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The Historic Court Memoirs of France, complete

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constitutionalists, whom they described as a party existing only in idea,
and totally without means of repairing their errors. The Jacobins were
preferred to them, because, said they, there would be no treaty to be
made with any one at the moment of extricating the King and his family
from the abyss in which they were plunged.


In the beginning of the year 1792, a worthy priest requested a private
interview with me. He had learned the existence of a new libel by Madame
de Lamotte. He told me that the people who came from London to get it
printed in Paris only desired gain, and that they were ready to deliver
the manuscript to him for a thousand louis, if he could find any friend
of the Queen disposed to make that sacrifice for her peace; that he had
thought of me, and if her Majesty would give him the twenty-four thousand
francs, he would hand the manuscript to me.

I communicated this proposal to the Queen, who rejected it, and desired
me to answer that at the time when she had power to punish the hawkers of
these libels she deemed them so atrocious and incredible that she
despised them too much to stop them; that if she were imprudent and weak
enough to buy a single one of them, the Jacobins might possibly discover
the circumstance through their espionage; that were this libel brought
up, it would be printed nevertheless, and would be much more dangerous
when they apprised the public of the means she had used to suppress it.

Baron d'Aubier, gentleman-in-ordinary to the King, and my particular
friend, had a good memory and a clear way of communicating the substance
of the debates and decrees of the National Assembly. I went daily to the
Queen's apartments to repeat all this to the King, who used to say, on
seeing me, "Ah! here's the Postillon par Calais,"--a newspaper of the

M. d'Aubier one day said to me: "The Assembly has been much occupied with
an information laid by the workmen of the Sevres manufactory. They
brought to the President's office a bundle of pamphlets which they said
were the life of Marie Antoinette. The director of the manufactory was
ordered up to the bar, and declared he had received orders to burn the
printed sheets in question in the furnaces used for baking his china."

While I was relating this business to the Queen the King coloured and
held his head down over his plate. The Queen said to him, "Do you know
anything about this, Sire?" The King made no answer. Madame Elisabeth
requested him to explain what it meant. Louis was still silent. I
withdrew hastily. A few minutes afterwards the Queen came to my room and
informed me that the King, out of regard for her, had purchased the whole
edition struck off from the manuscript which I had mentioned to her, and
that M. de Laporte had not been able to devise any more secret way of
destroying the work than that of having it burnt at Sevres, among two
hundred workmen, one hundred and eighty of whom must, in all probability,
be Jacobins! She told me she had concealed her vexation from the King;
that he was in consternation, and that she could say nothing, since his
good intentions and his affection for her had been the cause of the

[M. de Laporte had by order of the King bought up the whole edition
of the "Memoirs" of the notorious Madame de Lamotte against the
Queen. Instead of destroying them immediately, he shut them up in
one of the closets in his house, The alarming and rapid growth of
the rebellion, the arrogance of the crowd of brigands, who in great
measure composed the populace of Paris, and the fresh excesses daily
resulting from it, rendered the intendant of the civil list
apprehensive that some mob might break into his house, carry off
these "Memoirs," and spread them among the public. In order to
prevent this he gave orders to have the "Memoirs" burnt with every
necessary precaution; and the clerk who received the order entrusted
the execution of it to a man named Riston, a dangerous Intriguer,
formerly an advocate of Nancy, who had a twelve-month before escaped
the gallows by favour of the new principles and the patriotism of
the new tribunals, although convicted of forging the great seal, and
fabricating decrees of the council. This Riston, finding himself
entrusted with a commission which concerned her Majesty, and the
mystery attending which bespoke something of importance, was less
anxious to execute it faithfully than to make a parade of this mark
of confidence. On the 30th of May, at ten in the morning, he had
the sheets carried to the porcelain manufactory at Sevres, in a cart
which he himself accompanied, and made a large fire of them before
all the workmen, who were expressly forbidden to approach it. All
these precautions, and the suspicions to which they gave rise, under
such critical circumstances, gave so much publicity to this affair
that it was denounced to the Assembly that very night. Brissot, and
the whole Jacobin party, with equal effrontery and vehemence,
insisted that the papers thus secretly burnt could be no other than
the registers and documents of the correspondence of the Austrian
committee. M. de Laporte was ordered to the bar, and there gave the
most precise account of the circumstances. Riston was also called
up, and confirmed M. de Laporte's deposition. But these
explanations, however satisfactory, did not calm the violent ferment
raised in the Assembly by this affair.--"Memoirs of Bertrand de

Some time afterwards the Assembly received a denunciation against M. de
Montmorin. The ex-minister was accused of having neglected forty
despatches from M. Genet, the charge d'affaires from France in Russia,
not having even unsealed them, because M. Genet acted on constitutional
principles. M. de Montmorin appeared at the bar to answer this
accusation. Whatever distress I might feel in obeying the order I had
received from the King to go and give him an account of the sitting, I
thought I ought not to fail in doing so. But instead of giving my
brother his family name, I merely said "your Majesty's charge d'affaires
at St. Petersburg."

The King did me the favour to say that he noticed a reserve in my
account, of which he approved. The Queen condescended to add a few
obliging remarks to those of the King. However, my office of journalist
gave me in this instance so much pain that I took an opportunity, when
the King was expressing his satisfaction to me at the manner in which I
gave him this daily account, to tell him that its merits belonged wholly
to M. d'Aubier; and I ventured to request the King to suffer that
excellent man to give him an account of the sittings himself. I assured
the King that if he would permit it, that gentleman might proceed to the
Queen's apartments through mine unseen; the King consented to the
arrangement. Thenceforward M. d'Aubier gave the King repeated proofs of
zeal and attachment.

The Cure of St. Eustache ceased to be the Queen's confessor when he took
the constitutional oath. I do not remember the name of the ecclesiastic
who succeeded him; I only know that he was conducted into her apartments
with the greatest mystery. Their Majesties did not perform their Easter
devotions in public, because they could neither declare for the
constitutional clergy, nor act so as to show that they were against them.

The Queen did perform her Easter devotions in 1792; but she went to the
chapel attended only by myself. She desired me beforehand to request one
of my relations, who was her chaplain, to celebrate a mass for her at
five o'clock in the morning. It was still dark; she gave me her arm,
and I lighted her with a taper. I left her alone at the chapel door.
She did not return to her room until the dawn of day.

Dangers increased daily. The Assembly were strengthened in the eyes of
the people by the hostilities of the foreign armies and the army of the
Princes. The communication with the latter party became more active;
the Queen wrote almost every day. M. de Goguelat possessed her
confidence for all correspondence with the foreign parties, and I was
obliged to have him in my apartments; the Queen asked for him very
frequently, and at times which she could not previously appoint.

All parties were exerting themselves either to ruin or to save the King.
One day I found the Queen extremely agitated; she told me she no longer
knew where she was; that the leaders of the Jacobins offered themselves
to her through the medium of Dumouriez; or that Dumouriez, abandoning the
Jacobins, had come and offered himself to her; that she had granted him
an audience; that when alone with her, he had thrown himself at her feet,
and told her that he had drawn the 'bonnet rouge' over his head to the
very ears; but that he neither was nor could be a Jacobin; that the
Revolution had been suffered to extend even to that rabble of destroyers
who, thinking of nothing but pillage, were ripe for anything, and might
furnish the Assembly with a formidable army, ready to undermine the
remains of a throne already but too much shaken. Whilst speaking with
the utmost ardour he seized the Queen's hand and kissed it with
transport, exclaiming, "Suffer yourself to be saved!" The Queen told me
that the protestations of a traitor were not to be relied on; that the
whole of his conduct was so well known that undoubtedly the wisest course
was not to trust to it;

[The sincerity of General Dumouriez cannot be doubted in this
instance. The second volume of his Memoirs shows how unjust the
mistrust and reproaches of the Queen were. By rejecting his
services, Marie Antoinette deprived herself of her only remaining
support. He who saved France in the defiles of Argonne would
perhaps have saved France before the 20th of June, had he obtained
the full confidence of Louis XVI. and the Queen.--NOTE BY THE

that, moreover, the Princes particularly recommended that no confidence
should be placed in any proposition emanating from within the kingdom;
that the force without became imposing; and that it was better to rely
upon their success, and upon the protection due from Heaven to a
sovereign so virtuous as Louis XVI. and to so just a cause.

The constitutionalists, on their part, saw that there had been nothing
more than a pretence of listening to them. Barnave's last advice was as
to the means of continuing, a few weeks longer, the Constitutional Guard,
which had been denounced to the Assembly, and was to be disbanded. The
denunciation against the Constitutional Guard affected only its staff,
and the Duc de Brissac. Barnave wrote to the Queen that the staff of the
guard was already attacked; that the Assembly was about to pass a decree
to reduce it; and he entreated her to prevail on the King, the very
instant the decree should appear, to form the staff afresh of persons
whose names he sent her. Barnave said that all who were set down in it
passed for decided Jacobins, but were not so in fact; that they, as well
as himself, were in despair at seeing the monarchical government
attacked; that they had learnt to dissemble their sentiments, and that it
would be at least a fortnight before the Assembly could know them well,
and certainly before it could succeed in making them unpopular; that it
would be necessary to take advantage of that short space of time to get
away from Paris, immediately after their nomination. The Queen was of
opinion that she ought not to yield to this advice. The Duc de Brissac
was sent to Orleans, and the guard was disbanded.

Barnave, seeing that the Queen did not follow his counsel in anything,
and convinced that she placed all her reliance on assistance from abroad,
determined to quit Paris. He obtained a last audience. "Your
misfortunes, Madame," said he, "and those which I anticipate for France,.
determined me to sacrifice myself to serve you. I see, however, that my
advice does not agree with the views of your Majesties. I augur but
little advantage from the plan you are induced to pursue,--you are too
remote from your succours; you will be lost before they reach you. Most
ardently do I wish I may be mistaken in so lamentable a prediction; but I
am sure to pay with my head for the interest your misfortunes have raised
in me, and the services I have sought to render you. I request, for my
sole reward, the honour of kissing your hand." The Queen, her eyes
suffused with tears, granted him that favour, and remained impressed with
a favourable idea of his sentiments. Madame Elisabeth participated in
this opinion, and the two Princesses frequently spoke of Barnave. The
Queen also received M. Duport several times, but with less mystery. Her
connection with the constitutional deputies transpired. Alexandre de
Lameth was the only one of the three who survived the vengeance of the

[Barnave was arrested at Grenoble. He remained in prison in that
town fifteen months, and his friends began to hope that he would be
forgotten, when an order arrived that he should be removed to Paris.
At first he was imprisoned in the Abbaye, but transferred to the
Conciergerie, and almost immediately taken before the revolutionary
tribunal. He appeared there with wonderful firmness, summed up the
services he had rendered to the cause of liberty with his usual
eloquence, and made such an impression upon the numerous auditors
that, although accustomed to behold only conspirators worthy of
death in all those who appeared before the tribunal, they themselves
considered his acquittal certain. The decree of death was read
amidst the deepest silence; but Barnave'a firmness was immovable.
When he left the court, he cast upon the judges, the jurors, and the
public looks expressive of contempt and indignation. He was led to
his fate with the respected Duport du Tertre, one of the last
ministers of Louis XVI. when he had ascended the scaffold, Barnave
stamped, raised his eyes to heaven, and said: "This, then, is the
reward of all that I have done for liberty!" He fell on the 29th of
October, 1793, in the thirty-second year of his age; his bust was
placed in the Grenoble Museum. The Consular Government placed his
statue next to that of Vergniaud, on the great staircase of the
palace of the Senate.--"Biographie de Bruxelles."]

The National Guard, which succeeded the King's Guard, having occupied the
gates of the Tuileries, all who came to see the Queen were insulted with
impunity. Menacing cries were uttered aloud even in the Tuileries; they
called for the destruction of the throne, and the murder of the
sovereign; the grossest insults were offered by the very lowest of the

About this time the King fell into a despondent state, which amounted
almost to physical helplessness. He passed ten successive days without
uttering a single word, even in the bosom of his family; except, indeed,
when playing at backgammon after dinner with Madame Elisabeth. The Queen
roused him from this state, so fatal at a critical period, by throwing
herself at his feet, urging every alarming idea, and employing every
affectionate expression. She represented also what he owed to his
family; and told him that if they were doomed to fall they ought to fall
honourably, and not wait to be smothered upon the floor of their

About the 15th of June, 1792, the King refused his sanction to the two
decrees ordaining the deportation of priests and the formation of a camp
of twenty thousand men under the walls of Paris. He himself wished to
sanction them, and said that the general insurrection only waited for a
pretence to burst forth. The Queen insisted upon the veto, and
reproached herself bitterly when this last act of the constitutional
authority had occasioned the day of the 20th of June.

