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History Of Madame Tussaud's

( Originally Published 1920 )



G. A. SALA ON MARIE ANTOINETTE

The Royal Family—The Queen—Her "trial," condemnation and death—The Sansons—Sala's impressions.

THERE are some stories so dreadful in the immensity of human misery which they reveal—there are some tragedies of which the catastrophe is one of such unmitigated horror, that the reader who has general impressions of what will be the end of the dismal tale, but who is unfamiliar with its particular circumstances, is unable to follow, without some kind of impatience, the opening scenes of the drama. He has continually in his mind's eye the awful falling of the curtain on anguish and despair and death, Half unconsciously he hastens on in his perusal, and slurs over minor episodes and seemingly trifling facts, forgetting that these are subsidiary and auxiliary to the terrible consummation which he so anxiously awaits. "Toutes chooses meuvent vers leur fin," Rabelais has said; but the little things—the slender fibres of a story—are gathered up as it proceeds, into bundles; and, acquiring importance from consolidation, are ultimately merged in the final and tremendous whole.

Thus there have been many records of human life and action, now real, now artificial, in reading which we have to encounter an almost uncontrollable impulse to turn to the end, and ascertain whether that of which we have had, at the beginning, a vague forecast, will really come to pass. Who, if he will only have the candour to acknowledge it, has not had to struggle with such an impulse in reading, say, the Electra of Sophocles, the Faust of Goethe, and the Bride of Lammermoor of Scott?—three of the most perfectly tragic dramas, I take it, ever fashioned by the hand of mortal genius. And so it is with numerous tragedies of superhuman structure and ordinance. In both cases we pant for the last scene of all, which is to end the strange eventful history. What will be the fate of Aegisthus, and the doom of Clytemnestra? Who, if anyone, will rescue Gretchen from a shameful death'? How will Edgar Ravenswood bear his immeasurable sorrow?

These are the problems which agitate us in the study of fiction, and irresistibly impel us to hasten from the prologue to the epilogue—from the exordium to the peroration. And to speed as quickly is usually our de-sire when we are confronted with the tragedies of history, or with the vouched-for chronicles of human passion and crime. Throw down on the floor Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, it has been said, and the volume will open, automatically, at the page where the execution of Charles I is described. Try to concentrate your thoughts on the history of Marie Stuart; and, coldly, clearly, sternly distinct in the midst of a whirligig of scenes and events—the Louvre, Holyrood, the Kirk of Field, Lochleven and what not—there stands out the image of the Hall at Fotheringay, the black scaffold, the block, the masked headsman; the Dean of Peterborough drearily homilising, and the Puritan Earl of Kent ranting; while the weeping tire-women disrobe the royal victim, her little pet dog snuggling by her, not without difficulty when the axe has fallen to be dislodged from the corse of the kind mistress he loved so well, and who has been stricken down by cruel men, he knows not why. See this, as I see it.

It is my purpose to write something on the eventful life and dreadful ending of Queen Marie Antoinette. I try, when I remember the sunshine of her early days —her youth, her beauty, her grace—to put myself in a cheerful frame of mind. I wish to look, at least for a little while, on the bright side of a career which began so splendidly and so happily. I would fain picture to myself the daughter of Maria Theresa, as Edmund Burke saw her at Versailles—smiling, radiant, adored. I would fain hear the clash of the thirty thou-sand swords which should have leaped from their scabbards to avenge the slightest affront to the peerless consort of the King of France and Navarre.

I take from my shelves the Journal de Madame Eloff—the ledger containing the milliner and dressmaker's bills of a perhaps too extravagant young Queen —an endless catalogue of taffetas and satins, gauze and ribbons, high-heeled shoes and embroidered gloves, scent-bottles, reticules, feathers, artificial flowers and fans. From an old Boule cabinet I lift tenderly a dainty little coffee-cup of Sèvres egg-shell porcelain, adorned with an exquisite miniature of her, painted when she had only been two years the wife of the hapless Louis. The cup is half embedded in a setting of velvet bleu du Roi; and, alas ! when I draw the ceramic gem delicately from the case I see that the cup has no handle.

A maimed relic, this porcelain trifle, possibly of a priceless breakfast set, wantonly shattered by a howling mob of poissardes and red night-capped "patriots" who had sacked one of the Royal Palaces. A crowd of memories are conjured up by this morsel of dismembered Sèvres. I see, as in a glass darkly, the Galerie des Glaces and the OEil-de-Boeuf at Versailles. I see the toy Dairy at the Petit Trianon; the banquet of the Gardes du Corps in the Great Theatre of the Palace; the King and Queen : the Royal Princesses circulating among the guests and distributing white cockades among them; while the musicians make the hall re-sound with the strains of "Oh, Richard! Oh, mon Roi!"

