Marie Antoinette — Complete eBook

Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Campan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 574 pages of information about Marie Antoinette — Complete.
a memorial?” replied the King.  “Yes, Sire, I have.”—­“Give it to me;” and his Majesty took it without saying anything more.  Next morning he was sent for by the, King, who said, “Monsieur, I grant you an annuity of 1,500 livres out of my privy purse, and you may go and receive the first year’s payment, which is now due.” ("Secret Correspondence of the Court:  Reign of Louis XVI.”) The King preferred to spend money in charity rather than in luxury or magnificence.  Once during his absence, M. d’Augivillers caused an unused room in the King’s apartment to be repaired at a cost of 30,000 francs.  On his return the King made Versailles resound with complaints against M. d’Augivillers:  “With that sum I could have made thirty families happy,” he said.]


From the time of Louis XVI.’s accession to the throne, the Queen had been expecting a visit from her brother, the Emperor Joseph ii.  That Prince was the constant theme of her discourse.  She boasted of his intelligence, his love of occupation, his military knowledge, and the perfect simplicity of his manners.  Those about her Majesty ardently wished to see at Versailles a prince so worthy of his rank.  At length the coming of Joseph ii., under the title of Count Falkenstein, was announced, and the very day on which he would be at Versailles was mentioned.  The first embraces between the Queen and her august brother took place in the presence of all the Queen’s household.  The sight of their emotion was extremely affecting.

The Emperor was at first generally admired in France; learned men, well-informed officers, and celebrated artists appreciated the extent of his information.  He made less impression at Court, and very little in the private circle of the King and Queen.  His eccentric manners, his frankness, often degenerating into rudeness, and his evidently affected simplicity,—­all these characteristics caused him to be looked upon as a prince rather singular than admirable.  The Queen spoke to him about the apartment she had prepared for him in the Chateau; the Emperor answered that he would not accept it, and that while travelling he always lodged at a cabaret (that was his very expression); the Queen insisted, and assured him that he should be at perfect liberty, and placed out of the reach of noise.  He replied that he knew the Chateau of Versailles was very large, and that so many scoundrels lived there that he could well find a place; but that his valet de chambre had made up his camp-bed in a lodging-house, and there he would stay.

He dined with the King and Queen, and supped with the whole family.  He appeared to take an interest in the young Princesse Elisabeth, then just past childhood, and blooming in all the freshness of that age.  An intended marriage between him and this young sister of the King was reported at the time, but I believe it had no foundation in truth.

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Marie Antoinette — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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