A few days previously about twenty thousand men had gone to the Commune
to announce that, on the 20th, they would plant the tree of liberty at
the door of the National Assembly, and present a petition to the King
respecting the veto which he had placed upon the decree for the
deportation of the priests. This dreadful army crossed the garden of the
Tuileries, and marched under the Queen's windows; it consisted of people
who called themselves the citizens of the Faubourgs St. Antoine and St.
Marceau. Clothed in filthy rags, they bore a most terrifying appearance,
and even infected the air. People asked each other where such an army
could come from; nothing so disgusting had ever before appeared in Paris.

On the 20th of June this mob thronged about the Tuileries in still
greater numbers, armed with pikes, hatchets, and murderous instruments of
all kinds, decorated with ribbons of the national colours, Shouting, "The
nation for ever! Down with the veto!" The King was without guards.
Some of these desperadoes rushed up to his apartment; the door was about
to be forced in, when the King commanded that it should be opened.
Messieurs de Bougainville, d'Hervilly, de Parois, d'Aubier, Acloque,
Gentil, and other courageous men who were in the apartment of M. de
Septeuil, the King's first valet de chambre, instantly ran to his
Majesty's apartment. M. de Bougainville, seeing the torrent furiously
advancing, cried out, "Put the King in the recess of the window, and
place benches before him." Six royalist grenadiers of the battalion of
the Filles Saint Thomas made their way by an inner staircase, and ranged
themselves before the benches. The order given by M. de Bougainville
saved the King from the blades of the assassins, among whom was a Pole
named Lazousky, who was to strike the first blow. The King's brave
defenders said, "Sire, fear nothing." The King's reply is well known:
"Put your hand upon my heart, and you will perceive whether I am afraid."
M. Vanot, commandant of battalion, warded off a blow aimed by a wretch
against the King; a grenadier of the Filles Saint Thomas parried a sword-
thrust made in the same direction. Madame Elisabeth ran to her brother's
apartments; when she reached the door she heard loud threats of death
against the Queen: they called for the head of the Austrian. "Ah! let
them think I am the Queen," she said to those around her, "that she may
have time to escape."

The Queen could not join the King; she was in the council chamber, where
she had been placed behind the great table to protect her, as much as
possible, against the approach of the barbarians. Preserving a noble and
becoming demeanour in this dreadful situation, she held the Dauphin
before her, seated upon the table. Madame was at her side; the Princesse
de Lamballe, the Princesse de Tarente, Madame de la Roche-Aymon, Madame
de Tourzel, and Madame de Mackau surrounded her. She had fixed a
tricoloured cockade, which one of the National Guard had given her, upon
her head. The poor little Dauphin was, like the King, shrouded in an
enormous red cap. The horde passed in files before the table;

[One of the circumstances of the 20th of June which most vexed the
King's friends being that of his wearing the bonnet rouge nearly
three hours, I ventured to ask him for some explanation of a fact so
strikingly in contrast with the extraordinary intrepidity shown by
his Majesty during that horrible day. This was his answer: "The
cries of 'The nation for ever!' violently increasing around me, and
seeming to be addressed to me, I replied that the nation had not a
warmer friend than myself. Upon this an ill-looking man, making his
way through the crowd, came up to me and said, rather roughly,
'Well, if you speak the truth, prove it by putting on this red cap.'
'I consent,' replied I. One or two of them immediately came forward
and placed the cap upon my hair, for it was too small for my head.
I was convinced, I knew not why, that his intention was merely to
place the cap upon my head for a moment, and then to take it off
again; and I was so completely taken up with what was passing before
me that I did not feel whether the cap did or did not remain upon my
hair. I was so little aware of it that when I returned to my room I
knew only from being told so that it was still there. I was very
much surprised to find it upon my head, and was the more vexed at it
because I might have taken it off immediately without the smallest
difficulty. But I am satisfied that if I had hesitated to consent
to its being placed upon my head the drunken fellow who offered it
to me would have thrust his pike into my stomach."--"Memoirs of
Bertrand de Molleville."]

the sort of standards which they carried were symbols of the most
atrocious barbarity. There was one representing a gibbet, to which a
dirty doll was suspended; the words "Marie Antoinette a la lanterne" were
written beneath it. Another was a board, to which a bullock's heart was
fastened, with "Heart of Louis XVI." written round it. And a third
showed the horn of an ox, with an obscene inscription.

One of the most furious Jacobin women who marched with these wretches
stopped to give vent to a thousand imprecations against the Queen. Her
Majesty asked whether she had ever seen her. She replied that she had
not. Whether she had done her any, personal wrong? Her answer was the
same; but she added:

"It is you who have caused the misery of the nation."

"You have been told so," answered the Queen; "you are deceived. As the
wife of the King of France, and mother of the Dauphin, I am a French-
woman; I shall never see my own country again, I can be happy or unhappy
only in France; I was happy when you loved me."

The fury began to weep, asked her pardon, and said, "It was because I did
not know you; I see that you are good."

Santerre, the monarch of the faubourgs, made his subjects file off as
quickly as he could; and it was thought at the time that he was ignorant
of the object of this insurrection, which was the murder of the royal
family. However, it was eight o'clock in the evening before the palace
was completely cleared. Twelve deputies, impelled by attachment to the
King's person, ranged themselves near him at the commencement of the
insurrection; but the deputation from the Assembly did not reach the
Tuileries until six in the evening; all the doors of the apartments were
broken. The Queen pointed out to the deputies the state of the King's
palace, and the disgraceful manner in which his asylum had been violated
under the very eyes of the Assembly; she saw that Merlin de Thionville
was so much affected as to shed tears while she spoke.

"You weep, M. Merlin," said she to him, "at seeing the King and his
family so cruelly treated by a people whom he always wished to make

"True, Madame," replied Merlin; "I weep for the misfortunes of a
beautiful and feeling woman, the mother of a family; but do not mistake,
not one of my tears falls for either King or Queen; I hate kings and
queens,--it is my religion."

The Queen could not appreciate this madness, and saw all that was to be
apprehended by persons who evinced it.

All hope was gone, and nothing was thought of but succour from abroad.
The Queen appealed to her family and the King's brothers; her letters
probably became more pressing, and expressed apprehensions upon the
tardiness of relief. Her Majesty read me one to herself from the
Archduchess Christina, Gouvernante of the Low Countries: she reproached
the Queen for some of her expressions, and told her that those out of
France were at least as much alarmed as herself at the King's situation
and her own; but that the manner of attempting to assist her might either
save her or endanger her safety; and that the members of the coalition
were bound to act prudently, entrusted as they were with interests so
dear to them.

The 14th of July, 1792, fixed by the constitution as the anniversary of
the independence of the nation drew near. The King and Queen were
compelled to make their appearance on the occasion; aware that the plot
of the 20th of June had their assassination for its object, they had no
doubt but that their death was determined on for the day of this national
festival. The Queen was recommended, in order to give the King's friends
time to defend him if the attack should be made, to guard him against the
first stroke of a dagger by making him wear a breastplate. I was
directed to get one made in my apartments: it was composed of fifteen
folds of Italian taffety, and formed into an under-waistcoat and a wide
belt. This breastplate was tried; it resisted all thrusts of the dagger,
and several balls were turned aside by it. When it was completed the
difficulty was to let the King try it on without running the risk of
being surprised. I wore the immense heavy waistcoat as an under-
petticoat for three days without being able to find a favourable moment.
At length the King found an opportunity one morning to pull off his coat
in the Queen's chamber and try on the breastplate.

The Queen was in bed; the King pulled me gently by the gown, and drew me
as far as he could from the Queen's bed, and said to me, in a very low
tone of voice: "It is to satisfy her that I submit to this inconvenience:
they will not assassinate me; their scheme is changed; they will put me
to death another way." The Queen heard the King whispering to me, and
when he was gone out she asked me what he had said. I hesitated to
answer; she insisted that I should, saying that nothing must be concealed
from her, and that she was resigned upon every point.

When she was informed of the King's remark she told me she had guessed
it, that he had long since observed to her that all which was going
forward in France was an imitation of the revolution in England in the
time of Charles I., and that he was incessantly reading the history of
that unfortunate monarch in order that he might act better than Charles
had done at a similar crisis. "I begin to be fearful of the King's being
brought to trial," continued the Queen; "as to me, I am a foreigner; they
will assassinate me. What will become of my poor children?"

These sad ejaculations were followed by a torrent of tears. I wished to
give her an antispasmodic; she refused it, saying that only happy women
could feel nervous; that the cruel situation to which she was reduced
rendered these remedies useless. In fact, the Queen, who during her
happier days was frequently attacked by hysterical disorders, enjoyed
more uniform health when all the faculties of her soul were called forth
to support her physical strength.

I had prepared a corset for her, for the same purpose as the King's
under-waistcoat, without her knowledge; but she would not make use of it;
all my entreaties, all my tears, were in vain. "If the factions
assassinate me," she replied, "it will be a fortunate event for me; they
will deliver me from a most painful existence." A few days after the
King had tried on his breastplate I met him on a back staircase. I drew
back to let him pass. He stopped and took my hand; I wished to kiss his;
he would not suffer it, but drew me towards him by the hand, and kissed
both my cheeks without saying a single word.

The fear of another attack upon the Tuileries occasioned scrupulous
search among the King's papers

I burnt almost all those belonging to the Queen. She put her family
letters, a great deal of correspondence which she thought it necessary to
preserve for the history of the era of the Revolution, and particularly
Barnave's letters and her answers, of which she had copies, into a
portfolio, which she entrusted to M. de J----. That gentleman was unable
to save this deposit, and it was burnt. The Queen left a few papers in
her secretaire. Among them were instructions to Madame de Tourzel,
respecting the dispositions of her children and the characters and
abilities of the sub-governesses under that lady's orders. This paper,
which the Queen drew up at the time of Madame de Tourzel's appointment,
with several letters from Maria Theresa, filled with the best advice and
instructions, was printed after the 10th of August by order of the
Assembly in the collection of papers found in the secretaires of the King
and Queen.

Her Majesty had still, without reckoning the income of the month, one
hundred and forty thousand francs in gold. She was desirous of
depositing the whole of it with me; but I advised her to retain fifteen
hundred louis, as a sum of rather considerable amount might be suddenly
necessary for her. The King had an immense quantity of papers, and
unfortunately conceived the idea of privately making, with the assistance
of a locksmith who had worked with him above ten years, a place of
concealment in an inner corridor of his apartments. The place of
concealment, but for the man's information, would have been long
undiscovered? The wall in which it was made was painted to imitate large
stones, and the opening was entirely concealed among the brown grooves
which formed the shaded part of these painted stones. But even before
this locksmith had denounced what was afterwards called the iron closet
to the Assembly, the Queen was aware that he had talked of it to some of
his friends; and that this man, in whom the King from long habit placed
too much confidence, was a Jacobin. She warned the King of it, and
prevailed on him to fill a very large portfolio with all the papers he
was most interested in preserving, and entrust it to me. She entreated
him in my presence to leave nothing in this closet; and the King, in
order to quiet her, told her that he had left nothing there. I would
have taken the portfolio and carried it to my apartment, but it was too
heavy for me to lift. The King said he would carry it himself; I went
before to open the doors for him. When he placed the portfolio in my
inner closet he merely said, "The Queen will tell you what it contains."
Upon my return to the Queen I put the question to her, deeming, from what
the King had said, that it was necessary I should know. "They are," the
Queen answered me, "such documents as would be most dangerous to the King
should they go so far as to proceed to a trial against him. But what he
wishes me to tell you is, that the portfolio contains a 'proces-verbal'
of a cabinet council, in which the King gave his opinion against the war.
He had it signed by all the ministers, and, in case of a trial, he trusts
that this document will be very useful to him." I asked the Queen to
whom she thought I ought to commit the portfolio. "To whom you please,"
answered she; "you alone are answerable for it. Do not quit the palace
even during your vacation months: there may be circumstances under which
it would be very desirable that we should be able to have it instantly."

