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The Historic Court Memoirs of France, complete

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of a woman whom I do not even know?"

"I see plainly," said the Cardinal, "that I have been duped. I will pay
for the necklace; my desire to please your Majesty blinded me; I
suspected no trick in the affair, and I am sorry for it."

He then took out of his pocket-book a letter from the Queen to Madame de
Lamotte, giving him this commission. The King took it, and, holding it
towards the Cardinal, said:

"This is neither written nor signed by the Queen. How could a Prince of
the House of Rohan, and a Grand Almoner of France, ever think that the
Queen would sign Marie Antoinette de France? Everybody knows that queens
sign only by their baptismal names. But, monsieur," pursued the King,
handing him a copy of his letter to Baehmer, "have you ever written such
a letter as this?"

Having glanced over it, the Cardinal said, "I do not remember having
written it."

"But what if the original, signed by yourself, were shown to you?"

"If the letter be signed by myself it is genuine."

He was extremely confused, and repeated several times, "I have been
deceived, Sire; I will pay for the necklace. I ask pardon of your

"Then explain to me," resumed the King, "the whole of this enigma. I do
not wish to find you guilty; I had rather you would justify yourself.
Account for all the manoeuvres with Baehmer, these assurances and these

The Cardinal then, turning pale, and leaning against the table, said,
"Sire, I am too much confused to answer your Majesty in a way--"

"Compose yourself, Cardinal, and go into my cabinet; you will there find
paper, pens, and ink,--write what you have to say to me."

The Cardinal went into the King's cabinet, and returned a quarter of an
hour afterwards with a document as confused as his verbal answers had
been. The King then said, "Withdraw, monsieur." The Cardinal left the
King's chamber, with the Baron de Breteuil, who gave him in custody to a
lieutenant of the Body Guard, with orders to take him to his apartment.
M. d'Agoult, aide-major of the Body Guard, afterwards took him into
custody, and conducted him to his hotel, and thence to the Bastille. But
while the Cardinal had with him only the young lieutenant of the Body
Guard, who was much embarrassed at having such an order to execute, his
Eminence met his heyduc at the door of the Salon of Hercules; he spoke to
him in German and then asked the lieutenant if he could lend him a
pencil; the officer gave him that which he carried about him, and the
Cardinal wrote to the Abbe Georgel, his grand vicar and friend, instantly
to burn all Madame de Lamotte's correspondence, and all his other

[The Abbe Georgel thus relates the circumstance: The Cardinal, at
that trying moment, gave an astonishing proof of his presence of
mind; notwithstanding the escort which surrounded him, favoured by
the attendant crowd, he stopped, and stooping down with his face
towards the wall, as if to fasten his buckle, snatched out his
pencil and hastily wrote a few words upon a scrap of paper placed
under his hand in his square red cap. He rose again and proceeded.
on entering his house, his people formed a lane; he slipped this
paper, unperceived, into the hand of a confidential valet de
chambre, who waited for him at the door of his apartment." This
story is scarcely credible; it is not at the moment of a prisoner's
arrest, when an inquisitive crowd surrounds and watches him, that he
can stop and write secret messages. However, the valet de chambre
posts off to Paris. He arrives at the palace of the Cardinal
between twelve and one o'clock; and his horse falls dead in the
stable. "I was in my apartment," said the Abbe Georgel, "the valet
de chambre entered wildly, with a deadly paleness on his
countenance, and exclaimed, 'All is lost; the Prince is arrested.'
He instantly fell, fainting, and dropped the note of which he was
the bearer." The portfolio containing the papers which might
compromise the Cardinal was immediately placed beyond the reach of
all search. Madame de Lamotte also was foolishly allowed sufficient
time after she heard of the arrest of the Cardinal to burn all the
letters she had received from him. Assisted by Beugnot, she
completed this at three the same morning that she was: arrested at
four.--See "Memoirs of Comte de Beugnot," vol i., p. 74.]

This commission was executed before M. de Crosne, lieutenant of police,
had received an order from the Baron de Breteuil to put seals upon the
Cardinal's papers. The destruction of all his Eminence's correspondence,
and particularly that with Madame de Lamotte, threw an impenetrable cloud
over the whole affair.

From that moment all proofs of this intrigue disappeared. Madame de
Lamotte was apprehended at Bar-sur-Aube; her husband had already gone to
England. From the beginning of this fatal affair all the proceedings of
the Court appear to have been prompted by imprudence and want of
foresight; the obscurity resulting left free scope for the fables of
which the voluminous memorials written on one side and the other
consisted. The Queen so little imagined what could have given rise to
the intrigue, of which she was about to become the victim, that, at the
moment when the King was interrogating the Cardinal, a terrific idea
entered her mind. With that rapidity of thought caused by personal
interest and extreme agitation, she fancied that, if a design to ruin her
in the eyes of the King and the French people were the concealed motive
of this intrigue, the Cardinal would, perhaps, affirm that she had the
necklace; that he had been honoured with her confidence for this
purchase, made without the King's knowledge; and point out some secret
place in her apartment, where he might have got some villain to hide it.
Want of money and the meanest swindling were the sole motives for this
criminal affair. The necklace had already been taken to pieces and sold,
partly in London, partly in Holland, and the rest in Paris.

The moment the Cardinal's arrest was known a universal clamour arose.
Every memorial that appeared during the trial increased the outcry.
On this occasion the clergy took that course which a little wisdom and
the least knowledge of the spirit of such a body ought to have foreseen.
The Rohans and the House of Conde, as well as the clergy, made their
complaints heard everywhere. The King consented to having a legal
judgment, and early in September he addressed letters-patent to the
Parliament, in which he said that he was "filled with the most just
indignation on seeing the means which, by the confession of his Eminence
the Cardinal, had been employed in order to inculpate his most dear
spouse and companion."

Fatal moment! in which the Queen found herself, in consequence of this
highly impolitic step, on trial with a subject, who ought to have been
dealt with by the power of the King alone. The Princes and Princesses of
the House of Conde, and of the Houses of Rohan, Soubise, and Guemenee,
put on mourning, and were seen ranged in the way of the members of the
Grand Chamber to salute them as they proceeded to the palace, on the days
of the Cardinal's trial; and Princes of the blood openly canvassed
against the Queen of France.

The Pope wished to claim, on behalf of the Cardinal de Rohan, the right
belonging to his ecclesiastical rank, and demanded that he should be
judged at Rome. The Cardinal de Bernis, ambassador from France to his
Holiness, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs, blending the wisdom of
an old diplomatist with the principles of a Prince of the Church, wished
that this scandalous affair should be hushed up. The King's aunts, who
were on very intimate terms with the ambassador, adopted his opinion, and
the conduct of the King and Queen was equally and loudly censured in the
apartments of Versailles and in the hotels and coffee-houses of Paris.

Madame, the King's sister-in-law, had been the sole protectress of De
Lamotte, and had confined her patronage to granting her a pension of
twelve to fifteen hundred francs. Her brother was in the navy, but the
Marquis de Chabert, to whom he had been recommended, could never train a
good officer. The Queen in vain endeavoured to call to mind the features
of this person, of whom she had often heard as an intriguing woman, who
came frequently on Sundays to the gallery of Versailles. At the time
when all France was engrossed by the persecution against the Cardinal,
the portrait of the Comtesse de Lamotte Valois was publicly sold. Her
Majesty desired me one day, when I was going to Paris, to buy her the
engraving, which was said to be a tolerable likeness, that she might
ascertain whether she could recognise in it any person whom she might
have seen in the gallery.

[The public, with the exception of the lowest class, were admitted
into the gallery and larger apartments of Versailles, as they were
into the park.--MADAME CAMPAN.]

The woman De Lamotte's father was a peasant at Auteuil, though he called
himself Valois. Madame de Boulainvilliers once saw from her terrace two
pretty little peasant girls, each labouring under a heavy bundle of
sticks. The priest of the village, who was walking with her, told her
that the children possessed some curious papers, and that he had no doubt
they were descendants of a Valois, an illegitimate son of one of the
princes of that name.

The family of Valois had long ceased to appear in the world. Hereditary
vices had gradually plunged them into the deepest misery. I have heard
that the last Valois then known occupied the estate called Gros Bois;
that as he seldom came to Court, Louis XIII. asked him what he was about
that he remained so constantly in the country; and that this M. de Valois
merely answered, "Sire, I only do there what I ought." It was shortly
afterwards discovered that he was coining.

Neither the Queen herself nor any one near her ever had the slightest
connection with the woman De Lamotte; and during her prosecution she
could point out but one of the Queen's servants, named Desclos, a valet
of the Queen's bedchamber, to whom she pre tended she had delivered
Boehmer's necklace. This Desclos was a very honest man; upon being
confronted with the woman De Lamotte, it was proved that she had never
seen him but once, which was at the house of the wife of a surgeon-
accoucheur at Versailles, the only person she visited at Court; and that
she had not given him the necklace. Madame de Lamotte married a private
in Monsieur's body-guard; she lodged at Versailles at the Belle Image, a
very inferior furnished house; and it is inconceivable how so obscure a
person could succeed in making herself believed to be a friend of the
Queen, who, though so extremely affable, seldom granted audiences, and
only to titled persons.

The trial of the Cardinal is too generally known to require me to repeat
its details here. The point most embarrassing to him was the interview
he had in February, 1785, with M. de Saint-James, to whom he confided the
particulars of the Queen's pretended commission, and showed the contract
approved and signed Marie Antoinette de France. The memorandum found in
a drawer of the Cardinal's bureau, in which he had himself written what
Baehmer told him after having seen me at my country house, was likewise
an unfortunate document for his Eminence.

I offered to the King to go and declare that Baehmer had told me that the
Cardinal assured him he had received from the Queen's own hand the thirty
thousand francs given on account upon the bargain being concluded, and
that his Eminence had seen her Majesty take that sum in bills from the
porcelain secretaire in her boudoir. The King declined my offer, and
said to me, "Were you alone when Boehmer told you this?" I answered that
I was alone with him in my garden. "Well," resumed he, "the man would
deny the fact; he is now sure of being paid his sixteen hundred thousand
francs, which the Cardinal's family will find it necessary to make good
to him; we can no longer rely upon his sincerity; it would look as if you
were sent by the Queen, and that would not be proper."

[The guilty woman no sooner knew that all was about to be discovered
than she sent for the jewellers, and told them the Cardinal had
perceived that the agreement, which he believed to have been signed
by the Queen, was a false and forged document. "However," added
she, "the Cardinal possesses a considerable fortune, and he can very
well pay you." These words reveal the whole secret. The Countess
had taken the necklace to herself, and flattered herself that M. de
Rohan, seeing himself deceived and cruelly imposed upon, would
determine to pay and make the beat terms he could, rather than
suffer a matter of this nature to become public.-"Secret
Correspondence of the Court of Louis XVI."]

The procureur general's information was severe on the Cardinal. The
Houses of Conde and Rohan and the majority of the nobility saw in this
affair only an attack on the Prince's rank, the clergy only a blow aimed
at the privileges of a cardinal. The clergy demanded that the
unfortunate business of the Prince Cardinal de Rohan should be submitted
to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the Archbishop of Narbonne, then
President of the Convocation, made representations upon the subject to
the King; the bishops wrote to his Majesty to remind him that a private
ecclesiastic implicated in the affair then pending would have a right to
claim his constitutional judges, and that this right was refused to a
cardinal, his superior in the hierarchical order. In short, the clergy
and the greater part of the nobility were at that time outrageous against
authority, and chiefly against the Queen.

The procureur-general's conclusions, and those of a part of the heads of
the magistracy, were as severe towards the Cardinal as the information
had been; yet he was fully acquitted by a majority of three voices; the
woman De Lamotte was condemned to be whipped, branded, and imprisoned;
and her husband, for contumacy, was condemned to the galleys for life.