No, surely, the age of Chivalry is not past, and thrice ten thousand glaives will leap into the light to vindicate the outraged Majesty of France. There's no such thing! A confused picture—a panorama all torn to shreds and splashed with mud and flecked with blood flows before me. The Etats Genéraux have wed: the nobility sparkling in velvet and plumes and golden broideries; the clergy brave in copes and mitres and point lace : the "Tiers Etat," all in sombre black, short-cloaked, slouch-hatted, grave, preoccupied, looking unutterable things. Among them looms, very real and portentous indeed, a thick-set, pock-marked man, with an eye of fire. This is Honore Gabriel Riquetti, rightly Comte de Mirabeau, but who has broken with his or-der, and styling himself "Mirabeau Marchand de Draps"—a retail clothier from Marseilles, forsooth ! of about forty-eight hours' commercial standing—stalks among country notaries and shopkeepers, farmers and shopkeepers as a Deputy of the Third Estate.

But all these fade away from my field of vision. I set to studying and balancing my rambling thoughts. I have to deal with Marie Antoinette, Josephe-Jeanne de Lorraine, wife of Louis XVI, and who was born, you will remember, at Vienna, on the 2nd of November, 1755, the very day of that earthquake at Lis-bon in the occurrence of which Dr. Johnson for a long time so resolutely refused to believe. Would the doctor, I wonder, had he lived in 1793, have declined to place credence in a newspaper report of what is now to be narrated—an upheaval more dreadful and disastrous than any physical convulsion of the earth's crust? The tattered, muddy, gory panorama fades into a murky nothingness. Then, out of the Valley of Shadows there arises, terribly distinct and substantial, THIS_____

It is a raw, chilly, marrow-searching day in the month of October, 1793. A spacious hall, known in this new and blessed era of Universal Regeneration, and Unlimited Throat-Cutting, as the Salle de la Liberté, in the Palais de Justice, hard by the prison of the Conciergerie, has been swept and garnished for the' trial of the discrowned and desolate widow of "Louis Capet," murdered on the scaffold in the Place de la Revolution last January. In a dark and filthy dungeon of that same Conciergerie Marie Antoinette has been immured since August. The walls of the Salle de la Liberté have been newly whitewashed—no voluptuous frescoes or oil painting in this abode of Republican simplicity, if you please : only patriotic lime-whiting and democratic glue—and the almost blinding glare of the stark walls brings out in strong relief the dark green canopy suspended over the heads of the Judges of the Revolutionary Tribunal, who are five in number, the President being one, Hermann.

Above this precious conclave are the busts of Brutus —save the mark!—and two recent Revolutionary notorieties : the infamous Marat, deservedly done to death by Charlotte Corday and the member of the Convention, Lepelletier de St. Fargeau, who had voted for the death sentence on Louis XVI, and who immediately afterwards was stabbed to death by an ex-Garde du Corps in an eating house in the Palais National—once Palais Royal. The busts are crowned with scarlet caps of liberty, adorned with monstrous tri-coloured cockades, and are flanked by two huge oil lamps. There will be need of the lamps; for the deliberation of the tribunal will probably last far into the night.

The judges sit at a long table which, although shabby, is somewhat pretentious in its upholstering, since the legs are of mahogany, and fluted, and the brazen feet are fashioned in the shape of griffin's claws, and exhibit some traces of bygone gilding. This table is yet extant, and forms part of the furniture of the Court of Cassation, which at present holds its sittings in the old Salle de la Liberté. The Public Accuser has his place in front of the President; the jury—yes, this monstrous tribunal has a jury !—is to the left of the judges; and to the right is the desk of the Counsel for the defence. Behind him is the seat for the prisoners. A breast-high balustrade separates the Court from the space set apart for the public, which is ample enough, and is thronged, this dreary October morning, by a motely crew of sans culottes, mechanics, lamplighters, bargemen and coarse, loud-voiced women from the markets, some of them known as "Tricoteuses" and "Furies of the Guillotine."

Between the balustrade and the body of the Court runs a long gangway, at one extremity of which is a door, communicating by means of a narrow staircase with the Gaol of the Conciergerie.

