By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 6
Author: Du Hausset, Mme., 1720?-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 6" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset,
Lady's Maid to Madame de Pompadour,
and of an unknown English Girl
and the Princess Lamballe



"The dismissal of M. Necker irritated the people beyond description. They
looked upon themselves as insulted in their favourite.  Mob succeeded
mob, each more mischievous and daring than the former.  The Duc d'Orleans
continued busy in his work of secret destruction.  In one of the popular
risings, a sabre struck his bust, and its head fell, severed from its
body.  Many of the rioters (for the ignorant are always superstitious)
shrunk back at this omen of evil to their idol.  His real friends
endeavoured to deduce a salutary warning to him from the circumstance.  I
was by when the Duc de Penthievre told him, in the presence of his
daughter, that he might look upon this accident as prophetic of the fate
of his own head, as well as the ruin of his family, if he persisted.  He
made no answer, but left the room.

"On the 14th of July, and two or three days preceding, the commotions
took a definite object.  The destruction of the Bastille was the point
proposed, and it was achieved.  Arms were obtained from the old
pensioners at the Hotel des Invalides.  Fifty thousand livres were
distributed among the chiefs of those who influenced the Invalides to
give up the arms.

"The massacre of the Marquis de Launay, commandant of the place, and of
M. de Flesselles, and the fall of the citadel itself, were the

"Her Majesty was greatly affected when she heard of the murder of these
officers and the taking of the Bastille.  She frequently told me that the
horrid circumstance originated in a diabolical Court intrigue, but never
explained the particulars of the intrigue.  She declared that both the
officers and the citadel might have been saved had not the King's orders
for the march of the troops from Versailles, and the environs of Paris,
been disobeyed.  She blamed the precipitation of De Launay in ordering up
the drawbridge and directing the few troops on it to fire upon the
people.  'There,' she added, 'the Marquis committed himself; as, in case
of not succeeding, he could have no retreat, which every commander should
take care to secure, before he allows the commencement of a general

[Certainly, the French Revolution may date its epoch as far back as the
taking of the Bastille; from that moment the troubles progressively
continued, till the final extirpation of its illustrious victims.  I was
just returning from a mission to England when the storms began to
threaten not only the most violent effects to France itself, but to all
the land which was not divided from it by the watery element.  The spirit
of liberty, as the vine, which produces the most luxurious fruit, when
abused becomes the most pernicious poison, was stalking abroad and
revelling in blood and massacre.  I myself was a witness to the
enthusiastic national ball given on the ruins of the Bastille, while it
was still stained and reeking with the hot blood of its late keeper,
whose head I saw carried in triumph.  Such was the effect on me that the
Princesse de Lamballe asked me if I had known the Marquis de Launay.  I
answered in the negative; but told her from the knowledge I had of the
English Revolution, I was fearful of a result similar to what followed
the fall of the heads of Buckingham and Stafford.  The Princess
mentioning my observation to the Duc de Penthievre, they both burst into

The death of the Dauphin, the horrible Revolution of the 14th of July,
the troubles about Necker, the insults and threats offered to the Comte
d'Artois and herself,--overwhelmed the Queen with the most poignant

"She was most desirous of some understanding being established between
the government and the representatives of the people, which she urged
upon the King the expediency of personally attempting.

"The King, therefore, at her reiterated remonstrances and requests,
presented himself, on the following day, with his brothers, to the
National Assembly, to assure them of his firm determination to support
the measures of the deputies, in everything conducive to the general good
of his subjects.  As a proof of his intentions, he said he had commanded
the troops to leave Paris and Versailles.

"The King left the Assembly, as he had gone thither, on foot, amid the
vociferations of 'Vive le roi!' and it was only through the enthusiasm of
the deputies, who thus hailed His Majesty, and followed him in crowds to
the palace, that the Comte d'Artois escaped the fury of an outrageous

"The people filled every avenue of the palace, which vibrated with cries
for the King, the Queen, and the Dauphin to show themselves at the

"'Send for the Duchesse de Polignac to bring the royal children,' cried I
to Her Majesty.

"'Not for the world!' exclaimed the Queen.  'She will be assassinated,
and my children too, if she make her appearance before this infuriate
mob.  Let Madame and the Dauphin be brought unaccompanied.'

"The Queen, on this occasion, imitated her Imperial mother, Maria
Theresa.  She took the Dauphin in her arms, and Madame by her side, as
that Empress had done when she presented herself to the Hungarian
magnates; but the reception here was very different.  It was not
'moriamur pro nostra regina'.  Not that they were ill received; but the
furious party of the Duc d'Orleans often interrupted the cries of 'Vive
le roi!  Vive la reine!' etc., with those of 'Vive la nation!  Vive d'
Orleans!' and many severe remarks on the family of the De Polignacs,
which proved that the Queen's caution on this occasion was exceedingly

"Not to wound the feelings of the Duchesse de Polignac, I kept myself at
a distance behind the Queen; but I was loudly called for by the mobility,
and, 'malgre moi', was obliged, at the King and Queen's request, to come

"As I approached the balcony, I perceived one of the well-known agents of
the Duc d'Orleans, whom I had noticed some time before in the throng,
menacing me, the moment I made my appearance, with his upreared hand in
fury.  I was greatly terrified, but suppressed my agitation, and saluted
the populace; but, fearful of exhibiting my weakness in sight of the
wretch who had alarmed me, withdrew instantly, and had no sooner
re-entered than I sunk motionless in the arms of one of the attendants.
Luckily, this did not take place till I left the balcony.  Had it been
otherwise, the triumph to my declared enemies would have been too great.

"Recovering, I found myself surrounded by the Royal Family, who were all
kindness and concern for my situation; but I could not subdue my tremor
and affright.  The horrid image of that monster seemed, still to threaten

"'Come, come!' said the King, 'be not alarmed, I shall order a council of
all the Ministers and deputies to-morrow, who will soon put an end to
these riots!'

"We were ere long joined by the Prince de Conde, the Duc de Bourbon, and
others, who implored the King not to part with the army, but to place
himself, with all the Princes of the blood, at its head, as the only
means to restore tranquillity to the country, and secure his own safety.

"The Queen was decidedly of the same opinion; and added, that, if the
army were to depart, the King and his family ought to go with it; but the
King, on the contrary, said he would not decide upon any measures
whatever till he had heard the opinion of the Council.

"The Queen, notwithstanding the King's indecision, was occupied, during
the rest of the day and the whole of the night, in preparing for her
intended; journey, as she hoped to persuade the King to follow the advice
of the Princes, and not wait the result of the next day's deliberation.
Nay, so desirous was she of this, that she threw herself on her knees to
the King, imploring him to leave Versailles and head the army, and
offering to accompany him herself, on horseback, in uniform; but it was
like speaking to a corpse  he never answered.

"The Duchesse de Polignac came to Her Majesty in a state of the greatest
agitation, in consequence of M. de Chinon having just apprised her that a
most malicious report had been secretly spread among the deputies at
Versailles that they were all to be blown up at their next meeting.

"The Queen was as much surprised as the Duchess, and scarcely less
agitated.  These wretched friends could only, in silence, compare notes
of their mutual cruel misfortunes.  Both for a time remained speechless
at this new calamity.  Surely this was not wanting to be added to those
by which the Queen was already so bitterly oppressed.

"I was sent for by Her Majesty.  Count Fersen accompanied me.  He had
just communicated to me what the Duchess had already repeated from M.
Chinon to the Queen.

"The rumour had been set afloat merely as a new pretext for the
continuation of the riots.

"The communication of the report, so likely to produce a disastrous
effect, took place while the King was with his Ministers deliberating
whether he should go to Paris, or save himself and family by joining the

"His Majesty was called from the council to the Queen's apartment, and
was there made acquainted with the circumstance which had so awakened the
terror of the royal party.  He calmly replied, 'It is some days since
this invention has been spread among the deputies; I was aware of it from
the first; but from its being utterly impossible to be listened to for a
moment by any one, I did not wish to afflict you by the mention of an
impotent fabrication, which I myself treated with the contempt it justly
merited.  Nevertheless, I did not forget, yesterday, in the presence of
both my brothers, who accompanied me to the National Assembly, there to
exculpate myself from an imputation at which my nature revolts; and, from
the manner in which it was received, I flatter myself that every honest
Frenchman was fully satisfied that my religion will ever be an
insurmountable barrier against my harbouring sentiments allied in the
slightest degree to such actions.

"The King embraced the Queen, begged she would tranquilise herself,
calmed the fears of the two ladies, thanked the gentlemen for the
interest they took in his favour, and returned to the council, who, in
his absence, had determined on his going to the Hotel de Ville at Paris,
suggesting at the same time the names of several persons likely to be
well received, if His Majesty thought proper to allow their accompanying

"During this interval, the Queen, still flattering herself that she
should pursue her wished-for journey, ordered the carriages to be
prepared and sent off to Rambouillet, where she said she should sleep;
but this Her Majesty only stated for the purpose of distracting the
attention of her pages and others about her from her real purpose.  As it
was well known that M. de St. Priest had pointed out Rambouillet as a fit
asylum for the mob, she fancied that an understanding on the part of her
suite that they were to halt there, and prepare for her reception, would
protect her project of proceeding much farther.

"When the council had broken up and the King returned, he said to the
Queen, 'It is decided.'

"'To go, I hope?' said Her Majesty.

"'No'--(though in appearance calm, the words remained on the lips of the
King, and he stood for some moments incapable of utterance; but,
recovering, added)--'To Paris!'

"The Queen, at the word Paris, became frantic.  She flung herself wildly
into the arms of her friends.

"'Nous sommes perdus! nous sommes perdus!' cried she, in a passion of
tears.  But her dread was not for herself.  She felt only for the danger
to which the King was now going to expose himself; and she flew to him,
and hung on his neck.

"'And what,' exclaimed she, 'is to become of all our faithful friends and

"'I advise them all,' answered His Majesty, 'to make the best of their
way out of France; and that as soon as possible.'

"By this time, the apartments of the Queen were filled with the
attendants and the royal children, anxiously expecting every moment to
receive the Queen's command to proceed on their journey, but they were
all ordered to retire to whence they came.

"The scene was that of a real tragedy.  Nothing broke the silence but
groans of the deepest affliction.  Our consternation at the counter order
cast all into a state of stupefied insensibility.

"The Queen was the only one whose fortitude bore her up proudly under
this weight of misfortunes.  Recovering from the frenzy of the first
impression, she adjured her friends, by the love and obedience they had
ever shown her and the King, to prepare immediately to fulfil his mandate
and make themselves ready for the cruel separation!

"The Duchesse de Polignac and myself were, for some hours, in a state of
agony and delirium.

"When the Queen saw the body-guards drawn up to accompany the King's
departure, she ran to the window, threw apart the sash, and was going to
speak to them, to recommend the King to their care; but the Count Fersen
prevented it.

"'For God's sake, Madame,'--exclaimed he, 'do not commit yourself to the
suspicion of having any doubts of the people!'

"When the King entered to take leave of her, and of all his most faithful
attendants, he could only articulate, 'Adieu!' But when the Queen saw him
accompanied by the Comte d'Estaing and others, whom, from their new
principles, she knew to be popular favourites, she had command enough of
herself not to shed a tear in their presence.

"No sooner, however, had the King left the room than it was as much as
the Count Fersen, Princesse Elizabeth, and all of us could do to recover
her from the most violent convulsions.  At last, coming to herself, she
retired with the Princess, the Duchess, and myself to await the King's
return; at the same time requesting the Count Fersen to follow His
Majesty to the Hotel de Ville.  Again and again she implored the Count,
as she went, in case the King should be detained, to interest himself
with all the foreign Ministers to interpose for his liberation.

"Versailles, when the King was gone, seemed like a city deserted in
consequence of the plague.  The palace was completely abandoned.  All the
attendants were dispersed.  No one was seen in the streets.  Terror
prevailed.  It was universally believed that the King would be detained
in Paris.  The high road from Versailles to Paris was crowded with all
ranks of people, as if to catch a last look of their Sovereign.

"The Count Fersen set off instantly, pursuant to the Queen's desire.  He
saw all that passed, and on his return related to me the history of that
horrid day.

"He arrived at Paris just in time to see His Majesty take the national
cockade from M. Bailly and place it in his hat.  He, felt the Hotel de
Ville shake with the long-continued cries of 'Vive le roi!' in
consequence, which so affected the King that, for some moments, he was
unable to express himself.  'I myself,' added the Count, 'was so moved at
the effect on His Majesty, in being thus warmly received by his Parisian
subjects, which portrayed the paternal emotions of his long-lacerated
heart, that every other feeling was paralysed for a moment, in exultation
at the apparent unanimity between the Sovereign and his people.  But it
did not,' continued the Ambassador, 'paralyse the artful tongue of
Bailly, the Mayor of Paris.  I could have kicked the fellow for his
malignant impudence; for, even in the cunning compliment he framed, he
studied to humble the afflicted Monarch by telling the people it was to
them he owed the sovereign authority.

"'But,' pursued the Count, 'considering the situation of Louis XVI. and
that of his family, agonised as they must have been during his absence,
from the Queen's impression that the Parisians would never again allow
him to see Versailles, how great was our rapture when we saw him safely
replaced in his carriage, and returning to those who were still lamenting
him as lost!

"'When I left Her Majesty in the morning, she was nearly in a state of
mental aberration.  When I saw her again in the evening, the King by her
side, surrounded by her family, the Princesse Eizabeth, and yourself,
madame' said the kind Count, 'she appeared to me like a person risen from
the dead and restored to life.  Her excess of joy at the first moment was
beyond description!'

"Count Fersen might well say the first moment, for the pleasure of the
Queen was of short duration.  Her heart was doomed to bleed afresh, when
the thrill of delight, at what she considered the escape of her husband,
was past, for she had already seen her chosen friend, the Duchesse de
Polignac, for the last time.

"Her Majesty was but just recovered from the effects of the morning's
agitation, when the Duchess, the Duke, his sister, and all his family set
off.  It was impossible for her to take leave of her friend.  The hour
was late--about midnight.  At the same time departed the Comte d'Artois
and his family, the Prince de Conde and his, the Prince of Hesse
d'Armstadt, and all those who were likely to be suspected by the people.

"Her Majesty desired the Count Fersen to see the Duchess in her name.
When the King heard the request, he exclaimed:

"'What a cruel state for Sovereigns, my dear Count!  To be compelled to
separate ourselves from our most faithful attendants, and not be allowed,
for fear of compromising others or our own lives, to take a last

"'Ah!' said the Queen, 'I fear so too.  I fear it is a last farewell to
all our friends!'

"The Count saw the Duchess a few moments before she left Versailles.
Pisani, the Venetian Ambassador, and Count Fersen, helped her on the
coachbox, where she rode disguised.

"What must have been most poignantly mortifying to the fallen favourite
was, that, in the course of her journey, she met with her greatest enemy,
(Necker) who was returning, triumphant, to Paris, called by the voice of
that very nation by whom she and her family were now forced from its
territory,--Necker, who himself conceived that she, who now went by him
into exile, while he himself returned to the greatest of victories, had
thwarted all his former plans of operation, and, from her influence over
the Queen, had caused his dismission and temporary banishment.

"For my own part, I cannot but consider this sudden desertion of France
by those nearest the throne as ill-judged.  Had all the Royal Family,
remained, is it likely that the King and Queen would have been watched
with such despotic vigilance?  Would not confidence have created
confidence, and the breach have been less wide between the King and his

"When the father and his family will now be thoroughly reconciled, Heaven
alone can tell!"


"Barnave often lamented his having been betrayed, by a love of notoriety,
into many schemes, of which his impetuosity blinded him to the
consequences.  With tears in his eyes, he implored me to impress the
Queen's mind with the sad truths he inculcated.  He said his motives had
been uniformly the same, however he might have erred in carrying them
into action; but now he relied on my friendship for my royal mistress to
give efficacy to his earnest desire to atone for those faults, of which
he had become convinced by dear-bought experience.  He gave me a list of
names for Her Majesty, in which were specified all the Jacobins who had
emissaries throughout France, for the purpose of creating on the same
day, and at the same hour, an alarm of something like the 'Vesparo
Siciliano' (a general insurrection to murder all the nobility and burn
their palaces, which, in fact, took place in many parts of France), the
object of which was to give the Assembly, by whom all the regular troops
were disbanded, a pretext for arming the people as a national guard, thus
creating a perpetual national faction.

"The hordes of every faubourg now paraded in this new democratic livery.
Even some of them, who were in the actual service of the Court, made no
scruple of decorating themselves thus, in the very face of their
Sovereign.  The King complained, but the answer made to him was that the
nation commanded.

"The very first time Their Majesties went to the royal chapel, after the
embodying of the troops with the national guards, all the persons
belonging to it were accoutred in the national uniform.  The Queen was
highly incensed, and deeply affected at this insult offered to the King's
authority by the persons employed in the sacred occupations of the
Church.  'Such persons,' said Her Majesty, 'would, I had hoped, have been
the last to interfere with politics.'  She was about to order all those
who preferred their uniforms to their employments to be discharged from
the King's service; but my advice, coupled with that of Barnave,
dissuaded her from executing so dangerous a threat.  On being assured
that those, perhaps, who might be selected to replace the offenders might
refuse the service, if not allowed the same ridiculous prerogatives, and
thus expose Their Royal Majesties to double mortification, the Queen
seemed satisfied, and no more was said upon the subject, except to an
Italian soprano, to whom the King signified his displeasure at his
singing a 'salva regina' in the dress of a grenadier of the new faction.

