her the country which had been the scene of so many horrors and such bitter suffering. But it was her birthplace, and it held the graves of all she loved; and as she crossed the frontier she said to those around her, “I leave France with regret, for I shall never cease to consider it my country.” She arrived in Vienna on 9th January, 1796, and her first care was to attend a memorial service for her murdered relatives. After many weeks of close retirement she occasionally began to appear in public, and people looked with interest at the pale, grave, slender girl of seventeen, dressed in the deepest mourning, over whose young head such terrible storms had swept. The Emperor wished her to marry the Archduke Charles of Austria, but her father and mother had, even in the cradle, destined her hand for her cousin, the Duc d’Angouleme, son of the Comte d’Artois, and the memory of their lightest wish was law to her.

Her quiet determination entailed anger and opposition amounting to persecution. Every effort was made to alienate her from her French relations. She was urged to claim Provence, which had become her own if Louis XVIII. was to be considered King of France. A pressure of opinion was brought to bear upon her which might well have overawed so young a girl. “I was sent for to the Emperor’s cabinet,” she writes, “where I found the imperial family assembled. The ministers and chief imperial counsellors were also present . . . . When the Emperor invited me to express my opinion, I answered that to be able to treat fittingly of such interests I thought, I ought to be surrounded not only by my mother’s relatives, but also by those of my father . . . . Besides, I said, I was above all things French, and in entire subjection to the laws of France, which had rendered me alternately the subject of the King my father, the King my brother, and the King my uncle, and that I would yield obedience to the latter, whatever might be his commands. This declaration appeared very much to dissatisfy all who were present, and when they observed that I was not to be shaken, they declared that my right being independent of my will, my resistance would not be the slightest obstacle to the measures they might deem it necessary to adopt for the preservation of my interests.”

In their anxiety to make a German princess of Marie Therese, her imperial relations suppressed her French title as much as possible. When, with some difficulty, the Duc de Grammont succeeded in obtaining an audience of her, and used the familiar form of address, she smiled faintly, and bade him beware. “Call me Madame de Bretagne, or de Bourgogne, or de Lorraine,” she said, “for here I am so identified with these provinces –[which the Emperor wished her to claim from her uncle Louis XVIII.]– that I shall end in believing in my own transformation.” After these discussions she was so closely watched, and so many restraints were imposed upon her, that she was scarcely less a prisoner than in the old days of the Temple, though her cage was this time gilded. Rescue, however, was at hand.

In 1798 Louis XVIII. accepted a refuge offered to him at Mittau by the Czar Paul, who had promised that he would grant his guest’s first request, whatever it might be. Louis begged the Czar to use his influence with the Court of Vienna to allow his niece to join him. "Monsieur, my brother,” was Paul’s answer, “Madame Royale shall be restored to you, or I shall cease to be Paul I.” Next morning the Czar despatched a courier to Vienna with a demand for the Princess, so energetically worded that refusal must have been followed by war. Accordingly, in May, 1799, Madame Royale was allowed to leave the capital which she had found so uncongenial an asylum.

In the old ducal castle of Mittau, the capital of Courland, Louis XVIII. and his wife, with their nephews, the Ducs d’Angouleme

     [The Duc d’Angonleme was quiet and reserved.  He loved hunting as
     means of killing time; was given to early hours and innocent
     pleasures.  He was a gentleman, and brave as became one.  He had not
     the “gentlemanly vices” of his brother, and was all the better for
     it.  He was ill educated, but had natural good sense, and would have
     passed for having more than that had he cared to put forth
     pretensions.  Of all his family he was the one most ill spoken of,
     and least deserving of it.–DOCTOR DORAN.]

and de Berri, were awaiting her, attended by the Abbe Edgeworth, as chief ecclesiastic, and a little Court of refugee nobles and officers. With them were two men of humbler position, who must have been even more welcome to Madame Royale,–De Malden, who had acted as courier to Louis XVI. during the flight to Varennes, and Turgi, who had waited on the Princesses in the Temple. It was a sad meeting, though so long anxiously desired, and it was followed on 10th June, 1799, by an equally sad wedding,–exiles, pensioners on the bounty of the Russian monarch, fulfilling an engagement founded, not on personal preference, but on family policy and reverence for the wishes of the dead, the bride and bridegroom had small cause for rejoicing. During the eighteen months of tranquil seclusion which followed her marriage, the favourite occupation of the Duchess was visiting and relieving the poor. In January, 1801, the Czar Paul, in compliance with the demand of Napoleon, who was just then the object of his capricious enthusiasm, ordered the French royal family to leave Mittau. Their wanderings commenced on the 21st, a day of bitter memories; and the young Duchess led the King to his carriage through a crowd of men, women, and children, whose tears and blessings attended them on their way.