[The following extract is from the "Memoirs" of the Abbe Georgel:
"The sittings were long and multiplied; it was necessary to read the
whole proceedings; more than fifty judges sat; a master of requests;
a friend of the Prince, wrote down all that was said there, and sent
it to his advisers, who found means to inform the Cardinal of it,
and to add the plan of conduct he ought to pursue." D'Epremesnil,
and other young counsellors, showed upon that occasion but too much
audacity in braving the Court, too much eagerness in seizing an
opportunity of attacking it. They were the first to shake that
authority which their functions made it a duty in them to respect.-

M. Pierre de Laurencel, the procureur general's substitute, sent the
Queen a list of the names of the members of the Grand Chamber, with the
means made use of by the friends of the Cardinal to gain their votes
during the trial. I had this list to keep among the papers which the
Queen deposited in the house of M. Campan, my father-in-law, and which,
at his death, she ordered me to preserve. I burnt this statement, but I
remember ladies performed a part not very creditable to their principles;
it was by them, in consideration of large sums which they received, that
some of the oldest and most respected members were won over. I did not
see a single name amongst the whole Parliament that was gained directly.

The belief confirmed by time is, that the Cardinal was completely duped
by the woman De Lamotte and Cagliostro. The King may have been in error
in thinking him an accomplice in this miserable and criminal scheme, but
I have faithfully repeated his Majesty's judgment about it.

However, the generally received opinion that the Baron de Breteuil's
hatred for the Cardinal was the cause of the scandal and the unfortunate
result of this affair contributed to the disgrace of the former still
more than his refusal to give his granddaughter in marriage to the son of
the Duc de Polignac. The Abbe de Vermond threw the whole blame of the
imprudence and impolicy of the affair of the Cardinal de Rohan upon the
minister, and ceased to be the friend and supporter of the Baron de
Breteuil with the Queen.

In the early part of the year 1786, the Cardinal, as has been said,
was fully acquitted, and came out of the Bastille, while Madame de
Lamotte was condemned to be whipped, branded, and imprisoned. The Court,
persisting in the erroneous views which had hitherto guided its measures,
conceived that the Cardinal and the woman De Lamotte were equally
culpable and unequally punished, and sought to restore the balance of
justice by exiling the Cardinal to La Chaise-Dieu, and suffering Madame
de Lamotte to escape a few days after she entered l'Hopital. This new
error confirmed the Parisians in the idea that the wretch De Lamotte, who
had never been able to make her way so far as to the room appropriated to
the Queen's women, had really interested the Queen herself.

[Further particulars will be found in the "Memoirs of the Comte de
Beugnot" (London: Hurst & Blackett, 1871), as he knew Madame de
Lamotte from the days of her early childhood (when the three
children, the Baron de Valois, who died captain of a frigate, and
the two Mademoiselles de Saint-Remi, the last descendants of the
Baron de Saint-Remi, a natural son of Henri II., were almost
starving) to the time of her temporary prosperity. In fact, he was
with her when she burnt the correspondence of the Cardinal, in the
interval the Court foolishly allowed between his arrest and her
capture, and De Beugnot believed he had met at her house, at the
moment of their return from their successful trick, the whole party
engaged in deluding the Cardinal. It is worth noting that he was
then struck by the face of Mademoiselle d'Oliva, who had just
personated the Queen in presenting a rose to the Cardinal. It may
also be cited as a pleasing quality of Madame de Lamotte that she,
"in her ordinary conversation, used the words stupid and honest as
synonymous."--See "Beugnot," vol. i., p. 60.]


The Abbe de Vermond could not repress his exultation when he succeeded in
getting the Archbishop of Sens appointed head of the council of finance.
I have more than once heard him say that seventeen years of patience were
not too long a term for success in a Court; that he spent all that time
in gaining the end he had in view; but that at length the Archbishop was
where he ought to be for the good of the State. The Abbe, from this
time, in the Queen's private circle no longer concealed his credit and
influence; nothing could equal the confidence with which he displayed the
extent of his pretensions. He requested the Queen to order that the
apartments appropriated to him should be enlarged, telling her that,
being obliged to give audiences to bishops, cardinals, and ministers, he
required a residence suitable to his present circumstances. The Queen
continued to treat him as she did before the Archbishop's arrival at
Court; but the household showed him increased consideration: the word
"Monsieur" preceded that of Abbe; and from that moment not only the
livery servants, but also the people of the antechambers rose when
Monsieur l'Abbe was passing, though there never was, to my knowledge,
any order given to that effect.

The Queen was obliged, on account of the King's disposition and the very
limited confidence he placed in the Archbishop of Sens, to take a part in
public affairs. While M. de Maurepas lived she kept out of that danger,
as may be seen by the censure which the Baron de Besenval passes on her
in his memoirs for not availing herself of the conciliation he had
promoted between the Queen and that minister, who counteracted the
ascendency which the Queen and her intimate friends might otherwise have
gained over the King's mind.

The Queen has often assured me that she never interfered respecting the
interests of Austria but once; and that was only to claim the execution
of the treaty of alliance at the time when Joseph II. was at war with
Prussia and Turkey; that, she then demanded that an army of twenty-four
thousand men should be sent to him instead of fifteen millions, an
alternative which had been left to option in the treaty, in case the
Emperor should have a just war to maintain; that she could not obtain her
object, and M. de Vergennes, in an interview which she had with him upon
the subject, put an end to her importunities by observing that he was
answering the mother of the Dauphin and not the sister of the Emperor.
The fifteen millions were sent. There was no want of money at Vienna,
and the value of a French army was fully appreciated.

"But how," said the Queen, "could they be so wicked as to send off those
fifteen millions from the general post-office, diligently publishing,
even to the street porters, that they were loading carriages with money
that I was sending to my brother!--whereas it is certain that the money
would equally have been sent if I had belonged to another house; and,
besides, it was sent contrary to my inclination."

[This was not the first time the Queen had become unpopular in
consequence of financial support afforded by France to her brother.
The Emperor Joseph II, made, in November, 1783, and in May, 1784,
startling claims on the republic of the United Provinces; he
demanded the opening of the Scheldt, the cession of Maeatricht with
its dependencies, of the country beyond the Meuse, the county of
Vroenhoven, and a sum of seventy millions of florins. The first gun
was fired by the Emperor on the Scheldt 6th November, 1784. Peace
was concluded 8th November, 1785, through the mediation of France.
The singular part was the indemnification granted to the Emperor:
this was a sum of ten millions of Dutch florins; the articles 15,
16, and 17 of the treaty stipulated the quotas of it. Holland paid
five millions and a half, and France, under the direction of M. de
Vergennes, four millions and a half of florins, that is to say, nine
millions and forty-five thousand francs, according to M. Soulavie.
M. de augur, in his "Policy of Cabinets" (vol. iii.), says relative
to this affair:

"M. de Vergennes has been much blamed for having terminated, by a
sacrifice of seven millions, the contest that existed between the
United Provinces and the Emperor. In that age of philosophy men
were still very uncivilised; in that age of commerce they made very
erroneous calculations; and those who accused the Queen of sending
the gold of France to her brother would have been better pleased if,
to support a republic devoid of energy, the blood of two hundred
thousand men, and three or four hundred millions of francs, had been
sacrificed, and at the same time the risk run of losing the
advantage of peace dictated to England." MADAME CAMPAN.]

When the Comte de Moustier set out on his mission to the United States,
after having had his public audience of leave he came and asked me to
procure him a private one. I could not succeed even with the strongest
solicitations; the Queen desired me to wish him a good voyage, but added
that none but ministers could have anything to say to him in private,
since he was going to a country where the names of King and Queen must be

Marie Antoinette had then no direct influence over State affairs until
after the deaths of M. de Maurepas and M. de Vergennes, and the
retirement of M. de Calonne. She frequently regretted her new situation,
and looked upon it as a misfortune which she could not avoid. One day,
while I was assisting her to tie up a number of memorials and reports,
which some of the ministers had handed to her to be given to the King,
"Ah!" said she, sighing, "there is an end of all happiness for me, since
they have made an intriguer of me." I exclaimed at the word.

"Yes," resumed, the Queen, "that is the right term; every woman who
meddles with affairs above her understanding or out of her line of duty
is an intriguer and nothing else; you will remember, however, that it is
not my own fault, and that it is with regret I give myself such a title;
Queens of France are happy only so long as they meddle with nothing, and
merely preserve influence sufficient to advance their friends and reward
a few zealous servants. Do you know what happened to me lately? One day
since I began to attend private committees at the King's, while crossing
the oiel-de-boeuf, I heard one of the musicians of the chapel say so loud
that I lost not a single word, 'A Queen who does her duty will remain in
her apartment to knit.' I said within myself, 'Poor wretch, thou art
right; but thou knowest not my situation; I yield to necessity and my
evil destiny.'"

This situation was the more painful to the Queen inasmuch as Louis XVI.
had long accustomed himself to say nothing to her respecting State
affairs; and when, towards the close of his reign, she was obliged to
interfere in the most important matters, the same habit in the King
frequently kept from her particulars which it was necessary she should
have known. Obtaining, therefore, only insufficient information, and
guided by persons more ambitious than skilful, the Queen could not be
useful in important affairs; yet, at the same time, her ostensible
interference drew upon her, from all parties and all classes of society,
an unpopularity the rapid progress of which alarmed all those who were
sincerely attached to her.

Carried away by the eloquence of the Archbishop of Sens, and encouraged
in the confidence she placed in that minister by the incessant eulogies
of the Abbe de Vermond on his abilities, the Queen unfortunately followed
up her first mistake of bringing him into office in 1787 by supporting
him at the time of his disgrace, which was obtained by the despair of a
whole nation. She thought it was due to her dignity to give him some
marked proof of her regard at the moment of his departure; misled by her
feelings, she sent him her portrait enriched with jewelry, and a brevet
for the situation of lady of the palace for Madame de Canisy, his niece,
observing that it was necessary to indemnify a minister sacrificed to the
intrigues of the Court and a factious spirit of the nation; that
otherwise none would be found willing to devote themselves to the
interests of the sovereign.

On the day of the Archbishop's departure the public joy was universal,
both at Court and at Paris there were bonfires; the attorneys' clerks
burnt the Archbishop in effigy, and on the evening of his disgrace more
than a hundred couriers were sent out from Versailles to spread the happy
tidings among the country seats. I have seen the Queen shed bitter tears
at the recollection of the errors she committed at this period, when
subsequently, a short time before her death, the Archbishop had the
audacity to say, in a speech which was printed, that the sole object of
one part of his operations, during his administration, was the salutary
crisis which the Revolution had produced.

The benevolence and generosity shown by the King and Queen during the
severe winter of 1788, when the Seine was frozen over and the cold was
more intense than it had been for eighty years, procured them some
fleeting popularity. The gratitude of the Parisians for the succour
their Majesties poured forth was lively if not lasting. The snow was so
abundant that since that period there has never been seen such a
prodigious quantity in France. In different parts of Paris pyramids and
obelisks of snow were erected with inscriptions expressive of the
gratitude of the people. The pyramid in the Rue d'Angiviller was
supported on a base six feet high by twelve broad; it rose to the height
of fifteen feet, and was terminated by a globe. Four blocks of stone,
placed at the angles, corresponded with the obelisk, and gave it an
elegant appearance. Several inscriptions, in honour of the King and
Queen, were affixed to it. I went to see this singular monument, and
recollect the following inscription


"Lovely and good, to tender pity true,
Queen of a virtuous King, this trophy view;
Cold ice and snow sustain its fragile form,
But ev'ry grateful heart to thee is warm.
Oh, may this tribute in your hearts excite,
Illustrious pair, more pure and real delight,
Whilst thus your virtues are sincerely prais'd,
Than pompous domes by servile flatt'ry rais'd."