"The singer took the hint and never again intruded his uniform into the

"Necker, notwithstanding the enthusiasm his return produced upon the
people, felt mortified in having lost the confidence of the King.  He
came to me, exclaiming that, unless Their Majesties distinguished him by
some mark of their royal favour, his influence must be lost with the
National Assembly.  He perceived, he said, that the councils of the King
were more governed by the advice of the Queen's favourite, the Abbe
Vermond, than by his (Necker's).  He begged I would assure Her Majesty
that Vermond was quite as obnoxious to the people as the Duchesse de
Polignac had ever been; for it was generally known that Her Majesty was
completely guided by him, and, therefore, for her own safety and the
tranquillity of national affairs, he humbly suggested the prudence of
sending him from the Court, at least for a time.

"I was petrified at hearing a Minister dare presume thus to dictate the
line of conduct which the Queen of France, his Sovereign, should pursue
with respect to her most private servants.  Such was my indignation at
this cruel wish to dismiss every object of her choice, especially one
from whom, owing to long habits of intimacy since her childhood, a
separation would be rendered, by her present situation, peculiarly cruel,
that nothing but the circumstances in which the Court then stood could
have given me patience to listen to him.

"I made no answer.  Upon my silence, Necker subjoined, 'You must
perceive, Princess, that I am actuated for the general good of the

"'And I hope, monsieur, for the prerogatives of the monarchy also,'
replied I.

"'Certainly,' said Necker.  'But if Their Majesties continue to be guided
by others, and will not follow my advice, I cannot answer for the

"I assured the Minister that I would be the faithful bearer of his
commission, however unpleasant.

"Knowing the character of the Queen, in not much relishing being dictated
to with respect to her conduct in relation to the persons of her
household, especially the Abbe Vermond, and aware, at the same time, of
her dislike to Necker, who thus undertook to be her director, I felt
rather awkward in being the medium of the Minister's suggestions.  But
what was my surprise, on finding her prepared, and totally indifferent as
to the privation.

"'I foresaw,' replied Her Majesty, 'that Vermond would become odious to
the present order of things, merely because he had been a faithful
servant, and long attached to my interest; but you may tell M. Necker
that the Abbe leaves Versailles this very night, by my express order, for

"If the proposal of Necker astonished me, the Queen's reception of it
astonished me still more.  What a lesson is this for royal favourites!
The man who had been her tutor, and who, almost from her childhood, never
left her, the constant confidant for fifteen or sixteen years, was now
sent off without a seeming regret.

"I doubt not, however, that the Queen had some very powerful secret
motive for the sudden change in her conduct towards the Abbe, for she was
ever just in all her concerns, even to her avowed enemies; but I was
happy that she seemed to express no particular regret at the Minister's
suggested policy.  I presume, from the result, that I myself had
overrated the influence of the Abbe over the mind of his royal pupil;
that he had by no means the sway imputed to him; and that Marie
Antoinette merely considered him as the necessary instrument of her
private correspondence, which he had wholly managed.

[The truth is, Her Majesty had already taken leave of the Abbe, in the
presence of the King, unknown to the Princess; or, more properly, the
Abbe had taken an affectionate leave of them.]

"But a circumstance presently occurred which aroused Her Majesty from
this calmness and indifference.  The King came in to inform her that La
Fayette, during the night, had caused the guards to desert from the
palace of Versailles.

"The effect on her of this intelligence was like the lightning which
precedes a loud clap of thunder.

"Everything that followed was perfectly in character, and shook every
nerve of the royal authority.

"'Thus,' exclaimed Marie Antoinette, 'thus, Sire, have you humiliated
yourself, in condescending to go to Paris, without having accomplished
the object.  You have not regained the confidence of your subjects.  Oh,
how bitterly do I deplore the loss of that confidence!  It exists no
longer.  Alas!  when will it be restored!'

"The French guards, indeed, had been in open insurrection through the
months of June and July, and all that could be done was to preserve one
single company of grenadiers, by means of their commander, the Baron de
Leval, faithful to their colours.  This company had now been influenced
by General La Fayette to desert and join their companions, who had
enrolled themselves in the Paris national guard.

"Messieurs de Bouille and de Luxembourg being interrogated by the Queen
respecting the spirit of the troops under their immediate command, M. de
Bouille answered, Madame, I should be very sorry to be compelled to
undertake any internal operation with men who have been seduced from
their allegiance, and are daily paid by a faction which aims at the
overthrow of its legitimate Sovereign.  I would not answer for a man that
has been in the neighbourhood of the seditious national troops, or that
has read the inflammatory discussions of the National Assembly.  If Your
Majesty and the King wish well to the nation--I am sorry to say it--its
happiness depends on your quitting immediately the scenes of riot and
placing yourselves in a situation to treat with the National Assembly on
equal terms, whereby the King may be unbiassed and unfettered by a
compulsive, overbearing mob; and this can only be achieved by your flying
to a place of safety.  That you may find such a place, I will answer with
my life!'

"'Yes,' said M. de Luxembourg, 'I think we may both safely answer that,
in such a case, you will find a few Frenchmen ready to risk a little to
save all!'  And both concurred that there was no hope of salvation for
the King or country but through the resolution they advised.

"'This,' said the Queen, 'will be a very difficult task.  His Majesty, I
fear, will never consent to leave France.'

"'Then, Madame,' replied they, 'we can only regret that we have nothing
to offer but our own perseverance in the love and service of our King and
his oppressed family, to whom we deplore we can now be useful only with
our feeble wishes.'

"'Well, gentlemen,' answered Her Majesty, 'you must not despair of better
prospects.  I will take an early opportunity of communicating your loyal
sentiments to the King, and will hear his opinion on the subject before I
give you a definite answer.  I thank you, in the name of His Majesty, as
well as on my own account, for your good intentions towards us.'

"Scarcely had these gentlemen left the palace, when a report prevailed
that the King, his family, and Ministers, were about to withdraw to some
fortified situation.  It was also industriously rumoured that, as soon as
they were in safety, the National Assembly would be forcibly dismissed,
as the Parliament had been by Louis XIV.  The reports gained universal
belief when it became known that the King had ordered the Flanders
regiment to Versailles.

"The National Assembly now daily watched the royal power more and more
assiduously.  New sacrifices of the prerogatives of the nobles were
incessantly proposed by them to the King.

"When His Majesty told the Queen that he had been advised by Necker to
sanction the abolition of the privileged nobility, and that all
distinctions, except the order of the Holy Ghost to himself and the
Dauphin, were also annihilated by the Assembly, even to the order of
Maria Theresa, which she could no longer wear, 'These, Sire,' answered
she, in extreme anguish, 'are trifles, so far as they regard myself. I do
not think I have twice worn the order of Maria Theresa since my arrival
in this once happy country.  I need it not.  The immortal memory of her
who gave me being is engraven on my heart; that I shall wear forever,
none can wrest it from me.  But what grieves me to the soul is your
having sanctioned these decrees of the National Assembly upon the mere
'ipse dixit' of M. Necker.'

"'I have only, given my sanction to such as I thought most necessary to
tranquilise the minds of those who doubted my sincerity; but I have
withheld it from others, which, for the good of my, people, require
maturer consideration.  On these, in a full Council, and in your
presence, I shall again deliberate.'

"'Oh, said the Queen, with tears in her eyes, could but the people hear
you, and know, once for all, how to appreciate the goodness of your
heart, as I do now, they would cast themselves at your feet, and
supplicate your forgiveness for having shown such ingratitude to your
paternal interest for their welfare!'

"But this unfortunate refusal to sanction all the decrees sent by the
National Assembly, though it proceeded from the best motives, produced
the worst effects.  Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave well knew the troubles
such a course must create.  Of this they forewarned His Majesty, before
any measure was laid before him for approval.  They cautioned him not to
trifle with the deputies.  They assured him that half measures would only
rouse suspicion.  They enforced the necessity of uniform assentation, in
order to lull the Mirabeau party, who were canvassing for a majority to
set up D'ORLEANS, to whose interest Mirabeau and his myrmidons were then
devoted.  The scheme of Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave was to thwart and
weaken the Mirabeau and Orleans faction, by gradually persuading them, in
consequence of the King's compliance with whatever the Assembly exacted,
that they could do no better than to let him into a share of the
executive power; for now nothing was left to His Majesty but
responsibility, while the privileges of grace and justice had become
merely nominal, with the one dangerous exception of the veto, to which he
could never have recourse without imminent peril to his cause and to

"Unfortunately for His Majesty's interest, he was too scrupulous to act,
even through momentary policy, distinctly against his conscience.  When
he gave way, it was with reluctance, and often with an avowal, more or
less express, that he only complied with necessity against conviction.
His very sincerity made him appear the reverse.  His adherents
consequently dwindled, while the Orleans faction became immeasurably

"In the midst of these perplexities, an Austrian courier was stopped with
despatches from Prince Kaunitz.  These, though unsought for on the part
of Her Majesty, though they contained a friendly advice to her to submit
to the circumstances of the times, and though, luckily, they were couched
in terms favourable to the Constitution, showed the mob that there was a
correspondence with Vienna, carried on by the Queen, and neither Austria
nor the Queen were deemed the friends either of the people or of the
Constitution.  To have received the letters was enough for the faction.

"Affairs were now ripening gradually into something like a crisis, when
the Flanders regiment arrived.  The note of preparation had been sounded.
'Let us go to Versailles, and bring the King away from his evil
counsellors,' was already in the mouths of the Parisians.

"In the meantime, Dumourier, who had been leagued with the Orleans
faction, became disgusted with it.  He knew the deep schemes of treason
which were in train against the Royal Family, and, in disguise, sought
the Queen at Versailles, and had an interview with Her Majesty in my
presence.  He assured her that an abominable insurrection was ripe for
explosion among the mobs of the faubourgs; gave her the names of the
leaders, who had received money to promote its organisation; and warned
her that the massacre of the Royal Family was the object of the
manoeuvre, for the purpose of declaring the Duke of Orleans the
constitutional King; that he was to be proclaimed by Mirabeau, who had
already received a considerable sum in advance, for distribution among
the populace, to ensure their support; and that Mirabeau, in return for
his co-operation, was to be created a Duke, with the office of Prime
Minister and Secretary of State, and to have the framing of the
Constitution, which was to be modelled from that of Great Britain.  It
was farther concerted that D'ORLEANS was to show himself in the midst of
the confusion, and the crown to be conferred upon him by public

"On his knees Dumourier implored Her Majesty to regard his voluntary
discovery of this infamous and diabolical plot as a proof of his sincere
repentance.  He declared he came disinterestedly to offer himself as a
sacrifice to save her, the King, and her family from the horrors then
threatening their lives, from the violence of an outrageous mob of
regicides; he called God to witness that he was actuated by no other wish
than to atone for his error, and die in their defence; he looked for no
reward beyond the King's forgiveness of his having joined the Orleans
faction; he never had any view in joining that faction but that of aiding
the Duke, for the good of his country, in the reform of ministerial
abuses, and strengthening the royal authority by the salutary laws of the
National Assembly; but he no sooner discovered that impure schemes of
personal aggrandisement gave the real impulse to these pretended
reformers than he forsook their unholy course.  He supplicated Her
Majesty to lose no time, but to allow him to save her from the
destruction to which she would inevitably be exposed; that he was ready
to throw himself at the King's feet, to implore his forgiveness also, and
to assure him of his profound penitence, and his determination to
renounce forever the factious Orleans party.

"As Her Majesty would not see any of those who offered themselves, except
in my presence, I availed myself, in this instance, of the opportunity it
gave me by enforcing the arguments of Dumourier.  But all I could say,
all the earnest representations to be deduced from this critical crisis,
could not prevail with her, even so far as to persuade her to temporise
with Dumourier, as she had done with many others on similar occasions.
She was deaf and inexorable.  She treated all he had said as the effusion
of an overheated imagination, and told him she had no faith in traitors.
Dumourier remained upon his knees while she was replying, as if
stupefied; but at the word traitor he started and roused himself; and
then, in a state almost of madness, seized the Queen's dress, exclaiming,
'Allow yourself to be persuaded before it is too late!  Let not your
misguided prejudice against me hurry you to your own and your children's
destruction; let it not get the better, Madame, of your good sense and
reason; the fatal moment is near; it is at hand!' Upon this, turning, he
addressed himself to me.

"'Oh, Princess,' he cried, 'be her guardian angel, as you have hitherto
been her only friend, and use your never-failing influence.  I take God
once more to witness, that I am sincere in all I have said; that all I
have disclosed is true.  This will be the last time I shall have it in my
power to be of any essential service to you, Madame, and my Sovereign.
The National Assembly will put it out of my power for the future, without
becoming a traitor to my country.'

"'Rise, monsieur,' said the Queen, 'and serve your country better than
you have served your King!'

"'Madame, I obey.'

"When he was about to leave the room, I again, with tears, besought Her
Majesty not to let him depart thus, but to give him some hope, that,
after reflection, she might perhaps endeavour to soothe the King's anger.
But in vain.  He withdrew very much affected. I even ventured, after his
departure, to intercede for his recall.

"'He has pledged himself,' said I, 'to save you, Madame!'

"'My dear Princess,' replied the Queen, 'the goodness of your own heart
will not allow you to have sinister ideas of others.  This man is like
all of the same stamp.  They are all traitors; and will only hurry us the
sooner, if we suffer ourselves to be deceived by them, to an ignominious
death!  I seek no safety for myself.'

"'But he offered to serve the King also, Madame.'

"'I am not,' answered Her Majesty, 'Henrietta of France.  I will never
stoop to ask a pension of the murderers of my husband; nor will I leave
the King, my son, or my adopted country, or even meanly owe my existence
to wretches who have destroyed the dignity of the Crown and trampled
under foot the most ancient monarchy in Europe!  Under its ruins they
will bury their King and myself.  To owe our safety to them would be more
hateful than any death they can prepare for us'

"While the Queen was in this state of agitation, a note was presented to
me with a list of the names of the officers of the Flanders regiment,
requesting the honour of an audience of the Queen.

"The very idea of seeing the Flanders officers flushed Her Majesty's
countenance with an ecstasy of joy.  She said she would retire to compose
herself, and receive them in two hours.

"The Queen saw the officers in her private cabinet, and in my presence.
They were presented to her by me.  They told Her Majesty that, though
they had changed their paymaster, they had not changed their allegiance
to their Sovereign or herself, but were ready to defend both with their
lives.  They placed one hand on the hilt of their swords, and, solemnly
lifting the other up to Heaven, swore that the weapons should never be
wielded but for the defence of the King and Queen, against all foes,
whether foreign or domestic.

"This unexpected loyalty burst on us like the beauteous rainbow, after a
tempest, by the dawn of which we are taught to believe the world is saved
from a second deluge.

"The countenance of Her Majesty brightened over the gloom which had
oppressed her, like the heavenly sun dispersing threatening clouds, and
making the heart of the poor mariner bound with joy.  Her eyes spoke her
secret rapture.  It was evident she felt even unusual dignity in the
presence of these noble-hearted warriors, when comparing them with him
whom she had just dismissed.  She graciously condescended to speak to
every one of them, and one and all were enchanted with her affability.

"She said she was no longer the Queen who could compensate loyalty and
valour; but the brave soldier found his reward in the fidelity of his
service, which formed the glory of his immortality.  She assured them she
had ever been attached to the army, and would make it her study to
recommend every individual, meriting attention, to the King.

"Loud bursts of repeated acclamations and shouts of 'Vive la reine!'
instantly followed her remarks.  She thanked the officers most
graciously; and, fearing to commit herself, by saying more, took her
leave, attended by me; but immediately sent me back, to thank them again
in her name.

"They departed, shouting as they went, 'Vive la reine! Vive la Princesse!
Vive le roi, le Dauphin, et toute la famille royale!'

"When the National Assembly saw the officers going to and coming from the
King's palace with such demonstrations of enthusiasm, they took alarm,
and the regicide faction hastened on the crisis for which it had been
longing.  It was by no means unusual for the chiefs of regiments,
destined to form part of the garrison of a royal residence, to be
received by the Sovereign on their arrival, and certainly only natural
that they should be so; but in times of excitement trifling events have
powerful effects.

"But if the National Assembly began to tremble for their own safety, and
had already taken secret, measures to secure it, by conspiring to put an
instantaneous end to the King's power, against which they had so long
been plotting, when the Flanders regiment arrived, it may be readily
conceived what must have been their emotions on the fraternisation of
this regiment with the body-guard, and on the scene to which the dinner,
given to the former troops by the latter, so unpremeditatedly led.

"On the day of this fatal dinner I remarked to the Queen, 'What a
beautiful sight it must be to behold, in these troublesome times, the
happy union of such a meeting!'

"'It must indeed!' replied the King; 'and the pleasure I feel in knowing
it would be redoubled had I the privilege of entertaining the Flanders
regiment, as the body-guards are doing.'

"'Heaven forbid!' cried Her Majesty; 'Heaven forbid that you should think
of such a thing!  The Assembly would never forgive us!'

"After we had dined, the Queen sent to the Marquise de Tourzel for the
Dauphin.  When he came, the Queen told him about her having seen the
brave officers on their arrival; and how gaily those good officers had
left the palace, declaring they would die rather than suffer any harm to
come to him, or his papa and mamma; and that at that very time they were
all dining at the theatre.

"'Dining in the theatre, mamma?' said the young, Prince.  'I never heard
of people dining in a theatre!'

"'No, my dear child,' replied Her Majesty, 'it is not generally allowed;
but they are doing so, because the body-guards are giving a dinner to
this good Flanders regiment; and the Flanders regiment are so brave that
the guards chose the finest place they could think of to entertain them
in, to show how much they like them; that is the reason why they are
dining in the gay, painted theatre.'

"'Oh, mamma!' exclaimed the Dauphin, whom the Queen adored, 'Oh, papa!'
cried he, looking at the King, 'how I should like to see them!'

"'Let us go and satisfy the child!' said the King, instantly starting up
from his seat.

"The Queen took the Dauphin by the hand, and they proceeded to the
theatre.  It was all done in a moment.  There was no premeditation on the
part of the King or Queen; no invitation on the part of the officers. Had
I been asked, I should certainly have followed the Queen; but just as the
King rose, I left the room.  The Prince being eager to see the festival,
they set off immediately, and when I returned to the apartment they were
gone.  Not being very well, I remained where I was; but most of the
household had already followed Their Majesties.

