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.
of the king and queen.  As has been already mentioned, she at the same time urged upon her submissive husband the assassination of Dumouriez, who, having intelligence of her enmity, began in self-defense to connect himself with the Jacobins.  On the dismissal of Roland and the others, he had exchanged the foreign port-folio for that of war, and was practically the prime minister, being in fact the only one whom Louis admitted to any degree of confidence; but this arrangement lasted less than a single week.  Louis had yielded to and adopted his advice on every point but one.  He had sanctioned the dismissal of the Constitutional Guard, and the formation of the new body of troops, which, no one doubted, was intended to be used against himself; but he was as firmly convinced as ever that his religious duty bound him to refuse his assent to the decree against the priests, and he refused to do a violence to his conscience, and to commit what he regarded as a sin.  But this very decree was the one which Dumouriez regarded as the most dangerous one for him to reject, as being that which the Assembly was most firmly resolved to make law; and, as his most vigorous remonstrances failed to shake the king’s resolution on this point, he resigned his post as a minister, and repaired to the Flemish frontier to take the command of the army, which greatly needed an able leader.


The Insurrection of June 20th.

Both Jacobins and Girondins felt that the departure of Dumouriez from Paris had removed a formidable obstacle from their path, and they at once began to hurry forward the preparations for their meditated insurrection.  The general gave in his resignation on the 15th of June, and the 20th was fixed for an attack on the palace, by which its contrivers designed to effect the overthrow of the throne, if not the destruction of the entire royal family.  It was organized with unusual deliberation.  The meetings of conspirators were attended not only by the Girondin leaders, to whom Madame Roland had recently added a new recruit, a young barrister from the South, named Barbaroux, remarkable for his personal beauty, and, as was soon seen, for a pitiless hardness of heart, and energetic delight in deeds of cruelty that, even in that blood-thirsty company, was equaled by few; with them met all those as yet most notorious for ferocity—­Danton and Legendre, the founders of the Cordeliers; Marat, daily, in his obscene and blasphemous newspaper, clamoring for wholesale bloodshed; Santerre, odious as the sanguinary leader of the very first outbreaks of the Revolution; Rotondo, already, as we have seen, detected in attempting to assassinate the queen; and Petion, who thus repaid her preference of him to La Fayette, which had placed him in the mayoralty, whose duties he was now betraying.  Some, too, bore a part in the foul conspiracy as partisans of the Duc d’Orleans, who were generally understood

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