The theatres generally rang with praises of the beneficence of the
sovereigns: "La Partie de Chasse de Henri IV." was represented for the
benefit of the poor. The receipts were very considerable.

When the fruitless measure of the Assembly of the Notables, and the
rebellious spirit in the parliaments,

[The Assembly of the Notables, as may be seen in "Weber's
Memoirs," vol. i., overthrew the plans and caused the downfall
of M. de Calonne. A prince of the blood presided over each of the
meetings of that assembly. Monsieur, afterwards Louis XVIII.,
presided over the first meeting.

"Monsieur," says a contemporary, "gained great reputation at the
Assembly of the Notables in 1787. He did not miss attending his
meeting a single day, and he displayed truly patriotic virtues.
His care in discussing the weighty matters of administration, in
throwing light upon them, and in defending the interests and the
cause of the people, was such as even to inspire the King with some
degree of jealousy. Monsieur openly said that a respectful
resistance to the orders of the monarch was not blamable, and that
authority might be met by argument, and forced to receive
information without any offence whatever."--NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

had created the necessity for States General, it was long discussed in
council whether they should be assembled at Versailles or at forty or
sixty leagues from the capital; the Queen was for the latter course, and
insisted to the King that they ought to be far away from the immense
population of Paris. She feared that the people would influence the
deliberations of the deputies; several memorials were presented to the
King upon that question; but M. Necker prevailed, and Versailles was the
place fixed upon.

The day on which the King announced that he gave his consent to the
convocation of the States General, the Queen left the public dinner,
and placed herself in the recess of the first window of her bedchamber,
with her face towards the garden. Her chief butler followed her, to
present her coffee, which she usually took standing, as she was about to
leave the table. She beckoned to me to come close to her. The King was
engaged in conversation with some one in his room. When the attendant
had served her he retired; and she addressed me, with the cup still in
her hand: "Great Heavens! what fatal news goes forth this day! The King
assents to the convocation of the States General." Then she added,
raising her eyes to heaven, "I dread it; this important event is a first
fatal signal of discord in France." She cast her eyes down, they were
filled with tears. She could not take the remainder of her coffee, but
handed me the cup, and went to join the King. In the evening, when she
was alone with me, she spoke only of this momentous decision. "It is the
Parliament," said she, "that has compelled the King to have recourse to a
measure long considered fatal to the repose of the kingdom. These
gentlemen wish to restrain the power of the King; but they give a great
shock to the authority of which they make so bad a use, and they will
bring on their own destruction."

The double representation granted to the Tiers Etat was now the chief
topic of conversation. The Queen favoured this plan, to which the King
had agreed; she thought the hope of obtaining ecclesiastical favours
would secure the clergy of the second order, and that M. Necker was sure
to have the same degree of influence over the lawyers, and other people
of that class comprised in the Tiers Dat. The Comte d'Artois, holding
the contrary opinion, presented a memorial in the names of himself and
several princes of the blood to the King against the double
representation. The Queen was displeased with him for this; her
confidential advisers infused into her apprehensions that the Prince was
made the tool of a party; but his conduct was approved of by Madame de
Polignac's circle, which the Queen thenceforward only frequented to avoid
the appearance of a change in her habits. She almost always returned
unhappy; she was treated with the profound respect due to a queen, but
the devotion of friendship had vanished, to make way for the coldness of
etiquette, which wounded her deeply. The alienation between her and the
Comte Artois was also very painful to her, for she had loved him almost
as tenderly as if he had been her own brother.

The opening of the States General took place on the 4th of May, 1789.
The Queen on that occasion appeared for the last time in her life in
regal magnificence. During the procession some low women, seeing the
Queen pass, cried out "Vive le Duc d' Orleans!" in so threatening a
manner that she nearly fainted. She was obliged to be supported, and
those about her were afraid it would be necessary to stop the procession.
The Queen, however, recovered herself, and much regretted that she had
not been able to command more presence of mind.

The rapidly increasing distrust of the King and Queen shown by the
populace was greatly attributable to incessant corruption by English
gold, and the projects, either of revenge or of ambition, of the Duc
d'Orleans. Let it not be thought that this accusation is founded on what
has been so often repeated by the heads of the French Government since
the Revolution. Twice between the 14th of July and the 6th of October,
1789, the day on which the Court was dragged to Paris, the Queen
prevented me from making little excursions thither of business or
pleasure, saying to me, "Do not go on such a day to Paris; the English
have been scattering gold, we shall have some disturbance." The repeated
visits of the Duc d'Orleans to England had excited the Anglomania to such
a pitch that Paris was no longer distinguishable from London. The
French, formerly imitated by the whole of Europe, became on a sudden a
nation of imitators, without considering the evils that arts and
manufactures must suffer in consequence of the change. Since the treaty
of commerce made with England at the peace of 1783, not merely equipages,
but everything, even to ribands and common earthenware, were of English
make. If this predominance of English fashions had been confined to
filling our drawing-rooms with young men in English frock-coats, instead
of the French dress, good taste and commerce might alone have suffered;
but the principles of English government had taken possession of these
young heads. Constitution, Upper House, Lower House, national guarantee,
balance of power, Magna Charta, Law of Habeas Corpus,--all these words
were incessantly repeated, and seldom understood; but they were of
fundamental importance to a party which was then forming.

The first sitting of the States took place on the following day. The
King delivered his speech with firmness and dignity; the Queen told me
that he had taken great pains about it, and had repeated it frequently.
His Majesty gave public marks of attachment and respect for the Queen,
who was applauded; but it was easy to see that this applause was in fact
rendered to the King alone.

It was evident, during the first sittings, that Mirabeau would be very
dangerous to the Government. It affirmed that at this period he
communicated to the King, and still more fully to the Queen, part of his
schemes for abandoning them. He brandished the weapons afforded him by
his eloquence and audacity, in order to make terms with the party he
meant to attack. This man played the game of revolution to make his own
fortune. The Queen told me that he asked for an embassy, and, if my
memory does not deceive me, it was that of Constantinople. He was
refused with well-deserved contempt, though policy would doubtless have
concealed it, could the future have been foreseen.

The enthusiasm prevailing at the opening of this assembly, and the
debates between the Tiers Etat, the nobility, and even the clergy, daily
increased the alarm of their Majesties, and all who were attached to the
cause of monarchy. The Queen went to bed late, or rather she began to be
unable to rest. One evening, about the end of May, she was sitting in
her room, relating several remarkable occurrences of the day; four wax
candles were placed upon her toilet-table; the first went out of itself;
I relighted it; shortly afterwards the second, and then the third went
out also; upon which the Queen, squeezing my hand in terror, said to me:
"Misfortune makes us superstitious; if the fourth taper should go out
like the rest, nothing can prevent my looking upon it as a sinister
omen." The fourth taper went out. It was remarked to the Queen that the
four tapers had probably been run in the same mould, and that a defect in
the wick had naturally occurred at the same point in each, since the
candles had all gone out in the order in which they had been lighted.

The deputies of the Tiers Etat arrived at Versailles full of the
strongest prejudices against the Court. They believed that the King
indulged in the pleasures of the table to a shameful excess; and that the
Queen was draining the treasury of the State in order to satisfy the most
unbridled luxury. They almost all determined to see Petit Trianon. The
extreme plainness of the retreat in question not answering the ideas they
had formed, some of them insisted upon seeing the very smallest closets,
saying that the richly furnished apartments were concealed from them.
They particularised one which, according to them, was ornamented with
diamonds, and with wreathed columns studded with sapphires and rubies.
The Queen could not get these foolish ideas out of her mind, and spoke to
the King on the subject. From the description given of this room by the
deputies to the keepers of Trianon, the King concluded that they were
looking for the scene enriched with paste ornaments, made in the reign of
Louis XV. for the theatre of Fontainebleau.

The King supposed that his Body Guards, on their return to the country,
after their quarterly duty at Court, related what they had seen, and that
their exaggerated accounts, being repeated, became at last totally
perverted. This idea of the King, after the search for the diamond
chamber, suggested to the Queen that the report of the King's propensity
for drinking also sprang from the guards who accompanied his carriage
when he hunted at Rambouillet. The King, who disliked sleeping out of
his usual bed, was accustomed to leave that hunting-seat after supper;
he generally slept soundly in his carriage, and awoke only on his arrival
at the courtyard of his palace; he used to get down from his carriage in
the midst of his Body Guards, staggering, as a man half awake will do,
which was mistaken for intoxication.

The majority of the deputies who came imbued with prejudices produced by
error or malevolence, went to lodge with the most humble private
individuals of Versailles, whose inconsiderate conversation contributed
not a little to nourish such mistakes. Everything, in short, tended to
render the deputies subservient to the schemes of the leaders of the

Shortly after the opening of the States General the first Dauphin died.
That young Prince suffered from the rickets, which in a few months curved
his spine, and rendered his legs so weak that he could not walk without
being supported like a feeble old man.

[Louis, Dauphin of France, who died at Versailles on the 4th of
June, 1789, gave promise of intellectual precocity. The following
particulars, which convey some idea of his disposition, and of the
assiduous attention bestowed upon him by the Duchesse de Polignac,
will be found in a work of that time: "At two years old the Dauphin
was very pretty; he articulated well, and answered questions put to
him intelligently. While he was at the Chateau de La Muette
everybody was at liberty to see him. The Dauphin was dressed
plainly, like a sailor; there was nothing to distinguish him from
other children in external appearance but the cross of Saint Louis,
the blue ribbon, and the Order of the Fleece, decorations that are
the distinctive signs of his rank. The Duchesse Jules de Polignac,
his governess, scarcely ever left him for a single instant: she gave
up all the Court excursions and amusements in order to devote her
whole attention to him. The Prince always manifested a great regard
for M. de Bourset, his valet de chambre. During the illness of
which he died, he one day asked for a pair of scissors; that
gentleman reminded him that they were forbidden. The child insisted
mildly, and they were obliged to yield to him. Having got the
scissors, he cut off a lock of his hair, which he wrapped in a sheet
of paper: 'There, monsieur,' said he to his valet de chambre,' there
is the only present I can make you, having nothing at my command;
but when I am dead you will present this pledge to my papa and
mamma; and while they remember me, I hope they will not forget

How many maternal tears did his condition draw from the Queen, already
overwhelmed with apprehensions respecting the state of the kingdom! Her
grief was enhanced by petty intrigues, which, when frequently renewed,
became intolerable. An open quarrel between the families and friends of
the Duc Harcourt, the Dauphin's governor, and those of the Duchesse de
Polignac, his governess, added greatly to the Queen's affliction. The
young Prince showed a strong dislike to the Duchesse de Polignac, who
attributed it either to the Duc or the Duchesse d'Harcourt, and came to
make her complaints respecting it to the Queen. The Dauphin twice sent
her out of his room, saying to her, with that maturity of manner which
long illness always gives to children: "Go out, Duchess; you are so fond
of using perfumes, and they always make me ill;" and yet she never used
any. The Queen perceived, also, that his prejudices against her friend
extended to herself; her son would no longer speak in her presence. She
knew that he had become fond of sweetmeats, and offered him some
marshmallow and jujube lozenges. The under-governors and the first valet
de chambre requested her not to give the Dauphin anything, as he was to
receive no food of any kind without the consent of the faculty.
I forbear to describe the wound this prohibition inflicted upon the
Queen; she felt it the more deeply because she was aware it was unjustly
believed she gave a decided preference to the Duc de Normandie, whose
ruddy health and amiability did, in truth, form a striking contrast to
the languid look and melancholy disposition of his elder brother. She
even suspected that a plot had for some time existed to deprive her of
the affection of a child whom she loved as a good and tender mother
ought. Previous to the audience granted by the King on the 10th August,
1788, to the envoy of the Sultan Tippoo Saib, she had begged the Duc
d'Harcourt to divert the Dauphin, whose deformity was already apparent,
from his, intention to be present at that ceremony, being unwilling to
expose him to the gaze of the crowd of inquisitive Parisians who would be
in the gallery. Notwithstanding this injunction, the Dauphin was
suffered to write to his mother, requesting her permission to be present
at the audience. The Queen was obliged to refuse him, and warmly
reproached the governor, who merely answered that he could not oppose the
wishes of a sick child. A year before the death of the Dauphin the Queen
lost the Princesse Sophie; this was, as the Queen said, the first of a
series of misfortunes.