"On the Royal Family making their appearance, they were received with the
most unequivocal shouts of general enthusiasm by the troops.  Intoxicated
with the pleasure of seeing Their Majesties among them, and overheated
with the juice of the grape, they gave themselves up to every excess of
joy, which the circumstances and the situation of Their Majesties were so
well calculated to inspire.  'Oh! Richard! oh, mon roi!' was sung, as
well as many other loyal songs.  The healths of the King, Queen, and
Dauphin were drunk, till the regiments were really inebriated with the
mingled influence of wine and shouting vivas!

"When the royal party retired, they were followed by all the military to
the very palace doors, where they sung, danced, embraced each other, and
gave way to all the frantic demonstrations of devotedness to the royal
cause which the excitement of the scene and the table could produce.
Throngs, of course, collected to get near the Royal Family.  Many persons
in the rush were trampled on, and one or two men, it was said, crushed to
death.  The Dauphin and King were delighted; but the Queen, in giving the
Princesse Elizabeth and myself an account of the festival, foresaw the
fatal result which would ensue; and deeply deplored the marked enthusiasm
with which they had been greeted and followed by the military.

"There was one more military spectacle, a public breakfast which took
place on the second of October.  Though none of the Royal Family appeared
at it, it was no less injurious to their interests than the former.  The
enemies of the Crown spread reports all over Paris, that the King and
Queen had manoeuvred to pervert the minds of the troops so far as to make
them declare against the measures of the National Assembly.  It is not
likely that the Assembly, or politics, were even spoken of at the
breakfast; but the report did as much mischief as the reality would have
done.  This was quite sufficient to encourage the D'ORLEANS and Mirabeau
faction in the Assembly to the immediate execution of their
long-meditated scheme, of overthrowing the monarchy.

"On the very day following, Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave sent their
confidential agent to apprise the Queen that certain deputies had already
fully matured a plot to remove the King, nay, to confine Her Majesty from
him in a distant part of France, that her influence over his mind might
no farther thwart their premeditated establishment of a Constitution.

"But others of this body, and the more powerful and subtle portion, had a
deeper object, so depraved, that, even when forewarned, the Queen could
not deem it possible; but of which she was soon convinced by their
infernal acts.

"The riotous faction, for the purpose of accelerating this denouement,
had contrived, by buying up all the corn and sending it out of the
country, to reduce the populace to famine, and then to make it appear
that the King and Queen had been the monopolisers, and the extravagance
of Marie Antoinette and her largesses to Austria and her favourites, the
cause.  The plot was so deeply laid that the wretches who, undertook to
effect the diabolical scheme were metamorphosed in the Queen's livery, so
that all the odium might fall on her unfortunate Majesty.  At the head of
the commission of monopolisers was Luckner, who had taken a violent
dislike to the Queen, in consequence of his having been refused some
preferment, which he attributed to her influence.  Mirabeau, who was
still in the background, and longing to take a more prominent part,
helped it on as much as possible.  Pinet, who had been a confidential
agent of the Duc d'Orleans, himself told the Duc de Penthievre that
D'ORLEANS had monopolised all the corn.  This communication, and the
activity of the Count Fersen, saved France, and Paris in particular, from
perishing for the want of bread.  Even at the moment of the abominable
masquerade, in which Her Majesty's agents were made to appear the enemies
who were starving the French people, out of revenge for the checks
imposed by them on the royal authority, it was well known to all the
Court that both Her Majesty and the King were grieved to the soul at
their piteous want, and distributed immense sums for the relief of the
poor sufferers, as did the Duc de Penthievre, the Duchesse d'Orleans, the
Prince de Conde, the Duc and Duchesse de Bourbon, and others; but these
acts were done privately, while he who had created the necessity took to
himself the exclusive credit of the relief, and employed thousands daily
to propagate reports of his generosity.  Mirabeau, then the factotum
agent of the operations of the Palais Royal and its demagogues, greatly
added to the support of this impression.  Indeed, till undeceived
afterwards, he believed it to be really the Duc d'Orleans who had
succoured the people.

"I dispensed two hundred and twenty thousand livres merely to discover
the names of the agents who had been employed to carry on this nefarious
plot to exasperate the people against the throne by starvation imputed to
the Sovereign.  Though money achieved the discovery in time to clear the
characters of my royal mistress and the King, the detection only followed
the mischief of the crime.  But even the rage thus wickedly excited was
not enough to carry through the plot.  In the faubourgs of Paris, where
the women became furies, two hundred thousand livres were distributed ere
the horror could be completely exposed.

"But it is time for me to enter upon the scenes to which all the
intrigues I have detailed were intended to lead--the removal of the Royal
Family from Versailles.

"My heart sickens when I retrace these moments of anguish.  The point to
which they are to conduct us yet remains one of the mysteries of fate."


"Her Majesty had been so thoroughly lulled into security by the
enthusiasm of the regiments at Versailles that she treated all the
reports from Paris with contempt.  Nothing was apprehended from that
quarter, and no preparations were consequently made for resistance or
protection.  She was at Little Trianon when the news of the approach of
the desolating torrent arrived.  The King was hunting.  I presented to
her the commandant of the troops at Versailles, who assured Her Majesty
that a murderous faction, too powerful, perhaps, for resistance, was
marching principally against her royal person, with La Fayette at their
head, and implored her to put herself and valuables in immediate safety;
particularly all her correspondence with the Princes, emigrants, and
foreign Courts, if she had no means of destroying them.

"Though the Queen was somewhat awakened to the truth by this earnest
appeal, yet she still considered the extent of the danger as exaggerated,
and looked upon the representation as partaking, in a considerable
degree, of the nature of all reports in times of popular commotion.

"Presently, however, a more startling omen appeared, in a much milder but
ambiguous communication from General La Fayette.  He stated that he was
on his march from Paris with the national guard, and part of the people,
coming to make remonstrances; but he begged Her Majesty to rest assured
that no disorder would take place, and that he himself would vouch that
there should be none.

"The King was instantly sent for to the heights of Meudon, while the
Queen set off from Little Trianon, with me, for Versailles.

"The first movements were commenced by a few women, or men in women's
clothes, at the palace gates of Versailles.  The guards refused them
entrance, from an order they had received to that effect from La Fayette.
The consternation produced by their resentment was a mere prelude to the
horrid tragedy that succeeded.

"The information now pouring in from different quarters increased Her
Majesty's alarm every moment.  The order of La Fayette, not to let the
women be admitted, convinced her that there was something in agitation,
which his unexplained letter made her sensible was more to be feared than
if he had signified the real situation and danger to which she was

"A messenger was forthwith despatched for M. La Fayette, and another, by
order of the Queen, for M. de St. Priest, to prepare a retreat for the
Royal Family, as the Parisian mob's advance could no longer be doubted.
Everything necessary was accordingly got ready.

"La Fayette now arrived at Versailles in obedience to the message, and,
in the presence of all the Court and Ministers, assured the King that he
could answer for the Paris army, at the head of which he intended to
march, to prevent disorders; and advised the admission of the women into
the palace, who, he said, had nothing to propose but a simple memorial
relative to the scarcity of bread.

"The Queen said to him, 'Remember, monsieur, you have pledged your honour
for the King's safety.'

"'And I hope, Madame, to be able to redeem it.'

"He then left Versailles to return to his post with the army.

"A limited number of the women were at length admitted; and so completely
did they seem satisfied with the reception they met with from the King,
as, in all appearance, to have quieted their riotous companions.  The
language of menace and remonstrance had changed into shouts of 'Vive le
roi!'  The apprehensions of Their Majesties were subdued; and the whole
system of operation, which had been previously adopted for the Royal
Family's quitting Versailles, was, in consequence, unfortunately changed.

"But the troops, that had been hitherto under arms for the preservation
of order, in going back to their hotel, were assailed and fired at by the

"The return of the body-guards, thus insulted in going to and coming from
the palace, caused the Queen and the Court to resume the resolution of
instantly retiring from Versailles; but it was now too late.  They were
stopped by the municipality and the mob of the city, who were animated to
excess against the Queen by one of the bass singers of the French
opera.--[La Haise]

"Every hope of tranquillity was now shaken by the hideous howlings which
arose from all quarters.  Intended flight had become impracticable.
Atrocious expressions were levelled against the Queen, too shocking for
repetition.  I shudder when I reflect to what a degree of outrage the
'poissardes' of Paris were excited, to express their abominable designs
on the life of that most adored of Sovereigns.

"Early in the evening Her Majesty came to my apartment, in company with
one of her female attendants.  She was greatly agitated.  She brought all
her jewels and a considerable quantity of papers, which she had begun to
collect together immediately on her arrival from Trianon, as the
commandant had recommended.

[Neither Her Majesty nor the Princess ever returned to Versailles after
the sixth of that fatal October!  Part of the papers, brought by the
Queen to the apartment of the Princess, were tacked by me on two of my
petticoats; the under one three fold, one on the other, and outside; and
the upper one, three or four fold double on the inside; and thus I left
the room with this paper undergarment, which put me to no inconvenience.
Returning to the Princess, I was ordered to go to Lisle, there take the
papers from their hiding-place, and deliver them, with others, to the
same person who received the box, of which mention will be found in
another part of this work.  I was not to take any letters, and was to
come back immediately.

As I was leaving the apartment Her Majesty said something to Her Highness
which I did not hear.  The Princess turned round very quickly, and
kissing me on the forehead, said in Italian, "My dear little
Englishwoman, for Heaven's sake be careful of yourself, for I should
never forgive myself if any misfortune were to befall you." "Nor I," said
Her Majesty.]

"Notwithstanding the fatigue and agitation which the Queen must have
suffered during the day, and the continued threats, horrible howlings,
and discharge of firearms during the night, she had courage enough to
visit the bedchambers of her children and then to retire to rest in her

"But her rest was soon fearfully interrupted.  Horrid cries at her
chamber door of 'Save the Queen!  Save the Queen!  or she will be
assassinated!' aroused her.  The faithful guardian who gave the alarm was
never heard more.  He was murdered in her defence!  Her Majesty herself
only escaped the poignards of immediate death by flying to the King's
apartment, almost in the same state as she lay in bed, not having had
time to screen herself with any covering but what was casually thrown
over her by the women who assisted her in her flight; while one well
acquainted with the palace is said to have been seen busily engaged in
encouraging the regicides who thus sought her for midnight murder.  The
faithful guards who defended the entrance to the room of the intended
victim of these desperadoes took shelter in the room itself upon her
leaving it, and were alike threatened with instant death by the grenadier
assassins for having defeated them in their fiend-like purpose; they
were, however, saved by the generous interposition and courage of two
gentlemen, who, offering themselves as victims in their place, thus
brought about a temporary accommodation between the regular troops and
the national guard.

"All this time General La Fayette never once appeared.  It is presumed
that he himself had been deceived as to the horrid designs of the mob,
and did not choose to show himself, finding it impossible to check the
impetuosity of the horde he had himself brought to action, in concurring
to countenance their first movements from Paris.  Posterity will decide
how far he was justified in pledging himself for the safety of the Royal
Family, while he was heading a riotous mob, whose atrocities were
guaranteed from punishment or check by the sanction of his presence and
the faith reposed in his assurance.  Was he ignorant, or did he only
pretend to be so, of the incalculable mischief inevitable from giving
power and a reliance on impunity to such an unreasoning mass?  By any
military operation, as commander-in-chief, he might have turned the tide.
And why did he not avail himself of that authority with which he had been
invested by the National Assembly, as the delegates of the nation, for
the general safety and guardianship of the people?  for the people, of
whom he was the avowed protector, were themselves in peril: it was only
the humanity (or rather, in such a crisis, the imbecility) of Louis XVI.
that prevented them from being fired on; and they would inevitably have
been sacrificed, and that through the want of policy in their leader, had
not this mistaken mercy of the King prevented his guards from offering
resistance to the murderers of his brave defenders!

"The cry of 'Queen!  Queen!' now resounded from the lips of the cannibals
stained with the blood of her faithful guards.  She appeared, shielded by
filial affection, between her two innocent children, the threatened
orphans!  But the sight of so much innocence and heroic courage paralysed
the hands uplifted for their massacre!

"A tiger voice cried out, 'No children!'  The infants were hurried away
from the maternal side, only to witness the author of their being
offering up herself, eagerly and instantly, to the sacrifice, an ardent
and delighted victim to the hoped-for preservation of those, perhaps,
orphans, dearer to her far than life!  Her resignation and firm step in
facing the savage cry that was thundering against her, disarmed the
ferocious beasts that were hungering and roaring for their prey!

"Mirabeau, whose immense head and gross figure could not be mistaken, is
said to have been the first among the mob to have sonorously chanted, 'To
Paris!'  His myrmidons echoed and re-echoed the cry upon the signal. He
then hastened to the Assembly to contravene any measures the King might
ask in opposition.  The riots increasing, the Queen said to His Majesty:

"'Oh, Sire!  why am I not animated with the courage of Maria Theresa? Let
me go with my children to the National Assembly, as she did to the
Hungarian Senate, with my Imperial brother, Joseph, in her arms and
Leopold in her womb, when Charles the Seventh of Bavaria had deprived her
of all her German dominions, and she had already written to the Duchesse
de Lorraine to prepare her an asylum, not knowing where she should be
delivered of the precious charge she was then bearing; but I, like the
mother of the Gracchi, like Cornelia, more esteemed for my birth than for
my marriage, am the wife of the King of France, and I see we shall be
murdered in our beds for the want of our own exertions!'

"The King remained as if paralysed and stupefied, and made no answer. The
Princesse Elizabeth then threw herself at the Queen's feet, imploring her
to consent to go to Paris.

"'To Paris!' exclaimed Her Majesty.

"'Yes, Madame,' said the King.  'I will put an end to these horrors; and
tell the people so.'

"On this, without waiting for the Queen's answer, he opened the balcony,
and told the populace he was ready to depart with his family.

"This sudden change caused a change equally sudden in the rabble mob. All
shouted, 'Vive le roi!  Vive la nation!'

"Re-entering the room from the window, the King said, 'It is done.  This
affair will soon be terminated.'

"'And with it,' said the Queen, 'the monarchy!'

"'Better that, Madame, than running the risk, as I did some hours since,
of seeing you and my children sacrificed!'

"'That, Sire, will be the consequence of our not having left Versailles.
Whatever you determine, it is my duty to obey.  As to myself, I am
resigned to my fate.'  On this she burst into a flood of tears.  'I only
feel for your humiliated state, and for the safety of our children.'

"The Royal Family departed without having consulted any of the Ministers,
military or civil, or the National Assembly, by whom they were followed.

"Scarcely had they arrived at Paris when the Queen recollected that she
had taken with her no change of dress, either for herself or her
children, and they were obliged to ask permission of the National
Assembly to allow them to send for their different wardrobes.

"What a situation for an absolute King and Queen, which, but a few hours
previous, they had been!

"I now took up my residence with Their Majesties at the Tuileries,--that
odious Tuileries, which I can not name but with horror, where the
malignant spirit of rebellion has, perhaps, dragged us to an untimely

"Monsieur and Madame had another residence.  Bailly, the Mayor of Paris,
and La Fayette became the royal jailers.

"The Princesse Elizabeth and myself could not but deeply deplore, when we
saw the predictions of Dumourier so dreadfully confirmed by the result,
that Her Majesty should have so slighted his timely information, and
scorned his penitence.  But delicacy bade us lament in silence; and,
while we grieved over her present sufferings, we could not but mourn the
loss of a barrier against future aggression, in the rejection of this
general's proffered services.

"It will be remembered, that Dumourier in his disclosure declared that
the object of this commotion was to place the Duc d'Orleans upon the
throne, and that Mirabeau, who was a prime mover, was to share in the
profits of the usurpation.

[But the heart of the traitor Duke failed him at the important crisis.
Though he was said to have been recognised through a vulgar disguise,
stimulating the assassins to the attempted murder of Her Majesty, yet,
when the moment to show himself had arrived, he was nowhere to be found.
The most propitious moment for the execution of the foul crime was lost,
and with it the confidence of his party. Mirabeau was disgusted.  So far
from wishing longer to offer him the crown, he struck it forever from his
head, and turned against him. He openly protested he would no longer set
up traitors who were cowards.]

"Soon after this event, Her Majesty, in tears, came to tell me that the
King, having had positive proof of the agency of the Duc d'Orleans in the
riots of Versailles, had commenced some proceedings, which had given the
Duke the alarm, and exiled him to Villers-Cotterets.  The Queen added
that the King's only object had been to assure the general tranquillity,
and especially her own security, against whose life the conspiracy seemed
most distinctly levelled.

"'Oh, Princess!' continued Her Majesty, in a flood of tears, 'the King's
love for me, and his wish to restore order to his people, have been our
ruin!  He should have struck off the head of D'ORLEANS, or overlooked his
crime!  Why did he not consult me before he took a step so important?  I
have lost a friend also in his wife!  For, however criminal he may be,
she loves him.'

"I assured Her Majesty that I could not think the Duchesse d'Orleans
would be so inconsiderate as to withdraw her affection on that account.

"'She certainly will,' replied Marie Antoinette.  'She is the
affectionate mother of his children, and cannot but hate those who have
been the cause of his exile.  I know it will be laid to my charge, and
added to the hatred the husband has so long borne me; I shall now become
the object of the wife's resentment'

"In the midst of one of the paroxysms of Her Majesty's agonising
agitation after leaving Versailles, for the past, the present, and the
future state of the Royal Family, when the Princesse Elizabeth and myself
were in vain endeavouring to calm her, a deputation was announced from
the National Assembly and the City of Paris, requesting the honour of the
appearance of the King and herself at the theatre.