     [The Queen was too ill to travel.  The Duc d’Angouleme took another
     route to join a body of French gentlemen in arms for the Legitimist

The exiles asked permission from the King of Prussia to settle in his dominions, and while awaiting his answer at Munich they were painfully surprised by the entrance of five old soldiers of noble birth, part of the body-guard they had left behind at Mittau, relying on the protection of Paul. The “mad Czar” had decreed their immediate expulsion, and, penniless and almost starving, they made their way to Louis XVIII. All the money the royal family possessed was bestowed on these faithful servants, who came to them in detachments for relief, and then the Duchess offered her diamonds to the Danish consul for an advance of two thousand ducats, saying she pledged her property “that in our common distress it may be rendered of real use to my uncle, his faithful servants, and myself.” The Duchess’s consistent and unselfish kindness procured her from the King, and those about him who knew her best, the name of “our angel.”

Warsaw was for a brief time the resting-place of the wanderers, but there they were disturbed in 1803 by Napoleon’s attempt to threaten and bribe Louis XVIII. into abdication. It was suggested that refusal might bring upon them expulsion from Prussia. “We are accustomed to suffering,” was the King’s answer, “and we do not dread poverty. I would, trusting in God, seek another asylum.” In 1808, after many changes of scene, this asylum was sought in England, Gosfield Hall, Essex, being placed at their disposal by the Marquis of Buckingham. From Gosfield, the King moved to Hartwell Hall, a fine old Elizabethan mansion rented from Sir George Lee for L 500 a year. A yearly grant of L 24,000 was made to the exiled family by the British Government, out of which a hundred and forty persons were supported, the royal dinner-party generally numbering two dozen.

At Hartwell, as in her other homes, the Duchess was most popular amongst the poor. In general society she was cold and reserved, and she disliked the notice of strangers. In March, 1814, the royalist successes at Bordeaux paved the way for the restoration of royalty in France, and amidst general sympathy and congratulation, with the Prince Regent himself to wish them good fortune, the King, the Duchess, and their suite left Hartwell in April, 1814. The return to France was as triumphant as a somewhat half-hearted and doubtful enthusiasm could make it, and most of such cordiality as there was fell to the share of the Duchess. As she passed to Notre-Dame in May, 1814, on entering Paris, she was vociferously greeted. The feeling of loyalty, however, was not much longer-lived than the applause by which it was expressed; the Duchess had scarcely effected one of the strongest wishes of her heart,–the identification of what remained of her parents’ bodies, and the magnificent ceremony with which they were removed from the cemetery of the Madeleine to the Abbey of St. Denis,–when the escape of Napoleon from Elba in February,1815, scattered the royal family and their followers like chaff before the wind. The Duc d’Angouleme, compelled to capitulate at Toulouse, sailed from Cette in a Swedish vessel. The Comte d’Artois, the Duc de Berri, and the Prince de Conde withdrew beyond the frontier. The King fled from the capital. The Duchesse d’Angouleme, then at Bordeaux celebrating the anniversary of the Proclamation of Louis XVIII., alone of all her family made any stand against the general panic. Day after day she mounted her horse and reviewed the National Guard. She made personal and even passionate appeals to the officers and men, standing firm, and prevailing on a handful of soldiers to remain by her, even when the imperialist troops were on the other side of the river and their cannon were directed against the square where the Duchess was reviewing her scanty followers.

     ["It was the Duchesse d’Angouleme who saved you,” said the gallant
     General Clauzel, after these events, to a royalist volunteer;
     “I could not bring myself to order such a woman to be fired upon,
     at the moment when she was providing material for the noblest page
     in her history."–"Fillia Dolorosa,” vol. vii., p. 131.]

With pain and difficulty she was convinced that resistance was vain; Napoleon’s banner soon floated over Bordeaux; the Duchess issued a farewell proclamation to her “brave Bordelais,” and on the 1st April, 1815, she started for Pouillac, whence she embarked for Spain. During a brief visit to England she heard that the reign of a hundred days was over, and the 27th of July, 1815, saw her second triumphal return to the Tuileries. She did not take up her abode there with any wish for State ceremonies or Court gaieties. Her life was as secluded as her position would allow. Her favourite retreat was the Pavilion, which had been inhabited by her mother, and in her little oratory she collected relics of her family, over which on the anniversaries of their deaths she wept and prayed. In her daily drives through Paris she scrupulously avoided the spot on which they had suffered; and the memory of the past seemed to rule all her sad and self-denying life, both in what she did and what she refrained from doing.