Up this staircase and through this door, and along this gangway, and so through an opening of the balustrade into the criminal dock, there is brought, between two gendarmes, a woman of middle age, with abundant hair which has turned quite grey lately, and features which retain a few—a very few—traces of former comeliness. She is barely eight-and-thirty, and she looks full fifty. She is miserably clad in an old, patched, threadbare gown of black serge, which has been mended for her innumerable times by a compassionate girl named Rosalie, the daughter of the gaoler. Her shoes are old, full of holes, and down at heel. She wears black cotton stockings, and about her shoulders is arranged a kind of tippet, or pelérine, of frayed white muslin. As yet she wears no cap; and her long tresses have been carefully dressed and oiled this morning by the pitying Rosalie. Obviously, she is in mourning for her husband, sometime King of France and Navarre; but the Revolutionary Tribunal knows nothing of such titles, and in the Act of Accusation, which is read in a monotonous sing-song by the Greffier, the prisoner is arraigned as "Marie Antoinette, of Austria and Lorraine, widow of Louis Capet."

The indictment goes on to say that the widow. Capet has by her crimes rendered herself the worthy compeer of Brunéhaut, Fredegonde, and Catherine de Medicis; that since she has had her abode in France she has been the scourge and bloodsucker of her adopted country; and that even before "the Happy Revolution which gave the French their sovereignty" she entered into political correspondence with "the man calling him-self King of Bohemia and Hungary"—this is the Emperor of Austria her brother—that, in conjunction with the brothers of Louis Capet, and "the execrable and in-famous Calonne" she had squandered the resources of France (the fruit of the sweat of the people) in a dreadful manner, "to satisfy inordinate pleasures and to pay the agents of her criminal intrigues."

In another count of the indictment she is charged with being "an adept in all sorts of crimes." One of these "crimes" is, that on the evening of the famous banquet to the Garde du Corps, and the Regiment de Flanders, in the Opera House at Versailles, she, with the King and a numerous and brilliant following, had passed between the lines of tables, distributing white cockades to the officers and encouraging them to trample the national or tri-coloured cockade under foot.

"Prisoner," thunders the President, "were you there when the band played the air, `Oh, Richard, oh mon Roi'?"

"I do not recollect," replies the Queen.

"Were you there when the toast of `The Nation' was proposed and refused?"

"I do not think that I was."

"Did not your husband read his speech to the representatives to you half-an-hour before he delivered it?"

"My husband had great confidence in me, and that made him read his speech to me; but I made no observations."

Fancy cutting a poor woman's head off because her husband read her a speech which he was about to de-liver in public ! Does Mr. Gladstone, does Lord Randolph Churchill, does Sir William Harcourt, I wonder, ever favour the domestic circle with such "fore-lectures" as Dr. Furnival might call them?

A remarkable witness against Marie Antoinette is a ruffian named Roussillon, who deposes that on the fatal Tenth of August when the Tuileries was stormed by the mob, he saw under the Queen's bed a number of empty wine-bottles, "from which," adds Roussillon, "I concluded that she had herself distributed wine to the Swiss soldiers, that these wretches in their intoxication might assassinate the people."

Another witness testifies that among the effects of the ex-Queen found at the prison of the Temple was a satin rib and bearing the gilt image of a Heart with the inscription "Cor Jesu miserere nabis." Other testimony is to the effect that while the Queen and the children were incarcerated in the Temple, after the execution of Louis, the poor little Dauphin was placed at the top of the. table by his mother, and was served first; thus justifying the inference that she ignored the Republic, One and Indivisible, and recognised her young son as Louis XVII, and the successor of his murdered sire.

Another charge, an abominable charge, and one so monstrous as to make it scarcely credible that it should be launched against a woman and a mother, is that she had systematically sought to corrupt the mind of the poor young prince. To this horrible allegation she makes at first no answer. At length, when the charge is repeated, she is moved to noble indignation, and ex-claims : You accuse me of an impossibility : "J'en appelle à toutes les mères." I appeal to all mothers. But the instinct of maternity seems to be dead in all that hall of blood, and the beldames in the public tribunes only yell and gibe at her.

Less revolting, but equally preposterous, is the evidence of one Reneé Mullet, a chambermaid who has been in service at Versailles, and this hussey swears that one day, "in a moment of good humour," she asked the ci-devant Duc de Coigny whether the Emperor still continued to wage war against the Turks; as in that case France would soon be ruined, the Queen having sent her brother no less than two hundred mil-lions of livres, wherewith to carry on hostilities. To this, according to the gossiping waiting woman, the Duke made answer : "Thou art right enough. Two hundred millions have already been spent, and we are not at the end of it yet."