At this period M. de La Fayette, who had probably given up the idea of
establishing a republic in France similar to that of the United States,
and was desirous to support the first constitution which he had sworn to
defend, quitted his army and came to the Assembly for the purpose of
supporting by his presence and by an energetic speech a petition signed
by twenty thousand citizens against the late violation of the residence
of the King and his family. The General found the constitutional party
powerless, and saw that he himself had lost his popularity. The Assembly
disapproved of the step he had taken; the King, for whom it, was taken,
showed no satisfaction at it, and he saw himself compelled to return to
his army as quickly as he could. He thought he could rely on the
National Guard; but on the day of his arrival those officers who were in
the King's interest inquired of his Majesty whether they were to forward
the views of Gendral de La Fayette by joining him in such measures as he
should pursue during his stay at Paris. The King enjoined them not to do
so. From this answer M. de La Fayette perceived that he was abandoned by
the remainder of his party in the Paris guard.

On his arrival a plan was presented to the Queen, in which it was
proposed by a junction between La Fayette's army and the King's party to
rescue the royal family and convey them to Rouen. I did not learn the
particulars of this plan; the Queen only said to me upon the subject that
M. de La Fayette was offered to them as a resource; but that it would be
better for them to perish than to owe their safety to the man who had
done them the most mischief, or to place themselves under the necessity
of treating with him.

I passed the whole month of July without going to bed; I was fearful of
some attack by night. There was one plot against the Queen's life which
has never been made known. I was alone by her bedside at one o'clock in
the morning; we heard somebody walking softly down the corridor, which
passes along the whole line of her apartments, and which was then locked
at each end. I went out to fetch the valet de chambre; he entered the
corridor, and the Queen and myself soon heard the noise of two men
fighting. The unfortunate Princess held me locked in her arms, and
said to me, "What a situation! insults by day and assassins by night!"
The valet de chambre cried out to her from the corridor, "Madame, it is a
wretch that I know; I have him!"--"Let him go," said the Queen; "open the
door to him; he came to murder me; the Jacobins would carry him about in
triumph to-morrow." The man was a servant of the King's toilet, who had
taken the key of the corridor out of his Majesty's pocket after he was in
bed, no doubt with the intention of committing the crime suspected. The
valet de chambre, who was a very strong man, held him by the wrists, and
thrust him out at the door. The wretch did not speak a word. The valet
de chambre said, in answer to the Queen, who spoke to him gratefully of
the danger to which he had exposed himself, that he feared nothing, and
that he had always a pair of excellent pistols about him for no other
purpose than to defend her Majesty. The next day M. de Septeuil had all
the locks of the King's inner apartments changed. I did the same by
those of the Queen.

We were every moment told that the Faubourg St. Antoine was preparing to
march against the palace. At four o'clock one morning towards the latter
end of July a person came to give me information to that effect. I
instantly sent off two men, on whom I could rely, with orders to proceed
to the usual places for assembling, and to come back speedily and give me
an account of the state of the city. We knew that at least an hour must
elapse before the populace or the faubourgs assembled on the site of the
Bastille could reach the Tuileries. It seemed to me sufficient for the
Queen's safety that all about her should be awakened. I went softly into
her room; she was asleep; I did not awaken her. I found General de W----
in the great closet; he told me the meeting was, for this once,
dispersing. The General had endeavoured to please the populace by the
same means as M. de La Fayette had employed. He saluted the lowest
poissarde, and lowered his hat down to his very stirrup. But the
populace, who had been flattered for three years, required far different
homage to its power, and the poor man was unnoticed. The King had been
awakened, and so had Madame Elisabeth, who had gone to him. The Queen,
yielding to the weight of her griefs, slept till nine o'clock on that
day, which was very unusual with her. The King had already been to know
whether she was awake; I told him what I had done, and the care I had
taken not to disturb her. He thanked me, and said, "I was awake, and so
was the whole palace; she ran no risk. I am very glad to see her take a
little rest. Alas! her griefs double mine!" What was my chagrin when,
upon awaking and learning what had passed, the Queen burst into tears
from regret at not having been called, and began to upbraid me, on whose
friendship she ought to have been able to rely, for having served her so
ill under such circumstances! In vain did I reiterate that it had been
only a false alarm, and that she required to have her strength recruited.
"It is not diminished," said she; "misfortune gives us additional
strength. Elisabeth was with the King, and I was asleep,--I who am
determined to perish by his side! I am his wife; I will not suffer him
to incur the smallest risk without my sharing it."


During July the correspondence of M. Bertrand de Molleville with the King
and Queen was most active. M. de Marsilly, formerly a lieutenant of the
Cent-Suisses of the Guard, was the bearer of the letters.

[I received by night only the King's answer, written with his own
hand, in the margin of my letter. I always sent him back with the
day's letter that to which he had replied the day before, so that my
letters and his answers, of which I contented myself with taking
notes only, never remained with me twenty-four hours. I proposed
this arrangement to his Majesty to remove all uneasiness from his
mind; my letters were generally delivered to the King or the Queen
by M. de Marsilly, captain of the King's Guard, whose attachment and
fidelity were known to their Majesties. I also sometimes employed
M. Bernard de Marigny, who had left Brest for the purpose of sharing
with his Majesty's faithful servants the dangers which threatened
the King.--"Memoirs of Bertrand de Molleville," vol. ii., p. 12.]

He came to me the first time with a note from the Queen directed to M.
Bertrand himself. In this note the Queen said: "Address yourself with
full confidence to Madame Campan; the conduct of her brother in Russia
has not at all influenced her sentiments; she is wholly devoted to us;
and if, hereafter, you should have anything to say to us verbally, you
may rely entirely upon her devotion and discretion."

The mobs which gathered almost nightly in the faubourgs alarmed the
Queen's friends; they entreated her not to sleep in her room on the
ground floor of the Tuileries. She removed to the first floor, to a room
which was between the King's apartments and those of the Dauphin. Being
awake always from daybreak, she ordered that neither the shutters nor the
window-blinds should be closed, that her long sleepless nights might be
the less weary. About the middle of one of these nights, when the moon
was shining into her bedchamber, she gazed at it, and told me that in a
month she should not see that moon unless freed from her chains, and
beholding the King at liberty. She then imparted to me all that was
concurring to deliver them; but said that the opinions of their intimate
advisers were alarmingly at variance; that some vouched for complete
success, while others pointed out insurmountable dangers. She added that
she possessed the itinerary of the march of the Princes and the King of
Prussia: that on such a day they would be at Verdun, on another day at
such a place, that Lille was about to be besieged, but that M. de J-----,
whose prudence and intelligence the King, as well as herself, highly
valued, alarmed them much respecting the success of that siege, and made
them apprehensive that, even were the commandant devoted to them, the
civil authority, which by the constitution gave great power to the mayors
of towns, would overrule the military commandant. She was also very
uneasy as to what would take place at Paris during the interval, and
spoke to me of the King's want of energy, but always in terms expressive
of her veneration for his virtues and her attachment to himself.--
"The King," said she, "is not a coward; he possesses abundance of passive
courage, but he is overwhelmed by an awkward shyness, a mistrust of
himself, which proceeds from his education as much as from his
disposition. He is afraid to command, and, above all things, dreads
speaking to assembled numbers. He lived like a child, and always ill at
ease under the eyes of Louis XV., until the age of twenty-one. This
constraint confirmed his timidity.

"Circumstanced as we are, a few well-delivered words addressed to the
Parisians, who are devoted to him, would multiply the strength of our
party a hundredfold: he will not utter them. What can we expect from
those addresses to the people which he has been advised to post up?
Nothing but fresh outrages. As for myself, I could do anything, and
would appear on horseback if necessary. But if I were really to begin to
act, that would be furnishing arms to the King's enemies; the cry against
the Austrian, and against the sway of a woman, would become general in
France; and, moreover, by showing myself, I should render the King a mere
nothing. A queen who is not regent ought, under these circumstances, to
remain passive and prepare to die."

The garden of the Tuileries was full of maddened men, who insulted all
who seemed to side with the Court. "The Life of Marie Antoinette" was
cried under the Queen's windows, infamous plates were annexed to the
book, the hawkers showed them to the passersby. On all sides were heard
the jubilant outcries of a people in a state of delirium almost as
frightful as the explosion of their rage. The Queen and her children
were unable to breathe the open air any longer. It was determined that
the garden of the Tuileries should be closed: as soon as this step was
taken the Assembly decreed that the whole length of the Terrace des
Feuillans belonged to it, and fixed the boundary between what was called
the national ground and the Coblentz ground by a tricoloured ribbon
stretched from one end of the terrace to the other. All good citizens
were ordered, by notices affixed to it, not to go down into the garden,
under pain of being treated in the same manner as Foulon and Berthier.
A young man who did not observe this written order went down into the
garden; furious outcries, threats of la lanterne, and the crowd of people
which collected upon the terrace warned him of his imprudence, and the
danger which he ran. He immediately pulled off his shoes, took out his
handkerchief, and wiped the dust from their soles. The people cried out,
"Bravo! the good citizen for ever!" He was carried off in triumph. The
shutting up of the Tuileries did not enable the Queen and her children to
walk in the garden. The people on the terrace sent forth dreadful
shouts, and she was twice compelled to return to her apartments.

In the early part of August many zealous persons offered the King money;
he refused considerable sums, being unwilling to injure the fortunes of
individuals. M. de la Ferte, intendant of the 'menus plaisirs', brought
me a thousand louis, requesting me to lay them at the feet of the Queen.
He thought she could not have too much money at so perilous a time, and
that every good Frenchman should hasten to place all his ready money in
her hands. She refused this sum, and others of much greater amount which
were offered to her.

[M. Auguie, my brother-in-law, receiver-general of the finances,
offered her, through his wife, a portfolio containing one hundred
thousand crowns in paper money. On this occasion the Queen said the
most affecting things to my sister, expressive of her happiness at
having contributed to the fortunes of such faithful subjects as
herself and her husband, but declined her offer.--MADAME CAMPAN.]

However, a few days afterwards, she told me she would accept M. de la
Ferte's twenty-four thousand francs, because they would make up a sum
which the King had to expend. She therefore directed, me to go and
receive those twenty-four thousand francs, to add them to the one hundred
thousand francs she had placed in my hands, and to change the whole into
assignats to increase their amount. Her orders were executed, and the
assignats were delivered to the King. The Queen informed me that Madame
Elisabeth had found a well-meaning man who had engaged to gain over
Petion by the bribe of a large sum of money, and that deputy would, by a
preconcerted signal, inform the King of the success of the project. His
Majesty soon had an opportunity of seeing Petion, and on the Queen asking
him before me if he was satisfied with him, the King replied, "Neither
more nor less satisfied than usual; he did not make the concerted signal,
and I believe I have been cheated." The Queen then condescended to
explain the whole of the enigma to me. "Petion," said she, "was, while
talking to the King, to have kept his finger fixed upon his right eye for
at least two seconds."--"He did not even put his hand up to his chin,"
said the King; "after all, it is but so much money stolen: the thief will
not boast of it, and the affair will remain a secret. Let us talk of
something else." He turned to me and said, "Your father was an intimate
friend of Mandat, who now commands the National Guard; describe him to
me; what ought I to expect from him?" I answered that he was one of his
Majesty's most faithful subjects, but that with a great deal of loyalty
he possessed very little sense, and that he was involved in the
constitutional vortex. "I understand," said the King; "he is a man who
would defend my palace and my person, because that is enjoined by the
constitution which he has sworn to support, but who would fight against
the party in favour of sovereign authority; it is well to know this with

On the next day the Princesse de Lamballe sent for me very early in the
morning. I found her on a sofa facing a window that looked upon the Pont
Royal. She then occupied that apartment of the Pavilion of Flora which
was on a level with that of the Queen. She desired me to sit down by
her. Her Highness had a writing-desk upon her knees. "You have had many
enemies," said she; "attempts have been made to deprive you of the
Queen's favour; they have been far from successful. Do you know that
even I myself, not being so well acquainted with you as the Queen, was
rendered suspicious of you; and that upon the arrival of the Court at the
Tuileries I gave you a companion to be a spy upon you; and that I had
another belonging to the police placed at your door! I was assured that
you received five or six of the most virulent deputies of the Tiers Etat;
but it was that wardrobe woman whose rooms were above you.