"'Is it possible, my dear Princess,' cried she, on the announcement,
'that I can enjoy any public amusement while I am still chilled with
horror at the blood these people have spilled, the blood of the faithful
defenders of our lives?  I can forgive them, but I cannot so easily
forget it.'

"Count Fersen and the Austrian Ambassador now entered, both anxious to
know Her Majesty's intentions with regard to visiting the theatre, in
order to make a party to ensure her a good reception; but all their
persuasions were unavailing.  She thanked the deputation for their
friendship; but at the same time told them that her mind was still too
much agitated from recent scenes to receive any pleasure but in the
domestic cares of her family, and that, for a time, she must decline
every other amusement.

"At this moment the Spanish and English Ambassadors came to pay their
respects to Her Majesty on the same subject as the others.  As they
entered, Count Fersen observed to the Queen, looking around:

"'Courage, Madame!  We are as many nations as persons in this
room--English, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and French; and all
equally ready to form a rampart around you against aggression.  All these
nations will, I believe, admit that the French (bowing to the Princesse
Elizabeth) are the most volatile of the six; and Your Majesty may rely on
it that they will love you, now that you are more closely among them,
more tenderly than ever.'

"'Let me live to be convinced of that, monsieur, and my happiness will be
concentrated in its demonstration.'

"'Indeed, gentlemen,' said the Princesse Elizabeth, the Queen has yet had
but little reason to love the French.'

"'Where is our Ambassador,' said I, 'and the Neapolitan?'

"'I have had the pleasure of seeing them early this morning,' replied the
Queen; 'but I told them, also, that indisposition prevented my going into
public.  They will be at our card-party in your apartment this evening,
where I hope to see these gentlemen.  The only parties,' continued Her
Majesty, addressing herself to the Princesse Elizabeth and the
Ambassadors, 'the only parties I shall visit in future will be those of
the Princesse de Lamballe, my superintendent; as, in so doing, I shall
have no occasion to go out of the palace, which, from what has happened,
seems to me the only prudent course.'

"'Come, come, Madame,' exclaimed the Ambassadors; I do not give way to
gloomy ideas.  All will yet be well.'

"'I hope so,' answered Her Majesty; 'but till that hope is realized, the
wounds I have suffered will make existence a burden to me!'

"The Duchesse de Luynes, like many others, had been a zealous partisan of
the new order of things, and had expressed herself with great
indiscretion in the presence of the Queen.  But the Duchess was brought
to her senses when she saw herself, and all the mad, democratical
nobility, under the overpowering weight of Jacobinism, deprived of every
privileged prerogative and levelled and stripped of hereditary

"She came to me one day, weeping, to beg I would make use of my good
offices in her favour with the Queen, whom she was grieved that she had
so grossly offended by an unguarded speech.

"'On my knees,' continued the Duchess, I am I ready to supplicate the
pardon of Her Majesty.  I cannot live without her forgiveness.  One of my
servants has opened my eyes, by telling me that the Revolution can make a
Duchess a beggar, but cannot make a beggar a Duchess.'

"'Unfortunately,' said I, 'if some of these faithful servants had been
listened to, they would still be such, and not now our masters; but I can
assure you, Duchess, that the Queen has long since forgiven you.  See!
Her Majesty comes to tell you so herself.'

"The Duchess fell upon her knees.  The Queen, with her usual goodness of
heart, clasped her in her arms, and, with tears in her eyes, said:

"'We have all of us need of forgiveness.  Our errors and misfortunes are
general.  Think no more of the past; but let us unite in not sinning for
the future:

"'Heaven knows how many sins I have to atone for,' replied the Duchess,
'from the follies of youth; but now, at an age of discretion and in
adversity, oh, how bitterly do I reproach myself for my past levities!
But,' continued she, 'has Your Majesty really forgiven me?'

"'As I hope to be forgiven!' exclaimed Marie Antoinette.  'No penitent in
the sight of God is more acceptable than the one who makes a voluntary
sacrifice by confessing error.  Forget and forgive is the language of our
Blessed Redeemer.  I have adopted it in regard to my enemies, and surely
my friends have a right to claim it.  Come, Duchess, I will conduct you
to the King and Elizabeth, who will rejoice in the recovery of one of our
lost sheep; for we sorely feel the diminution of the flock that once
surrounded us!'

"At this token of kindness, the Duchess was so much overcome that she
fell at the Queen's feet motionless, and it was some time before she

"From the moment of Her Majesty's arrival at Paris from Versailles, she
solely occupied herself with the education of her children,-excepting
when she resorted to my parties, the only ones, as she had at first
determined, which she ever honoured with her attendance.  In order to
discover, as far as possible, the sentiments of certain persons, I gave
almost general invitations, whereby, from her amiable manners and
gracious condescension, she became very popular.  By these means I hoped
to replace Her Majesty in the good estimation of her numerous visitors;
but, notwithstanding every exertion, she could not succeed in dispelling
the gloom with which the Revolution had overcast all her former gaiety.
Though treated with ceremonious respect, she missed the cordiality to
which she had been so long accustomed, and which she so much prized. From
the great emigration of the higher classes of the nobility, the societies
themselves were no longer what they had been.  Madame Necker and Madame
de Stael were pretty regular visitors.  But the most agreeable company
had lost its zest for Marie Antoinette; and she was really become afraid
of large assemblies, and scarcely ever saw a group of persons collected
together without fearing some plot against the King.

"Indeed, it is a peculiarity which has from the first marked, and still
continues to distinguish, the whole conduct and distrust of my royal
mistress, that it never operates to create any fears for herself, but
invariably refers to the safety of His Majesty.

"I had enlarged my circle and made my parties extensive, solely to
relieve the oppressed spirits of the Queen; but the very circumstance
which induced me to make them so general soon rendered them intolerable
to her; for the conversations at last became solely confined to the
topics of the Revolution, a subject frequently the more distressing from
the presence of the sons of the Duc d'Orleans.  Though I loved my
sister-in-law and my nephews, I could not see them without fear, nor
could my royal mistress be at ease with them, or in the midst of such
distressing indications as perpetually intruded upon her, even beneath my
roof, of the spirit which animated the great body of the people for the
propagation of anti-monarchical principles.

"My parties were, consequently, broken up; and the Queen ceased to be
seen in society.  Then commenced the unconquerable power over her of
those forebodings which have clung to her with such pertinacity ever

"I observed that Her Majesty would often indulge in the most melancholy
predictions long before the fatal discussion took place in the Assembly
respecting the King's abdication.  The daily insolence with which she saw
His Majesty's authority deprived forever of the power of accomplishing
what he had most at heart for the good of his people gave her more
anguish than the outrages so frequently heaped upon herself; but her
misery was wrought up to a pitch altogether unutterable, whenever she saw
those around her suffer for their attachment to her in her misfortunes.

"The Princesse Elizabeth has been from the beginning an unwavering
comforter.  She still flatters Marie Antoinette that Heaven will spare
her for better times to reward our fidelity and her own agonies.  The
pious consolations of Her Highness have never failed to make the most
serious impression on our wretched situation.  Indeed, each of us strives
to pour the balm of comfort into the wounded hearts of the others, while
not one of us, in reality, dares to flatter herself with what we all so
ardently wish for in regard to our fellow-sufferers.  Delusions, even
sustained by facts, have long since been exhausted.  Our only hope on
this side of the grave is in our all-merciful Redeemer!"


Editors Commentary:

The reader will not, I trust, be dissatisfied at reposing for a moment
from the sad story of the Princesse de Lamballe to hear some ridiculous
circumstances which occurred to me individually; and which, though they
form no part of the history, are sufficiently illustrative of the temper
of the times.

I had been sent to England to put some letters into the postoffice for
the Prince de Conde, and had just returned.  The fashion then in England
was a black dress, Spanish hat, and yellow satin lining, with three
ostrich feathers forming the Prince of Wales's crest, and bearing his
inscription, 'Ich dien,' ("I serve.")  I also brought with me a white
satin cloak, trimmed with white fur. This crest and motto date as far
back, I believe, as the time of Edward, the Black Prince.

In this dress, I went to the French opera.  Scarcely was I seated in the
bog, when I heard shouts of, "En bas les couleurs de d'empereur!  En

I was very busy talking to a person in the box, and, having been
accustomed to hear and see partial riots in the pit, I paid no attention;
never dreaming that my poor hat and feathers, and cloak, were the cause
of the commotion, till an officer in the national guard very politely
knocked at the door of the box, and told me I must either take them off
or leave the theatre.

There is nothing I more dislike than the being thought particular, or
disposed to attract attention by dress.  The moment, therefore, I found
myself thus unintentionally the object of a whole theatre's disturbance,
in the first impulse of indignation, I impetuously caught off the cloak
and hat, and flung them into the pit, at the very faces of the rioters.

The theatre instantly rang with applause.  The obnoxious articles were
carefully folded up and taken to the officer of the guard, who, when I
left the box, at the end of the opera, brought them to me and offered to
assist me in putting them on; but I refused them with true cavalier-like
loftiness, and entered my carriage without either hat or cloak.

There were many of the audience collected round the carriage at the time,
who, witnessing my rejection of the insulted colours, again loudly
cheered me; but insisted on the officer's placing the hat and cloak in
the carriage, which drove off amidst the most violent acclamations.

Another day, as I was going to walk in the Tuileries (which I generally
did after riding on horseback), the guards crossed their bayonets at the
gate and forbade my entering.  I asked them why.  They told me no one was
allowed to walk there without the national ribbon.

Now, I always had one of these national ribbons about me, from the time
they were first worn; but I kept it in the inside of my riding-habit; and
on that day, in particular, my supply was unusually ample, for I had on a
new riding-habit, the petticoat of which was so very long and heavy that
I bought a large quantity to tie round my waist, and fasten up the dress,
to prevent it from falling about my feet.

However, I was determined to plague the guards for their impudence.  My
English beau, who was as pale as death, and knew I had the ribbon, kept
pinching my arm, and whispering, "Show it, show it; zounds, madame, show
it!  We shall be sent to prison! show it! show it!"  But I took care to
keep my interrupters in parley till a sufficient mob was collected, and
then I produced my colours.

The soldiers were consequently most gloriously hissed, and would have
been maltreated by the mob, and sent to the guard-house by their officer,
but for my intercession; on which I was again applauded all through the
gardens as La Brave Anglaise.  But my, beau declared he would never go
out with me again: unless I wore the ribbon on the outside of my hat,
which I never did and never would do.

At that time the Queen used to occupy herself much in fancy needle-works.
Knowing, from arrangements, that I was every day in a certain part of the
Tuileries, Her Majesty, when she heard the shout of La Brave Anglaise!
immediately called the Princesse de Lamballe to know if she had sent me
on any message.  Being answered in the negative, one of the pages was
despatched to ascertain the meaning of the cry.  The Royal Family lived
in so continual a state of alarm that it was apprehended I had got into
some scrape; but I had left the Tuileries before the messenger arrived,
and was already with the Princesse de Lamballe, relating the
circumstances.  The Princess told Her Majesty, who graciously observed,
"I am very happy that she got off so well; but caution her to be more
prudent for the future.  A cause, however bad, is rather aided than
weakened by unreasonable displays of contempt for it.  These unnecessary
excitements of the popular jealousy do us no good."

I was, of course, severely reprimanded by the Princess for my frolic,
though she enjoyed it of all things, and afterwards laughed most

The Princess told me, a few days after these circumstances of the
national ribbon and the Austrian colours had taken place at the theatre,
that some one belonging to the private correspondence at the palace had
been at the French opera on the night the disturbance took place there,
and, without knowing the person to whom it related, had told the whole
story to the King.

The Queen and the Princesses Elizabeth and de Lamballe being present,
laughed very heartily.  The two latter knew it already from myself, the
fountain head, but the Princesse Elizabeth said:

"Poor lady!  what a fright she must have been in, to have had her things
taken away from her at the theatre"

"No fright at all," said the King; "for a young woman who could act thus
firmly under such an insolent outrage will always triumph over cowards,
unmanly enough to abuse their advantages by insulting her.  She was not a
Frenchwoman, I'll answer for it."

"Oh, no, Sire.  She is an Englishwoman," said the Princesse de Lamballe.

"I am glad of it," exclaimed the King; "for when she returns to England
this will be a good personal specimen for the information of some of her
countrymen, who have rejoiced at what they call the regeneration of the
French nation; a nation once considered the most polished in Europe, but
now become the most uncivil, and I wish I may never have occasion to add,
the most barbarous!  An insult offered, wantonly, to either sex, at any
time, is the result of insubordination; but when offered to a woman, it
is a direct violation of civilised hospitality, and an abuse of power
which never before tarnished that government now so much the topic of
abuse by the enemies of order and legitimate authority.  The French
Princes, it is true, have been absolute; still I never governed
despotically, but always by the advice of my counsellors and Cabinet
Ministers.  If they have erred, my conscience is void of reproach.  I
wish the National Assembly may govern for the future with equal prudence,
equity, and justice; but they have given a poor earnest in pulling down
one fabric before they have laid the solid foundation of another.  I am
very happy that their agents, who, though they call themselves the
guardians of public order have hitherto destroyed its course, have, in
the courage of this English lady, met with some resistance to their
insolence, in foolishly occupying themselves with petty matters, while
those of vital import are totally neglected."

It is almost superfluous to mention that, at the epoch of which I am
speaking in the Revolution, the Royal Family were in so much distrust of
every one about them, and very necessarily and justly so, that none were
ever confided in for affairs, however trifling, without first having
their fidelity repeatedly put to the test.  I was myself under this
probation long before I knew that such had ever been imposed.

With the private correspondence I had already been for some time
entrusted; and it was only previous to employing me on secret missions of
any consequence that I was subject to the severer scrutiny.  Even before
I was sent abroad, great art was necessary to elude the vigilance of
prying eyes in the royal circle; and, in order to render my activity
available to important purposes, my connection with the Court was long
kept secret.  Many stratagems were devised to mislead the Arguses of the
police.  To this end, after the disorders of the Revolution began, I
never entered the palaces but on an understood signal, for which I have
been often obliged to attend many hours in the gardens of Versailles, as
I had subsequently done in that of the Tuileries.

To pass the time unnoticed, I used generally to take a book, and seat
myself, occupied in reading, sometimes in one spot, sometimes in another;
but with my man and maid servant always within call, though never where
they could be seen.

On one of these occasions, a person, though not totally masked yet
sufficiently disguised to prevent my recognising his features, came
behind my seat, and said he wished to speak to me.  I turned round and
asked his business.

"That's coming to the point!" he answered.  "Walk a little way with me,
and I will tell you."

Not to excite suspicion, I walked into a more retired part of the garden,
after a secret signal to my man servant, who followed me unperceived by
the stranger.

"I am commissioned," said my mysterious companion, "to make you a very
handsome present, if you will tell me what you are waiting for."

I laughed, and was turning from him, saying, "Is this all your business?"

"No," he replied.

"Then keep it to yourself.  I am not waiting here for any one or
anything; but am merely occupied in reading and killing time to the best

"Are you a poetess?"


"And scarcely a woman; for your answers are very short."

"Very likely."

"But I have something of importance to communicate-----"

"That is impossible."

"But listen to me-----"

"You are mistaken in your person."

"But surely you will not be so unreasonable as not to hear what I have to

"I am a stranger in this country, and can have nothing of importance with
one I do not know."

"You have quarrelled with your lover and are in an ill-humour.

"Perhaps so.  Well! come! I believe you have guessed the cause."

"Ah! it is the fate of us all to get into scrapes!  But you will soon
make it up; and now let me entreat your attention to what I have to

I became impatient, and called my servant.

"Madame," resumed the stranger, "I am a gentleman, and mean no harm.  But
I assure you, you stand in your own light.  I know more about you than
you think I do."


"Yes, madame, you are waiting here for an august personage."

At this last sentence, my lips laughed, while my heart trembled.

"I wish to caution you," continued he, "how you embark in plans of this

"Monsieur, I repeat, you have taken me for some other person.  I will no
longer listen to one who is either a maniac or an officious intruder."

Upon this, the stranger bowed and left me; but I could perceive that he
was not displeased with my answers, though I was not a little agitated,
and longed to see Her Highness to relate to her this curious adventure.

In a few hours I did so.  The Princess was perfectly satisfied with my
manner of proceeding, only she thought it singular, she said, that the
stranger should suspect I was there in attendance for some person of
rank; and she repeated, three or four times, "I am heartily glad that you
did not commit yourself by any decided answer.  What sort of a man was

"Very much of the gentleman; above the middle stature; and, from what I
could see of his countenance, rather handsome than otherwise."

"Was he a Frenchman?"

"No. I think he spoke good French and English, with an Irish accent."

"Then I know who it is," exclaimed she.  "It is Dillon: I know it from
some doubts which arose between Her Majesty, Dillon, and myself,
respecting sending you upon a confidential mission.  Oh, come hither!
come hither!" continued Her Highness, overwhelming me with kisses.  "How
glad, how very glad I am, that the Queen will be convinced I was not
deceived in what I told Her Majesty respecting you.  Take no notice of
what I am telling you; but he was sent from the Queen, to tempt you into
some imprudence, or to be convinced, by your not falling into the snare,
that she might rely on your fidelity."

"What! doubt my fidelity?" said I.

"Oh, my dear, you must excuse Her Majesty.  We live in critical times.
You will be the more rewarded, and much more esteemed, for this proof of
your firmness.  Do you think you should know him, if you were to see him

"Certainly, I should, if he were in the same disguise.

"That, I fear, will be rather difficult to accomplish.  However, you
shall go in your carriage and wait at the door of his sister, the
Marquise of Desmond; where I will send for him to come to me at four
o'clock to-morrow.  In this way, you will have an opportunity of seeing
him on horseback, as he always pays his morning visits riding."

I would willingly have taken a sleeping draught, and never did I wait
more anxiously than for the hour of four.