It is on such evidence as this—evidence not heavy enough to detach a feather from a pigeon's wing, not convincing enough to prove a forty shilling debt, the wretched Marie Antoinette is at length convicted. The President sums up, furiously, against her. The advocates who defend her, Chauveau and Tronçon-Ducoudray have little to say, to the point, and can only feebly plead for clemency to be extended to her; and the jury, after deliberating for fifty-five minutes, return a verdict affirming all the charges submitted to them. Hermann calls on the accused to declare whether she has any objection to make to the sentence of the law demanded by the Public Accuser. Marie Antoinette bows her head in token of a negative.

Then the tribunal, putting their bloodthirsty heads together for a few minutes, condemn Marie Antoinette of Austria and Lorraine, widow of Louis Capet to the punishment of Death, "and the confiscation of all her property for the benefit of the Republic, the sentence to be executed in the Square of the Revolution." The confiscation of all her property!" When she was dead, an inventory was taken of the few rags which she had left behind her in her cell in the Conciergerie, and they were appraised at the magnificent sum of nine livres, about seven and sixpence sterling. Nine livres all told ! In the second year of her marriage it was computed that the roll and butter served every morning to each of her ladies of honour, cost two thousand livres, or eighty pounds a year; and five thousand livres was the annual charge for the bouillon, or beef-tea, kept hot by day and by night for Madame Royale, who was a weakly child. During the earlier portion of her imprisonment the unhappy Queen had been sup-plied with body linen by the compassionate care of the Marchioness of Stafford, the wife of the British Ambassador in Paris, but there was no kindly Ambassadress to succour her in her last and darkest days, and the only hand held forth in pity to this forlorn daughter of the Caesars was that of a gaoler's daughter.

It was half past four on the morning of the sixteenth of October when this infernal tribunal adjourned, and the Queen was conducted back to her prison. Throughout the whole of her trial she had not ceased to maintain a calm countenance; but at times she seemed to be giving way to a feeling of sheer weary listlessness, and moved her fingers on the bar of the dock before her, as though she was playing on the harpischord. When she heard the sentence pronounced, her features did not shew the slightest alteration; and she walked from the hall erect and seemingly unmoved, gendarmes with drawn swords before and be-hind her, and the beldames of the fish-market and the rag-shops cursing and shrieking at her, just as you may see them in Paul Delaroche's noble picture.

So they took her back to a dungeon twelve feet long, eight feet broad, four feet underground, with a grated window on a level with the pavement. Into this wretched hole some scraps of the coarsest food were brought her; but she was left under the incessant supervision of a female prisoner and two soldiers. It is said that she snatched a little sleep. On waking she asked one of the gendarmes who had been present at the trial whether she had replied "with too much dignity" to the question put to her. "I ask," she added, "because I overheard a woman say, See how haughty she still is." The woman who could have made such an observation must have been one of the hags that Delaroche has painted.

At seven o'clock in the morning, the entire garrison of Paris was under arms. Cannon were placed in all the public places; and at the foot of every bridge from the Quay of the Conciergerie to the Place de la Révolution, that magnificent area between the gardens of the Tuileries, originally called the Place Louis XV, and now know as the Place de la Concorde. At half-past eleven Marie Antoinette, dressed in a white linen déshabille, was brought out from the prison. As though she had been the commonest of malefactors she was made to mount the charette, or open cart, the appointed tumbril of infamy. At least the murderers of her husband had had the decency to allow him the "luxury" of a hackney coach, when he was taken from the Temple to the scaffold. Her hair had been cut short ere she left the gaol, and what remained of her formerly luxuriant tresses was tucked under a white mob-cap. Her hands were tied behind her back.

Of the Queen in this deplorable plight there exists a very beautiful statue executed by Lord Ronald Gower. On the right, in the tumbril, was seated San-son, the executioner, and on the left a "constitutional" priest, that is to say, one who had taken the oath of fealty to the Republic. To the ministrations of this "patriotic" cleric, who was dressed in light grey coat and a bob-wig, Marie Antoinette had in the first in-stance declined to listen; but she occasionally spoke to him on her way to the fatal Place de la Revolution.