"In short," said the Princess, "persons of integrity have nothing to fear
from the evil-disposed when they belong to so upright a prince as the
King. As to the Queen, she knows you, and has loved you ever since
she came into France. You shall judge of the King's opinion of you: it
was yesterday evening decided in the family circle that, at a time when
the Tuileries is likely to be attacked, it was necessary to have the most
faithful account of the opinions and conduct of all the individuals
composing the Queen's service. The King takes the same precaution on his
part respecting all who are about him. He said there was with him a
person of great integrity, to whom he would commit this inquiry; and
that, with regard to the Queen's household, you must be spoken to, that
he had long studied your character, and that he esteemed your veracity."

The Princess had a list of the names of all who belonged to the Queen's
chamber on her desk. She asked me for information respecting each
individual. I was fortunate in having none but the most favourable
information to give. I had to speak of my avowed enemy in the Queen's
chamber; of her who most wished that I should be responsible for my
brother's political opinions. The Princess, as the head of the chamber,
could not be ignorant of this circumstance; but as the person in
question, who idolised the King and Queen, would not have hesitated to
sacrifice her life in order to save theirs, and as possibly her
attachment to them, united to considerable narrowness of intellect and a
limited education, contributed to her jealousy of me, I spoke of her in
the highest terms.

The Princess wrote as I dictated, and occasionally looked at me with
astonishment. When I had done I entreated her to write in the margin
that the lady alluded to was my declared enemy. She embraced me, saying,
"Ah! do not write it! we should not record an unhappy circumstance which
ought to be forgotten." We came to a man of genius who was much attached
to the Queen, and I described him as a man born solely to contradict,
showing himself an aristocrat with democrats, and a democrat among
aristocrats; but still a man of probity, and well disposed to his
sovereign. The Princess said she knew many persons of that disposition,
and that she was delighted I had nothing to say against this man, because
she herself had placed him about the Queen.

The whole of her Majesty's chamber, which consisted entirely of persons
of fidelity, gave throughout all the dreadful convulsions of the
Revolution proofs of the greatest prudence and self-devotion. The same
cannot be said of the antechambers. With the exception of three or four,
all the servants of that class were outrageous Jacobins; and I saw on
those occasions the necessity of composing the private household of
princes of persons completely separated from the class of the people.

The situation of the royal family was so unbearable during the months
which immediately preceded the 10th of August that the Queen longed for
the crisis, whatever might be its issue. She frequently said that a long
confinement in a tower by the seaside would seem to her less intolerable
than those feuds in which the weakness of her party daily threatened an
inevitable catastrophe.

[A few days before the 10th of August the squabbles between the
royalists and the Jacobins, and between the Jacobins and the
constitutionalists, increased in warmth; among the latter those men
who defended the principles they professed with the greatest talent,
courage, and constancy were at the same time the most exposed to
danger. Montjoie says: "The question of dethronement was discussed
with a degree of frenzy in the Assembly. Such of the deputies as
voted against it were abused, ill treated, and surrounded by
assassins. They had a battle to fight at every step they took; and
at length they did not dare to sleep in their own houses. Of this
number were Regnault de Beaucaron, Froudiere, Girardin, and
Vaublanc. Girardin complained of having been struck in one of the
lobbies of the Assembly. A voice cried out to him, 'Say where were
you struck.' 'Where?' replied Girardin, 'what a question! Behind.
Do assassins ever strike otherwise?"]

Not only were their Majesties prevented from breathing the open air, but
they were also insulted at the very foot of the altar. The Sunday before
the last day of the monarchy, while the royal family went through the
gallery to the chapel, half the soldiers of the National Guard exclaimed,
"Long live the King!" and the other half, "No; no King! Down with the
veto!" and on that day at vespers the choristers preconcerted to use loud
and threatening emphasis when chanting the words, "Deposuit potentes de
sede," in the "Magnificat." Incensed at such an irreverent proceeding,
the royalists in their turn thrice exclaimed, "Et reginam," after the
"Domine salvum fac regem." The tumult during the whole time of divine
service was excessive.

At length the terrible night of the 10th of August, 1792, arrived. On
the preceding evening Potion went to the Assembly and informed it that
preparations were making for an insurrection on the following day; that
the tocsin would sound at midnight; and that he feared he had not
sufficient means for resisting the attack which was about to take place.
Upon this information the Assembly passed to the order of the day.
Petion, however, gave an order for repelling force by force.

[Petion was the Mayor of Paris, and Mandat on this day was
commandant of the National Guard. Mandat was assassinated that
night.--"Thiers," vol. i., p. 260.]

M. Mandat was armed with this order; and, finding his fidelity to the
King's person supported by what he considered the law of the State, he
conducted himself in all his operations with the greatest energy. On the
evening of the 9th I was present at the King's supper. While his Majesty
was giving me various orders we heard a great noise at the door of the
apartment. I went to see what was the cause of it, and found the two
sentinels fighting. One said, speaking of the King, that he was hearty
in the cause of the constitution, and would defend it at the peril of his
life; the other maintained that he was an encumbrance to the only
constitution suitable to a free people. They were almost ready to cut
one another's throats. I returned with a countenance which betrayed my
emotion. The King desired to know what was going forward at his door; I
could not conceal it from him. The Queen said she was not at all
surprised at it, and that more than half the guard belonged to the
Jacobin party.

The tocsin sounded at midnight. The Swiss were drawn up like walls; and
in the midst of their soldierlike silence, which formed a striking
contrast with the perpetual din of the town guard, the King informed
M. de J-----, an officer of the staff, of the plan of defence laid down
by General Viomenil. M. de J----- said to me, after this private
conference, "Put your jewels and money into your pockets; our dangers are
unavoidable; the means of defence are nil; safety might be obtained by
some degree of energy in the King, but that is the only virtue in which
he is deficient."

An hour after midnight the Queen and Madame Elisabeth said they would lie
down on a sofa in a room in the entresols, the windows of which commanded
the courtyard of the Tuileries.

The Queen told me the King had just refused to put on his quilted under-
waistcoat; that he had consented to wear it on the 14th of July because
he was merely going to a ceremony where the blade of an assassin was to
be apprehended, but that on a day on which his party might fight against
the revolutionists he thought there was something cowardly in preserving
his life by such means.

During this time Madame Elisabeth disengaged herself from some of her
clothing which encumbered her in order to lie down on the sofa: she took
a cornelian pin out of her cape, and before she laid it down on the table
she showed it to me, and desired me to read a motto engraved upon it
round a stalk of lilies. The words were, "Oblivion of injuries; pardon
for offences."--"I much fear," added that virtuous Princess, "this maxim
has but little influence among our enemies; but it ought not to be less
dear to us on that account."

[The exalted piety of Madame Elisabeth gave to all she said and did
a noble character, descriptive of that of her soul. On the day on
which this worthy descendant of Saint Louis was sacrificed, the
executioner, in tying her hands behind her, raised up one of the
ends of her handkerchief. Madame Elisabeth, with calmness, and in a
voice which seemed not to belong to earth, said to him, "In the name
of modesty, cover my bosom." I learned this from Madame de Serilly,
who was condemned the same day as the Princess, but who obtained a
respite at the moment of the execution, Madame de Montmorin, her
relation, declaring that her cousin was enceinte.-MADAME CAMPAN.]

The Queen desired me to sit down by her; the two Princesses could not
sleep; they were conversing mournfully upon their situation when a musket
was discharged in the courtyard. They both quitted the sofa, saying,
"There is the first shot, unfortunately it will not be the last; let us
go up to the King." The Queen desired me to follow her; several of her
women went with me.

At four o'clock the Queen came out of the King's chamber and told us she
had no longer any hope; that M. Mandat, who had gone to the Hotel de
Ville to receive further orders, had just been assassinated, and that the
people were at that time carrying his head about the streets. Day came.
The King, the Queen, Madame Elisabeth, Madame, and the Dauphin went down
to pass through the ranks of the sections of the National Guard; the cry
of "Vive le Roi!" was heard from a few places. I was at a window on the
garden side; I saw some of the gunners quit their posts, go up to the
King, and thrust their fists in his face, insulting him by the most
brutal language. Messieurs de Salvert and de Bridges drove them off in a
spirited manner. The King was as pale as a corpse. The royal family
came in again. The Queen told me that all was lost; that the King had
shown no energy; and that this sort of review had done more harm than

I was in the billiard-room with my companions; we placed ourselves upon
some high benches. I then saw M. d'Hervilly with a drawn sword in his
hand, ordering the usher to open the door to the French noblesse. Two
hundred persons entered the room nearest to that in which the family
were; others drew up in two lines in the preceding rooms. I saw a few
people belonging to the Court, many others whose features were unknown to
me, and a few who figured technically without right among what was called
the noblesse, but whose self-devotion ennobled them at once. They were
all so badly armed that even in that situation the indomitable French
liveliness indulged in jests. M. de Saint-Souplet, one of the King's
equerries, and a page, carried on their shoulders instead of muskets the
tongs belonging to the King's antechamber, which they had broken and
divided between them. Another page, who had a pocket-pistol in his hand,
stuck the end of it against the back of the person who stood before him,
and who begged he would be good enough to rest it elsewhere. A sword and
a pair of pistols were the only arms of those who had had the precaution
to provide themselves with arms at all. Meanwhile, the numerous bands
from the faubourgs, armed with pikes and cutlasses, filled the Carrousel
and the streets adjacent to the Tuileries. The sanguinary Marseillais
were at their head, with cannon pointed against the Chateau. In this
emergency the King's Council sent M. Dejoly, the Minister of Justice, to
the Assembly to request they would send the King a deputation which might
serve as a safeguard to the executive power. His ruin was resolved on;
they passed to the order of the day. At eight o'clock the department
repaired to the Chateau. The procureur-syndic, seeing that the guard
within was ready to join the assailants, went into the King's closet and
requested to speak to him in private. The King received him in his
chamber; the Queen was with him. There M. Roederer told him that the
King, all his family, and the people about them would inevitably perish
unless his Majesty immediately determined to go to the National Assembly.
The Queen at first opposed this advice, but the procureur-syndic told her
that she rendered herself responsible for the deaths of the King, her
children, and all who were in the palace. She no longer objected. The
King then consented to go to the Assembly. As he set out, he said to the
minister and persons who surrounded him, "Come, gentlemen, there is
nothing more to be done here."

["The King hesitated, the Queen manifested the highest
dissatisfaction. 'What!' said she,' are we alone; is there nobody
who can act?'--'Yes, Madame, alone; action is useless--resistance is
impossible.' One of the members of the department, M. Gerdrot,
insisted on the prompt execution of the proposed measure. 'Silence,
monsieur,' said the Queen to him; 'silence; you are the only person
who ought to be silent here; when the mischief is done, those who
did it should not pretend to wish to remedy it.' . . .

"The King remained mute; nobody spoke. It was reserved for me to
give the last piece of advice. I had the firmness to say, 'Let us
go, and not deliberate; honour commands it, the good of the State
requires it. Let us go to the National Assembly; this step ought to
have been taken long ago: 'Let us go,' said the King, raising his
right hand; 'let us start; let us give this last mark of self-
devotion, since it is necessary.' The Queen was persuaded. Her
first anxiety was for the King, the second for her son; the King had
none. 'M. Roederer--gentlemen,' said the Queen, 'you answer for the
person of the King; you answer for that of my son.'--'Madame,'
replied M. Roederer, 'we pledge ourselves to die at your side; that
is all we can engage for.'"--MONTJOIE, "History of Marie

The Queen said to me as she left the King's chamber, "Wait in my
apartments; I will come to you, or I will send for you to go I know not
whither." She took with her only the Princesse de Lamballe and Madame de
Tourzel. The Princesse de Tarente and Madame de la Roche-Aymon were
inconsolable at being left at the Tuileries; they, and all who belonged
to the chamber, went down into the Queen's apartments.

