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.
apprised of his situation.  From the Assembly, at a later hour in the evening, he claimed the credit of having organized the riot.  But Louis would not condescend to pretend to believe him.  “It was extraordinary,” he replied, “that Petion should not have earlier known what had lasted so long.”  Even he could not but be for a moment abashed at the king’s unwonted expression of indignation.  But he soon recovered himself, and with unequaled impudence turned and thanked the crowd for the moderation and dignity with which they had exercised the right of petition, and bid them “finish the day in similar conformity with the law, and retire to their homes.”  They obeyed.  The interference of the deputies had convinced their leaders that they could not succeed in their purpose now.  Santerre, whose softer mood, such as it had been, had soon passed away, muttered with a deep oath that they had missed their blow, but must try it again hereafter.  For the present he led off his brigands; the palace and gardens were restored to quiet, though the traces of the assault to which they had been exposed could not easily be effaced; and Louis and his family were left in tranquillity to thank God for their escape, but to forebode also that similar trials were in store for them, all of which, it was not likely, would have so innocent a termination.[3]

CHAPTER XXXVI.

Feelings of Marie Antoinette.—­Different Plans are formed for her Escape.  —­She hopes for Aid from Austria and Prussia.—­La Fayette comes to Paris.  —­His Mismanagement.—­An Attempt is made to assassinate the Queen.—­The Motion of Bishop Lamourette.—­The Feast of the Federation.—­La Fayette proposes a Plan for the King’s Escape.—­Bertrand proposes Another.—­Both are rejected by the Queen.

We can do little more than guess at the feelings of Marie Antoinette after such a day of horrors.  She could scarcely venture to write a letter, lest it should fall into hands for which it was not intended, and be misinterpreted so as to be mischievous to herself and to her correspondents.  And two brief notes—­one on the 4th of July to Mercy, and one written a day or two later to the Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt—­are all that, so far as we know, proceeded from her pen in the sad period between the two attacks on the palace.  Brief as they are, they are characteristic as showing her unshaken resolution to perform her duty to her family, and proving at the same time how absolutely free she was from any delusion as to the certain event of the struggle in which she was engaged.  No courage was ever more entirely founded on high and virtuous principle, for no one was ever less sustained by hope.  To Mercy she says: 

“July 4th, 1792.

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