NOTE: As Madame Campan has stated in the foregoing pages that the money
to foment sedition was furnished from English sources, the decree of the
Convention of August, 1793, maybe quoted as illustrative of the entente
cordiale alleged to exist between the insurrectionary Government and its
friends across the Channel! The endeavours made by the English
Government to save the unfortunate King are well known. The motives
prompting the conduct of the Duc d'Orleans are equally well known.

Art. i. The National Convention denounces the British Government to
Europe and the English nation.

Art. ii. Every Frenchman that shall place his money in the English
funds shall be declared a traitor to his country.

Art. iii. Every Frenchman who has money in the English funds or those
of any other Power with whom France is at war shall be obliged to declare
the same.

Art. iv. All foreigners, subjects of the Powers now at war with France,
particularly the English, shall be arrested, and seals put upon their

Art. v. The barriers of Paris shall be instantly shut.

Art. vi. All good citizens shall be required in the name of the country
to search for the foreigners concerned in any plot denounced.

Art. vii. Three millions shall be at the disposal of the Minister at
War to facilitate the march of the garrison of Mentz to La Vendee.

Art. viii. The Minister at War shall send to the army on the coast of
Rochelle all the combustible materials necessary to set fire to the
forests and underwood of La Vendee.

Art. ix. The women, the children, and old men shall be conducted to the
interior parts of the country.

Art. x. The property of the rebels shall be confiscated for the benefit
of the Republic.

Art. xi. A camp shall be formed without delay between Paris and the
Northern army.

Art. xii. All the family of the Capets shall be banished from the
French territory, those excepted who are under the sword of the law, and
the offspring of Louis Capet, who shall both remain in the Temple.

Art. xiii. Marie Antoinette shall be delivered over to the
Revolutionary Tribunal, and shall be immediately conducted to the prison
of the Conciergerie. Louise Elisabeth shall remain in the Temple till
after the judgment of Marie Antoinette.

Art. xiv. All the tombs of the Kings which are at St. Denis and in the
departments shall be destroyed on August the 10th.

Art. xv. The present decree shall be despatched by extraordinary
couriers to all the departments.


Customs are nearly equal to laws
Displaying her acquirements with rather too much confidence
I do not like these rhapsodies
Indulge in the pleasure of vice and assume the credit of virtue
No accounting for the caprices of a woman
None but little minds dreaded little books
Shun all kinds of confidence
The author (Beaumarchais) was sent to prison soon afterwards
Those muskets were immediately embarked and sold to the Americans
Young Prince suffered from the rickets


Being the Historic Memoirs of Madam Campan,
First Lady in Waiting to the Queen



The ever-memorable oath of the States General, taken at the Tennis Court
of Versailles, was followed by the royal sitting of the 23d of June. In
this seance the King declared that the Orders must vote separately, and
threatened, if further obstacles were met with, to himself act for the
good of the people. The Queen looked on M. Necker's not accompanying the
King as treachery or criminal cowardice: she said that he had converted a
remedy into poison; that being in full popularity, his audacity, in
openly disavowing the step taken by his sovereign, had emboldened the
factious, and led away the whole Assembly; and that he was the more
culpable inasmuch as he had the evening before given her his word to
accompany the King. In vain did M. Necker endeavour to excuse himself by
saying that his advice had not been followed.

Soon afterwards the insurrections of the 11th, 12th, and 14th of July--
[The Bastille was taken on the 14th July, 1789.]--opened the disastrous
drama with which France was threatened. The massacre of M. de Flesselles
and M. de Launay drew bitter tears from the Queen, and the idea that the
King had lost such devoted subjects wounded her to the heart.

The character of the movement was no longer merely that of a popular
insurrection; cries of "Vive la Nation! Vive le Roi! Vive la Liberte!"
threw the strongest light upon the views of the reformers. Still the
people spoke of the King with affection, and appeared to think him
favourable to the national desire for the reform of what were called
abuses; but they imagined that he was restrained by the opinions and
influence of the Comte d'Artois and the Queen; and those two august
personages were therefore objects of hatred to the malcontents. The
dangers incurred by the Comte d'Artois determined the King's first step
with the States General. He attended their meeting on the morning of the
15th of July with his brothers, without pomp or escort; he spoke standing
and uncovered, and pronounced these memorable words: "I trust myself to
you; I only wish to be at one with my nation, and, counting on the
affection and fidelity of my subjects, I have given orders to the troops
to remove from Paris and Versailles." The King returned on foot from the
chamber of the States General to his palace; the deputies crowded after
him, and formed his escort, and that of the Princes who accompanied him.
The rage of the populace was pointed against the Comte d'Artois, whose
unfavourable opinion of the double representation was an odious crime in
their eyes. They repeatedly cried out, "The King for ever, in spite of
you and your opinions, Monseigneur!" One woman had the impudence to come
up to the King and ask him whether what he had been doing was done
sincerely, and whether he would not be forced to retract it.

The courtyards of the Chateau were thronged with an immense concourse of
people; they demanded that the King and Queen, with their children,
should make their appearance in the balcony. The Queen gave me the key
of the inner doors, which led to the Dauphin's apartments, and desired me
to go to the Duchesse de Polignac to tell her that she wanted her son,
and had directed me to bring him myself into her room, where she waited
to show him to the people. The Duchess said this order indicated that
she was not to accompany the Prince. I did not answer; she squeezed my
hand, saying, "Ah! Madame Campan, what a blow I receive!" She embraced
the child and me with tears. She knew how much I loved and valued the
goodness and the noble simplicity of her disposition. I endeavoured to
reassure her by saying that I should bring back the Prince to her; but
she persisted, and said she understood the order, and knew what it meant.
She then retired to her private room, holding her handkerchief to her
eyes. One of the under-governesses asked me whether she might go with
the Dauphin; I told her the Queen had given no order to the contrary, and
we hastened to her Majesty, who was waiting to lead the Prince to the

Having executed this sad commission, I went down into the courtyard,
where I mingled with the crowd. I heard a thousand vociferations; it was
easy to see, by the difference between the language and the dress of some
persons among the mob, that they were in disguise. A woman, whose face
was covered with a black lace veil, seized me by the arm with some
violence, and said, calling me by my name, "I know you very well; tell
your Queen not to meddle with government any longer; let her leave her
husband and our good States General to effect the happiness of the
people." At the same moment a man, dressed much in the style of a
marketman, with his hat pulled down over his eyes, seized me by the other
arm, and said, "Yes, yes; tell her over and over again that it will not
be with these States as with the others, which produced no good to the
people; that the nation is too enlightened in 1789 not to make something
more of them; and that there will not now be seen a deputy of the 'Tiers
Etat' making a speech with one knee on the ground; tell her this, do you
hear? "I was struck with dread; the Queen then appeared in the balcony.
"Ah!" said the woman in the veil, "the Duchess is not with her."--"No,"
replied the man, "but she is still at Versailles; she is working
underground, molelike; but we shall know how to dig her out." The
detestable pair moved away from me, and I reentered the palace, scarcely
able to support myself. I thought it my duty to relate the dialogue of
these two strangers to the Queen; she made me repeat the particulars to
the King.

About four in the afternoon I went across the terrace to Madame
Victoire's apartments; three men had stopped under the windows of the
throne-chamber. "Here is that throne," said one of them aloud, "the
vestiges of which will soon be sought for." He added a thousand
invectives against their Majesties. I went in to the Princess, who was
at work alone in her closet, behind a canvass blind, which prevented her
from being seen by those without. The three men were still walking upon
the terrace; I showed them to her, and told her what they had said. She
rose to take a nearer view of them, and informed me that one of them was
named Saint-Huruge; that he was sold to the Duc d'Orleans, and was
furious against the Government, because he had been confined once under a
'lettre de cachet' as a bad character.

The King was not ignorant of these popular threats; he also knew the days
on which money was scattered about Paris, and once or twice the Queen
prevented my going there, saying there would certainly be a riot the next
day, because she knew that a quantity of crown pieces had been
distributed in the faubourgs.

[I have seen a six-franc crown piece, which certainly served to pay
some wretch on the night of the 12th of July; the words "Midnight,
12th July, three pistols," were rather deeply engraven on it. They
were, no doubt, a password for the first insurrection.

On the evening of the 14th of July the King came to the Queen's
apartments, where I was with her Majesty alone; he conversed with her
respecting the scandalous report disseminated by the factious, that he
had had the Chamber of the National Assembly undermined, in order to blow
it up; but he added that it became him to treat such absurd assertions
with contempt, as usual; I ventured to tell him that I had the evening
before supped with M. Begouen, one of the deputies, who said that there
were very respectable persons who thought that this horrible contrivance
had been proposed without the King's knowledge. "Then," said his
Majesty, "as the idea of such an atrocity was not revolting to so worthy
a man as M. Begouen, I will order the chamber to be examined early to-
morrow morning." In fact, it will be seen by the King's, speech to the
National Assembly, on the 15th of July, that the suspicions excited
obtained his attention. "I know," said he in the speech in question,
"that unworthy insinuations have been made; I know there are those who
have dared to assert that your persons are not safe; can it be necessary
to give you assurances upon the subject of reports so culpable, denied
beforehand by my known character?"

The proceedings of the 15th of July produced no mitigation of the
disturbances. Successive deputations of poissardes came to request the
King to visit Paris, where his presence alone would put an end to the

On the 16th a committee was held in the King's apartments, at which a
most important question was discussed: whether his Majesty should quit
Versailles and set off with the troops whom he had recently ordered to
withdraw, or go to Paris to tranquillise the minds of the people. The
Queen was for the departure. On the evening of the 16th she made me take
all her jewels out of their cases, to collect them in one small box,
which she might carry off in her own carriage. With my assistance she
burnt a large quantity of papers; for Versailles was then threatened with
an early visit of armed men from Paris.

The Queen, on the morning of the 16th, before attending another committee
at the King's, having got her jewels ready, and looked over all her
papers, gave me one folded up but not sealed, and desired me not to read
it until she should give me an order to do so from the King's room, and
that then I was to execute its contents; but she returned herself about
ten in the morning; the affair was decided; the army was to go away
without the King; all those who were in imminent danger were to go at the
same time. "The King will go to the Hotel de Ville to-morrow," said the
Queen to me; "he did not choose this course for himself; there were long
debates on the question; at last the King put an end to them by rising
and saying, 'Well, gentlemen, we must decide; am I to go or to stay? I
am ready to do either.' The majority were for the King staying; time
will show whether the right choice has been made." I returned the Queen
the paper she had given me, which was now useless; she read it to me; it
contained her orders for the departure; I was to go with her, as well on
account of my office about her person as to serve as a teacher to Madame.
The Queen tore the paper, and said, with tears in her eyes, "When I wrote
this I thought it would be useful, but fate has ordered otherwise, to the
misfortune of us all, as I much fear."

After the departure of the troops the new administration received thanks;
M. Necker was recalled. The artillery soldiers were undoubtedly
corrupted. "Wherefore all these guns?" exclaimed the crowds of women
who filled the streets. "Will you kill your mothers, your wives, your
children?"--"Don't be afraid," answered the soldiers; "these guns shall
rather be levelled against the tyrant's palace than against you!"