We saw the royal family pass between two lines formed by the Swiss
grenadiers and those of the battalions of the Petits-Peres and the Filles
Saint Thomas. They were so pressed upon by the crowd that during that
short passage the Queen was robbed of her watch and purse. A man of
great height and horrible appearance, one of such as were to be seen at
the head of all the insurrections, drew near the Dauphin, whom the Queen
was leading by the hand, and took him up in his arms. The Queen uttered
a scream of terror, and was ready to faint. The man said to her, "Don't
be frightened, I will do him no harm;" and he gave him back to her at
the entrance of the chamber.

I leave to history all the details of that too memorable day, confining
myself to recalling a few of the frightful scenes acted in the interior
of the Tuileries after the King had quitted the palace.

The assailants did not know that the King and his family had betaken
themselves to the Assembly; and those who defended the palace from the
aide of the courts were equally ignorant of it. It is supposed that if
they had been aware of the fact the siege would never have taken place.

[In reading of the events of the 10th of August, 1792, the reader
must remember that there was hardly any armed force to resist the
mob. The regiments that had shown signs of being loyal to the King
had been removed from Paris by the Assembly. The Swiss had been
deprived of their own artillery, and the Court had sent one of their
battalions into Normandy at a time when there was an idea of taking
refuge there. The National Guard were either disloyal or
disheartened, and the gunners, especially of that force at the
Tuileries, sympathised with the mob. Thus the King had about 800 or
900 Swiss and little more than one battalion of the National Guard.
Mandat, one of the six heads of the legions of the National Guard,
to whose turn the command fell on that day, was true to his duty,
but was sent for to the Hotel de Ville and assassinated. Still the
small force, even after the departure of the King, would have
probably beaten off the mob had not the King given the fatal order
to the Swiss to cease firing. (See Thiers's "Revolution Francaise,"
vol. i., chap. xi.) Bonaparte's opinion of the mob may be judged
by his remarks on the 20th June, 1792, when, disgusted at seeing the
King appear with the red cap on his head, he exclaimed, "Che
coglione! Why have they let in all that rabble? Why don't they
sweep off 400 or 500 of them with the cannon? The rest would then
set off." ("Bourrienne," vol. i., p.13, Bentley, London, 1836.)
Bonaparte carried out his own plan against a far stronger force of
assailants on the Jour des Sections, 4th October, 1795.]

The Marseillais began by driving from their posts several Swiss, who
yielded without resistance; a few of the assailants fired upon them; some
of the Swiss officers, seeing their men fall, and perhaps thinking the
King was still at the Tuileries, gave the word to a whole battalion to
fire. The aggressors were thrown into disorder, and the Carrousel was
cleared in a moment; but they soon returned, spurred on by rage and
revenge. The Swiss were but eight hundred strong; they fell back into
the interior of the Chateau; some of the doors were battered in by the
guns, others broken through with hatchets; the populace rushed from all
quarters into the interior of the palace; almost all the Swiss were
massacred; the nobles, flying through the gallery which leads to the
Louvre, were either stabbed or shot, and the bodies thrown out of the

M. Pallas and M. de Marchais, ushers of the King's chamber, were killed
in defending the door of the council chamber; many others of the King's
servants fell victims to their fidelity. I mention these two persons in
particular because, with their hats pulled over their brows and their
swords in their hands, they exclaimed, as they defended themselves with
unavailing courage, "We will not survive!--this is our post; our duty is
to die at it." M. Diet behaved in the same manner at the door of the
Queen's bedchamber; he experienced the same fate. The Princesse de
Tarente had fortunately opened the door of the apartments; otherwise, the
dreadful band seeing several women collected in the Queen's salon would
have fancied she was among us, and would have immediately massacred us
had we resisted them. We were, indeed, all about to perish, when a man
with a long beard came up, exclaiming, in the name of Potion, "Spare the
women; don't dishonour the nation!" A particular circumstance placed me
in greater danger than the others. In my confusion I imagined, a moment
before the assailants entered the Queen's apartments, that my sister was
not among the group of women collected there; and I went up into an
'entresol', where I supposed she had taken refuge, to induce her to come
down, fancying it safer that we should not be separated. I did not find
her in the room in question; I saw there only our two femmes de chambre
and one of the Queen's two heyducs, a man of great height and military
aspect. I saw that he was pale, and sitting on a bed. I cried out to
him, "Fly! the footmen and our people are already safe."--"I cannot,"
said the man to me; "I am dying of fear." As he spoke I heard a number
of men rushing hastily up the staircase; they threw themselves upon him,
and I saw him assassinated.

I ran towards the staircase, followed by our women. The murderers left
the heyduc to come to me. The women threw themselves at their feet, and
held their sabres. The narrowness of the staircase impeded the
assassins; but I had already felt a horrid hand thrust into my back to
seize me by my clothes, when some one called out from the bottom of the
staircase, "What are you doing above there? We don't kill women." I was
on my knees; my executioner quitted his hold of me, and said, "Get up,
you jade; the nation pardons you."

The brutality of these words did not prevent my suddenly experiencing an
indescribable feeling which partook almost equally of the love of life
and the idea that I was going to see my son, and all that was dear to me,
again. A moment before I had thought less of death than of the pain
which the steel, suspended over my head, would occasion me. Death is
seldom seen so close without striking his blow. I heard every syllable
uttered by the assassins, just as if I had been calm.

Five or six men seized me and my companions, and, having made us get up
on benches placed before the windows, ordered us to call out, "The nation
for ever!"

I passed over several corpses; I recognised that of the old Vicomte de
Broves, to whom the Queen had sent me at the beginning of the night to
desire him and another old man in her name to go home. These brave men
desired I would tell her Majesty that they had but too strictly obeyed
the King's orders in all circumstances under which they ought to have
exposed their own lives in order to preserve his; and that for this once
they would not obey, though they would cherish the recollection of the
Queen's goodness.

Near the grille, on the side next the bridge, the men who conducted me
asked whither I wished to go. Upon my inquiring, in my turn, whether
they were at liberty to take me wherever I might wish to go, one of them,
a Marseillais, asked me, giving me at the same time a push with the butt
end of his musket, whether I still doubted the power of the people? I
answered "No," and I mentioned the number of my brother-in-law's house.
I saw my sister ascending the steps of the parapet of the bridge,
surrounded by members of the National Guard. I called to her, and she
turned round. "Would you have her go with you?" said my guardian to me.
I told him I did wish it. They called the people who were leading my
sister to prison; she joined me.

Madame de la Roche-Aymon and her daughter, Mademoiselle Pauline de
Tourzel, Madame de Ginestoux, lady to the Princesse de Lamballe, the
other women of the Queen, and the old Comte d'Affry, were led off
together to the Abbaye.

Our progress from the Tuileries to my sister's house was most
distressing. We saw several Swiss pursued and killed, and musket-shots
were crossing each other in all directions. We passed under the walls of
the Louvre; they were firing from the parapet into the windows of the
gallery, to hit the knights of the dagger; for thus did the populace
designate those faithful subjects who had assembled at the Tuileries to
defend the King.

The brigands broke some vessels of water in the Queen's first
antechamber; the mixture of blood and water stained the skirts of our
white gowns. The poissardes screamed after us in the streets that we
were attached to the Austrian. Our protectors then showed some
consideration for us, and made us go up a gateway to pull off our gowns;
but our petticoats being too short, and making us look like persons in
disguise, other poissardes began to bawl out that we were young Swiss
dressed up like women. We then saw a tribe of female cannibals enter the
street, carrying the head of poor Mandat. Our guards made us hastily
enter a little public-house, called for wine, and desired us to drink
with them. They assured the landlady that we were their sisters, and
good patriots. Happily the Marseillais had quitted us to return to the
Tuileries. One of the men who remained with us said to me in a low
voice: "I am a gauze-worker in the faubourg. I was forced to march; I am
not for all this; I have not killed anybody, and have rescued you. You
ran a great risk when we met the mad women who are carrying Mandat's
head. These horrible women said yesterday at midnight, upon the site of
the Bastille, that they must have their revenge for the 6th of October,
at Versailles, and that they had sworn to kill the Queen and all the
women attached to her; the danger of the action saved you all."

As I crossed the Carrousel, I saw my house in flames; but as soon as the
first moment of affright was over, I thought no more of my personal
misfortunes. My ideas turned solely upon the dreadful situation of the

On reaching my sister's we found all our family in despair, believing
they should never see us again. I could not remain in her house; some of
the mob, collected round the door, exclaimed that Marie Antoinette's
confidante was in the house, and that they must have her head. I
disguised myself, and was concealed in the house of M. Morel, secretary
for the lotteries. On the morrow I was inquired for there, in the name
of the Queen. A deputy, whose sentiments were known to her, took upon
himself to find me out.

I borrowed clothes, and went with my sister to the Feuillans--[A former
monastery near the Tuileries, so called from the Bernardines, one of the
Cistercian orders; later a revolutionary club.]--We got there at the
same time with M. Thierry de Ville d'Avray, the King's first valet de
chambre. We were taken into an office, where we wrote down our names and
places of abode, and we received tickets for admission into the rooms
belonging to Camus, the keeper of the Archives, where the King was with
his family.

As we entered the first room, a person who was there said to me, "Ah!
you are a brave woman; but where is that Thierry,

[M. Thierry, who never ceased to give his sovereign proofs of
unalterable attachment, was one of the victims of the 2d of
September.--MADAME CAMPAN.]

that man loaded with his master's bounties?"--"He is here," said I; "he
is following me. I perceive that even scenes of death do not banish
jealousy from among you."

Having belonged to the Court from my earliest youth, I was known to many
persons whom I did not know. As I traversed a corridor above the
cloisters which led to the cells inhabited by the unfortunate Louis XVI.
and his family, several of the grenadiers called me by name. One of them
said to me, "Well, the poor King is lost! The Comte d'Artois would have
managed it better."--"Not at all," said another.

The royal family occupied a small suite of apartments consisting of four
cells, formerly belonging to the ancient monastery of the Feuillans. In
the first were the men who had accompanied the King: the Prince de Poix,
the Baron d'Aubier, M. de Saint-Pardou, equerry to Madame Elisabeth, MM.
de Goguelat, de Chamilly, and de Hue. In the second we found the King;
he was having his hair dressed; he took two locks of it, and gave one to
my sister and one to me. We offered to kiss his hand; he opposed it, and
embraced us without saying anything. In the third was the Queen, in bed,
and in indescribable affliction. We found her accompanied only by a
stout woman, who appeared tolerably civil; she was the keeper of the
apartments. She waited upon the Queen, who as yet had none of her own
people about her. Her Majesty stretched out her arms to us, saying,
"Come, unfortunate women; come, and see one still more unhappy than
yourselves, since she has been the cause of all your misfortunes. We are
ruined," continued she; "we have arrived at that point to which they have
been leading us for three years, through all possible outrages; we shall
fall in this dreadful revolution, and many others will perish after us.
All have contributed to our downfall; the reformers have urged it like
mad people, and others through ambition, for the wildest Jacobin seeks
wealth and office, and the mob is eager for plunder. There is not one
real patriot among all this infamous horde. The emigrant party have
their intrigues and schemes; foreigners seek to profit by the dissensions
of France; every one has a share in our misfortunes."

The Dauphin came in with Madame and the Marquise de Tourzel. On seeing
them the Queen said to me, "Poor children! how heartrending it is,
instead of handing down to them so fine an inheritance, to say it ends
with us!" She afterwards conversed with me about the Tuileries and the
persons who had fallen; she condescended also to mention the burning of
my house. I looked upon that loss as a mischance which ought not to
dwell upon her mind, and I told her so. She spoke of the Princesse de
Tarente, whom she greatly loved and valued, of Madame de la Roche-Aymon
and her daughter, of the other persons whom she had left at the palace,
and of the Duchesse de Luynes, who was to have passed the night at the
Tuileries. Respecting her she said, "Hers was one of the first heads
turned by the rage for that mischievous philosophy; but her heart brought
her back, and I again found a friend in her."

[During the Reign of Terror I withdrew to the Chateau de Coubertin,
near that of Dampierre. The Duchesse de Luynes frequently came to
ask me to tell her what the Queen had said about her at the
Feuillans. She would say as she went away, "I have often need to
request you to repeat those words of the Queen."--MADAME CAMPAN.]