I left the Princess, and, in crossing from the Carrousel to go to the
Place Vendome, it rained very fast, and there glanced by me, on
horseback, the same military cloak in which the stranger had been
wrapped.  My carriage was driving so fast that I still remained in doubt
as to the wearer's person.

Next day, however, as appointed, I repaired to the place of rendezvous;
and I could almost have sworn, from the height of the person who alighted
from his horse, that he was my mysterious questioner.

Still, I was not thoroughly certain.  I watched the Princess coming out,
and followed her carriage to the Champs Elysees and told her what I

"Well," replied she, "we must think no more about it; nor must it ever be
mentioned to him, should you by any chance meet him."

I said I should certainly obey Her Highness.

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.  A few days after I was riding on
horseback in the Bois de Boulogne, when Lord Edward Fitzgerald came up to
speak to me.  Dillon was passing at the time, and, seeing Lord Edward,
stopped, took off his hat, and observed, "A very pleasant day for riding,
madame!"  Then, looking me full in the face, he added, "I beg your
pardon, madame, I mistook you for another lady with whom Lord Edward is
often in company."

I said there was no offence; but the moment I heard him speak I was no
longer in doubt of his being the identical person.

When I had learnt the ciphering and deciphering, and was to be sent to
Italy, the Queen acknowledged to the Princesse de Lamballe that she was
fully persuaded I might be trusted, as she had good reason to know that
my fidelity was not to be doubted or shaken.

Dear, hapless Princess!  She said to me, in one of her confidential
conversations on these matters, "The Queen has been so cruelly deceived
and so much watched that she almost fears her own shadow; but it gives me
great pleasure that Her Majesty had been herself confirmed by one of her
own emissaries in what I never for a moment doubted.

"But do not fancy," continued the Princess, laughing, "that you have had
only this spy to encounter.  Many others have watched your motions and
your conversations, and all concur in saying you are the devil, and they
could make nothing of you.  But that, 'mia cara piccola diavolina', is
just what we want!"


Editor in continuation.

I am compelled, with reluctance, to continue personally upon the stage,
and must do so for the three ensuing chapters, in order to put my readers
in possession of circumstances explanatory of the next portion of the
Journal of the Princesse de Lamballe.

Even the particulars I am about to mention can give but a very faint idea
of the state of alarm in which the Royal Family lived, and the perpetual
watchfulness and strange and involved expedients that were found
necessary for their protection.  Their most trifling communications were
scrutinized with so much jealousy that when any of importance were to be
made it required a dexterity almost miraculous to screen them from the
ever-watchful eye of espionage.

I was often made instrumental in evading the curiosity of others, without
ever receiving any clue to the gratification of my own, even had I been
troubled with such impertinence.  The anecdote I am about to mention will
show how cautious a game it was thought necessary to play; and the result
of my half-information will evince that over-caution may produce evils
almost equal to total carelessness.

Some time previous to the flight of the Royal Family from Paris, the
Princesse de Lamballe told me she wanted some repairs made to the locks
of certain dressing and writing-desks; but she would prefer having them
done at my apartments, and by a locksmith who lived at a distance from
the palace.

When the boxes were repaired, I was sent with one of them to Lisle, where
another person took charge of it for the Archduchess at Brussels.

There was something which strongly marked the kind-heartedness of the
Princesse de Lamballe in a part of this transaction.  I had left Paris
without a passport, and Her Highness, fearing it might expose me to
inconvenience, sent an express after me.  The express arrived three hours
before I did, and the person to whom I have alluded came out of Brussels
in his carriage to meet me and receive the box.  At the same time, he
gave me a sealed letter, without any address.  I asked him from whom he
received it, and to whom it was to be delivered.  He said he was only
instructed to deliver it to the lady with the box, and he showed me the
Queen's cipher.  I took the letter, and, after partaking of some
refreshments, returned with it, according to my orders.

On my arrival at Paris, the Princesse de Lamballe told me her motive for
sending the express, who, she said, informed her, on his return, that I
had a letter for the Queen.  I said it was more than I knew.  "Oh, I
suppose that is because the letter bears no address," replied she; "but
you were shown the cipher, and that is all which is necessary."

She did not take the letter, and I could not help remarking how far, in
this instance, the rigour of etiquette was kept up, even between these
close friends.  The Princess, not having herself received the letter,
could not take it from my hands to deliver without Her Majesty's express
command.  This being obtained, she asked me for it, and gave it to Her
Majesty.  The circumstance convinced me that the Princess exercised much
less influence over the Queen, and was much more directed by Her
Majesty's authority, than has been imagined.

Two or three days after my arrival at Paris, my servant lost the key of
my writing-desk, and, to remedy the evil, he brought me the same
locksmith I had employed on the repairs just mentioned.  As it was
necessary I should be present to remove my papers when the lock was taken
off, of course I saw the man.  While I was busy clearing the desk, with
an air of great familiarity he said, "I have had jobs to do here before
now, my girl, as your sweetheart there well knows."

I humoured his mistake in taking me for my own maid and my servant's
sweetheart, and I pertly answered, "Very likely."

"Oh, yes, I have," said he; "it was I who repaired the Queen's boxes in
this very room."

Knowing I had never received anything of the sort from Her Majesty, and
utterly unaware that the boxes the Princess sent to my apartments had
been the Queen's, I was greatly surprised.  Seeing my confusion, he said,
"I know the boxes as well as I know myself.  I am the King's locksmith,
my dear, and I and the King worked together many years.  Why, I know
every creek and corner of the palace, aye, and I know everything that's
going on in them, too--queer doings!  Lord, my pretty damsel, I made a
secret place in the palace to hide the King's papers, where the devil
himself would never find them out, if I or the King didn't tell!"

Though I wished him at the devil every moment he detained me from
disclosing his information at the palace, yet I played off the soubrette
upon him till he became so interested I thought he never would have gone.
At last, however, he took his departure, and the moment he disappeared,
out of the house I flew.

The agitation and surprise of the Princess at what I related were
extreme.  "Wait," cried she; "I must go and inform the Queen instantly."
In going out of the room, "Great God, what a discovery!" exclaimed Her

It was not long before she returned.  Luckily, I was dressed for dinner.
She took me by the hand and, unable to speak, led me to the private
closet of the Queen.

Her Majesty graciously condescended to thank me for the letter I had
taken charge of.  She told me that for the future all letters to her
would be without any superscription; and desired me, if any should be
given to me by persons I had not before seen, and the cipher were shown
at the same time, to receive and deliver them myself into her hands, as
the production of the cipher would be a sufficient pledge of their

Being desired to repeat the conversation with Gamin, "There, Princess!"
exclaimed Her Majesty, "Am I not the crow of evil forebodings?  I trust
the King will never again be credulous enough to employ this man.  I have
long had an extreme aversion to His Majesty's familiarity with him; but
he shall hear his impudence himself from your own lips, my good little
Englishwoman; and then he will not think it is prepossession or

A few evenings elapsed, and I thought no more of the subject, till one
night I was ordered to the palace by the Princess, which never happened
but on very particular occasions, as she was fearful of exciting
suspicion by any appearance of close intimacy with one so much about
Paris upon the secret embassies of the Court.

When I entered the apartment, the King, the Queen, and the Princesse
Elizabeth were, as if by accident, in an adjoining room; but, from what
followed, I am certain they all came purposely to hear my deposition. I
was presently commanded to present myself to the august party.

The King was in deep conversation with the Princesse Elizabeth.  I must
confess I felt rather embarrassed.  I could not form an idea why I was
thus honoured.  The Princesse de Lamballe graciously took me by the hand.

"Now tell His Majesty, yourself, what Gamin said to you."

I began to revive, perceiving now wherefore I was summoned. I accordingly
related, in the presence of the royal guests assembled, as I had done
before Her Majesty and the Princesse de Lamballe, the scene as it

When I came to that part where he said, "where the devil himself could
never find them out," His Majesty approached from the balcony, at which
he had been talking with the Princesse Elizabeth, and said, "Well!  he is
very right--but neither he nor the devil shall find them out, for they
shall be removed this very night."

[Which was done; and these are, therefore, no doubt, the papers and
portfolio of which Madame Campan speaks, vol.  ii., p.  142, as having
been entrusted to her care after being taken from their hiding-place by
the King himself.]

The King, the Queen, and the Princesse Elizabeth most graciously said,
"Nous sommes bien obligis, ma petite anglaise!" and Her Majesty added,
"Now, my dear, tell me all the rest about this man, whom I have long
suspected for his wickedness."

I said he had been guilty of no hostile indications, and that the chief
fault I had to find with him was his exceeding familiarity in mentioning
himself before the King, saying, "I and the King."

"Go on," said Her Majesty; "give us the whole as it occurred, and let us
form our own conclusions."

"Yes," cried the Princess, "parlate sciolto."--"Si Si," rejoined the
Queen, "parlate tutto--yes, yes, speak out and tell us all."

I then related the remainder of the conversation, which very much alarmed
the royal party, and it was agreed that, to avoid suspicion, I should
next day send for the locksmith and desire him, as an excuse, to look at
the locks of my trunks and travelling carriage, and set off in his
presence to take up my pretended mistress on the road to Calais, that he
might not suspect I had any connection with any one about the Court. I
was strictly enjoined by Her Majesty to tell him that the man servant had
had the boxes from some one to get them repaired, without either my
knowledge or that of my mistress, and, by her pretended orders, to give
him a discharge upon the spot for having dared to use her apartments as a
workshop for the business of other people.

"Now," said the Princesse de Lamballe, "now play the comic part you acted
between your servant and Gamin:" which I did, as well as I could
recollect it, and the royal audience were so much amused, that I had the
honour to remain in the room and see them play at cards.  At length,
however, there came three gentle taps at the outer door.  "Ora a tempo
perche vene andata," exclaimed Her Highness at the sound, having ordered
a person to call with this signal to see me out of the palace to the Rue
Nicaise, where my carriage was in waiting to conduct me home.

It is not possible for me to describe the gracious condescension of the
Queen and the Princesse Elizabeth, in expressing their sentiments for the
accidental discovery I had made.  Amid their assurances of tender
interest and concern, they both reproved me mildly for my imprudence in
having, when I went to Brussels, hurried from Paris without my passport.
They gave me prudential cautions with regard to my future conduct and
residence at Paris; and it was principally owing to the united
persuasions and remonstrances of these three angels in human form that I
took six or seven different lodgings, where the Princesse de Lamballe
used to meet me by turns; because had I gone often to the palace, as many
others did, or waited for Her Highness regularly in any one spot, I
should, infallibly, have been discovered.

"Gracious God!"  exclaimed Her Majesty in the course of this
conversation, "am I born to be the misfortune of every one who shows an
interest in serving me?  Tell my sister, when you return to Brussels
again--and do not forget to say I desired you to tell her--our cruel
situation!  She does not believe that we are surrounded by enemies, even
in our most private seclusions! in our prison! that we are even thrown
exclusively upon foreigners in our most confidential affairs; that in
France there is scarcely an individual to whom we can look!  They betray
us for their own safety, which is endangered by any exertions in our
favour.  Tell her this," repeated the Queen three or four times.

The next day I punctually obeyed my orders.  Gamin was sent for to look
at the locks, and received six francs for his opinion.  The man servant
was reproved by me on behalf of my supposed mistress, and, in the
presence of Gamin, discharged for having brought suspicious things into
the house.

The man being tutored in his part, begged Gamin to plead for my
intercession with our mistress.  I remained inexorable, as he knew I
should.  While Gamin was still by I discharged the bill at the house, got
into my carriage, and took the road towards Calais.

At Saint Denis, however, I feigned to be taken ill, and in two days
returned to Paris.

Even this simple act required management.  I contrived it in the
following manner.  I walked out on the high road leading to the capital
for the purpose of meeting my servant at a place which had been fixed for
the meeting before I left Paris.  I found him on horseback at his post,
with a carriage prepared for my return.  As soon as I was out of sight he
made the best of his way forward, went to the inn with a note from me,
and returned with my carriage and baggage I had to lodgings at Passy.

The joy of the Princess on seeing me safe again brought tears into her
eyes; and, when I related the scene I played off before Gamin against my
servant, she laughed most heavily.  "But surely," said she, "you have not
really discharged the poor man?"--"Oh, no," replied I; "he acted his part
so well before the locksmith, that I should be very sorry to lose such an
apt scholar."

"You must perform this 'buffa scena'," observed Her Highness, "to the
Queen.  She has been very anxious to know the result; but her spirits are
so depressed that I fear she will not come to my party this evening.
However, if she do not, I will see her to-morrow, and you shall make her
laugh.  It would be a charity, for she has not done so from the heart for
many a day!"


Editor in continuation:

Every one who has read at all is familiar with the immortal panegyric of
the great Edmund Burke upon Marie Antoinette.  It is known that this
illustrious man was not mean enough to flatter; yet his eloquent praises
of her as a Princess, a woman, and a beauty, inspiring something beyond
what any other woman could excite, have been called flattery by those who
never knew her; those who did, must feel them to be, if possible, even
below the truth.  But the admiration of Mr. Burke was set down even to a
baser motive, and, like everything else, converted into a source of
slander for political purposes, long before that worthy palladium of
British liberty had even thought of interesting himself for the welfare
of France, which his prophetic eye saw plainly was the common cause of
all Europe.

But, keenly as that great statesman looked into futurity, little did he
think, when he visited the Queen in all her splendour at Trianon, and
spoke so warmly of the cordial reception he had met with at Versailles
from the Duc and Duchesse de Polignac, that he should have so soon to
deplore their tragic fate!

Could his suggestions to Her Majesty, when he was in France, have been
put in force, there is scarcely a doubt that the Revolution might have
been averted, or crushed.  But he did not limit his friendship to
personal advice.  It is not generally known that the Queen carried on,
through the medium of the Princesse de Lamballe, a very extensive
correspondence with Mr. Burke.  He recommended wise and vast plans; and
these, if possible, would have been adopted.  The substance of some of
the leading ones I can recall from the journal of Her Highness and
letters which I have myself frequently deciphered.  I shall endeavour,
succinctly, to detail such of them as I remember.

Mr. Burke recommended the suppression of all superfluous religious
institutions, which had not public seminaries to support.  Their lands,
he advised, should be divided, without regard to any distinction but that
of merit, among such members of the army and other useful classes of
society, as, after having served the specified time, should have risen,
through their good conduct, to either civil or military preferment.  By
calculations upon the landed interest, it appeared that every individual
under the operation of this bounty would, in the course of twenty years,
possess a yearly income of from five to seven hundred francs.

Another of the schemes suggested by Mr. Burke was to purge the kingdom of
all the troops which had been corrupted from their allegiance by the
intrigues growing out of the first meeting of the Notables.  He proposed
that they should sail at the same time, or nearly so, to be colonized in
the different French islands and Madagascar; and, in their place, a new
national guard created, who should be bound to the interest of the
legitimate Government by receiving the waste crown lands to be shared
among them, from the common soldier to its generals and Field-marshals.
Thus would the whole mass of rebellious blood have been reformed.  To
ensure an effectual change, Mr. Burke advised the enrolment, in rotation,
of sixty thousand Irish troops, twenty thousand always to remain in
France, and forty thousand in reversion for the same service.  The
lynx-eyed statesman saw clearly, from the murders of the Marquis de
Launay and M. Flesselles, and from the destruction of the Bastille, and
of the ramparts of Paris, that party had not armed itself against Louis,
but against the throne.  It was therefore necessary to produce a
permanent revolution in the army.

[Mr. Burke was too great a statesman not to be the friend of his
country's interest.  He also saw that, from the destruction of the
monarchy in France, England had more to fear than to gain.  He well knew
that the French Revolution was not, like that of the Americans, founded
on grievances and urged in support of a great and disinterested
principle.  He was aware that so restless a people, when they had
overthrown the monarchy, would not limit the overthrow to their own
country.  After Mr. Burke's death, Mr. Fox was applied to, and was
decidedly of the same opinion.  Mr. Sheridan was interrogated, and, at
the request of the Princesse de Lamballe, he presented, for the Queen's
inspection, plans nearly equal to those of the above two great statesmen;
and what is most singular and scarcely credible is that one and all of
the opposition party in England strenuously exerted themselves for the
upholding of the monarchy in France.  Many circumstances which came to my
knowledge before and after the death of Louis XVI. prove that Mr. Pitt
himself was averse to the republican principles being organized so near a
constitutional monarchy as France was to Great Britain.  Though the
conduct of the Duc d'Orleans was generally reprobated, I firmly believe
that if he had possessed sufficient courage to have usurped the crown and
re-established the monarchy, he would have been treated with in
preference to the republicans.  I am the more confirmed in this opinion
by a conversation between the Princesse de Lamballe and Mirabeau, in
which he said a republic in France would never thrive.]

There was another suggestion to secure troops around the throne of a more
loyal temper.  It was planned to incorporate all the French soldiers, who
had not voluntarily deserted the royal standard, with two-thirds of
Swiss, German, and Low Country forces, among whom were to be divided,
after ten years' service, certain portions of the crown lands, which were
to be held by presenting every year a flag of acknowledgment to the King
and Queen; with the preference of serving in the civil or military
departments, according to the merit or capacity of the respective
individuals.  Messieurs de Broglie, de Bouille, de Luxembourg, and
others, were to have been commanders.  But this plan, like many others,
was foiled in its birth, and, it is said, through the intrigues of

However, all concurred in the necessity of ridding France, upon the most
plausible pretexts, of the fomenters of its ruin.  Now arose a fresh
difficulty.  Transports were wanted, and in considerable numbers.

A navy agent in England was applied to for the supply of these
transports.  So great was the number required, and so peculiar the
circumstances, that the agent declined interfering without the sanction
of his Government.

A new dilemma succeeded.  Might not the King of England place improper
constructions on this extensive shipment of troops from the different
ports of France for her West India possessions?  Might it not be fancied
that it involved secret designs on the British settlements in that

All these circumstances required that some communication should be opened
with the Court of St. James; and the critical posture of affairs exacted
that such communication should be less diplomatic than confidential.