The Comte d'Artois, the Prince de Conde, and their children set off at
the same time with the troops. The Duc and Duchesse de Polignac, their
daughter, the Duchesse de Guiche, the Comtesse Diane de Polignac, sister
of the Duke, and the Abbe de Baliviere, also emigrated on the same night.
Nothing could be more affecting than the parting of the Queen and her
friend; extreme misfortune had banished from their minds the recollection
of differences to which political opinions alone had given rise. The
Queen several times wished to go and embrace her once more after their
sorrowful adieu, but she was too closely watched. She desired M. Campan
to be present at the departure of the Duchess, and gave him a purse of
five hundred Louis, desiring him to insist upon her allowing the Queen to
lend her that sum to defray her expenses on the road. The Queen added
that she knew her situation; that she had often calculated her income,
and the expenses occasioned by her place at Court; that both husband and
wife having no other fortune than their official salaries, could not
possibly have saved anything, however differently people might think at

M. Campan remained till midnight with the Duchess to see her enter her
carriage. She was disguised as a femme de chambre, and got up in front
of the Berlin; she requested M. Campan to remember her frequently to the
Queen, and then quitted for ever that palace, that favour, and that
influence which had raised her up such cruel enemies. On their arrival
at Sens the travellers found the people in a state of insurrection; they
asked all those who came from Paris whether the Polignacs were still with
the Queen. A group of inquisitive persons put that question to the Abbe
de Baliviere, who answered them in the firmest tone, and with the most
cavalier air, that they were far enough from Versailles, and that we had
got rid of all such bad people. At the following stage the postilion got
on the doorstep and said to the Duchess, "Madame, there are some good
people left in the world: I recognised you all at Sens." They gave the
worthy fellow a handful of gold.

On the breaking out of these disturbances an old man above seventy years
of age gave the Queen an extraordinary proof of attachment and fidelity.
M. Peraque, a rich inhabitant of the colonies, father of M. d'Oudenarde,
was coming from Brussels to Paris; while changing horses he was met by a
young man who was leaving France, and who recommended him if he carried
any letters from foreign countries to burn them immediately, especially
if he had any for the Queen. M. Peraque had one from the Archduchess,
the Gouvernante of the Low Countries, for her Majesty. He thanked the
stranger, and carefully concealed his packet; but as he approached Paris
the insurrection appeared to him so general and so violent, that he
thought no means could be relied on for securing this letter from
seizure. He took upon him to unseal it, and learned it by heart, which
was a wonderful effort for a man at his time of life, as it contained
four pages of writing. On his arrival at Paris he wrote it down, and
then presented it to the Queen, telling her that the heart of an old and
faithful subject had given him courage to form and execute such a
resolution. The Queen received M. Peraque in her closet, and expressed
her gratitude in an affecting manner most honourable to the worthy old
man. Her Majesty thought the young stranger who had apprised him of the
state of Paris was Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, who was very devoted
to her, and who left Paris at that time.

The Marquise de Tourzel replaced the Duchess de Polignac. She was
selected by the Queen as being the mother of a family and a woman of
irreproachable conduct, who had superintended the education of her own
daughters with the greatest success.

The King went to Paris on the 17th of July, accompanied by the Marechal
de Beauvau, the Duc de Villeroi, and the Duc de Villequier; he also took
the Comte d'Estaing, and the Marquis de Nesle, who were then very
popular, in his carriage. Twelve Body Guards, and the town guard of
Versailles, escorted him to the Pont du Jour, near Sevres, where the
Parisian guard was waiting for him. His departure caused equal grief and
alarm to his friends, notwithstanding the calmness he exhibited. The
Queen restrained her tears, and shut herself up in her private rooms with
her family. She sent for several persons belonging to her Court; their
doors were locked. Terror had driven them away. The silence of death
reigned throughout the palace; they hardly dared hope that the King would
return? The Queen had a robe prepared for her, and sent orders to her
stables to have all her equipages ready. She wrote an address of a few
lines for the Assembly, determining to go there with her family, the
officers of her palace, and her servants, if the King should be detained
prisoner at Paris. She got this address by heart; it began with these
words: "Gentlemen, I come to place in your hands the wife and family of
your sovereign; do not suffer those who have been united in heaven to be
put asunder on earth." While she was repeating this address she was
often interrupted by tears, and sorrowfully exclaimed: "They will not let
him return!"

It was past four when the King, who had left Versailles at ten in the
morning, entered the Hotel de Ville. At length, at six in the evening,
M. de Lastours, the King's first page, arrived; he was not half an hour
in coming from the Barriere de la Conference to Versailles. Everybody
knows that the moment of calm in Paris was that in which the unfortunate
sovereign received the tricoloured cockade from M. Bailly, and placed it
in his hat. A shout of "Vive le Roi!" arose on all sides; it had not
been once uttered before. The King breathed again, and with tears in his
eyes exclaimed that his heart stood in need of such greetings from the
people. One of his equerries (M. de Cubieres) told him the people loved
him, and that he could never have doubted it. The King replied in
accents of profound sensibility:

"Cubieres, the French loved Henri IV., and what king ever better deserved
to be beloved?"

[Louis XVI. cherished the memory of Henri IV.: at that moment he
thought of his deplorable end; but he long before regarded him as a
model. Soulavie says on the subject: "A tablet with the inscription
'Resurrexit' placed upon the pedestal of Henri IV.'s statue on the
accession of Louis XVI. flattered him exceedingly. 'What a fine
compliment,' said he, 'if it were true! Tacitus himself never wrote
anything so concise or so happy.' Louis XVI. wished to take the
reign of that Prince for a model. In the following year the party
that raised a commotion among the people on account of the dearness
of corn removed the tablet inscribed Resurrexit from the statue of
Henri IV., and placed it under that of Louis XV., whose memory was
then detested, as he was believed to have traded on the scarcity of
food. Louis XVI., who was informed of it, withdrew into his private
apartments, where he was found in a fever shedding tears; and during
the whole of that day he could not be prevailed upon either to dine,
walk out, or sup. From this circumstance we may judge what he
endured at the commencement of the Revolution, when he was accused
of not loving the French people."--NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

His return to Versailles filled his family with inexpressible joy; in the
arms of the Queen, his sister, and his children, he congratulated himself
that no accident had happened; and he repeated several times, "Happily no
blood has been shed, and I swear that never shall a drop of French blood
be shed by my order,"--a determination full of humanity, but too openly
avowed in such factious times!

The King's last measure raised a hope in many that general tranquillity
would soon enable the Assembly to resume its, labours, and promptly bring
its session to a close. The Queen never flattered herself so far;
M. Bailly's speech to the King had equally wounded her pride and hurt her
feelings. "Henri IV. conquered his people, and here are the people
conquering their King." The word "conquest" offended her; she never
forgave M. Bailly for this fine academical phrase.

Five days after the King's visit to Paris, the departure of the troops,
and the removal of the Princes and some of the nobility whose influence
seemed to alarm the people, a horrible deed committed by hired assassins
proved that the King had descended the steps of his throne without having
effected a reconciliation with his people.

M. Foulon, adjoint to the administration while M. de Broglie was
commanding the army assembled at Versailles, had concealed himself at
Viry. He was there recognised, and the peasants seized him, and dragged
him to the Hotel de Ville. The cry for death was heard; the electors,
the members of committee, and M. de La Fayette, at that time the idol of
Paris, in vain endeavoured to save the unfortunate man. After tormenting
him in a manner which makes humanity shudder, his body was dragged about
the streets, and to the Palais Royal, and his heart was carried by women
in the midst of a bunch of white carnations! M. Berthier, M. Foulon's
son-in-law, intendant of Paris, was seized at Compiegne, at the same time
that his father-in-law was seized at Viry, and treated with still more
relentless cruelty.

The Queen was always persuaded that this horrible deed was occasioned by
some indiscretion; and she informed me that M. Foulon had drawn up two
memorials for the direction of the King's conduct at the time of his
being called to Court on the removal of M. Necker; and that these
memorials contained two schemes of totally different nature for
extricating the King from the dreadful situation in which he was placed.
In the first of these projects M. Foulon expressed himself without
reserve respecting the criminal views of the Duc d'Orleans; said that
he ought to be put under arrest, and that no time should be lost in
commencing a prosecution against him, while the criminal tribunals were
still in existence; he likewise pointed out such deputies as should be
apprehended, and advised the King not to separate himself from his army
until order was restored.

His other plan was that the King should make himself master of the
revolution before its complete explosion; he advised his Majesty to go to
the Assembly, and there, in person, to demand the cahiers,

[Cahiers, the memorials or lists of complaints, grievances, and
requirements of the electors drawn up by the primary assemblies and
sent with the deputies.]

and to make the greatest sacrifices to satisfy the legitimate wishes of
the people, and not to give the factious time to enlist them in aid of
their criminal designs. Madame Adelaide had M. Foulon's two memorials
read to her in the presence of four or five persons. One of them, Comte
Louis de Narbonne, was very intimate with Madame de Stael, and that
intimacy gave the Queen reason to believe that the opposite party had
gained information of M. Foulon's schemes.

It is known that young Barnave, during an aberration of mind, since
expiated by sincere repentance, and even by death, uttered these
atrocious words: "Is then the blood now, flowing so pure?" when M.
Berthier's son came to the Assembly to implore the eloquence of M. de
Lally to entreat that body to save his father's life. I have since been
informed that a son of M. Foulon, having returned to France after these
first ebullitions of the Revolution, saw Barnave, and gave him one of
those memorials in which M. Foulon advised Louis XVI. to prevent the
revolutionary explosion by voluntarily granting all that the Assembly
required before the 14th of July. "Read this memorial," said he; "I have
brought it to increase your remorse: it is the only revenge I wish to
inflict on you." Barnave burst into tears, and said to him all that the
profoundest grief could dictate.


After the 14th of July, by a manoeuvre for which the most skilful
factions of any age might have envied the Assembly, the whole population
of France was armed and organised into a National Guard. A report was
spread throughout France on the same day, and almost at the same hour,
that four thousand brigands were marching towards such towns or villages
as it was wished to induce to take arms. Never was any plan better laid;
terror spread at the same moment all over the kingdom. In 1791 a peasant
showed me a steep rock in the mountains of the Mont d'Or on which his
wife concealed herself on the day when the four thousand brigands were to
attack their village, and told me they had been obliged to make use of
ropes to let her down from the height which fear alone had enabled her to

Versailles was certainly the place where the national military uniform
appeared most offensive. All the King's valets, even of the lowest
class, were metamorphosed into lieutenants or captains; almost all the
musicians of the chapel ventured one day to make their appearance at the
King's mass in a military costume; and an Italian soprano adopted the
uniform of a grenadier captain. The King was very much offended at this
conduct, and forbade his servants to appear in his presence in so
unsuitable a dress.

The departure of the Duchesse de Polignac naturally left the Abbe de
Vermond exposed to all the dangers of favouritism. He was already talked
of as an adviser dangerous to the nation. The Queen was alarmed at it,
and recommended him to remove to Valenciennes, where Count Esterhazy was
in command. He was obliged to leave that place in a few days and set off
for Vienna, where he remained.