I asked the Queen what the ambassadors from foreign powers had done under
existing circumstances. She told me that they could do nothing; and that
the wife of the English ambassador had just given her a proof of the
personal interest she took in her welfare by sending her linen for her

I informed her that, in the pillaging of my house, all my accounts with
her had been thrown into the Carrousel, and that every sheet of my
month's expenditure was signed by her, sometimes leaving four or five
inches of blank paper above her signature, a circumstance which rendered
me very uneasy, from an apprehension that an improper use might be made
of those signatures. She desired me to demand admission to the committee
of general safety, and to make this declaration there. I repaired
thither instantly and found a deputy, with whose name I have never become
acquainted. After hearing me he said that he would not receive my
deposition; that Marie Antoinette was now nothing more than any other
Frenchwoman; and that if any of those detached papers bearing her
signature should be misapplied, she would have, at a future period, a
right to lodge a complaint, and to support her declaration by the facts
which I had just related. The Queen then regretted having sent me, and
feared that she had, by her very caution, pointed out a method of
fabricating forgeries which might be dangerous to her; then again she
exclaimed, "My apprehensions are as absurd as the step I made you take.
They need nothing more for our ruin; all has been told."

She gave us details of what had taken place subsequently to the King's
arrival at the Assembly. They are all well known, and I have no occasion
to record them; I will merely mention that she told us, though with much
delicacy, that she was not a little hurt at the King's conduct since he
had quitted the Tuileries; that his habit of laying no restraint upon his
great appetite had prompted him to eat as if he had been at his palace;
that those who did not know him as she did, did not feel the piety and
the magnanimity of his resignation, all which produced so bad an effect
that deputies who were devoted to him had warned him of it; but no change
could be effected.

I still see in imagination, and shall always see, that narrow cell at the
Feuillans, hung with green paper, that wretched couch whence the
dethroned, Queen stretched out her arms to us, saying that our
misfortunes, of which she was the cause, increased her own. There, for
the last time, I saw the tears, I heard the sobs of her whom high birth,
natural endowments, and, above all, goodness of heart, had seemed to
destine to adorn any throne, and be the happiness of any people! It is
impossible for those who lived with Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette not
to be fully convinced, while doing full justice to the King's virtues,
that if the Queen had been from the moment of her arrival in France the
object of the care and affection of a prince of decision and authority,
she would have only added to the glory of his reign.

What affecting things I have heard the Queen say in the affliction caused
her by the belief of part of the Court and the whole of the people that
she did not love France! How did that opinion shock those who knew her
heart and her sentiments! Twice did I see her on the point of going from
her apartments in the Tuileries into the gardens, to address the immense
throng constantly assembled there to insult her. "Yes," exclaimed she,
as she paced her chamber with hurried steps, "I will say to them
Frenchmen, they have had the cruelty to persuade you that I do not love
France!--I! the mother of a Dauphin who will reign over this noble
country!--I! whom Providence has seated upon the most powerful throne of
Europe! Of all the daughters of Maria Theresa am I not that one whom
fortune has most highly favoured? And ought I not to feel all these
advantages? What should I find at Vienna? Nothing but sepulchres! What
should I lose in France? Everything which can confer glory!"

I protest I only repeat her own words; the soundness of her judgment soon
pointed out to her the dangers of such a proceeding. "I should descend
from the throne," said she, "merely, perhaps, to excite a momentary
sympathy, which the factious would soon render more injurious than
beneficial to me."

Yes, not only did Marie Antoinette love France, but few women took
greater pride in the courage of Frenchmen. I could adduce a multitude of
proofs of this; I will relate two traits which demonstrate the noblest
enthusiasm: The Queen was telling me that, at the coronation of the
Emperor Francis II., that Prince, bespeaking the admiration of a French
general officer, who was then an emigrant, for the fine appearance of his
troops, said to him, "There are the men to beat your sans culottes!"
"That remains to be seen, Sire," instantly replied the officer. The
Queen added, "I don't know the name of that brave Frenchman, but I will
learn it; the King ought to be in possession of it." As she was reading
the public papers a few days before the 10th of August, she observed that
mention was made of the courage of a young man who died in defending the
flag he carried, and shouting, "Vive la Nation!"--"Ah! the fine lad!"
said the Queen; "what a happiness it would have been for us if such men
had never left off crying, 'Vive de Roi!'"

In all that I have hitherto said of this most unfortunate of women and of
queens, those who did not live with her, those who knew her but
partially, and especially the majority of foreigners, prejudiced by
infamous libels, may imagine I have thought it my duty to sacrifice truth
on the altar of gratitude. Fortunately I can invoke unexceptionable
witnesses; they will declare whether what I assert that I have seen and
heard appears to them either untrue or improbable.


A man born solely to contradict
Alas! her griefs double mine!
He is afraid to command
His ruin was resolved on; they passed to the order of the day
King (gave) the fatal order to the Swiss to cease firing
La Fayette to rescue the royal family and convey them to Rouen
Prevent disorder from organising itself
The emigrant party have their intrigues and schemes
There is not one real patriot among all this infamous horde
Those who did it should not pretend to wish to remedy it


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



The Queen having been robbed of her purse as she was passing from the
Tuileries to the Feuillans, requested my sister to lend her twenty-five

[On being interrogated the Queen declared that these five and twenty
louis had been lent to her by my sister; this formed a pretence for
arresting her and me, and led to her death.--MADAME CAMPAN.]

I spent part of the day at the Feuillans, and her Majesty told me she
would ask Potion to let me be with her in the place which the Assembly
should decree for her prison. I then returned home to prepare everything
that might be necessary for me to accompany her.

On the same day (11th August), at nine in the evening, I returned to the
Feuillans. I found there were orders at all the gates forbidding my
being admitted. I claimed a right to enter by virtue of the first
permission which had been given to me; I was again refused. I was told
that the Queen had as many people as were requisite about her. My sister
was with her, as well as one of my companions, who came out of the
prisons of the Abbaye on the 11th. I renewed my solicitations on the
12th; my tears and entreaties moved neither the keepers of the gates, nor
even a deputy, to whom I addressed myself.

I soon heard of the removal of Louis XVI. and his family to the Temple.
I went to Potion accompanied by M. Valadon, for whom I had procured a
place in the post-office, and who was devoted to me. He determined to go
up to Potion alone; he told him that those who requested to be confined
could not be suspected of evil designs, and that no political opinion
could afford a ground of objection to these solicitations. Seeing that
the well-meaning man did not succeed, I thought to do more in person; but
Petion persisted in his refusal, and threatened to send me to La Force.
Thinking to give me a kind of consolation, he added I might be certain
that all those who were then with Louis XVI. and his family would not
stay with them long. And in fact, two or three days afterwards the
Princesse de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel, her daughter, the Queen's first
woman, the first woman of the Dauphin and of Madame, M. de Chamilly, and
M. de Hue were carried off during the night and transferred to La Force.
After the departure of the King and Queen for the Temple, my sister was
detained a prisoner in the apartments their Majesties had quitted for
twenty-four hours.

From this time I was reduced to the misery of having no further
intelligence of my august and unfortunate mistress but through the medium
of the newspapers or the National Guard, who did duty at the Temple.

The King and Queen said nothing to me at the Feuillans about the
portfolio which had been deposited with me; no doubt they expected to see
me again. The minister Roland and the deputies composing the provisional
government were very intent on a search for papers belonging to their
Majesties. They had the whole of the Tuileries ransacked. The infamous
Robespierre bethought himself of M. Campan, the Queen's private
secretary, and said that his death was feigned; that he was living
unknown in some obscure part of France, and was doubtless the depositary
of all the important papers. In a great portfolio belonging to the King
there had been found a solitary letter from the Comte d'Artois, which, by
its date, and the subjects of which it treated, indicated the existence
of a continued correspondence. (This letter appeared among the documents
used on the trial of Louis XVI.) A former preceptor of my son's had
studied with Robespierre; the latter, meeting him in the street, and
knowing the connection which had subsisted between him and the family of
M. Campan, required him to say, upon his honour, whether he was certain
of the death of the latter. The man replied that M. Campan had died at
La Briche in 1791, and that he had seen him interred in the cemetery of
Epinay. "well, then," resumed Robespierre, "bring me the certificate of
his burial at twelve to-morrow; it is a document for which I have
pressing occasion." Upon hearing the deputy's demand I instantly sent
for a certificate of M. Campan's burial, and Robespierre received it at
nine o'clock the next morning. But I considered that, in thinking of my
father-in-law, they were coming very near me, the real depositary of
these important papers. I passed days and nights in considering what I
could do for the best under such circumstances.

I was thus situated when the order to inform against those who had been
denounced as suspected on the 10th of August led to domiciliary visits.
My servants were told that the people of the quarter in which I lived
were talking much of the search that would be made in my house, and came
to apprise me of it. I heard that fifty armed men would make themselves
masters of M. Auguies house, where I then was. I had just received this
intelligence when M. Gougenot, the King's maitre d'hotel and receiver-
general of the taxes, a man much attached to his sovereign, came into my
room wrapped in a ridingcloak, under which, with great difficulty, he
carried the King's portfolio, which I had entrusted to him. He threw it
down at my feet, and said to me, "There is your deposit; I did not
receive it from our unfortunate King's own hands; in delivering it to you
I have executed my trust." After saying this he was about to withdraw.
I stopped him, praying him to consult with me what I ought to do in such
a trying emergency. He would not listen to my entreaties, or even hear
me describe the course I intended to pursue. I told him my abode was
about to be surrounded; I imparted to him what the Queen had said to me
about the contents of the portfolio. To all this he answered, "There it
is; decide for yourself; I will have no hand in it." Upon that I
remained a few seconds thinking, and my conduct was founded upon the
following reasons. I spoke aloud, although to myself; I walked about the
room with agitated steps; M. Gougenot was thunderstruck. "Yes," said I,
"when we can no longer communicate with our King and receive his orders,
however attached we may be to him, we can only serve him according to the
best of our own judgment. The Queen said to me, 'This portfolio contains
scarcely anything but documents of a most dangerous description in the
event of a trial taking place, if it should fall into the hands of
revolutionary persons.' She mentioned, too, a single document which
would, under the same circumstances, be useful. It is my duty to
interpret her words, and consider them as orders. She meant to say,
'You will save such a paper, you will destroy the rest if they are likely
to be taken from you.' If it were not so, was there any occasion for her
to enter into any detail as to what the portfolio contained? The order
to keep it was sufficient. Probably it contains, moreover, the letters
of that part of the family which has emigrated; there is nothing which
may have been foreseen or decided upon that can be useful now; and there
can be no political thread which has not been cut by the events of the
10th of August and the imprisonment of the King. My house is about to be
surrounded; I cannot conceal anything of such bulk; I might, then,
through want of foresight, give up that which would cause the
condemnation of the King. Let us open the portfolio, save the document
alluded to, and destroy the rest." I took a knife and cut open one side
of the portfolio. I saw a great number of envelopes endorsed by the
King's own hand. M. Gougenot found there the former seals of the King,

[No doubt it was in order to have the ancient seals ready at a
moment's notice, in case of a counter-revolution, that the Queen
desired me not to quit the Tuileries. M. Gougenot threw the seals
into the river, one from above the Pont Neuf, and the other from
near the Pont Royal.--MADAME CAMPAN.]

such as they were before the Assembly had changed the inscription. At
this moment we heard a great noise; he agreed to tie up the portfolio,
take it again under his cloak, and go to a safe place to execute what I
had taken upon me to determine. He made me swear, by all I held most
sacred, that I would affirm, under every possible emergency, that the
course I was pursuing had not been dictated to me by anybody; and that,
whatever might be the result, I would take all the credit or all the
blame upon myself. I lifted up my hand and took the oath he required;
he went out. Half an hour afterwards a great number of armed men came to
my house; they placed sentinels at all the outlets; they broke open
secretaires and closets of which they had not the keys; they 'searched
the flower-pots and boxes; they examined the cellars; and the commandant
repeatedly said, "Look particularly for papers." In the afternoon M.
Gougenot returned. He had still the seals of France about him, and he
brought me a statement of all that he had burnt.