An immense mob, in which women were revoltingly numerous, crowded the streets throughout the entire line of route insulting the Queen and vociferating "Long live the Republic !" She seldom cast her eyes on the populace, but from time to time looked with some curiosity on the prodigious military force surrounding the cart. Otherwise her attitude through-out this last dismal pilgrimage was one of half torpid indifference.

As the cart traversed the Rue St. Honoré, the numbed faculties of the Queen seemed momentarily to revive; and she examined with some attention the multitudinous inscriptions of "Liberty" and "Equality" over the shop-fronts.

It was as the vehicle turned the corner of the Rue St. Honoré into that which is now the Rue Royale that the famous painter, David, who, during the Reign of Terror, was a furious Jacobin and a friend of Robes-pierre, but who was destined to become a Baron of the Empire, and to paint the Coronation of Napoleon at Notre Dame, was able from the balcony which he occupied in company with the wife of a member of the Convention to make a sketch of Marie Antoinette. The drawing has come down to us. The features of the Martyr Queen are sharp and pinched, exhibiting no traces whatever of former comeliness, and she looks fifty years of age. It may here be mentioned that the illustrious and pure-minded English sculptor, John Flaxman, when he visited Paris, after the Peace of Amiens, resolutely refused to meet the artist who made the last sketch of Marie Antoinette, and always spoke of him disdainfully as '"David of the bloodstained brush."

The historians are divided in opinion as to the demeanor of Marie Antoinette on the scaffold. Some say that she laid herself down on the fatal plank with calm deliberation, and met her death with noble fortitude, recalling Andrew Marvell's superb lines on the execution of Charles I:

And while the armed bands
Did clap their bloody hands,
He nothing common did, nor mean,
Upon that memorable scene ;
Nor called the gods, in vulgar spite,
To vindicate his helpless might;
But, with his keener eye
The axe's edge did try;
Then bowed his comely head
Down, as upon a bed.

Others narrate that the Queen ascended the steps of the scaffold in great haste, and with apparent impatience, and turned her eyes with much emotion to-wards the Palace of the Tuileries, the scene of her former greatness, and that she made some slight resistance before submitting to the executioner. My own impression is that she was two-thirds dead—that the rigor mortis was upon her before, she reached the scaffold; that she was lifted out of the cart and half carried to the guillotine, and that she did not give the headsman and his assistants the slightest trouble.

It is, at all events, certain that at half past twelve her head was severed from her body. One of the valets du bourreau, or executioner's men, lifted and showed the head streaming with blood, from the four quarters of the scaffold, the mob meanwhile screeching "Vive la République!" and it is asserted that a young man who dipped his handkerchief in the blood, and pressed it with veneration to his heart, was instantly apprehended. The corpse of Marie Antoinette was immediately flung into a pit filled with quicklime, in the graveyard of the Madeleine where the remains of her husband had also been interred.

At the Restoration in 1814, diligent search was made for the ashes of the King and Queen in the cemetery, on the site of which was subsequently erected an Expiatory Chapel. Some half calcined bones and a few scraps of cloth and linen were found; and these last having been identified by experts as having been part of the apparel of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the relics with a considerable quantity of the surrounding earth, were inhumed with much pomp and solemnity, in the Royal Vault of the Cathedral of St. Denis.

Touching the executioner, it may be expedient to record that Marie Antoinette was guillotined, not by Charles Henri Sanson, who beheaded Louis XVI, but by his son, Henri, who died in Paris in 184o, aged seventy-three. The elder Sanson died only a few weeks after he had executed Louis, and the Royalist historians maintain that his death was hastened by remorse for the deed which he had been constrained to commit, and that in his will he bequeathed a considerable sum for the celebration of an annual Expiatory Mass. But this is very doubtful. It has been shown, however, without the possibility of doubt, that the Sanson family were of Florentine origin, and that the ancestors of Charles Henri and of Henri Sanson came to France in the train of Catherine de Medicis. For two hundred years, without intermission, had members of this gloomy historic family been executioners in ordinary to the city of Paris.

In addition to Marie Antoinette, the younger San-son decapitated the Queen's sister-in-law, Madame Elisabeth, and the eloquent advocate, Malesherbes, who undertook the defence of Louise XVI. He likewise beheaded the Duke of Orléans (Philippe Égalité), and last, but not least, Maximilien Robespierre. The so-called Memoris of the Sanson Family are more than half suspected to be mainly apocryphal, and to have been written by one D'Olbreuse, a bookseller's hack; and, according to a writer in the Paris Temps, in 1875 the last of the Sansons was a remarkably mild, flaccid and stupid old gentleman, who was certainly incapable of writing any "Memoirs" whatever, since his own memory was hopelessly decayed, and whose circumstances in his old age became so embarrassed that he was arrested for debt, and confined in the prison of Clichy, whence he only procured his enlargement by pawning the guillotine itself for 4,000 francs!

