The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.

Louis therefore put his veto on both the decrees, with the exception of that clause in the act against the emigrants which summoned his brothers to return to the kingdom.  But, that no one might pretend to fancy that he either approved of the conduct of the emigrants or sympathized with their principles or designs, he issued a circular letter to the governors of the different sea-ports, in which he remonstrated most earnestly with the sailors, numbers of whom, as it was reported in Paris, were preparing to follow their example.  He pointed out in it that those who thus deserted their country mistook their duty to that country, to him as their king, and to themselves; that the present aspect of the nation, desirous to return to order and to submission to the law, removed every pretext for such conduct.  He set before them his own example, and bid them remain at their posts, as he was remaining at his; and, in language more impressive than that of command, he exhorted them not to turn a deaf ear to his prayers; and at the same time he addressed letters to the electors of Treves and Mayence, and to the other petty German princes whose territories, bordering on the Rhine, were the principal resort of the emigrants, requiring them to cease to give them shelter, and announcing that if they should refuse to remove them from their dominions he should consider their refusal a sufficient ground for war; while, to show that he did not intend this menace to be a dead letter, he soon afterward announced to the Assembly that he had ordered a powerful army of a hundred and fifty thousand men to be moved toward the frontier, under the command of Marshal Luckner, Marshal Rochambeau, and General La Fayette, and he invited the members to vote a levy of fifty thousand more men to raise the force of the nation to its full complement.


Death of Leopold.—­Murder of Gustavus of Sweden.—­Violence of Vergniaud.  —­The Ministers resign.—­A Girondin Ministry is appointed.—­Character of Dumouriez.—­Origin of the Name Sans-culottes.—­Union of Different Parties against the Queen.—­War is declared against the Empire.—­Operations in the Netherlands.—­Unskillfulness of La Fayette.—­The King falls into a State of Torpor.—­Fresh Libels on the Queen.—­Barnave’s Advice.—­Dumouriez has an Audience of the Queen.—­Dissolution of the Constitutional Guard.—­ formation of a Camp near Paris.—­Louis adheres to his Refusal to assent to the Decree against the Priests.—­Dumouriez resigns his Office, and takes command of the Army.

War of some kind—­foreign war, civil war, or both combined—­had apparently become inevitable; and Marie Antoinette deceived herself if she thought that the armed congress of sovereigns, for which she was above all things anxious, could lead to any other result.  In any ease, a congress must have produced one consequence which she deprecated as much as any other, a waste of time, while, as she

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