The portfolio contained twenty letters from Monsieur, eighteen or
nineteen from the Comte d'Artois, seventeen from Madame Adelaide,
eighteen from Madame Victoire, a great many letters from Comte Alexandre
de Lameth, and many from M. de Malesherbes, with documents annexed to
them. There were also some from M. de Montmorin and other ex-ministers
or ambassadors. Each correspondence had its title written in the King's
own hand upon the blank paper which contained it. The most voluminous
was that from Mirabeau. It was tied up with a scheme for an escape,
which he thought necessary. M. Gougenot, who had skimmed over these
letters with more attention than the rest, told me they were of so
interesting a nature that the King had no doubt kept them as documents
exceedingly valuable for a history of his reign, and that the
correspondence with the Princes, which was entirely relative to what was
going forward abroad, in concert with the King, would have been fatal to
him if it had been seized. After he had finished he placed in my hands
the proces-verbal, signed by all the ministers, to which the King
attached so much importance, because he had given his opinion against the
declaration of war; a copy of the letter written by the King to the
Princes, his brothers, inviting them to return to France; an account of
the diamonds which the Queen had sent to Brussels (these two documents
were in my handwriting); and a receipt for four hundred thousand francs,
under the hand of a celebrated banker. This sum was part of the eight
hundred thousand francs which the Queen had gradually saved during her
reign, out of her pension of three hundred thousand francs per annum, and
out of the one hundred thousand francs given by way of present on the
birth of the Dauphin.

This receipt, written on a very small piece of paper, was in the cover of
an almanac. I agreed with M. Gougenot, who was obliged by his office to
reside in Paris, that he should retain the proces-verbal of the Council
and the receipt for the four hundred thousand francs, and that we should
wait either for orders or for the means of transmitting these documents
to the King or Queen; and I set out for Versailles.

The strictness of the precautions taken to guard the illustrious
prisoners was daily increased. The idea that I could not inform the King
of the course I had adopted of burning his papers, and the fear that I
should not be able to transmit to him that which he had pointed out as
necessary, tormented me to such a degree that it is wonderful my health
endured the strain.

The dreadful trial drew near. Official advocates were granted to the
King; the heroic virtue of M. de Malesherbes induced him to brave the
most imminent dangers, either to save his master or to perish with him.
I hoped also to be able to find some means of informing his Majesty of
what I had thought it right to do. I sent a man, on whom I could rely,
to Paris, to request M. Gougenot to come to me at Versailles he came
immediately. We agreed that he should see M. de Malesherbes without
availing himself of any intermediate person for that purpose.

M. Gougenot awaited his return from the Temple at the door of his hotel,
and made a sign that he wished to speak to him. A moment afterwards a
servant came to introduce him into the magistrates' room. He imparted to
M. de Malesherbes what I had thought it right to do with respect to the
King's papers, and placed in his hands the proces-verbal of the Council,
which his Majesty had preserved in order to serve, if occasion required
it, for a ground of his defence. However, that paper is not mentioned in
either of the speeches of his advocate; probably it was determined not to
make use of it.

I stop at that terrible period which is marked by the assassination of a
King whose virtues are well known; but I cannot refrain from relating
what he deigned to say in my favour to M. de Malesherbes:

"Let Madame Campan know that she did what I should myself have ordered
her to do; I thank her for it; she is one of those whom I regret I have
it not in my power to recompense for their fidelity to my person, and for
their good services." I did not hear of this until the morning after he
had suffered, and I think I should have sunk under my despair if this
honourable testimony had not given me some consolation.


MADAME CAMPAN'S narrative breaking off abruptly at the time of the
painful end met with by her sister, we have supplemented it by abridged
accounts of the chief incidents in the tragedy which overwhelmed the
royal house she so faithfully served, taken from contemporary records and
the best historical authorities.

The Royal Family in the Temple.

The Assembly having, at the instance of the Commune of Paris, decreed
that the royal family should be immured in the Temple, they were removed
thither from the Feuillans on the 13th of August, 1792, in the charge of
Potion, Mayor of Paris, and Santerre, the commandant-general. Twelve
Commissioners of the general council were to keep constant watch at the
Temple, which had been fortified by earthworks and garrisoned by
detachments of the National Guard, no person being allowed to enter
without permission from the municipality.

The Temple, formerly the headquarters of the Knights Templars in Paris,
consisted of two buildings,--the Palace, facing the Rue de Temple,
usually occupied by one of the Princes of the blood; and the Tower,
standing behind the Palace.

[Clery gives a more minute description of this singular building:
"The small tower of the Temple in which the King was then confined
stood with its back against the great tower, without any interior
communication, and formed a long square, flanked by two turrets. In
one of these turrets there was a narrow staircase that led from the
first floor to a gallery on the platform; in the other were small
rooms, answering to each story of the tower. The body of the
building was four stories high. The first consisted of an
antechamber, a dining-room, and a small room in the turret, where
there was a library containing from twelve to fifteen hundred
volumes. The second story was divided nearly in the same manner.
The largest room was the Queen's bedchamber, in which the Dauphin
also slept; the second, which was separated from the Queen's by a
small antechamber almost without light, was occupied by Madame
Royale and Madame Elisabeth. The King's apartments were on the
third story. He slept in the great room, and made a study of the
turret closet. There was a kitchen separated from the King's
chamber by a small dark room, which had been successively occupied
by M. de Chamilly and M. de Hue. The fourth story was shut up; and
on the ground floor there were kitchens of which no use was made."
--"Journal," p. 96.]

The Tower was a square building, with a round tower at each corner and a
small turret on one side, usually called the Tourelle. In the narrative
of the Duchesse d'Angouleme she says that the soldiers who escorted the
royal prisoners wished to take the King alone to the Tower, and his
family to the Palace of the Temple, but that on the way Manuel received
an order to imprison them all in the Tower, where so little provision had
been made for their reception that Madame Elisabeth slept in the kitchen.
The royal family were accompanied by the Princesse de Lamballe, Madame de
Tourzel and her daughter Pauline, Mesdames de Navarre, de Saint-Brice,
Thibaut, and Bazire, MM. de Hug and de Chamilly, and three men-servants--
An order from the Commune soon removed these devoted attendants, and M.
de Hue alone was permitted to return. "We all passed the day together,"
says Madame Royale. "My father taught my brother geography; my mother
history, and to learn verses by heart; and my aunt gave him lessons in
arithmetic. My father fortunately found a library which amused him, and
my mother worked tapestry . . . . We went every day to walk in the
garden, for the sake of my brother's health, though the King was always
insulted by the guard. On the Feast of Saint Louis 'Ca Ira' was sung
under the walls of the Temple. Manuel that evening brought my aunt a
letter from her aunts at Rome. It was the last the family received from
without. My father was no longer called King. He was treated with no
kind of respect; the officers always sat in his presence and never took
off their hats. They deprived him of his sword and searched his pockets
. . . . Petion sent as gaoler the horrible man --[Rocher, a saddler
by trade] who had broken open my father's door on the 20th June, 1792,
and who had been near assassinating him. This man never left the Tower,
and was indefatigable in endeavouring to torment him. One time he would
sing the 'Caramgnole,' and a thousand other horrors, before us; again,
knowing that my mother disliked the smoke of tobacco, he would puff it in
her face, as well as in that of my father, as they happened to pass him.
He took care always to be in bed before we went to supper, because he
knew that we must pass through his room. My father suffered it all with
gentleness, forgiving the man from the bottom of his heart. My mother
bore it with a dignity that frequently repressed his insolence."
The only occasion, Madame Royale adds, on which the Queen showed any
impatience at the conduct of the officials, was when a municipal officer
woke the Dauphin suddenly in the night to make certain that he was safe,
as though the sight of the peacefully sleeping child would not have been
in itself the best assurance.

Clery, the valet de chambre of the Dauphin, having with difficulty
obtained permission to resume his duties, entered the Temple on the 24th
August, and for eight days shared with M. de Hue the personal attendance;
but on the 2d September De Hue was arrested, seals were placed on the
little room he had occupied, and Clery passed the night in that of the
King. On the following morning Manuel arrived, charged by the Commune to
inform the King that De Hue would not be permitted to return, and to
offer to send another person. "I thank you," answered the King. "I will
manage with the valet de chambre of my son; and if the Council refuse I
will serve myself. I am determined to do it." On the 3d September
Manual visited the Temple and assured the King that Madame de Lamballe
and all the other prisoners who had been removed to La Force were well,
and safely guarded. "But at three o'clock," says Madame Royale, "just
after dinner, and as the King was sitting down to 'tric trac' with my
mother (which he played for the purpose of having an opportunity of saying
a few words to her unheard by the keepers), the most horrid shouts were
heard. The officer who happened to be on guard in the room behaved well.
He shut the door and the window, and even drew the curtains to prevent
their seeing anything; but outside the workmen and the gaoler Rocher
joined the assassins and increased the tumult. Several officers of the
guard and the municipality now arrived, and on my father's asking what
was the matter, a young officer replied, 'Well, since you will know,
it is the head of Madame de Lamballe that they want to show you.'
At these words my mother was overcome with horror; it was the only
occasion on which her firmness abandoned her. The municipal officers
were very angry with the young man; but the King, with his usual
goodness, excused him, saying that it was his own fault, since he had
questioned the officer. The noise lasted till five o'clock. We learned
that the people had wished to force the door, and that the municipal
officers had been enabled to prevent it only by putting a tricoloured
scarf across it, and allowing six of the murderers to march round our
prison with the head of the Princess, leaving at the door her body, which
they would have dragged in also."

Clery was not so fortunate as to escape the frightful spectacle. He had
gone down to dine with Tison and his wife, employed as servants in the
Temple, and says: "We were hardly seated when a head, on the end of a
pike, was presented at the window. Tison's wife gave a great cry; the
assassins fancied they recognised the Queen's voice, and responded by
savage laughter. Under the idea that his Majesty was still at table,
they placed their dreadful trophy where it must be seen. It was the head
of the Princesse de Lamballe; although bleeding, it was not disfigured,
and her light hair, still in curls, hung about the pike."

At length the immense mob that surrounded the Temple gradually withdrew,
"to follow the head of the Princess de Lamballe to the Palais Royal."

[The pike that bore the head was fixed before the Duc d'Orleans's
window as he was going to dinner. It is said that he looked at this
horrid sight without horror, went into the dining-room, sat down to
table, and helped his guests without saying a word. His silence and
coolness left it doubtful whether the assassins, in presenting him
this bloody trophy, intended to offer him an insult or to pay him
homage.--DE MOLLEVILLE'S "Annals of the French Revolution," vol.
vii., p. 398.]

Meanwhile the royal family could scarcely believe that for the time their
lives were saved. "My aunt and I heard the drums beating to arms all
night," says Madame Royale; "my unhappy mother did not even attempt to
sleep. We heard her sobs."

In the comparative tranquillity which followed the September massacres,
the royal family resumed the regular habits they had adopted on entering
the Temple. "The King usually rose at six in the morning," says Clery.
"He shaved himself, and I dressed his hair; he then went to his reading-
room, which, being very small, the municipal officer on duty remained in
the bedchamber with the door open, that he might always keep the King in
sight. His Majesty continued praying on his knees for some time, and
then read till nine. During that interval, after putting his chamber to
rights and preparing the breakfast, I went down to the Queen, who never
opened her door till I arrived, in order to prevent the municipal officer
from going into her apartment. At nine o'clock the Queen, the children,
and Madame Elisabeth went up to the King's chamber to breakfast. At ten
the King and his family went down to the Queen's chamber, and there
passed the day. He employed himself in educating his son, made him
recite passages from Corneille and Racine, gave him lessons in geography,
and exercised him in colouring the maps. The Queen, on her part, was
employed in the education of her daughter, and these different lessons
lasted till eleven o'clock. The remaining time till noon was passed in
needlework, knitting, or making tapestry. At one o'clock, when the
weather was fine, the royal family were conducted to the garden by four
municipal officers and the commander of a legion of the National Guard.
As there were a number of workmen in the Temple employed in pulling down
houses and building new walls, they only allowed a part of the chestnut-
tree walk for the promenade, in which I was allowed to share, and where I
also played with the young Prince at ball, quoits, or races. At two we
returned to the Tower, where I served the dinner, at which time Santerre
regularly came to the Temple, attended by two aides-de-camp. The King
sometimes spoke to him,--the Queen never.