     [She was so methodical and economical, though liberal in her
     charities, that one of her regular evening occupations was to tear
     off the seals from the letters she had received during the day, in
     order that the wax might be melted down and sold; the produce made
     one poor family “passing rich with forty pounds a year."–See “Filia
     Dolorosa,” vol. ii., p. 239.]

Her somewhat austere goodness was not of a nature to make her popular. The few who really understood her loved her, but the majority of her pleasure-seeking subjects regarded her either with ridicule or dread. She is said to have taken no part in politics, and to have exerted no influence in public affairs, but her sympathies were well known, and “the very word liberty made her shudder;” like Madame Roland, she had seen “so many crimes perpetrated under that name.”

The claims of three pretended Dauphins–Hervagault, the son of the tailor of St. Lo; Bruneau, son of the shoemaker of Vergin; and Naundorf or Norndorff, the watchmaker somewhat troubled her peace, but never for a moment obtained her sanction. Of the many other pseudo-Dauphins (said to number a dozen and a half) not even the names remain. In February,1820, a fresh tragedy befell the royal family in the assassination of the Duc de Berri, brother-in-law of the Duchesse d’Angouleme, as he was seeing his wife into her carriage at the door of the Opera-house. He was carried into the theatre, and there the dying Prince and his wife were joined by the Duchess, who remained till he breathed his last, and was present when he, too, was laid in the Abbey of St. Denis. She was present also when his son, the Duc de Bordeaux, was born, and hoped that she saw in him a guarantee for the stability of royalty in France. In September, 1824, she stood by the death-bed of Louis XVIII., and thenceforward her chief occupation was directing the education of the little Duc de Bordeaux, who generally resided with her at Villeneuve l’Etang, her country house near St. Cloud. Thence she went in July, 1830, to the Baths of Vichy, stopping at Dijon on her way to Paris, and visiting the theatre on the evening of the 27th. She was received with "a roar of execrations and seditious cries,” and knew only too well what they signified. She instantly left the theatre and proceeded to Tonnere, where she received news of the rising in Paris, and, quitting the town by night, was driven to Joigny with three attendants. Soon after leaving that place it was thought more prudent that the party should separate and proceed on foot, and the Duchess and M. de Foucigny, disguised as peasants, entered Versailles arm-in-arm, to obtain tidings of the King. The Duchess found him at Rambouillet with her husband, the Dauphin, and the King met her with a request for “pardon,” being fully conscious, too late, that his unwise decrees and his headlong flight had destroyed the last hopes of his family. The act of abdication followed, by which the prospect of royalty passed from the Dauphin and his wife, as well as from Charles X.–Henri V. being proclaimed King, and the Duc d’Orleans (who refused to take the boy monarch under his personal protection) lieutenant-general of the kingdom.

Then began the Duchess’s third expatriation. At Cherbourg the royal family, accompanied by the little King without a kingdom, embarked in the ’Great Britain’, which stood out to sea. The Duchess, remaining on deck for a last look at the coast of France, noticed a brig which kept, she thought, suspiciously near them.

“Who commands that vessel?” she inquired.

“Captain Thibault.”

And what are his orders?”

“To fire into and sink the vessels in which we sail, should any attempt be made to return to France.”

Such was the farewell of their subjects to the House of Bourbon. The fugitives landed at Weymouth; the Duchesse d’Angouleme under the title of Comtesse de Marne, the Duchesse de Berri as Comtesse de Rosny, and her son, Henri de Bordeaux, as Comte de Chambord, the title he retained till his death, originally taken from the estate presented to him in infancy by his enthusiastic people. Holyrood, with its royal and gloomy associations, was their appointed dwelling. The Duc and Duchesse d’Angouleme, and the daughter of the Duc de Berri, travelled thither by land, the King and the young Comte de Chambord by sea. “I prefer my route to that of my sister,” observed the latter, “because I shall see the coast of France again, and she will not.”