On the night of the 17th of July the Queen, being unable to sleep, made
me watch by her until three in the morning. I was extremely surprised to
hear her say that it would be a very long time before the Abbe de Vermond
would make his appearance at Court again, even if the existing ferment
should subside, because he would not readily be forgiven for his
attachment to the Archbishop of Sens; and that she had lost in him a very
devoted servant. Then she suddenly remarked to me, that although he was
not much prejudiced against me I could not have much regard for him,
because he could not bear my father-in-law to hold the place of secretary
of the closet. She went on to say that I must have studied the Abbe's
character, and, as I had sometimes drawn her portraits of living
characters, in imitation of those which were fashionable in the time of
Louis XIV., she desired me to sketch that of the Abbe, without any
reserve. My astonishment was extreme; the Queen spoke of the man who,
the day before, had been in the greatest intimacy with her with the
utmost coolness, and as a person whom, perhaps, she might never see
again! I remained petrified; the Queen persisted, and told me that he
had been the enemy of my family for more than twelve years, without
having been able to injure it in her opinion; so that I had no occasion
to dread his return, however severely I might depict him. I promptly
summarised my ideas about the favourite; but I only remember that the
portrait was drawn with sincerity, except that everything which could
denote antipathy was kept out of it. I shall make but one extract from
it: I said that he had been born talkative and indiscreet, and had
assumed a character of singularity and abruptness in order to conceal
those two failings. The Queen interrupted me by saying, "Ah! how true
that is!" I have since discovered that, notwithstanding the high favour
which the Abbe de Vermond enjoyed, the Queen took precautions to guard
herself against an ascendency the consequences of which she could not

On the death of my father-in-law his executors placed in my hands a box
containing a few jewels deposited by the Queen with M. Campan on the
departure from Versailles of the 6th of October, and two sealed packets,
each inscribed, "Campan will take care of these papers for me." I took
the two packets to her Majesty, who kept the jewels and the larger
packet, and, returning me the smaller, said, "Take care of that for me as
your father-in-law did."

After the fatal 10th of August, 1792,--[The day of the attack on the
Tuileries, slaughter of the Swiss guard, and suspension of the King from
his functions.]--when my house was about to be surrounded, I determined
to burn the most interesting papers of which I was the depositary; I
thought it my duty, however, to open this packet, which it might perhaps
be necessary for me to preserve at all hazards.
I saw that it contained a letter from the Abbe de Vermond to the Queen.
I have already related that in the earlier days of Madame de Polignac's
favour he determined to remove from Versailles, and that the Queen
recalled him by means of the Comte de Mercy. This letter contained
nothing but certain conditions for his return; it was the most whimsical
of treaties; I confess I greatly regretted being under the necessity of
destroying it. He reproached the Queen for her infatuation for the
Comtesse Jules, her family, and society; and told her several truths
about the possible consequences of a friendship which ranked that lady
among the favourites of the Queens of France, a title always disliked by
the nation. He complained that his advice was neglected, and then came
to the conditions of his return to Versailles; after strong assurances
that he would never, in all his life, aim at the higher church dignities,
he said that he delighted in an unbounded confidence; and that he asked
but two things of her Majesty as essential: the first was, not to give
him her orders through any third person, and to write to him herself; he
complained much that he had had no letter in her own hand since he had
left Vienna; then he demanded of her an income of eighty thousand livres,
in ecclesiastical benefices; and concluded by saying that, if she
condescended to assure him herself that she would set about procuring him
what he wished, her letter would be sufficient in itself to show him that
her Majesty had accepted the two conditions he ventured to make
respecting his return. No doubt the letter was written; at least it is
very certain that the benefices were granted, and that his absence from
Versailles lasted only a single week.

In the course of July, 1789, the regiment of French guards, which had
been in a state of insurrection from the latter end of June, abandoned
its colours. One single company of grenadiers remained faithful, to its
post at Versailles. M. le Baron de Leval was the captain of this
company. He came every evening to request me to give the Queen an
account of the disposition of his soldiers; but M. de La Fayette having
sent them a note, they all deserted during the night and joined their
comrades, who were enrolled in the Paris guard; so that Louis XVI. on
rising saw no guard whatever at the various posts entrusted to them.

The decrees of the 4th of August, by which all privileges were abolished,
are well known.

["It was during the night of the 4th of August," says Rivarol, "that
the demagogues of the nobility, wearied with a protracted discussion
upon the rights of man, and burning to signalise their zeal, rose
all at once, and with loud exclamations called for the last sighs of
the feudal system. This demand electrified the Assembly. All heads
were frenzied. The younger sons of good families, having nothing,
were delighted to sacrifice their too fortunate elders upon the
altar of the country; a few country cures felt no less pleasure in
renouncing the benefices of others; but what posterity will hardly
believe is that the same enthusiasm infected the whole nobility;
zeal walked hand in hand with malevolence; they made sacrifice upon
sacrifice. And as in Japan the point of honour lies in a man's
killing himself in the presence of the person who has offended him,
so did the deputies of the nobility vie in striking at themselves
and their constituents. The people who were present at this noble
contest increased the intoxication of their new allies by their
shouts; and the deputies of the commons, seeing that this memorable
night would only afford them profit without honour, consoled their
self-love by wondering at what Nobility, grafted upon the Third
Estate, could do. They named that night the 'night of dupes'; the
nobles called it the 'night of sacrifices'."--NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

The King sanctioned all that tended to the diminution of his own personal
gratifications, but refused his consent to the other decrees of that
tumultuous night; this refusal was one of the chief causes of the
ferments of the month of October.

In the early part of September meetings were held at the Palais Royal,
and propositions made to go to Versailles; it was said to be necessary to
separate the King from his evil counsellors, and keep him, as well as the
Dauphin, at the Louvre. The proclamations by the officers of the commune
for the restoration of tranquillity were ineffectual; but M. de La
Fayette succeeded this time in dispersing the populace. The Assembly
declared itself permanent; and during the whole of September, in which no
doubt the preparations were made for the great insurrections of the
following month, the Court was not disturbed.

The King had the Flanders regiment removed to Versailles; unfortunately
the idea of the officers of that regiment fraternising with the Body
Guards was conceived, and the latter invited the former to a dinner,
which was given in the great theatre of Versailles, and not in the Salon
of Hercules, as some chroniclers say. Boxes were appropriated to various
persons who wished to be present at this entertainment. The Queen told
me she had been advised to make her appearance on the occasion, but that
under existing circumstances she thought such a step might do more harm
than good; and that, moreover, neither she nor the King ought directly to
have anything to do with such a festival. She ordered me to go, and
desired me to observe everything closely, in order to give a faithful
account of the whole affair.

The tables were set out upon the stage; at them were placed one of the
Body Guard and an officer of the Flanders regiment alternately. There
was a numerous orchestra in the room, and the boxes were filled with
spectators. The air, "O Richard, O mon Roi!" was played, and shouts of
"Vive de Roi!" shook the roof for several minutes. I had with me one of
my nieces, and a young person brought up with Madame by her Majesty.
They were crying "Vive le Roi!" with all their might when a deputy of the
Third Estate, who was in the next box to mine, and whom I had never seen,
called to them, and reproached them for their exclamations; it hurt him,
he said, to see young and handsome Frenchwomen brought up in such servile
habits, screaming so outrageously for the life of one man, and with true
fanaticism exalting him in their hearts above even their dearest
relations; he told them what contempt worthy American women would feel on
seeing Frenchwomen thus corrupted from their earliest infancy. My niece
replied with tolerable spirit, and I requested the deputy to put an end
to the subject, which could by no means afford him any satisfaction,
inasmuch as the young persons who were with me lived, as well as myself,
for the sole purpose of serving and loving the King. While I was
speaking what was my astonishment at seeing the King, the Queen, and the
Dauphin enter the chamber! It was M. de Luxembourg who had effected this
change in the Queen's determination.

The enthusiasm became general; the moment their Majesties arrived the
orchestra repeated the air I have just mentioned, and afterwards played a
song in the "Deserter," "Can we grieve those whom we love?" which also
made a powerful impression upon those present: on all sides were heard
praises of their Majesties, exclamations of affection, expressions of
regret for what they had suffered, clapping of hands, and shouts of "Vive
le Roi! Vive la Reine! Vive le Dauphin!" It has been said that white
cockades were worn on this occasion; that was not the case; the fact is,
that a few young men belonging to the National Guard of Versailles, who
were invited to the entertainment, turned the white lining of their
national cockades outwards. All the military men quitted the hall,
and reconducted the King and his family to their apartments. There was
intoxication in these ebullitions of joy: a thousand extravagances were
committed by the military, and many of them danced under the King's
windows; a soldier belonging to the Flanders regiment climbed up to the
balcony of the King's chamber in order to shout "Vive le Roi!" nearer
his Majesty; this very soldier, as I have been told by several officers
of the corps, was one of the first and most dangerous of their insurgents
in the riots of the 5th and 6th of October. On the same evening another
soldier of that regiment killed himself with a sword. One of my
relations, chaplain to the Queen, who supped with me, saw him stretched
out in a corner of the Place d'Armes; he went to him to give him
spiritual assistance, and received his confession and his last sighs.
He destroyed himself out of regret at having suffered himself to be
corrupted by the enemies of his King, and said that, since he had seen
him and the Queen and the Dauphin, remorse had turned his brain.

I returned home, delighted with all that I had seen.

I found a great many people there. M. de Beaumetz, deputy for Arras,
listened to my description with a chilling air, and, when I had finished,
told me that all that had passed was terrific; that he knew the
disposition of the Assembly, and that the greatest misfortunes would
follow the drama of that night; and he begged my leave to withdraw that
he might take time for deliberate reflection whether he should on the
very next day emigrate, or pass over to the left side of the Assembly.
He adopted the latter course, and never appeared again among my

On the 2d of October the military entertainment was followed up by a
breakfast given at the hotel of the Body Guards. It is said that a
discussion took place whether they should not march against the Assembly;
but I am utterly ignorant of what passed at that breakfast. From that
moment Paris was constantly in commotion; there were continual mobs,
and the most virulent proposals were heard in all public places; the
conversation was invariably about proceeding to Versailles. The King and
Queen did not seem apprehensive of such a measure, and took no precaution
against it; even when the army had actually left Paris, on the evening of
the 5th of October, the King was shooting at Meudon, and the Queen was
alone in her gardens at Trianon, which she then beheld for the last time
in her life. She was sitting in her grotto absorbed in painful
reflection, when she received a note from the Comte de Saint-Priest,
entreating her to return to Versailles. M. de Cubieres at the same time
went off to request the King to leave his sport and return to the palace;
the King did so on horseback, and very leisurely. A few minutes
afterwards he was informed that a numerous body of women, which preceded
the Parisian army, was at Chaville, at the entrance of the avenue from

The scarcity of bread and the entertainment of the Body Guards were the
pretexts for the insurrection of the 5th and 6th of October, 1789; but it
is clear to demonstration that this new movement of the people was a part
of the original plan of the factious, insomuch as, ever since the
beginning of September, a report had been industriously circulated that
the King intended to withdraw, with his family and ministers, to some
stronghold; and at all the popular assemblies there had been always a
great deal said about going to Versailles to seize the King.

At first only women showed themselves; the latticed doors of the Chateau
were closed, and the Body Guard and Flanders regiment were drawn up in
the Place d'Armes. As the details of that dreadful day are given with
precision in several works, I will only observe that general
consternation and disorder reigned throughout the interior of the palace.

I was not in attendance on the Queen at this time. M. Campan remained
with her till two in the morning. As he was leaving her she
condescendingly, and with infinite kindness, desired him to make me easy
as to the dangers of the moment, and to repeat to me M. de La Fayette's
own words, which he had just used on soliciting the royal family to
retire to bed, undertaking to answer for his army.

The Queen was far from relying upon M. de La Fayette's loyalty; but she
has often told me that she believed on that day, that La Fayette, having
affirmed to the King, in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, that he
would answer for the army of Paris, would not risk his honour as a
commander, and was sure of being able to redeem his pledge. She also
thought the Parisian army was devoted to him, and that all he said about
his being forced to march upon Versailles was mere pretence.

On the first intimation of the march of the Parisians, the Comte de
Saint-Priest prepared Rambouillet for the reception of the King, his
family, and suite, and the carriages were even drawn out; but a few cries
of "Vive le Roi!" when the women reported his Majesty's favourable
answer, occasioned the intention of going away to be given up, and orders
were given to the troops to withdraw.