It will be recollected that, at the very commencement of the reign of
Louis XVI., there were troubles in Britanny, which the severe
governorship of the Duc d'Aiguillon augmented.  The Bretons took
privileges with them, when they became blended with the kingdom of
France, by the marriage of Anne of Brittany with Charles VIII., beyond
those of any other of its provinces.  These privileges they seemed rather
disposed to extend than relinquish, and were by no means reserved in the
expression of their resolution.  It was considered expedient to place a
firm, but conciliatory, Governor over them, and the Duc de Penthievre was
appointed to this difficult trust.  The Duke was accompanied to his
vice-royalty by his daughter-in-law, the Princesse de Lamballe, who, by
her extremely judicious management of the female part of the province,
did more for the restoration of order than could have been achieved by
armies.  The remembrance of this circumstance induced the Queen to regard
Her Highness as a fit person to send secretly to England at this very
important crisis; and the purpose was greatly encouraged by a wish to
remove her from a scene of such daily increasing peril.

For privacy, it was deemed expedient that Her Highness should withdraw to
Aumale, under the plea of ill-health, and thence proceed to England; and
it was also by way of Aumale that she as secretly returned, after the
fatal disaster of the stoppage, to discourage the impression of her ever
having been out of France.

The mission was even unknown to the French Minister at the Court of St.

The Princess was ordered by Her Majesty to cultivate the acquaintance of
the late Duchess of Gordon, who was supposed to possess more influence
than any woman in England--in order to learn the sentiments of Mr. Pitt
relative to the revolutionary troubles.  The Duchess, however, was too
much of an Englishwoman, and Mr. Pitt too much interested in the ruin of
France, to give her the least clue to the truth.

In order to fathom the sentiments of the opposition party, the Princess
cultivated the society also of the late Duchess of Devonshire, but with
as little success.  The opposition party foresaw too much risk in
bringing anything before the house to alarm the prejudices of the nation.

The French Ambassador, too, jealous of the unexplained purpose of the
Princess, did all he could to render her expedition fruitless.

Nevertheless, though disappointed in some of her main objects with regard
to influence and information, she became so great a favourite at the
British Court that she obtained full permission of the King and Queen of
England to signify to her royal mistress and friend that the specific
request she came to make would be complied with.

[The Princess visited Bath, Windsor, Brighton, and many other parts of
England, and associated with all parties.  She managed her conduct so
judiciously that the real object of her visit was never suspected.  In
all these excursions I had the honour to attend her confidentially.  I
was the only person entrusted with papers from Her Highness to Her
Majesty.  I had many things to copy, of which the originals went to
France.  Twice during the term of Her Highness's residence in England I
was sent by Her Majesty with papers communicating the result of the
secret mission to the Queen of Naples.  On the second of these two trips,
being obliged to travel night and day, I could only keep my eyes open by
means of the strongest coffee.  When I reached my destination I was
immediately compelled to decipher the despatches with the Queen of Naples
in the office of the Secretary of State.  That done, General Acton
ordered some one, I know not whom, to conduct me, I know not where, but
it was to a place where, after a sound sleep of twenty-four hours, I
awoke thoroughly refreshed, and without a vestige of fatigue either of
mind or body.  On waking, lest anything should transpire, I was desired
to quit Naples instantly, without seeing the British Minister.  To make
assurance doubly sure, General Acton sent a person from his office to
accompany me out of the city on horseback; and, to screen me from the
attack of robbers, this person went on with me as far as the Roman

In the meantime, however, the troubles in France were so rapidly
increasing from hour to hour, that it became impossible for the
Government to carry any of their plans into effect.  This particular one,
on the very eve of its accomplishment, was marred, as it was imagined, by
the secret intervention of the friends of Mirabeau.  The Government
became more and more infirm and wavering in its purposes; the Princess
was left without instructions, and under such circumstances as to expose
her to the supposition of having trifled with the good-will of Their
Majesties of England.

In this dilemma I was sent off from England to the Queen of France. I
left Her Highness at Bath, but when I returned she had quitted Bath for
Brighton.  I am unacquainted with the nature of all the papers she
received, but I well remember the agony they seemed to inflict on her.
She sent off a packet by express that very night to Windsor.

The Princess immediately began the preparations for her return.  Her own
journal is explicit on this point of her history, and therefore I shall
leave her to speak for herself.  I must not, however, omit to mention the
remark she made to me upon the subject of her reception in Great Britain.
With these, let me dismiss the present chapter.

"The general cordiality with which I have been received in your country,"
said Her Highness, "has made a lasting impression upon my heart. In
particular, never shall I forget the kindness of the Queen of England,
the Duchess of Devonshire, and her truly virtuous mother, Lady Spencer.
It gave me a cruel pang to be obliged to undervalue the obligations with
which they overwhelmed me by leaving England as I did, without giving
them an opportunity of carrying their good intentions, which, I had
myself solicited, into effect.  But we cannot command fate.  Now that the
King has determined to accept the Constitution (and you know my
sentiments upon the article respecting ecclesiastics), I conceive it my
duty to follow Their Majesties' example in submitting to the laws of the
nation.  Be assured, 'Inglesina', it will be my ambition to bring about
one of the happiest ages of French history.  I shall endeavour to create
that confidence so necessary for the restoration to their native land of
the Princes of the blood, and all the emigrants who abandoned the King,
their families, and their country, while doubtful whether His Majesty
would or would not concede this new charter; but now that the doubt
exists no longer, I trust we shall all meet again, the happier for the
privation to which we have been doomed from absence.  As the limitation
of the monarchy removes every kind of responsibility from the monarch,
the Queen will again taste the blissful sweets she once enjoyed during
the reign of Louis XV.  in the domestic tranquillity of her home at
Trianon.  Often has she wept those times in which she will again rejoice.
Oh, how I long for their return!  I fly to greet the coming period of
future happiness to us all!"


Although I am not making myself the historian of France, yet it may not
be amiss to mention that it was during this absence of Her Highness that
Necker finally retired from power and from France.

The return of this Minister had been very much against the consent of Her
Majesty and the King.  They both feared what actually happened soon
afterwards.  They foresaw that he would be swept away by the current of
popularity from his deference to the royal authority.  It was to preserve
the favour of the mob that he allowed them to commit the shocking murders
of M. de Foulon (who had succeeded him on his first dismission as
Minister of Louis XVI.) and of Berthier, his son-in-law.  The union of
Necker with D'ORLEANS, on this occasion, added to the cold indifference
with which Barnave in one of his speeches expressed himself concerning
the shedding of human blood, certainly animated the factious assassins to
methodical murder, and frustrated all the efforts of La Fayette to save
these victims from the enraged populace, to whom both unfortunately fell
a sacrifice.

Necker, like La Fayette, when too late, felt the absurdity of relying
upon the idolatry of the populace.  The one fancied he could command the
Parisian 'poissardes' as easily as his own battalions; and the other
persuaded himself that the mob, which had been hired to carry about his
bust, would as readily promulgate his theories.

But he forgot that the people in their greatest independence are only the
puppets of demagogues; and he lost himself by not gaining over that class
which, of all others, possesses most power over the million, I mean the
men of the bar, who, arguing more logically than the rest of the world,
felt that from the new Constitution the long robe was playing a losing
game, and therefore discouraged a system which offered nothing to their
personal ambition or private emolument.  Lawyers, like priests, are never
over-ripe for any changes or innovations, except such as tend to their
personal interest.  The more perplexed the, state of public and private
affairs, the better for them.  Therefore, in revolutions, as a body, they
remain neuter, unless it is made for their benefit to act.  Individually,
they are a set of necessary evils; and, for the sake of the bar, the
bench, and the gibbet, require to be humoured.  But any legislator who
attempts to render laws clear, concise, and explanatory, and to divest
them of the quibbles whereby these expounders--or confounders--of codes
fatten on the credulity of States and the miseries of unfortunate
millions, will necessarily encounter opposition, direct or indirect, in
every measure at all likely to reduce the influence of this most
abominable horde of human depredators.  It was Necker's error to have
gone so directly to the point with the lawyers that they at once saw his
scope; and thus he himself defeated his hopes of their support, the want
of which utterly baffled all his speculations.

[The great Frederick of Prussia, on being told of the numbers of lawyers
there were in England, said he wished he had them in his country.  "Why?"
some one enquired.  "To do the greatest benefit in my power to
society."--"How so?"--"Why to hang one-half as an example to the other!"]

When Necker undertook to re-establish the finances, and to reform
generally the abuses in the Government, he was the most popular Minister
(Lord Chatham, when the great Pitt, excepted) in Europe.  Yet his errors
were innumerable, though possessing such sound knowledge and judgment,
such a superabundance of political contrivance, diplomatic coolness, and
mathematical calculation, the result of deep thought aided by great
practical experience.

But how futile he made all these appear when he declared the national
bankruptcy.  Could anything be more absurd than the assumption, by the
individual, of a personal instead of a national guarantee of part of a
national debt?--an undertaking too hazardous and by far too ambiguous,
even for a monarch who is not backed by his kingdom--flow doubly frantic,
then, for a subject!  Necker imagined that the above declaration and his
own Quixotic generosity would have opened the coffers of the great body
of rich proprietors, and brought them forward to aid the national crisis.
But he was mistaken.  The nation then had no interest in his financial
system.  The effect it produced was the very reverse of what was
expected.  Every proprietor began to fear the ambition of the Minister,
who undertook impossibilities.  The being bound for the debts of an
individual, and justifying bail in a court of law in commercial matters,
affords no criterion for judging of, or regulating, the pecuniary
difficulties of a nation.  Necker's conduct in this case was, in my
humble opinion, as impolitic as that of a man who, after telling his
friends that he is ruined past redemption, asks for a loan of money. The
conclusion is, if he obtains the loan, that "the fool and his money are
soon parted."

It was during the same interval of Her Highness's stay in England, that
the discontent ran so high between the people and the clergy.

I have frequently heard the Princesse de Lamballe ascribe the King's not
sanctioning the decrees against the clergy to the influence of his aunt,
the Carmelite nun, Madame Louise.  During the life of her father, Louis
XV., she nearly engrossed all the Church benefices by her intrigues.  She
had her regular conclaves of all orders of the Church.  From the Bishop
to the sexton, all depended on her for preferment; and, till the
Revolution, she maintained equal power over the mind of Louis XVI. upon
similar matters.  The Queen would often express her disapprobation; but
the King was so scrupulous, whenever the discussion fell on the topic of
religion, that she made it a point not to contrast her opinion with his,
from a conviction that she was unequal to cope with him on that head,
upon which he was generally very animated.

It is perfectly certain that the French clergy, by refusing to contribute
to the exigencies of the State, created some of the primary horrors of
the Revolution.  They enjoyed one-third the national revenues, yet they
were the first to withhold their assistance from the national wants. I
have heard the Princesse de Lamballe say, "The Princesse Elizabeth and
myself used our utmost exertion to induce some of the higher orders of
the clergy to set the example and obtain for themselves the credit of
offering up a part of the revenues, the whole of which we knew must be
forfeited if they continued obstinate; but it was impossible to move

The characters of some of the leading dignitaries of the time
sufficiently explain their selfish and pernicious conduct; when churchmen
trifle with the altar, be their motives what they may, they destroy the
faith they possess, and give examples to the flock entrusted to their
care, of which no foresight can measure the baleful consequences.  Who
that is false to his God can be expected to remain faithful to his
Sovereign?  When a man, as a Catholic Bishop, marries, and, under the
mask of patriotism, becomes the declared tool of all work to every
faction, and is the weathercock, shifting to any quarter according to the
wind,--such a man can be of no real service to any party: and yet has a
man of this kind been by turns the primum mobile of them all, even to the
present times, and was one of those great Church fomenters of the
troubles of which we speak, who disgraced the virtuous reign of Louis


Amidst the perplexities of the Royal Family it was perfectly unavoidable
that repeated proposals should have been made at various times for them
to escape these dangers by flight.  The Queen had been frequently and
most earnestly entreated to withdraw alone; and the King, the Princesse
Elizabeth, the Princesse de Lamballe, the royal children, with their
little hands uplifted, and all those attached to Marie Antoinette, after
the horrid business at Versailles, united to supplicate her to quit
France and shelter herself from the peril hanging over her existence.
Often and often have I heard the Princesse de Lamballe repeat the words
in which Her Majesty uniformly rejected the proposition.  "I have no
wish," cried the Queen, "for myself.  My life or death must be encircled
by the arms of my husband and my family.  With them, and with them only,
will I live or die."

It would have been impossible to have persuaded her to leave France
without her children.  If any woman on earth could have been justified in
so doing, it would have been Marie Antoinette.  But she was above such
unnatural selfishness, though she had so many examples to encourage her;
for, even amongst the members of her own family, self-preservation had
been considered paramount to every other consideration.

I have heard the Princess say that Pope Pius VI. was the only one of all
the Sovereigns who offered the slightest condolence or assistance to
Louis XVI. and his family.  "The Pope's letter," added she, "when shown
to me by the Queen, drew tears from my eyes.  It really was in a style of
such Christian tenderness and princely feeling as could only be dictated
by a pious and illuminated head of the Christian Church.  He implored not
only all the family of Louis XVI., but even extended his entreaties to me
[the Princesse de Lamballe] to leave Paris, and save themselves, by
taking refuge in his dominions, from the horrors which so cruelly
overwhelmed them.  The King's aunts were the only ones who profited by
the invitation.  Madame Elizabeth was to have been of the party, but
could not be persuaded to leave the King and Queen."

As the clouds grew more threatening, it is scarcely to be credited how
many persons interested themselves for the same purpose, and what
numberless schemes were devised to break the fetters which had been
imposed on the Royal Family, by their jailers, the Assembly.

A party, unknown to the King and Queen, was even forming under the
direction of the Princesse Elizabeth; but as soon as Their Majesties were
apprised of it, it was given up as dangerous to the interests of the
Royal Family, because it thwarted the plans of the Marquis de Bouille.
Indeed, Her Majesty could never be brought to determine on any plan for
her own or the King's safety until their royal aunts, the Princesses
Victoria and Adelaide, had left Paris.

The first attempt to fly was made early in the year 1791, at St.  Cloud,
where the horses had been in preparation nearly a fortnight; but the
scheme was abandoned in consequence of having been entrusted to too many
persons.  This the Queen acknowledged.  She had it often in her power to
escape alone with her son, but would not consent.

The second attempt was made in the spring of the same year at Paris.  The
guards shut the gates of the Tuileries, and would not allow the King's
carriage to pass.  Even though a large sum of money had been expended to
form a party to overpower the mutineers, the treacherous mercenaries did
not appear.  The expedition was, of course, obliged to be relinquished.

Many of the royal household were very ill-treated, and some lives
unfortunately lost.

At last, the deplorable journey did take place.  The intention had been
communicated by Her Majesty to the Princesse de Lamballe before she went
abroad, and it was agreed that, whenever it was carried into effect, the
Queen should write to Her Highness from Montmedi, where the two friends
were once more to have been reunited.

Soon after the departure of the Princess, the arrangements for the fatal
journey to Varennes were commenced, but with blamable and fatal

Mirabeau was the first person who advised the King to withdraw; but he
recommended that it should be alone, or, at most, with the Dauphin only.
He was of opinion that the overthrow of the Constitution could not be
achieved while the Royal Family remained in Paris.  His first idea was
that the King should go to the sea-coast, where he would have it in his
power instantly to escape to England, if the Assembly, through his
(Mirabeau's), means, did not comply with the royal propositions.  Though
many of the King's advisers were for a distinct and open rejection of the
Constitution, it was the decided impression of Mirabeau that he ought to
stoop to conquer, and temporize by an instantaneous acceptance, through
which he might gain time to put himself in an attitude to make such terms
as would at once neutralize the act and the faction by which it was
forced upon him.  Others imagined that His Majesty was too conscientious
to avail himself of any such subterfuge, and that, having once given his
sanction, he would adhere to it rigidly.  This third party of the royal
counsellors were therefore for a cautious consideration of the document,
clause by clause, dreading the consequences of an 'ex abrupto' signature
in binding the Sovereign, not only against his policy, but his will.

In the midst of all these distracting doubts, however, the departure was
resolved upon.  Mirabeau had many interviews with the Count Fersen upon
the subject.  It was his great object to prevent the flight from being
encumbered.  But the King would not be persuaded to separate himself from
the Queen and the rest of the family, and entrusted the project to too
many advisers.  Had he been guided by Fersen only, he would have

The natural consequence of a secret being in so many hands was felt in
the result.  Those whom it was most important to keep in ignorance were
the first on the alert.  The weakness of the Queen in insisting upon
taking a remarkable dressing-case with her, and, to get it away
unobserved, ordering a facsimile to be made under the pretext of
intending it as a present to her sister at Brussels, awakened the
suspicion of a favourite, but false female attendant, then intriguing
with the aide-de-camp of La Fayette.  The rest is easily to be conceived.
The Assembly were apprised of all the preparations for the departure a
week or more before it occurred.  La Fayette, himself, it is believed,
knew and encouraged it, that he might have the glory of stopping the
fugitive himself; but he was overruled by the Assembly.

When the secretary of the Austrian Ambassador came publicly, by
arrangement, to ask permission of the Queen to take the model of the
dressing-case in question, the very woman to whom I have alluded was in
attendance at Her Majesty's toilet.  The paramour of the woman was with
her, watching the motions of the Royal Family on the night they passed
from their own apartments to those of the Duc de Villequier in order to
get into the carriage; and by this paramour was La Fayette instantly
informed of the departure.  The traitress discovered that Her Majesty was
on the eve of setting off by seeing her diamonds packed up.  All these
things were fully known to the Assembly, of which the Queen herself was
afterwards apprised by the Mayor of Paris.

