In February, 1790, another matter gave the Court much uneasiness; a zealous individual of the name of Favras had conceived the scheme of carrying off the King, and affecting a counter-revolution. Monsieur, probably out of mere benevolence, gave him some money, and thence arose a report that he thereby wished to favour the execution of the enterprise. The step taken by Monsieur in going to the Hotel de Ville to explain himself on this matter was unknown to the Queen; it is more than probable that the King was acquainted with it. When judgment was pronounced upon M. de Favras the Queen did not conceal from me her fears about the confessions of the unfortunate man in his last moments.
I sent a confidential person to the Hotel de Ville; she came to inform the Queen that the condemned had demanded to be taken from Notre-Dame to the Hotel de Ville to make a final declaration, and give some particulars verifying it. These particulars compromised nobody; Favras corrected his last will after writing it, and went to the scaffold with heroic courage and coolness. The judge who read his condemnation to him told him that his life was a sacrifice which he owed to public tranquillity. It was asserted at the time that Favras was given up as a victim in order to satisfy the people and save the Baron de Besenval, who was a prisoner in the Abbaye.
[Thomas Mahy, Marquis de Favras, was accused in the month of December, 1789, of having conspired against the Revolution. Having been arrested by order of the committee of inquiry of the National Assembly, he was transferred to the Chatelet, where he defended himself with much coolness and presence of mind, repelling the accusations brought against him by Morel, Turcati, and Marquis, with considerable force. These witnesses declared he had imparted his plan to them; it was to be carried into execution by 12,000 Swiss and 12,000 Germans, who were to be assembled at Montargis, thence to march upon Paris, carry off the King, and assassinate Bailly, La Fayette, and Necker. The greater number of these charges he denied, and declared that the rest related only to the levy of a troop intended to favour the revolution preparing in Brabant. The judge having refused to disclose who had denounced him, he complained to the Assembly, which passed to the order of the day. His death was obviously inevitable. During the whole time of the proceedings the populace never ceased threatening the judges and shouting, “A la lanterne!” It was even necessary to keep numerous troops and artillery constantly ready to act in the courtyard of the Chatelet. The judges, who had just acquitted M. de Besenval in an affair nearly similar, doubtless dreaded the effects of this fury. When they refused to hear Favras’s witnesses in exculpation, he compared them to the tribunal of the Inquisition. The principal charge against him was founded on a letter