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.
evening costume, and her hair was dressed with a plume of tricolor feathers.  Yet even on this day, which was intended to be one of universal joy and friendliness, evil signs were not wanting to show how powerful were the enemies of both king and queen; for no seat whatever had been provided for her, while by the aide of that constructed for the king another on very nearly the same level had been placed for the President of the Assembly.

But these refinements of discourtesy were lost on the spectators.  They cheered the royal pair joyously the moment that they appeared.  Before the shouts had died away, Bishop Talleyrand began the service of the mass; and, on its termination, administered the oath “of fidelity to the nation, the law, the king, and the Constitution as decreed by the Assembly and accepted by the king.”  La Fayette took the oath first in the name of the army.  Talleyrand followed on behalf of the clergy.  Bailly came next, as the representative of the citizens of Paris.  It was a stormy day; and when the moment arrived for the king to set the seal to the universal acceptance of the constitution by swearing to exert all his own power for its maintenance, the rain came down so heavily as to render it impossible for him to leave the shelter of his own pavilion.  As it happened, the momentary disappointment gave a greater effect to his act.  With more than usual presence of mind, he advanced to the front of the pavilion, so as to be seen by the whole of the assembled multitude, and took the oath with a loud voice and perfect dignity of manner.  As he resumed his seat, the rain cleared away, the sun burst through the clouds; and the queen, as if by a sudden inspiration, brought forward the little dauphin, and, lifting him up in her arms, showed him to the people.  Those whom the king’s voice could not reach saw the graceful action; and from every side of the plain one universal acclamation burst forth, which seemed to bear out Marie Antoinette’s favorite assertion that the people were good at heart, and that it was not without great perseverance in artifice and malignity that they could be excited to disloyalty and treason.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Great Tumults in the Provinces.—­Mutiny in the Marquis de Bouille’s Army.  —­Disorder of the Assembly.—­Difficulty of managing Mirabeau.—­Mercy is removed to The Hague.—­Marie Antoinette sees constant Changes in the Aspect of Affairs.—­Marat denounces Her.—­Attempts are made to assassinate Her.—­Resignation of Mirabeau.—­Misconduct of the Emigrant Princes.

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