In the suite of the Count Fersen

[Alvise de Pisani, the last venetian Ambassador to the King, who was my
husband's particular friend, and with whom I was myself long acquainted,
and have been ever since to this day, as well as with all his noble
family, during my many years' residence at Venice, told me this
circumstance while walking with him at his country-seat at Stra, which
was subsequently taken from him by Napoleon, and made the Imperial palace
of the viceroy, and is now that of the German reigning Prince.]

there was a young Swede who had an intrigue purposely with one of the
Queen's women, from whom he obtained many important disclosures relative
to the times.  The Swede mentioned this to his patron, who advised Her
Majesty to discharge a certain number of these women, among whom was the
one who afterwards proved her betrayer.  It was suggested to dismiss a
number at once, that the guilty person might not suspect the exclusion to
be levelled against her in particular.  Had the Queen allowed herself to
be directed in this affair by Fersen, the chain of communication would
have been broken, and the Royal Family would not have been stopped at
Varennes, but have got clear out of France, many hours before they could
have been perceived by the Assembly; but Her Majesty never could believe
that she had anything to fear from the quarter against which she was

It is not generally known that a very considerable sum had been given to
the head recruiting sergeant, Mirabeau, to enlist such of the
constituents as could be won with gold to be ready with a majority in
favour of the royal fugitives.  But the death of Mirabeau, previous to
this event, leaves it doubtful how far he distributed the bribes
conscientiously; indeed, it is rather to be questioned whether he did not
retain the money, or much of it, in his own hands, since the strongly
hoped for and dearly paid majority never gave proof of existence, either
before or after the journey to Varennes.  Immense bribes were also given
to the Mayor of Paris, which proved equally ineffective.

Had Mirabeau lived till the affair of Varennes, it is not impossible that
his genius might have given a different complexion to the result.  He had
already treated with the Queen and the Princess for a reconciliation; and
in the apartments of Her Highness had frequent evening, and early
morning, audiences of the Queen.

It is pretty certain, however, that the recantation of Mirabeau, from
avowed democracy to aristocracy and royalty, through the medium of
enriching himself by a 'salva regina', made his friends prepare for him
that just retribution, which ended in a 'de profundis'.  At a period when
all his vices were called to aid one virtuous action, his thread of
vicious life was shortened, and he; no doubt, became the victim of his
insatiable avarice.  That he was poisoned is not to be disproved; though
it was thought necessary to keep it from the knowledge of the people.

I have often heard Her Highness say, "When I reflect on the precautions
which were taken to keep the interviews with Mirabeau profoundly secret
that he never conversed but with the King, the Queen, and myself--his
untimely death must be attributed to his own indiscreet enthusiasm, in
having confidentially entrusted the success with which he flattered
himself, from the ascendency he had gained over the Court, to some one
who betrayed him.  His death, so very unexpectedly, and at that crisis,
made a deep impression on the mind of the Queen.  She really believed him
capable of redressing the monarchy, and he certainly was the only one of
the turncoat constitutionalists in whom she placed any confidence.  Would
to Heaven that she had had more in Barnave, and that she had listened to
Dumourier!  These I would have trusted more, far more readily than the
mercenary Mirabeau!"

I now return, once more, to the journal of the Princess.


"In the midst of the perplexing debates upon the course most advisable
with regard to the Constitution after the unfortunate return from
Varennes, I sent off my little English amanuensis to Paris to bring me,
through the means of another trusty person I had placed about the Queen,
the earliest information concerning the situation of affairs.  On her
return she brought me a ring, which Her Majesty had graciously,
condescended to send me, set with her own hair, which had whitened like
that of a person of eighty, from the anguish the Varennes affair had
wrought upon her mind; and bearing the inscription, 'Bleached by sorrow.'
This ring was accompanied by the following letter:


"'The King has made up his mind to the acceptance of the Constitution,
and it will ere long be proclaimed publicly.  A few days ago I was
secretly waited upon and closeted in your apartment with many of our
faithful friends,--in particular, Alexandre de Lameth, Duport, Barnave,
Montmorin, Bertrand de Moleville, et cetera.  The two latter opposed the
King's Council, the Ministers, and the numerous other advisers of an
immediate and unscrutinizing acceptance.  They were a small minority, and
could not prevail with me to exercise my influence with His Majesty in
support of their opinion, when all the rest seemed so confident that a
contrary course must re-establish the tranquillity of the nation and our
own happiness, weaken the party of the Jacobins against us, and greatly
increase that of the nation in our favor.

"'Your absence obliged me to call Elizabeth to my aid in managing the
coming and going of the deputies to and from the Pavilion of Flora,
unperceived by the spies of our enemies.  She executed her charge so
adroitly, that the visitors were not seen by any of the household.  Poor
Elizabeth!  little did I look for such circumspection in one so
unacquainted with the intrigues of Court, or the dangers surrounding us,
which they would now fain persuade us no longer exist.  God grant it may
be so! and that I may once more freely embrace and open my heart to the
only friend I have nearest to it.  But though this is my most ardent
wish, yet, my dear, dearest Lamballe, I leave it to yourself to act as
your feelings dictate.  Many about us profess to see the future as clear
as the sun at noon-day.  But, I confess, my vision is still dim.  I
cannot look into events with the security of others--who confound logic
with their wishes.  The King, Elizabeth, and all of us, are anxious for
your return.  But it would grieve us sorely for you to come back to such
scenes as you have already witnessed.  Judge and act from your own
impressions.  If we do not see you, send me the result of your interview
at the precipice.--[The name the Queen gave to Mr. Pitt]--'Vostra cara
picciolca Inglesina' will deliver you many letters.  After looking over
the envelopes, you will either send her with them as soon as possible or
forward them as addressed, as you may think most advisable at the time
you receive them.

          "'Ever, ever, and forever,

         "'Your affectionate,


"There was another hurried and abrupt note from Her Majesty among these
papers, obviously written later than the first.  It lamented the cruel
privations to which she was doomed at the Tuileries, in consequence of
the impeded flight, and declared that what the Royal Family were forced
to suffer, from being totally deprived of every individual of their
former friends and attendants to condole with, excepting the equally
oppressed and unhappy Princesse Elizabeth, was utterly insupportable.

"On the receipt of these much esteemed epistles, I returned, as my duty
directed, to the best of Queens, and most sincere of friends.  My arrival
at Paris, though so much wished for, was totally unexpected.

"At our first meeting, the Queen was so agitated that she was utterly at
a loss to explain the satisfaction she felt in beholding me once more
near her royal person.  Seeing the ring on my finger, which she had done
me the honour of sending me, she pointed to her hair, once so beautiful,
but now, like that of an old woman, not only gray, but deprived of all
its softness, quite stiff and dried up.

"Madame Elizabeth, the King, and the rest of our little circle, lavished
on me the most endearing caresses.  The dear Dauphin said to me, 'You
will not go away again, I hope, Princess?  Oh, mamma has cried so since
you left us!'

"I had wept enough before, but this dear little angel brought tears into
the eyes of us all."

"When I mentioned to Her Majesty the affectionate sympathy expressed by
the King and Queen of England in her sufferings, and their regret at the
state of public affairs in France, 'It is most noble and praiseworthy in
them to feel thus,' exclaimed Marie Antoinette; 'and the more so
considering the illiberal part imputed to us against those Sovereigns in
the rebellion of their ultramarine subjects, to which, Heaven knows, I
never gave my approbation.  Had I done so, how poignant would be my
remorse at the retribution of our own sufferings, and the pity of those I
had so injured!  No.  I was, perhaps, the only silent individual amongst
millions of infatuated enthusiasts at General La Fayette's return to
Paris, nor did I sanction any of the fetes given to Dr. Franklin, or the
American Ambassadors at the time.  I could not conceive it prudent for
the Queen of an absolute monarchy to countenance any of their newfangled
philosophical experiments with my presence.  Now, I feel the reward in my
own conscience.  I exult in my freedom from a self-reproach, which would
have been altogether insupportable under the kindness of which you

"As soon as I was settled in my apartment, which was on the same floor
with that of the Queen, she condescended to relate to me every particular
of her unfortunate journey.  I saw the pain it gave her to retrace the
scenes, and begged her to desist till time should have, in some degree,
assuaged the poignancy of her feelings.  'That,' cried she, embracing me,
I can never be!  Never, never will that horrid circumstance of my life
lose its vividness in my recollection.  What agony, to have seen those
faithful servants tied before us on the carriage, like common criminals!
All, all may be attributed to the King's goodness of heart, which
produces want of courage, nay, even timidity, in the most trying scenes.
As poor King Charles the First, when he was betrayed in the Isle of
Wight, would have saved himself, and perhaps thousands, had he permitted
the sacrifice of one traitor, so might Louis XVI. have averted calamities
so fearful that I dare not name, though I distinctly foresee them, had he
exerted his authority where he only called up his compassion.'

"'For Heaven's sake,' replied I, 'do not torment yourself by these cruel

"'These are gone by,' continued Her Majesty, and greater still than even
these.  How can I describe my grief at what I endured in the Assembly,
from the studied humiliation to which the King and the royal authority
were there reduced in the face of the national representatives! from
seeing the King on his return choked with anguish at the mortifications
to which I was doomed to behold the majesty of a French Sovereign
humbled!  These events bespeak clouds, which, like the horrid waterspout
at sea, nothing can dispel but cannon!  The dignity of the Crown, the
sovereignty itself, is threatened; and this I shall write this very night
to the Emperor.  I see no hope of internal tranquillity without the
powerful aid of foreign force.

[The only difference of any moment which ever existed between the Queen
and the Princesse de Lamballe as to their sentiments on the Revolution
was on this subject.  Her Highness wished Marie Antoinette to rely on the
many persons who had offered and promised to serve the cause of the
monarchy with their internal resources, and not depend on the Princes and
foreign armies.  This salutary advice she never could enforce on the
Queen's mind, though she had to that effect been importuned by upwards of
two hundred persona, all zealous to show their penitence for former
errors by their present devotedness.

"Whenever," observed Her Highness, "we came to that point, the Queen
(upon seriously reflecting that these persons had been active instruments
in promoting the first changes in the monarchy, for which she never
forgave them from her heart) would hesitate and doubt; and never could I
bring Her Majesty definitely to believe the profferers to be sincere.
Hence, they were trifled with, till one by one she either lost them, or
saw them sacrificed to an attachment, which her own distrust and
indecision rendered fruitless."]

The King has allowed himself to be too much led to attempt to recover his
power through any sort of mediation.  Still, the very idea of owing our
liberty to any foreign army distracts me for the consequences.'

"My reinstatement in my apartments at the Pavilion of Flora seemed not
only to give universal satisfaction to every individual of the Royal
Family, but it was hailed with much enthusiasm by many deputies of the
constituent Assembly.  I was honoured with the respective visits of all
who were in any degree well disposed to the royal cause.

"One day, when Barnave and others were present with the Queen, 'Now,'
exclaimed one of the deputies, 'now that this good Princess is returned
to her adopted country, the active zeal of Her Highness, coupled with
Your Majesty's powerful influence over the mind of the King for the
welfare of his subjects, will give fresh vigour to the full execution of
the Constitution.'

"My visitors were earnest in their invitations for me to go to the
Assembly to hear an interesting discussion, which was to be brought
forward upon the King's spontaneous acceptance of the Constitution.

"I went; and amidst the plaudits for the good King's condescension, how
was my heart lacerated to hear Robespierre denounce three of the most
distinguished of the members, who had requested my attendance, as
traitors to their country!

"This was the first and only Assembly discussion I ever attended; and how
dearly did I pay for my curiosity!  I was accompanied by my 'cara
Inglesina', who, always on the alert, exclaimed, 'Let me entreat Your
Highness not to remain any longer in this place.  You are too deeply
moved to dissemble.'

"I took her judicious advice, and the moment I could leave the Assembly
unperceived, I hastened back to the Queen to beg her, for God's sake, to
be upon her guard; for, from what I had just heard at the Assembly, I
feared the Jacobins had discovered her plans with Barnave, De Lameth,
Duport, and others of the royal party.  Her countenance, for some
minutes, seemed to be the only sensitive part of her.  It was perpetually
shifting from a high florid colour to the paleness of death.  When her
first emotions gave way to nature, she threw herself into my arms, and,
for some time, her feelings were so overcome by the dangers which
threatened these worthy men, that she could only in the bitterness of her
anguish exclaim, 'Oh! this is all on my account!'  And I think she was
almost as much alarmed for the safety of these faithful men, as she had
been for that of the King on the 17th of July, when the Jacobins in the
Champ de Mars called out to have the King brought to trial--a day of
which the horrors were never effaced from her memory!

"The King and Princesse Elizabeth fortunately came in at the moment; but
even our united efforts were unavailable.  The grief of Her Majesty at
feeling herself the cause of the misfortunes of these faithful adherents,
now devoted victims of their earnestness in foiling the machinations
against the liberty and life of the King and herself, made her nearly
frantic.  She too well knew that to be accused was to incur instant
death.  That she retained her senses under the convulsion of her feelings
can only be ascribed to that wonderful strength of mind, which triumphed
over every bodily weakness, and still sustains her under every emergency.

"The King and the Princesse Elizabeth, by whom Barnave had been much
esteemed ever since the journey from Varennes, were both inconsolable. I
really believe the Queen entirely owed her instantaneous recovery from
that deadly lethargic state, in which she had been thrown by her grief
for the destined sacrifice, to the exuberant goodness of the King's
heart, who instantly resolved to compromise his own existence, to save
those who had forfeited theirs for him and his family.

"Seeing the emotion of the Queen, 'I will go myself to the Assembly,'
said Louis XVI., 'and declare their innocence.'

"The Queen sprang forward, as if on the wings of an angel, and grasping
the King in her arms, cried, 'Will you hasten their deaths by confirming
the impression of your keeping up an understanding with them?  Gracious
Heaven!  Oh, that I could recall the acts of attachment they have shown
us, since to these they are now falling victims!  I would save them,'
continued Her Majesty, 'with my own blood; but, Sire, it is useless.  We
should only expose ourselves to the vindictive spirit of the Jacobins
without aiding the cause of our devoted friends.'

"'Who,' asked she, I was the guilty wretch that accused our unfortunate


"'Robespierre!' echoed Her Majesty.  'Oh, God!  then he is numbered with
the dead!  This fellow is too fond of blood to be tempted with money. But
you, Sire, must not interfere!'

"Notwithstanding these doubts, however, I undertook, at the King's and
Queen's most earnest desire, to get some one to feel the pulse of
Robespierre, for the salvation of these our only palladium to the
constitutional monarchy.  To the first application, though made through
the medium of one of his earliest college intimates, Carrier, the wretch
was utterly deaf and insensible.  Of this failure I hastened to apprise
Her Majesty.  'Was any, sum,' asked she, 'named as a compensation for
suspending this trial?'--'None,' replied I.  'I had no commands to that
effect.'--'Then let the attempt be renewed, and back it with the argument
of a cheque for a hundred thousand livres on M. Laborde.  He has saved my
life and the King's, and, as far as is in my power, I am determined to
save his.  Barnave has exposed his life more than any of our unfortunate
friends, and if we can but succeed in saving him, he will speedily be
enabled to save his colleagues.  Should the sum I name be insufficient,
my jewels shall be disposed of to make up a larger one.  Fly to your
agent, dear Princess!  Lose not a moment to intercede in behalf of these
our only true friends!'

"I did so, and was fortunate enough to gain over to my personal
entreaties one who had the courage to propose the business; and a hundred
and fifty thousand livres procured them a suspension of accusation.  All,
however, are still watched with such severity of scrutiny that I tremble,
even now, for the result.

[And with reason; for all, eventually, were sacrificed upon the scaffold.
Carrier was the factotum in all the cool, deliberate, sanguinary
operations of Robespierre; when he saw the cheque, he said to the
Princesse de Lamballe: "Madame, though your personal charms and mental
virtues had completely influenced all the authority I could exercise in
favour of your protege, without this interesting argument I should not
have had courage to have renewed the business with the principal agent of
life and death."]

"It was in the midst of such apprehensions, which struck terror into the
hearts of the King and Queen, that the Tuileries resounded with cries of
multitudes hired to renew those shouts of 'Vive le roi! vive la famille
royale!' which were once spontaneous.

"In one of the moments of our deepest affliction, multitudes were
thronging the gardens and enjoying the celebration of the acceptance of
the Constitution.  What a contrast to the feelings of the unhappy inmates
of the palace!  We may well say, that many an aching heart rides in a
carriage, while the pedestrian is happy!

"The fetes on this occasion were very brilliant.  The King, the Queen,
and the Royal Family were invited to take part in this first national
festival.  They did so, by appearing in their carriage through the
streets of Paris, and the Champs Elysees, escorted only by the Parisian
guard, there being no other at the time.  The mob was so great that the
royal carriage could only keep pace with the foot-passengers.

"Their Majesties were in general well received.  The only exceptions were
a few of the Jacobin members of the Assembly, who, even on this occasion,
sought every means to afflict the hearts, and shock the ears, of Their
Majesties, by causing republican principles to be vociferated at the very
doors of their carriage.

"The good sense of the King and Queen prevented them from taking any
notice of these insults while in public; but no sooner had they returned
to the castle, than the Queen gave way to her grief at the premeditated
humiliation she was continually witnessing to the majesty of the
constitutional monarchy,--an insult less to the King himself than to the
nation, which had acknowledged him their Sovereign.

"When the royal party entered the apartment, they found M. de Montmorin
with me, who had come to talk over these matters, secure that at such a
moment we should not be surprised.

"On hearing the Queen's observation, M. de Montmorin made no secret of
the necessity there was of Their Majesties dissembling their feelings;
the avowal of which, he said, would only tend to forward the triumph of
Jacobinism, 'which,' added he, 'I am sorry to see predominates in the
Assembly, and keeps in subordination all the public and private clubs.'

