The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 573 pages of information about The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.
ally itself with the throne, so as to enable it to resist the pretensions of the clergy and the nobles; and, as this speech of his produced no overture from the minister, in the middle of June he made a direct offer to Necker to support the Government, if Necker had any plan at all which was in the least reasonable;[9] and he gave proof of his sincerity by vigorously opposing some proposals of the extreme reformers.  But, with incredible folly, Necker rejected his support, treating his arguments to his face as insignificant, and affirming that their views were irreconcilable, since Mirabeau wished to govern by policy, while he himself preferred morality.

He at once resolved to revenge himself on the minister who had thus slighted him,[10] and he was not long in finding an opportunity.  On the 23d of June, after the States had assumed their new form, and Louis at a royal sitting had announced the reforms he had resolved to grant, and which were so complete that the most extreme reformers admitted that they could have wished for nothing more, except that they should themselves have taken them, and that the king should not have given them, Mirabeau took the lead in throwing down a defiance to his sovereign; refusing to consent to the adjournment of the Assembly, as was natural on the withdrawal of the king, and declaring that they, the members of the Commons, would not quit the hall unless they were expelled by bayonets.

But, violently as Versailles and Paris were agitated throughout May and June, Marie Antoinette took no part in the discussion which these questions excited.  She had a still graver trouble at home.  Her eldest son, the dauphin, whose birth had been greeted so enthusiastically by all classes, had, as we have seen, long been sickly.  Since the beginning of the year his health had been growing worse, and on the 4th of June he died; and, though his bereaved mother bore up bravely under his loss, she felt it deeply, and for a time was almost incapacitated from turning her attention to any other subject.

CHAPTER XXIV.

Troops are brought up from the Frontier.—­The Assembly petitions the King to withdraw them.—­He refuses.—­He dismisses Necker.—–­The Baron de Breteuil is appointed Prime Minister.—­Terrible Riots in Paris.—­The Tri-color Flag is adopted.—­Storming of the Bastile and Murder of the Governor.—­The Count d’Artois and other Princes fly from the Kingdom.—­The King recalls Necker.—­Withdraws the Soldiers and visits Paris.—­Formation of the National Guard.-Insolence of La Fayette and Bailly.—­Madame de Tourzel becomes Governess of the Royal Children—­Letters of Marie Antoinette on their Character, and on her own Views of Education.

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The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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