The French Government soon complained that at Holyrood the exiles were still too near their native land, and accordingly, in 1832, Charles X., with his son and grandson, left Scotland for Hamburg, while the Duchesse d’Angouleme and her niece repaired to Vienna. The family were reunited at Prague in 1833, where the birthday of the Comte de Chambord was celebrated with some pomp and rejoicing, many Legitimists flocking thither to congratulate him on attaining the age of thirteen, which the old law of monarchical France had fixed as the majority of her princes. Three years later the wanderings of the unfortunate family recommenced; the Emperor Francis II. was dead, and his successor, Ferdinand, must visit Prague to be crowned, and Charles X. feared that the presence of a discrowned monarch might be embarrassing on such an occasion. Illness and sorrow attended the exiles on their new journey, and a few months after they were established in the Chateau of Graffenburg at Goritz, Charles X. died of cholera, in his eightieth year. At Goritz, also, on the 31st May, 1844, the Duchesse d’Angouleme, who had sat beside so many death-beds, watched over that of her husband. Theirs had not been a marriage of affection in youth, but they respected each other’s virtues, and to a great extent shared each other’s tastes; banishment and suffering had united them very closely, and of late years they had been almost inseparable,–walking, riding, and reading together. When the Duchesse d’Angouleme had seen her husband laid by his father’s side in the vault of the Franciscan convent, she, accompanied by her nephew and niece, removed to Frohsdorf, where they spent seven tranquil years. Here she was addressed as “Queen” by her household for the first time in her life, but she herself always recognised Henri, Comte de Chambord, as her sovereign. The Duchess lived to see the overthrow of Louis Philippe, the usurper of the inheritance of her family. Her last attempt to exert herself was a characteristic one. She tried to rise from a sick-bed in order to attend the memorial service held for her mother, Marie Antoinette, on the 16th October, the anniversary of her execution. But her strength was not equal to the task; on the 19th she expired, with her hand in that of the Comte de Chambord, and on 28th October, 1851, Marie Therese Charlotte, Duchesse d’Angouleme, was buried in the Franciscan convent.

The Ceremony of Expiation.

“In the spring of 1814 a ceremony took place in Paris at which I was present because there was nothing in it that could be mortifying to a French heart. The death of Louis XVI. had long been admitted to be one of the most serious misfortunes of the Revolution. The Emperor Napoleon never spoke of that sovereign but in terms of the highest respect, and always prefixed the epithet unfortunate to his name. The ceremony to which I allude was proposed by the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia. It consisted of a kind of expiation and purification of the spot on which Louis XVI. and his Queen were beheaded. I went to see the ceremony, and I had a place at a window in the Hotel of Madame de Remusat, next to the Hotel de Crillon, and what was termed the Hotel de Courlande.

“The expiation took place on the 10th of April. The weather was extremely fine and warm for the season. The Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia, accompanied by Prince Schwartzenberg, took their station at the entrance of the Rue Royale; the King of Prussia being on the right of the Emperor Alexander, and Prince Schwartzenberg on his left. There was a long parade, during which the Russian, Prussian and Austrian military bands vied with each other in playing the air, ’Vive Henri IV.!’ The cavalry defiled past, and then withdrew into the Champs Elysees; but the infantry ranged themselves round an altar which was raised in the middle of the Place, and which was elevated on a platform having twelve or fifteen steps. The Emperor of Russia alighted from his horse, and, followed by the King of Prussia, the Grand Duke Constantine, Lord Cathcart, and Prince Schwartzenberg, advanced to the altar. When the Emperor had nearly reached the altar the “Te Deum” commenced. At the moment of the benediction, the sovereigns and persons who accompanied them, as well as the twenty-five thousand troops who covered the Place, all knelt down. The Greek priest presented the cross to the Emperor Alexander, who kissed it; his example was followed by the individuals who accompanied him, though they were not of the Greek faith. On rising, the Grand Duke Constantine took off his hat, and immediately salvoes of artillery were heard.”


The following titles have the signification given below during the period covered by this work:

MONSEIGNEUR........... The Dauphin.

MONSIEUR.............. The eldest brother of the King, Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII.

MONSIEUR LE PRINCE.... The Prince de Conde, head of the House of Conde.

MONSIEUR LE DUC....... The Duc de Bourbon, the eldest son of the Prince
                       de Condo (and the father of the Duc d’Enghien shot
                       by Napoleon).

MONSIEUR LE GRAND..... The Grand Equerry under the ancien regime.

MONSIEUR LE PREMIER... The First Equerry under the ancien regime.

ENFANS DE FRANCE...... The royal children.