"'What!' exclaimed the Princesse Elizabeth, can that be possible, after
the King has accepted the Constitution?'

"'Yes,' said the Queen; these people, my dear Elizabeth, wish for a
Constitution which sanctions the overthrow of him by whom it has been

"'In this,' observed M. de Montmorin, 'as on some other points, I
perfectly agree with Your Majesty and the King, notwithstanding I have
been opposed by the whole Council and many other honest constituent
members, as well as the Cabinet of Vienna.  And it is still, as it has
ever been, my firm opinion, that the King ought, previous to the
acceptance of the Constitution, to have been allowed, for the security of
its future organization, to have examined it maturely; which, not having
been the case, I foresee the dangerous situation in which His Majesty
stands, and I foresee, too, the non-promulgation of this charter.
Malouet, who is an honest man, is of my opinion.  Duport, De Lameth,
Barnave, and even La Fayette are intimidated at the prevailing spirit of
the Jacobins.  They were all with the best intentions for Your Majesty's
present safety, for the acceptance in toto, but without reflecting on the
consequences which must follow should the nation be deceived.  But I, who
am, and ever shall be, attached to royalty, regret the step, though I am
clear in my impression as to the only course which ought to succeed it.
The throne can now only be made secure by the most unequivocal frankness
of proceeding on the part of the Crown.  It is not enough to have
conceded, it is necessary also to show that the concession has some more
solid origin than mere expediency.  It should be made with a good grace.
Every motive of prudence, as well as of necessity, requires that the
monarch himself, and all those most interested for his safety, should,
neither in looks, manners, or conversation, seem as if they felt a regret
for what has been lost, but rather appear satisfied with what has been

"'In that case,' said the Queen, 'we should lose all the support of the

"'Every royalist, Madame,' replied he, 'who, at this critical crisis,
does not avow the sentiments of a constitutionalist, is a nail in the
King's untimely coffin.'

"'Gracious God !' cried the Queen; 'that would destroy the only hope
which still flatters our drooping existence.  Symptoms of moderation, or
any conciliatory measures we might be inclined to show, of our free will,
to the constitutionalists, would be immediately considered as a desertion
of our supporters, and treachery to ourselves, by the royalists.'

"'It would be placed entirely out of my power, Madame,' replied M. de
Montmorin, 'to make my attachment to the persons of Your Majesties
available for the maintenance of your rights, did I permit the factious,
overbearing party which prevails to see into my real zeal for the
restoration of the royal authority, so necessary for their own future
honour, security, and happiness.  Could they see this, I should be
accused as a national traitor, or even worse, and sent out of the world
by a sudden death of ignominy, merely to glut their hatred of monarchy;
and it is therefore I dissemble.'

"'I perfectly agree with you,' answered the Queen.  That cruel moment
when I witnessed the humiliating state to which royalty had been reduced
by the constituents, when they placed the President of their Assembly
upon a level with the King; gave a plebeian, exercising his functions pro
tempore, prerogatives in the face of the nation to trample down
hereditary monarchy and legislative authority--that cruel moment
discovered the fatal truth.  In the anguish of my heart, I told His
Majesty that he had outlived his kingly authority: Here she burst into
tears, hiding her face in her handkerchief.

"With the mildness of a saint, the angelic Princesse Elizabeth exclaimed,
turning to the King, 'Say something to the Queen, to calm her anguish!'

"'It will be of no avail,' said the King; 'her grief adds to my
affliction.  I have been the innocent cause of her participating in this
total ruin, and as it is only her fortitude which has hitherto supported
me, with the same philosophical and religious resignation we must await
what fate destines!'

"'Yes,' observed M. de Montmorin; 'but Providence has also given us the
rational faculty of opposing imminent danger, and by activity and
exertion obviating its consequences.'

"'In what manner, sir?' cried the Queen; 'tell me how this is to be
effected, and, with the King's sanction, I am ready to do anything to
avert the storm, which so loudly threatens the august head of the French

"'Vienna, Madame,' replied he; 'Vienna!  Your Majesty's presence at
Vienna would do more for the King's safety, and the nation's future
tranquillity, than the most powerful army.'

"'We have long since suggested,' said the Princesse Elizabeth, 'that Her
Majesty should fly from France and take refuge----'

"'Pardon me, Princess,' interrupted M. de Montmorin, 'it is not for
refuge solely I would have Her Majesty go thither.  It is to give
efficacy to the love she bears the King and his family, in being there
the powerful advocate to check the fallacious march of a foreign army to
invade us for the subjection of the French nation.  All these external
attempts will prove abortive, and only tend to exasperate the French to
crime and madness.  Here I coincide with my coadjutors, Barnave, Duport,
De Lameth, etc.  The principle on which the re-establishment of the order
and tranquillity of France depends, can be effected only by the
non-interference of foreign powers.  Let them leave the rational
resources of our own internal force to re-establish our real interests,
which every honest Frenchman will strive to secure, if not thwarted by
the threats and menaces of those who have no right to interfere.
Besides, Madame, they are too far from us to afford immediate relief from
the present dangers internally surrounding us.  These are the points of
fearful import.  It is not the threats and menaces of a foreign army
which can subdue a nation's internal factions.  These only rouse them to
prolong disorders.  National commotions can be quelled only by national
spirit, whose fury, once exhausted on those who have aroused it, leave it
free to look within, and work a reform upon itself.'

"M. de Montmorin, after many other prudent exhortations and remarks, and
some advice with regard to the King and Queen's household, took his.
leave.  He was no sooner gone than it was decided by the King that Marie
Antoinette, accompanied by myself and some other ladies, and the
gentlemen of the bedchamber, couriers, etc., should set out forthwith for

[The Princease de Lamballe sent me directions that very evening, some
time after midnight, to be at our place of rendezvous early in the
morning.  I was overjoyed at the style of the note.  It was the least
mysterious I had ever received from Her Highness.  I inferred that some
fortunate event had occurred, with which, knowing how deeply I was
interested in the fate of her on whom my own so much depended, she was,
eager to make me acquainted.

But what was my surprise, on entering the church fixed on for the
meeting, to see the Queen's unknown confessor beckoning me to come to
him.  I approached.  He bade me wait till after Mass, when he had
something to communicate from the Princess.

This confessor officiated in the place of the one whom Mirabeau had
seduced to take the constitutional oath.  The Queen and Princess
confessed to him in the private apartment of Her Highness on the ground
floor; though it was never known where, or to whom they confessed, after
the treachery of the royal confessor.  This faithful and worthy successor
was only known as "the known."  I never heard who he was, or what was his

The Mass being over, I followed him into the sacristy.  He told me that
the Princess, by Her Majesty's command, wished me to set off immediately
for Strasburg, and there await the arrival of Her Highness, to be in
readiness to follow her and Her Majesty for the copying of the cipher, as
they were going to Vienna.

When everything, however, had been settled for their departure, which it
was agreed was to take place from the house of Count Fersen, the
resolution was suddenly changed; but I was desired to hold myself in
readiness for another journey.]

"To say why this purpose was abandoned is unnecessary.  The same
fatality, which renders every project unattainable, threw insuperable
impediments, in the way of this."


"The news of the death of the Emperor Leopold, in the midst of the other
distresses of Her Majesty, afflicted her very deeply; the more so because
she had every reason to think he fell a victim to the active part he took
in her favour.  Externally, this monarch certainly demonstrated no very
great inclination to become a member of the coalition of Pilnitz.  He
judged, very justly, that his brother Joseph had not only defeated his
own purposes by too openly and violently asserting the cause of their
unfortunate sister, but had destroyed himself, and, therefore, selected
what he deemed the safer and surer course of secret support.  But all his
caution proved abortive.  The Assembly knew his manoeuvres as well as he
himself did.  He died an untimely death; and the Queen was assured, from
undoubted authority, that both Joseph and Leopold were poisoned in their

"During my short absence in England, the King's household had undergone a
complete change.  When the emigration first commenced, a revolution in
the officers of the Court took place, but it was of a nature different
from this last; and, by destroying itself, left the field open to those
who now made the palace so intolerable.  The first change to which I
refer arose as follows:

"The greater part of the high offices being vacated by the secession of
the most distinguished nobility, many places fell to persons who had all
their lives occupied very subordinate situations.  These, to retain their
offices, were indiscreet enough publicly to declare their dissent from
all the measures of the Assembly; an absurdity, which, at the
commencement, was encouraged by the Court, till the extreme danger of
encouraging it was discovered too late; and when once the error had been
tolerated, and rewarded, it was found impossible to check it, and stop
these fatal tongues.  The Queen, who disliked the character of
capriciousness, for a long time allowed the injury to go on, by
continuing about her those who inflicted it.  The error, which arose from
delicacy, was imputed to a very different and less honourable feeling,
till the clamour became so great, that she was obliged to yield to it,
and dismiss those who had acted with so much indiscretion.

"The King and Queen did not dare now to express themselves on the subject
of the substitutes who were to succeed.  Consequently they became
surrounded by persons placed by the Assembly as spies.  The most
conspicuous situations were filled by the meanest persons--not, as in the
former case, by such as had risen, though by accident, still regularly to
their places--but by myrmidons of the prevailing power, to whom Their
Majesties were compelled to submit, because their rulers willed it.  All
orders of nobility were abolished.  All the Court ladies, not attached to
the King and Queen personally, abandoned the Court.  No one would be seen
at the Queen's card-parties, once so crowded, and so much sought after.
We were entirely reduced to the family circle.  The King, when weary of
playing with the Princesse Elizabeth and the Queen, would retire to his
apartments without uttering a word, not from sullenness, but overcome by
silent grief.

"The Queen was occupied continually by the extensive correspondence she
had to carry on with the foreign Sovereigns, the Princes, and the
different parties.  Her Majesty once gave me nearly thirty letters she
had written in the course of two days, which were forwarded by my cara
Inglesina--cara indeed!  for she was of the greatest service.

"Her Majesty slept very little.  But her courage never slackened; and
neither her health, nor her general amiableness, was in the least
affected.  Though few persons could be more sensible than herself to
poignant mortification at seeing her former splendour hourly decrease,
yet she never once complained.  She was, in this respect, a real stoic.

"The palace was now become, what it still remains, like a police office.
It was filled with spies and runners.  Every member of the Assembly, by
some means or other, had his respective emissary.  All the antechambers
were peopled by inveterate Jacobins, by those whose greatest pleasure was
to insult the ears and minds of all whom they considered above themselves
in birth, or rank, or virtue.  So completely were the decencies of life
abolished, that common respect was withheld even from the Royal Family.

"I was determined to persevere in my usual line of conduct, of which the
King and Queen very much approved.  Without setting up for a person of
importance, I saw all who wished for public or private audiences of Their
Majesties.  I carried on no intrigues, and only discharged the humble
duties of my situation to the best of my ability for the general good,
and to secure, as far as possible, the comfort of Their Majesties, who
really were to be pitied, utterly friendless and forsaken as they were.

"M. Laporte, the head of the King's private police, came to me one day in
great consternation.  He had discovered that schemes were on foot to
poison all the Royal Family, and that, in a private committee of the
Assembly, considerable pensions had been offered for the perpetration of
the crime.  Its facility was increased, as far as regarded the Queen, by
the habit to which Her Majesty had accustomed herself of always keeping
powdered sugar at hand, which, without referring to her attendants, she
would herself mix with water and drink as a beverage whenever she was

"I entreated M. Laporte not to disclose the conspiracy to the Queen till
I had myself had an opportunity of apprising her of his praiseworthy
zeal.  He agreed, on condition that precautions should be immediately
adopted with respect to the persons who attended the kitchen.  This, I
assured him, should be done on the instant.

"At the period I mention, all sorts of etiquette had been abolished. The
custom which prevented my appearing before the Queen, except at stated
hours, had long since been discontinued; and, as all the other
individuals who came before or after the hours of service were eyed with
distrust, and I remained the only one whose access to Their Majesties was
free and unsuspected, though it was very early when M. Laporte called, I
thought it my duty to hasten immediately to my royal mistress.

"I found her in bed.  'Has Your Majesty breakfasted?' said I.

"'No,' replied she; 'will you breakfast with me?'

"'Most certainly,' said I, 'if Your Majesty will insure me against being

"At the word poison Her Majesty started up and looked at me very
earnestly, and with a considerable degree of alarm.

"'I am only joking,' continued I; 'I will breakfast with Your Majesty if
you will give me tea.'

"Tea was presently brought.  'In this,' said I, 'there is no danger.'

"'What do you mean?' asked Her Majesty.

"'I am ordered,' replied I, taking up a lump of sugar, 'not to drink
chocolate, or coffee, or anything with powdered sugar.  These are times
when caution alone can prevent our being sent out of the world with all
our sins upon our heads.'

"'I am very glad to hear you say so; for you have reason to be
particular, after what you once so cruelly suffered from poison.  But
what has brought that again into your mind just now?'

"'Well, then, since Your Majesty approves of my circumspection, allow me
to say I think it advisable that we should, at a moment like this
especially, abstain from all sorts of food by which our existence may be
endangered.  For my own part, I mean to give up all made dishes, and
confine myself to the simplest diet.'

"'Come, come, Princess,' interrupted Her Majesty; 'there is more in this
than you wish me to understand.  Fear not.  I am prepared for anything
that may be perpetrated against my own life, but let me preserve from
peril my King, my husband, and my children!'

"My feelings prevented me from continuing to dissemble.  I candidly
repeated all I had heard from M. Laporte.

"Her Majesty instantly rang for one of her confidential women.  'Go to
the King,' said Her Majesty to the attendant, 'and if you find him alone,
beg him to come to me at once; but, if there are any of the guards or
other persons within hearing, merely say that the Princesse de Lamballe
is with me and is desirous of the loan of a newspaper.'

"The King's guard, and indeed most of those about him, were no better
than spies, and this caution in the Queen was necessary to prevent any
jealousy from being excited by the sudden message.

"When the messenger left us by ourselves, I observed to Her Majesty that
it would be imprudent to give the least publicity to the circumstance,
for were it really mere suspicion in the head of the police, its
disclosure might only put this scheme into some miscreant's head, and
tempt him to realize it.  The Queen said I was perfectly right, and it
should be kept secret.

"Our ambassadress was fortunate enough to reach the King's apartment
unobserved, and to find him unattended, so he received the message
forthwith.  On leaving the apartment, however, she was noticed and
watched.  She immediately went out of the Tuileries as if sent to make
purchases, and some time afterwards returned with some trifling articles
in her hand.

[This incident will give the reader an idea of the cruel situation in
which the first Sovereigns of Europe then stood; and how much they
appreciated the few subjects who devoted themselves to thwart and
mitigate the tyranny practised by the Assembly over these illustrious
victims.  I can speak from my own experience on these matters.  From the
time I last accompanied the Princesse de Lamballe to Paris till I left it
in 1792, what between milliners, dressmakers, flower girls, fancy toy
sellers, perfumers, hawkers of jewellery, purse and gaiter makers, etc.,
I had myself assumed twenty different characters, besides that of a
drummer boy, sometimes blackening my face to enter the palace unnoticed,
and often holding conversations analogous to the sentiments of the
wretches who were piercing my heart with the remarks circumstances
compelled me to encourage.  Indeed, I can safely say I was known, in some
shape or other, to almost everybody, but to no one in my real character,
except the Princess by whom I was so graciously employed.]

"The moment the King appeared, 'Sire,' exclaimed Her Majesty, 'the
Assembly, tired of endeavouring to wear us to death by slow torment, have
devised an expedient to relieve their own anxiety and prevent us from
putting them to further inconvenience.'

"'What do you mean?' said the King.  I repeated my conversation with M.
Laporte.  'Bah! bah!' resumed His Majesty, 'They never will attempt it.
They have fixed on other methods of getting rid of us.  They have not
policy enough to allow our deaths to be ascribed to accident.  They are
too much initiated in great crimes already.'

"'But,' asked the Queen, 'do you not think it highly necessary to make
use of every precaution, when we are morally sure of the probability of
such a plot?'

"'Most certainly! otherwise we should be, in the eyes of God, almost
guilty of suicide.  But how prevent it? surrounded as we are by persons
who, being seduced to believe that we are plotting against them, feel
justified in the commission of any crime under the false idea of

"'We may prevent it,' replied Her Majesty, 'by abstaining from everything
in our diet wherein poison can be introduced; and that we can manage
without making any stir by the least change either in the kitchen
arrangements or in our own, except, indeed, this one.  Luckily, as we are
restricted in our attendants, we have a fair excuse for dumb waiters,
whereby it will be perfectly easy to choose or discard without exciting

"This, consequently, was the course agreed upon; and every possible
means, direct and indirect, was put into action to secure the future
safety of the Royal Family and prevent the accomplishment of the threat
of poison."

[On my seeing the Princess next morning, Her Highness condescended to
inform me of the danger to which herself and the Royal Family were
exposed.  She requested I would send my man servant to the persons who
served me, to fill a moderate-sized hamper with wine, salt, chocolate,
biscuits, and liquors, and take it to her apartment, at the Pavilion of
Flora, to be used as occasion required.  All the fresh bread and butter
which was necessary I got made for nearly a fortnight by persons whom I
knew at a distance from the palace, whither I always conveyed it myself.]


And scarcely a woman; for your answers are very short
Can make a Duchess a beggar, but cannot make a beggar a Duchess
Canvassing for a majority to set up D'Orleans
Clergy enjoyed one-third the national revenues
Declaring the Duke of Orleans the constitutional King
Foolishly occupying themselves with petty matters
Many an aching heart rides in a carriage
Over-caution may produce evils almost equal to carelessness
Panegyric of the great Edmund Burke upon Marie Antoinette
People in independence are only the puppets of demagogues
Revolution not as the Americans, founded on grievances
Suppression of all superfluous religious institutions
The King remained as if paralysed and stupefied
These expounders--or confounders--of codes
To be accused was to incur instant death
Who confound logic with their wishes

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 6" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.