"After the meal the royal family came down into the Queen's room, and
their Majesties generally played a game of piquet or tric-trac. At four
o'clock the King took a little repose, the Princesses round him, each
with a book . . . . When the King woke the conversation was resumed,
and I gave writing lessons to his son, taking the copies, according to
his instructions, from the works of, Montesquieu and other celebrated
authors. After the lesson I took the young Prince into Madame
Elisabeth's room, where we played at ball, and battledore and
shuttlecock. In the evening the family sat round a table, while the
Queen read to them from books of history, or other works proper to
instruct and amuse the children. Madame Elisabeth took the book in her
turn, and in this manner they read till eight o'clock. After that I
served the supper of the young Prince, in which the royal family shared,
and the King amused the children with charades out of a collection of
French papers which he found in the library. After the Dauphin had
supped, I undressed him, and the Queen heard him say his prayers. At
nine the King went to supper, and afterwards went for a moment to the
Queen's chamber, shook hands with her and his sister for the night,
kissed his children, and then retired to the turret-room, where he sat
reading till midnight. The Queen and the Princesses locked themselves
in, and one of the municipal officers remained in the little room which
parted their chamber, where he passed the night; the other followed his
Majesty. In this manner was the time passed as long as the King remained
in the small tower."

But even these harmless pursuits were too often made the means of further
insulting and thwarting the unfortunate family. Commissary Le Clerc
interrupted the Prince's writing lessons, proposing to substitute
Republican works for those from which the King selected his copies.
A smith, who was present when the Queen was reading the history of France
to her children, denounced her to the Commune for choosing the period
when the Connstable de Bourbon took arms against France, and said she
wished to inspire her son with unpatriotic feelings; a municipal officer
asserted that the multiplication table the Prince was studying would
afford a means of "speaking in cipher," so arithmetic had to be
abandoned. Much the same occurred even with the needlework,
the Queen and Princess finished some chairbacks, which they wished to
send to the Duchesse de Tarente; but the officials considered that the
patterns were hieroglyphics, intended for carrying on a correspondence,
and ordered that none of the Princesses work should leave the Temple.
The short daily walk in the garden was also embittered by the rude
behaviour of the military and municipal gaolers; sometimes, however, it
afforded an opportunity for marks of sympathy to be shown. People would
station themselves at the windows of houses overlooking the Temple
gardens, and evince by gestures their loyal affection, and some of the
sentinels showed, even by tears, that their duty was painful to them.

On the 21st September the National Convention was constituted, Petion
being made president and Collot d'Herbois moving the "abolition of
royalty" amidst transports of applause. That afternoon a municipal
officer attended by gendarmes a cheval, and followed by a crowd of
people, arrived at the Temple, and, after a flourish of trumpets,
proclaimed the establishment of the French Republic. The man, says
Clery, "had the voice of a Stentor." The royal family could distinctly
hear the announcement of the King's deposition. "Hebert, so well known
under the title of Pere Duchesne, and Destournelles were on guard. They
were sitting near the door, and turned to the King with meaning smiles.
He had a book in his hand, and went on reading without changing
countenance. The Queen showed the same firmness. The proclamation
finished, the trumpets sounded afresh. I went to the window; the people
took me for Louis XVI. and I was overwhelmed with insults."

After the new decree the prisoners were treated with increased harshness.
Pens, paper, ink, and pencils were taken from them. The King and Madame
Elisabeth gave up all, but the Queen and her daughter each concealed a
pencil. "In the beginning of October," says Madame Royale, "after my
father had supped, he was told to stop, that he was not to return to his
former apartments, and that he was to be separated from his family. At
this dreadful sentence the Queen lost her usual courage. We parted from
him with abundance of tears, though we expected to see him again in the

[At nine o'clock, says Clery, the King asked to be taken to his
family, but the municipal officers replied that they had "no orders
for that." Shortly afterwards a boy brought the King some bread and
a decanter of lemonade for his breakfast. The King gave half the
bread to Clery, saying, "It seems they have forgotten your
breakfast; take this, the rest is enough for me." Clery refused,
but the King insisted. "I could not contain my tears," he adds;
"the King perceived them, and his own fell also."]

They brought in our breakfast separately from his, however. My mother
would take nothing. The officers, alarmed at her silent and concentrated
sorrow, allowed us to see the King, but at meal-times only, and on
condition that we should not speak low, nor in any foreign language, but
loud and in 'good French.' We went down, therefore, with the greatest
joy to dine with my father. In the evening, when my brother was in bed,
my mother and my aunt alternately sat with him or went with me to sup
with my father. In the morning, after breakfast, we remained in the
King's apartments while Clery dressed our hair, as he was no longer
allowed to come to my mother's room, and this arrangement gave us the
pleasure of spending a few moments more with my father."

[When the first deputation from the Council of the Commune visited
the Temple, and formally inquired whether the King had any complaint
to make, he replied, "No; while he was permitted to remain with his
family he was happy."]

The royal prisoners had no comfort except their affection for each other.
At that time even common necessaries were denied them. Their small stock
of linen had been lent them; by persons of the Court during the time they
spent at the Feuillans. The Princesses mended their clothes every day,
and after the King had gone to bed Madame Elisabeth mended his. "With
much trouble," says Clrry, "I procured some fresh linen for them. But
the workwomen having marked it with crowned letters, the Princesses were
ordered to pick them out." The room in the great tower to which the King
had been removed contained only one bed, and no other article of
furniture. A chair was brought on which Clery spent the first night;
painters were still at work on the room, and the smell of the paint, he
says, was almost unbearable. This room was afterwards furnished by
collecting from various parts of the Temple a chest of drawers, a small
bureau, a few odd chairs, a chimney-glass, and a bed hung with green
damask, which had been used by the captain of the guard to the Comte
d'Artois. A room for the Queen was being prepared over that of the King,
and she implored the workmen to finish it quickly, but it was not ready
for her occupation for some time, and when she was allowed to remove to
it the Dauphin was taken from her and placed with his father. When their
Majesties met again in the great Tower, says Clery, there was little
change in the hours fixed for meals, reading, walking and the education
of their children. They were not allowed to have mass said in the
Temple, and therefore commissioned Clery to get them the breviary in use
in the diocese of Paris. Among the books read by the King while in the
Tower were Hume's "History of England" (in the original), Tasso, and the
"De Imitatione Christi." The jealous suspicions of the municipal
officers led to the most absurd investigations; a draught-board was taken
to pieces lest the squares should hide treasonable papers; macaroons were
broken in half to see that they did not contain letters; peaches were cut
open and the stones cracked; and Clery was compelled to drink the essence
of soap prepared for shaving the King, under the pretence that it might
contain poison.

In November the King and all the family had feverish colds, and Clery had
an attack of rheumatic fever. On the first day of his illness he got up
and tried to dress his master, but the King, seeing how ill he was,
ordered him to lie down, and himself dressed the Dauphin. The little
Prince waited on Clery all day, and in the evening the King contrived to
approach his bed, and said, in a low voice, "I should like to take care
of you myself, but you know how we are watched. Take courage; tomorrow
you shall see my doctor." Madame Elisabeth brought the valet cooling
draughts, of which she deprived herself; and after Clery was able to get
up, the young Prince one night with great difficulty kept awake till
eleven o'clock in order to give him a box of lozenges when he went to
make the King's bed.

On 7th December a deputation from the Commune brought an order that the
royal family should be deprived of "knives, razors, scissors, penknives,
and all other cutting instruments." The King gave up a knife, and took
from a morocco case a pair of scissors and a penknife; and the officials
then searched the room, taking away the little toilet implements of gold
and silver, and afterwards removing the Princesses' working materials.
Returning to the King's room, they insisted upon seeing what remained in
his pocket-case. "Are these toys which I have in my hand also cutting
instruments?" asked the King, showing them a cork-screw, a turn-screw,
and a steel for lighting. These also were taken from him. Shortly
afterwards Madame Elisabeth was mending the King's coat, and, having no
scissors, was compelled to break the thread with her teeth.

"What a contrast!" he exclaimed, looking at her tenderly. "You wanted
nothing in your pretty house at Montreuil."

"Ah, brother," she answered, "how can I have any regret when I partake
your misfortunes?"

The Queen had frequently to take on herself some of the humble duties of
a servant. This was especially painful to Louis XVI. when the
anniversary of some State festival brought the contrast between past and
present with unusual keenness before him.

"Ah, Madame," he once exclaimed, "what an employment for a Queen of
France! Could they see that at Vienna! Who would have foreseen that,
in uniting your lot to mine, you would have descended so low?"

"And do you esteem as nothing," she replied, "the glory of being the wife
of one of the best and most persecuted of men? Are not such misfortunes
the noblest honours?"--[Alison's "History of Europe," vol. ii., p. 299.]

Meanwhile the Assembly had decided that the King should be brought to
trial. Nearly all parties, except the Girondists, no matter how bitterly
opposed to each other, could agree in making him the scapegoat; and the
first rumour of the approaching ordeal was conveyed to the Temple by
Clery's wife, who, with a friend, had permission occasionally to visit
him. "I did not know how to announce this terrible news to the King," he
says; "but time was pressing, and be had forbidden my concealing anything
from him. In the evening, while undressing him, I gave him an account of
all I had learnt, and added that there were only four days to concert
some plan of corresponding with the Queen. The arrival of the municipal
officer would not allow me to say more. Next morning, when the King
rose, I could not get a moment for speaking with him. He went up with
his son to breakfast with the Princesses, and I followed. After
breakfast he talked long with the Queen, who, by a look full of trouble,
made me understand that they were discussing what I had told the King.
During the day I found an opportunity of describing to Madame Elisabeth
how much it had cost me to augment the King's distresses by informing him
of his approaching trial. She reassured me, saying that the King felt
this as a mark of attachment on my part, and added, 'That which most
troubles him is the fear of being separated from us.' In the evening the
King told me how satisfied he was at having had warning that he was to
appear before the Convention. 'Continue,' he said, 'to endeavour to find
out something as to what they want to do with me. Never fear distressing
me. I have agreed with my family not to seem pre-informed, in order not
to compromise you.'"

On the 11th December, at five o'clock in the morning, the prisoners heard
the generale beaten throughout Paris, and cavalry and cannon entered the
Temple gardens. At nine the King and the Dauphin went as usual to
breakfast with the Queen. They were allowed to remain together for an
hour, but constantly under the eyes of their republican guardians. At
last they were obliged to part, doubtful whether they would ever see each
other again. The little Prince, who remained with his father, and was
ignorant of the new cause for anxiety, begged hard that the King would
play at ninepins with him as usual. Twice the Dauphin could not get
beyond a certain number. "Each time that I get up to sixteen," he said,
with some vexation, "I lose the game." The King did not reply, but Clery
fancied the words made a painful impression on him.

At eleven, while the King was giving the Dauphin a reading lesson, two
municipal officers entered and said they had come "to take young Louis to
his mother." The King inquired why, but was only told that such were the
orders of the Council. At one o'clock the Mayor of Paris, Chambon,
accompanied by Chaumette, Procureur de la Commune, Santerre, commandant
of the National Guard, and others, arrived at the Temple and read a
decree to the King, which ordered that "Louis Capet" should be brought
before the Convention. "Capet is not my name," he replied, "but that of
one of my ancestors. I could have wished," he added, "that you had left
my son with me during the last two hours. But this treatment is
consistent with all I have experienced here. I follow you, not because I
recognise the authority of the Convention, but because I can be compelled
to obey it." He then followed the Mayor to a carriage which waited, with
a numerous escort, at the gate of the Temple. The family left behind
were overwhelmed with grief and apprehension. "It is impossible to
describe the anxiety we suffered," says Madame Royale. "My mother used
every endeavour with the officer who guarded her to discover what was
passing; it was the first time she had condescended to question any of
these men. He would tell her nothing."

Trial of the King.--Parting of the Royal Family.--Execution.

The crowd was immense as, on the morning of the 11th December, 1792,
Louis XVI. was driven slowly from the Temple to the Convention, escorted
by cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Paris looked like an armed camp:
all the posts were doubled; the muster-roll of the National Guard was
called over every hour; a picket of two hundred men watched in the court

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