MADAME & MESDAMES..... Sisters or daughters of the King, or Princesses near the Throne (sometimes used also for the wife of Monsieur, the eldest brother of the King, the Princesses Adelaide, Victoire, Sophie, Louise, daughters of Louis XV., and aunts of Louis XVI.)

MADAME ELISABETH...... The Princesse Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI.

MADAME ROYALE......... The Princesse Marie Therese, daughter of Louis XVI., afterwards Duchesse d’Angouleme.

MADEMOISELLE.......... The daughter of Monsieur, the brother of the King.

Etext Editor’s Bookmarks From the Entire Marie Antoinette:

A man

 born solely to contradict
Advised the King not to separate himself from his army
Ah, Madame, we have all been killed in our masters’ service!
Alas! her griefs double mine!
Allowed her candles and as much firewood as she wanted
Better to die than to implicate anybody
Brought me her daughter Hortense de Beauharnais
Carried the idea of the prerogative of rank to a high pitch
Common and blamable practice of indulgence
Condescension which renders approbation more offensive
Customs are nearly equal to laws
Difference between brilliant theories and the simplest practice
Dignified tone which alone secures the respect due to power
Displaying her acquirements with rather too much confidence
Duc d’Orleans, when called on to give his vote for death of King
Elegant entertainments were given to Doctor Franklin
Etiquette still existed at Court, dignity alone was wanting
Extreme simplicity was the Queens first and only real mistake
Fashion of wearing a black coat without being in mourning
Favourite of a queen is not, in France, a happy one
Formed rather to endure calamity with patience than to contend
Grand-Dieu, mamma! will it be yesterday over again?
Happiness does not dwell in palaces
He is afraid to command
His ruin was resolved on; they passed to the order of the day
His seraglio in the Parc-aux-Cerfs
History of the man with the iron mask
How can I have any regret when I partake your misfortunes
I hate all that savours of fanaticism
I do not like these rhapsodies
I love the conveniences of life too well
If ever I establish a republic of women....
Indulge in the pleasure of vice and assume the credit of virtue
King (gave) the fatal order to the Swiss to cease firing
La Fayette to rescue the royal family and convey them to Rouen
Leave me in peace; be assured that I can put no heir in danger
Louis Philippe, the usurper of the inheritance of her family
Mirabeau forgot that it was more easy to do harm than good
Most intriguing little Carmelite in the kingdom
My father fortunately found a library which amused him
Never shall a drop of French blood be shed by my order
No one is more dangerous than a man clothed with recent authority
No accounting for the caprices of a woman
No ears that will discover when she (The Princess) is out of tune
None but little minds dreaded little books
Observe the least pretension on account of the rank or fortune
Of course I shall be either hissed or applauded.
On domestic management depends the preservation of their fortune
Prevent disorder from organising itself
Princes thus accustomed to be treated as divinities
Princess at 12 years was not mistress of the whole alphabet
Rabble, always ready to insult genius, virtue, and misfortune
Saw no other advantage in it than that of saving her own life
She often carried her economy to a degree of parsimony
Shocking to find so little a man in the son of the Marechal
Shun all kinds of confidence
Simplicity of the Queen’s toilet began to be strongly censured
So many crimes perpetrated under that name (liberty)
Spirit of party can degrade the character of a nation
Subjecting the vanquished to be tried by the conquerors
Taken pains only to render himself beloved by his pupil
Tastes may change
That air of truth which always carries conviction
The author (Beaumarchais) was sent to prison soon afterwards
The Jesuits were suppressed
The three ministers, more ambitious than amorous
The charge of extravagance
The emigrant party have their intrigues and schemes
The King delighted to manage the most disgraceful points
The anti-Austrian party, discontented and vindictive
There is not one real patriot among all this infamous horde
They say you live very poorly here, Moliere
Those muskets were immediately embarked and sold to the Americans
Those who did it should not pretend to wish to remedy it
To be formally mistress, a husband had to be found
True nobility, gentlemen, consists in giving proofs of it
Ventured to give such rash advice: inoculation
Was but one brilliant action that she could perform
We must have obedience, and no reasoning
Well, this is royally ill played!
What do young women stand in need of?–Mothers!
When kings become prisoners they are very near death
While the Queen was blamed, she was blindly imitated
Whispered in his mother’s ear, “Was that right?"
"Would be a pity,” she said, “to stop when so fairly on the road"
Young Prince suffered from the rickets
Your swords have rusted in their scabbards

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