Shortly after the conclusion of this singular transaction, a murderer had to be executed, and the usual instructions were issued by the Procureur General to Henri Sanson, to have his death dealing apparatus ready on a certain morning in the Place de la Roquette. It then became necessary to explain to the authorities that the fatal machine was practically in the custody of My Uncle. Justice, however, had to be satisfied, and the murderer's head was duly cut off on the appointed morning; but simultaneously with the signature of the Minister of Justice of a draft for 4,000 francs to release the hypothecated guillotine, there was issued an order dismissing Sanson from his post.

And Marie Antoinette'? I have drawn her picture as faithfully as I could, not without much toil and more perplexity for the memoirs of the period in which she lived and died absolutely bristle with falsehoods, the inventions now of Royalist and now of Republican writers. Comparatively few are the facts concerning her which have been exactly ascertained and are altogether indisputable; whereas the name of the unfounded assertions, the insinuations, the hypotheses, and the downright lies, is legion. By some this most unhappy woman has been represented as an angel of goodness and purity, a faithful spouse, a fond parent, a kind mistress, and a most pious and charitable princess. By others she has been depicted as a crafty, unscrupulous and vindictive woman, as perfidious as Borgia and profligate as Messalina.

This is no place in which to discuss at length a most intricate question, all hedged about by obscurity, uncertainties and mysteries which will, perhaps, never be solved. At all events, the story which I have told of her trial and her last moments is true. For the rest, both Royalists and Republicans agree that Marie Antoinette was born at Vienna, in 1755, and was the daughter of Francis of Lorraine, Emperor of Germany, and of Marie Theresa of Austria. In May, 1770, she married the Dauphin Louis, who was grandson of Louis XV of France, and who, in 1774, ascended the French throne as Louis XVI. It would not seem that Marie Antoinette was absolutely beautiful, as beautiful, say, as Queen Louisa of Prussia, or as the Em-press Eugene, still there is a tolerably unanimous consensus of opinion that she was handsome, lively, amiable, and thoroughly kind-hearted. It is possible that she may have been a little thoughtless in her youth; and the ledgers of Madame Eloffe certainly show that, as regards her toilet, Marie Antoinette was a most prodigal Queen. But is it a mortal sin in a young, pretty and sprightly woman to spend a good deal of money on dress? How many hundred dresses did our chaste Queen Elizabeth leave behind her, in her ward-robe, at her death?

It must be granted that when the dissensions of the Revolution began, Marie Antoinette was on the Conservative side, and that she tried her hardest to incline her husband to that side. Was it so very unnatural that she should do so? Her brother, the Emperor Joseph, used to say that "Royalty was his trade"; and poor Marie Antoinette may have laboured under a similar persuasion. But the times were very bad indeed for the "trade" of Royalty, and there arose a grim conviction among the working millions that the best way of mending matters was to dethrone, plunder, and murder their masters and mistresses.

The influence of Marie Antoinette in the councils of Louis has been, I should say, considerably exaggerated by her enemies. Her husband, naturally disposed to concession, was by temper irresolute, and he allowed himself to be led away by the course of events, instead of striving to control and direct them. There can be little doubt, either, that Marie Antoinette was one of the chief advisers of the flight of the King and Royal Family to Varennes; and that imprudent enterprise served, even more fiercely, to inflame the public animosity against herself and her husband.

But again, I fail to see the criminality of this attempted escape. The King and Queen knew well enough that the Revolutionists intended to deprive them of their crowns, and, in all probability, of their lives. they had no adequate armed force with which to resist the mob. Were they not justified in running away'? After the deposition of Louis, all the elements of grandeur in the character of Marie Antoinette began to manifest themselves. She showed the greatest courage during the dastardly attacks made on the Royal Family; and she appeared to be always more anxious for the safety of her husband and children than for her own. She shared their captivity with noble resignation, and her demeanour under the most trying circumstances never lost an iota of its dignity. In the presence of her judges her fortitude never forsook her; her burst of indignant maternal feeling overawed even the butchers who were perverting and burlesquing the law to bring her to the shambles ; and her behaviour in almost unparalleled misfortunes, has won for her not only the pity and the sympathy, but the reverent admiration of posterity.



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