[Compare this account with the particulars given in the "Memoirs" of
Ferribres, Weber, Bailly, and Saint-Priest, from the latter of which
the following sentence is taken:

"M. d'Estaing knew not what to do with the Body Guards beyond
bringing them into the courtyard of the ministers, and shutting the
grilles. Thence they proceeded to the terrace of the Chateau, then
to Trianon, and lastly to Rambouillet.

"I could not refrain from expressing to M. d'Estaing, when he came
to the King, my astonishment at not seeing him make any military
disposition. 'Monsieur,' replied he, 'I await the orders of the
King' (who did not open his mouth). 'When the King gives no
orders,' pursued I, 'a general should decide for himself in a
soldierly manner.' This observation remained unanswered."]

The Body Guards were, however, assailed with stones and musketry while
they were passing from the Place d'Armes to, their hotel. Alarm revived;
again it was thought necessary that the royal family should go away; some
carriages still remained ready for travelling; they were called for; they
were stopped by a wretched player belonging to the theatre of the town,
seconded by the mob: the opportunity for flight had been lost.

The insurrection was directed against the Queen in particular; I shudder
even now at the recollection of the poissardes, or rather furies, who
wore white aprons, which they screamed out were intended to receive the
bowels of Marie Antoinette, and that they would make cockades of them,
mixing the most obscene expressions with these horrible threats.

The Queen went to bed at two in the morning, and even slept, tired out
with the events of so distressing a day. She had ordered her two women
to bed, imagining there was nothing to dread, at least for that night;
but the unfortunate Princess was indebted for her life to that feeling of
attachment which prevented their obeying her. My sister, who was one of
the ladies in question, informed me next day of all that I am about to

On leaving the Queen's bedchamber, these ladies called their femmes de
chambre, and all four remained sitting together against her Majesty's
bedroom door. About half-past four in the morning they heard horrible
yells and discharges of firearms; one ran to the Queen to awaken her and
get her out of bed; my sister flew to the place from which the tumult
seemed to proceed; she opened the door of the antechamber which leads to
the great guard-room, and beheld one of the Body Guard holding his musket
across the door, and attacked by a mob, who were striking at him; his
face was covered with blood; he turned round and exclaimed: "Save the
Queen, madame; they are come to assassinate her!" She hastily shut the
door upon the unfortunate victim of duty, fastened it with the great
bolt, and took the same precaution on leaving the next room. On reaching
the Queen's chamber she cried out to her, "Get up, Madame! Don't stay to
dress yourself; fly to the King's apartment!" The terrified Queen threw
herself out of bed; they put a petticoat upon her without tying it, and
the two ladies conducted her towards the oile-de-boeuf. A door, which
led from the Queen's dressing-room to that apartment, had never before
been fastened but on her side. What a dreadful moment! It was found to
be secured on the other side. They knocked repeatedly with all their
strength; a servant of one of the King's valets de chambre came and
opened it; the Queen entered the King's chamber, but he was not there.
Alarmed for the Queen's life, he had gone down the staircases and through
the corridors under the oeil-de-boeuf, by means of which he was
accustomed to go to the Queen's apartments without being under the
necessity of crossing that room. He entered her Majesty's room and found
no one there but some Body Guards, who had taken refuge in it. The King,
unwilling to expose their lives, told them to wait a few minutes, and
afterwards sent to desire them to go to the oeil-de-boeuf. Madame de
Tourzel, at that time governess of the children of France, had just taken
Madame and the Dauphin to the King's apartments. The Queen saw her
children again. The reader must imagine this scene of tenderness and

It is not true that the assassins penetrated to the Queen's chamber and
pierced the bed with their swords. The fugitive Body Guards were the
only persons who entered it; and if the crowd had reached so far they
would all have been massacred. Besides, when the rebels had forced the
doors of the antechamber, the footmen and officers on duty, knowing that
the Queen was no longer in her apartments, told them so with that air of
truth which always carries conviction. The ferocious horde instantly
rushed towards the oeil-de-boeuf, hoping, no doubt, to intercept her on
her way.

Many have asserted that they recognised the Duc d'Orleans in a greatcoat
and slouched hat, at half-past four in the morning, at the top of the
marble staircase, pointing out with his hand the guard-room, which led to
the Queen's apartments. This fact was deposed to at the Chatelet by
several individuals in the course of the inquiry instituted respecting
the transactions of the 5th and 6th of October.

[The National Assembly was sitting when information of the march of
the Parisians was given to it by one of the deputies who came from
Paris. A certain number of the members were no strangers, to this
movement. It appears that Mirabeau wished to avail himself of it to
raise the Duc d'Orleans to the throne. Mounier, who presided over
the National Assembly, rejected the idea with horror. "My good
man," said Mirabeau to him, "what difference will it make to you to
have Louis XVII. for your King instead of Louis XVI.?" (The Duc
d'Orleans was baptised Louis.)]

The prudence and honourable feeling of several officers of the Parisian
guards, and the judicious conduct of M. de Vaudreuil, lieutenant-general
of marine, and of M. de Chevanne, one of the King's Guards, brought about
an understanding between the grenadiers of the National Guard of Paris
and the King's Guard. The doors of the oeil-de-boeuf were closed, and
the antechamber which precedes that room was filled with grenadiers who
wanted to get in to massacre the Guards. M. de Chevanne offered himself
to them as a victim if they wished for one, and demanded what they would
have. A report had been spread through their ranks that the Body Guards
set them at defiance, and that they all wore black cockades. M. de
Chevanne showed them that he wore, as did the corps, the cockade of their
uniform; and promised that the Guards should exchange it for that of the
nation. This was done; they even went so far as to exchange their
grenadiers' caps for the hats of the Body Guards; those who were on guard
took off their shoulder-belts; embraces and transports of fraternisation
instantly succeeded to the savage eagerness to murder the band which had
shown so much fidelity to its sovereign. The cry was now "Vivent le Roi,
la Nation, et les Gardes-du-corps!"

The army occupied the Place d'Armes, all the courtyards of the Chateau,
and the entrance to the avenue. They called for the Queen to appear in
the balcony: she came forward with Madame and the Dauphin. There was a
cry of "No children!" Was this with a view to deprive her of the
interest she inspired, accompanied as she was by her young family, or did
the leaders of the democrats hope that some madman would venture to aim a
mortal blow at her person? The unfortunate Princess certainly was
impressed with the latter idea, for she sent away her children, and with
her hands and eyes raised towards heaven, advanced upon the balcony like
a self-devoted victim.

A few voices shouted "To Paris!" The exclamation soon became general.
Before the King agreed to this removal he wished to consult the National
Assembly, and caused that body to be invited to sit at the Chateau.
Mirabeau opposed this measure. While these discussions were going
forward it became more and more difficult to restrain the immense
disorderly multitude. The King, without consulting any one, now said to
the people: "You wish, my children, that I should follow you to Paris: I
consent, but on condition that I shall not be separated from my wife and
family." The King added that he required safety also for his Guards; he
was answered by shouts of "Vivo le Roi! Vivent les Gardes-du-corps!"
The Guards, with their hats in the air, turned so as to exhibit the.
cockade, shouted "Vive le Roi! Vive la Nation!" shortly afterwards a
general discharge of all the muskets took place, in token of joy. The
King and Queen set off from Versailles at one o'clock. The Dauphin,
Madame, the King's daughter, Monsieur, Madame,--[Madame, here, the wife
of Monsieur le Comte de Provence.]-- Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de
Tourzel, were in the carriage; the Princesse de Chimay and the ladies of
the bedchamber for the week, the King's suite and servants, followed in
Court carriages; a hundred deputies in carriages, and the bulk of the
Parisian army, closed the procession.

The poissardes went before and around the carriage of their Majesties,
Crying, "We shall no longer want bread! We have the baker, the baker's
wife, and the baker's boy with us!" In the midst of this troop of
cannibals the heads of two murdered Body Guards were carried on poles.
The monsters, who made trophies of them, conceived the horrid idea of
forcing a wigmaker of Sevres to dress them up and powder their bloody
locks. The unfortunate man who was forced to perform this dreadful work
died in consequence of the shock it gave him.

[The King did not leave Versailles till one o'clock. The Queen, the
Dauphin, Madame Royale, Monsieur, Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de
Tourzel were in his Majesty's carriage. The hundred deputies in
their carriages came next. A detachment of brigands, bearing the
heads of the two Body Guards in triumph, formed the advance guard,
and set out two hours earlier. These cannibals stopped a moment at
Sevres, and carried their cruelty to the length of forcing an
unfortunate hairdresser to dress the gory heads; the bulk of the
Parisian army followed them closely. The King's carriage was
preceded by the 'poissardes', who had arrived the day before from
Paris, and a rabble of prostitutes, the vile refuse of their sex,
still drunk with fury and wine. Several of them rode astride upon
cannons, boasting, in the most horrible songs, of the crimes they
had committed themselves, or seen others commit. Those who were
nearest the King's carriage sang ballads, the allusions in which by
means of their vulgar gestures they applied to the Queen. Wagons,
full of corn and flour,--which had been brought into Versailles,
formed a train escorted by grenadiers, and surrounded by women and
bullies, some armed with pikes, and some carrying long branches of
poplar. At some distance this part of the procession had a most
singular effect: it looked like a moving forest, amidst which shone
pike-heads and gun-barrels. In the paroxysms of their brutal joy
the women stopped passengers, and, pointing to the King's carriage,
howled in their ears: "Cheer up, friends; we shall no longer be in
want of bread! We bring you the baker, the baker's wife, and the
baker's little boy!" Behind his Majesty's carriage were several of
his faithful Guards, some on foot, and some on horseback, most of
them uncovered, all unarmed, and worn out with hunger and fatigue;
the dragoons, the Flanders regiment, the hundred Swiss, and the
National Guards preceded, accompanied, or followed the file of
carriages. I witnessed this heartrending spectacle; I saw the
ominous procession. In the midst of all the tumult, clamour, and
singing, interrupted by frequent discharges of musketry, which the
hand of a monster or a bungler might so easily render fatal, I saw
the Queen preserving most courageous tranquillity of soul, and an
air of nobleness and inexpressible dignity, and my eyes were
suffused with tears of admiration and grief.--"Memoirs of Bertrand
de Molleville."]

The progress of the procession was so slow that it was near six in the
evening when this august family, made prisoners by their own people,
arrived at the Hotel de Ville. Bailly received them there; they
were placed upon a throne, just when that of their ancestors had been
overthrown. The King spoke in a firm yet gracious manner; he said that
he always came with pleasure and confidence among the inhabitants of his
good city of Paris. M. Bailly repeated this observation to the
representatives of the commune, who came to address the King; but he
forgot the word confidence. The Queen instantly and loudly reminded him
of the omission. The King and Queen, their children, and Madame
Elisabeth, retired to the Tuileries. Nothing was ready for their
reception there. All the living-rooms had been long given up to persons
belonging to the Court; they hastily quitted them on that day, leaving
their furniture, which was purchased by the Court. The Comtesse de la
Marck, sister to the Marechaux de Noailles and de Mouchy, had occupied
the apartments now appropriated to the Queen. Monsieur and Madame
retired to the Luxembourg.

The Queen had sent for me on the morning of the 6th of October, to leave
me and my father-in-law in charge of her most valuable property. She
took away only her casket of diamonds. Comte Gouvernet de la Tour-du-
Pin, to whom the military government of Versailles was entrusted 'pro
tempore', came and gave orders to the National Guard, which had taken
possession of the apartments, to allow us to remove everything that we
should deem necessary for the Queen's accommodation.

I saw her Majesty alone in her private apartments a moment before her
departure for Paris; she could hardly speak; tears bedewed her face, to
which all the blood in her body seemed to have rushed; she condescended
to embrace me, gave her hand to M. Campan to kiss, and said to us, "Come
immediately and settle at Paris; I will lodge you at the Tuileries; come,
and do not leave me henceforward; faithful servants at moments like these
become useful friends; we are lost, dragged away, perhaps to death; when
kings become prisoners they are very near it."

I had frequent opportunities during the course of our misfortunes of
observing that the people never entirely give their allegiance to
factious leaders, but easily escape their control when some cause reminds
them of their duty. As soon as the most violent Jacobins had an
opportunity of seeing the Queen near at hand, of speaking to her, and of
hearing her voice, they became her most zealous partisans; and even when
she was in the prison of the Temple several of those who had contributed
to place her there perished for having attempted to get her out again.

On the morning of the 7th of October the same women who the day before
surrounded the carriage of the august prisoners, riding on cannons and
uttering the most abusive language, assembled under the Queen's windows,
upon the terrace of the Chateau, and desired to see her. Her Majesty
appeared. There are always among mobs of this description orators, that
is to say, beings who have more assurance than the rest; a woman of this
description told the Queen that she must now remove far from her all such
courtiers as ruin kings, and that she must love the inhabitants of her
good city. The Queen answered that she had loved them at Versailles, and
would likewise love them at Paris. "Yes, yes," said another; "but on the
14th of July you wanted to besiege the city and have it bombarded; and on
the 6th of October you wanted to fly to the frontiers." The Queen
replied, affably, that they had been told so, and had believed it; that
there lay the cause of the unhappiness of the people and of the best of
kings. A third addressed a few words to her in German: the Queen told
her she did not understand it; that she had become so entirely French as
even to have forgotten her mother tongue. This declaration was answered
with "Bravo!" and clapping of hands; they then desired her to make a
compact with them. "Ah," said she, "how can I make a compact with you,
since you have no faith in that which my duty points out to me, and which
I ought for my own happiness to respect?" They asked her for the ribbons
and flowers out of her hat; her Majesty herself unfastened them and gave
them; they were divided among the party, which for above half an hour
cried out, without ceasing, "Marie Antoinette for ever! Our good Queen
for ever!"

Two days after the King's arrival at Paris, the city and the National
Guard sent to request the Queen to appear at the theatre, and prove by
her presence and the King's that it was with pleasure they resided in
their capital. I introduced the deputation which came to make this
request. Her Majesty replied that she should have infinite pleasure in
acceding to the invitation of the city of Paris; but that time must be
allowed her to soften the recollection of the distressing events which
had just occurred, and from which she had suffered too much. She added,
that having come into Paris preceded by the heads of the faithful Guards
who had perished before the door of their sovereign, she could not think
that such an entry into the capital ought to be followed by rejoicings;
but that the happiness she had always felt in appearing in the midst of
the inhabitants of Paris was not effaced from her memory, and that she
should enjoy it again as soon as she found herself able to do so.

Their Majesties found some consolation in their private life: from
Madame's--[Madame, here, the Princesse Marie Therese, daughter of Marie
Antoinette.]--gentle manners and filial affection, from the
accomplishments and vivacity of the little Dauphin, and the attention and
tenderness of the pious Princess Elisabeth, they still derived moments of
happiness. The young Prince daily gave proofs of sensibility and
penetration; he was not yet beyond female care, but a private tutor, the
Abbe Davout, gave him all the instruction suitable to his age; his memory
was highly cultivated, and he recited verses with much grace and feeling.

[On the 19th of October, that is to say, thirteen days after he had
taken up his abode at Paris, the King went, on foot and almost
alone, to review some detachments of the National Guard. After the
review Louis XVI. met with a child sweeping the street, who asked
him for money. The child called the King "M. le Chevalier." His
Majesty gave him six francs. The little sweeper, surprised at
receiving so large a sum, cried out, "Oh! I have no change; you will
give me money another time." A person who accompanied the monarch
said to the child, "Keep it all, my friend; the gentleman is not
chevalier, he is the eldest of the family."--NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

The day after the arrival of the Court at Paris, terrified at hearing
some noise in the gardens of the Tuileries, the young prince threw
himself into the arms of the Queen, crying out, "Grand-Dieu, mamma! will
it be yesterday over again?" A few days after this affecting
exclamation, he went up to the King, and looked at him with a pensive
air. The King asked him what he wanted; he answered, that he had
something very serious to say to him. The King having prevailed on him
to explain himself, the young Prince asked why his people, who formerly
loved him so well, were all at once angry with him; and what he had done
to irritate them so much. His father took him upon his knees, and spoke
to him nearly as follows: "I wished, child, to render the people still
happier than they were; I wanted money to pay the expenses occasioned by
wars. I asked my people for money, as my predecessors have always done;
magistrates, composing the Parliament, opposed it, and said that my
people alone had a right to consent to it. I assembled the principal
inhabitants of every town, whether distinguished by birth, fortune, or
talents, at Versailles; that is what is called the States General. When
they were assembled they required concessions of me which I could not
make, either with due respect for myself or with justice to you, who will
be my successor; wicked men inducing the people to rise have occasioned
the excesses of the last few days; the people must not be blamed for

The Queen made the young Prince clearly comprehend that he ought to treat
the commanders of battalions, the officers of the National Guard, and all
the Parisians who were about him, with affability; the child took great
pains to please all those people, and when he had had an opportunity of
replying obligingly to the mayor or members of the commune he came and
whispered in his mother's ear, "Was that right?"

He requested M. Bailly to show him the shield of Scipio, which is in the
royal library; and M. Bailly asking him which he preferred, Scipio or
Hannibal, the young Prince replied, without hesitation, that he preferred
him who had defended his own country. He gave frequent proofs of ready
wit. One day, while the Queen was hearing Madame repeat her exercises in
ancient history, the young Princess could not at the moment recollect the
name of the Queen of Carthage; the Dauphin was vexed at his sister's want
of memory, and though he never spoke to her in the second person
singular, he bethought himself of the expedient of saying to her, "But
'dis donc' the name of the Queen, to mamma; 'dis donc' what her name

Shortly after the arrival of the King and his family at Paris the
Duchesse de Luynes came, in pursuance of the advice of a committee of the
Constitutional Assembly, to propose to the Queen a temporary retirement
from France, in order to leave the constitution to perfect itself, so
that the patriots should not accuse her of influencing the King to oppose
it. The Duchess knew how far the schemes of the conspirers extended,
and her attachment to the Queen was the principal cause of the advice she
gave her. The Queen perfectly comprehended the Duchesse de Luynes's
motive; but replied that she would never leave either the King or her
son; that if she thought herself alone obnoxious to public hatred she
would instantly offer her life as a sacrifice;--but that it was the
throne which was aimed at, and that, in abandoning the King, she should
be merely committing an act of cowardice, since she saw no other
advantage in it than that of saving her own life.

One evening, in the month of November, 1790, I returned home rather late;
I there found the Prince de Poix; he told me he came to request me to
assist him in regaining his peace of mind; that at the commencement of
the sittings of the National Assembly he had suffered himself to be
seduced into the hope of a better order of things; that he blushed for
his error, and that he abhorred plans which had already produced such
fatal results; that he broke with the reformers for the rest of his life;
that he had given in his resignation as a deputy of the National
Assembly; and, finally, that he was anxious that the Queen should not
sleep in ignorance of his sentiments. I undertook his commission, and
acquitted myself of it in the best way I could; but I was totally
unsuccessful. The Prince de Poix remained at Court; he there suffered
many mortifications, never ceasing to serve the King in the most
dangerous commissions with that zeal for which his house has always been

When the King, the Queen, and the children were suitably established at
the Tuileries, as well as Madame Elisabeth and the Princesse de Lamballe,
the Queen resumed her usual habits; she employed her mornings in
superintending the education of Madame, who received all her lessons in
her presence, and she herself began to work large pieces of tapestry.
Her mind was too much occupied with passing events and surrounding
dangers to admit her of applying herself to reading; the needle was the
only employment which could divert her.

[There was long preserved at Paris, in the house of Mademoiselle
Dubuquois, a tapestry-worker, a carpet worked by the Queen and
Madame Elisabeth for the large room of her Majesty's ground-floor
apartments at the Tuileries. The Empress Josephine saw and admired
this carpet, and desired it might be taken care of, in the hope of
one day sending it to Madame--MADAME CAMPAN.]

She received the Court twice a week before going to mass, and on those
days dined in public with the King; she spent the rest of the time with
her family and children; she had no concert, and did not go to the play
until 1791, after the acceptation of the constitution. The Princesse de
Lamballe, however, had some evening parties in her apartments at the
Tuileries, which were tolerably brilliant in consequence of the great
number of persons who attended them. The Queen was present at a few of
these assemblies; but being soon convinced that her present situation
forbade her appearing much in public, she remained at home, and conversed
as she sat at work. The sole topic of her discourse was, as may well be
supposed, the Revolution. She sought to discover the real opinions of
the Parisians respecting her, and how she could have so completely lost
the affections of the people, and even of many persons in the higher
ranks. She well knew that she ought to impute the whole to the spirit of
party, to the hatred of the Duc d'Orleans, and the folly of the French,
who desired to have a total change in the constitution; but she was not
the less desirous of ascertaining the private feelings of all the people
in power.

From the very commencement of the Revolution General Luckner indulged in
violent sallies against her. Her Majesty, knowing that I was acquainted
with a lady who had been long connected with the General, desired me to
discover through that channel what was the private motive on which
Luckner's hatred against her was founded. On being questioned upon this
point, he answered that Marechal de Segur had assured him he had proposed
him for the command of a camp of observation, but that the Queen had made
a bar against his name; and that this 'par', as he called it, in his
German accent, he could not forget.

The Queen ordered me to repeat this reply to the King myself, and said to
him: "See, Sire, whether I was not right in telling you that your
ministers, in order to give themselves full scope in the distribution of
favours, persuaded the French that I interfered in everything; there was
not a single license given out in the country for the sale of salt or
tobacco but the people believed it was given to one of my favourites."

"That is very, true," replied the King; "but I find it very difficult to
believe that Marechal de Segur ever said any such thing to Luckner; he
knew too well that you never interfered in the distribution of favours.

"That Luckner is a good-for-nothing fellow, and Segur is a brave and
honourable man who never uttered such a falsehood; however, you are
right; and because you provided for a few dependents, you are most
unjustly reported to have disposed of all offices, civil and military."

All the nobility who had not left Paris made a point of presenting
themselves assiduously to the King, and there was a considerable influx
to the Tuileries. Marks of attachment were exhibited even in external
symbols; the women wore enormous bouquets of lilies in their bosoms and
upon their heads, and sometimes even bunches of white ribbon. At the
play there were often disputes between the pit and the boxes about
removing these ornaments, which the people thought dangerous emblems.
National cockades were sold in every corner of Paris; the sentinels
stopped all who did not wear them; the young men piqued themselves upon
breaking through this regulation, which was in some degree sanctioned by
the acquiescence of Louis XVI. Frays took place, which were to be
regretted, because they excited a spirit of lawlessness. The King
adopted conciliatory measures with the Assembly in order to promote
tranquillity; the revolutionists were but little disposed to think him
sincere; unfortunately the royalists encouraged this incredulity by
incessantly repeating that the King was not free, and that all that he
did was completely null, and in no way bound him for the time to come.
Such was the heat and violence of party spirit that persons the most
sincerely attached to the King were not even permitted to use the
language of reason, and recommend greater reserve in conversation.
People would talk and argue at table without considering that all the
servants belonged to the hostile army; and it may truly be said there was
as much imprudence and levity in the party assailed as there was cunning,
boldness, and perseverance in that which made the attack.


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 from M. de Foucault, asking him,
"where are your troops? in which direction will they enter Paris?
I should like to be employed among them." Favras was condemned to
make the 'amende honorable' in front of the Cathedral, and to be
hanged at the Place de Greve. He heard this sentence with wonderful
calmness, and said to his judges, "I pity you much if the testimony

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