The Memoirs of Marie Antoinette, entire
Madame Campan

Part 7 out of 8

the garden of the Tuileries should be closed: as soon as this step was
taken the Assembly decreed that the whole length of the Terrace des
Feuillans belonged to it, and fixed the boundary between what was called
the national ground and the Coblentz ground by a tricoloured ribbon
stretched from one end of the terrace to the other. All good citizens
were ordered, by notices affixed to it, not to go down into the garden,
under pain of being treated in the same manner as Foulon and Berthier.
A young man who did not observe this written order went down into the
garden; furious outcries, threats of la lanterne, and the crowd of people
which collected upon the terrace warned him of his imprudence, and the
danger which he ran. He immediately pulled off his shoes, took out his
handkerchief, and wiped the dust from their soles. The people cried out,
"Bravo! the good citizen for ever!" He was carried off in triumph. The
shutting up of the Tuileries did not enable the Queen and her children to
walk in the garden. The people on the terrace sent forth dreadful
shouts, and she was twice compelled to return to her apartments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Royal Family in the Temple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The crowd was immense as, on the morning of the 11th December, 1792,
Louis XVI. was driven slowly from the Temple to the Convention, escorted
by cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Paris looked like an armed camp:
all the posts were doubled; the muster-roll of the National Guard was
called over every hour; a picket of two hundred men watched in the court
of each of the right sections; a reserve with cannon was stationed at the
Tuileries, and strong detachments patroled the streets and cleared the
road of all loiterers. The trees that lined the boulevards, the doors
and windows of the houses, were alive with gazers, and all eyes were
fixed on the King. He was much changed since his people last beheld him.
The beard he had been compelled to grow after his razors were taken from
him covered cheeks, lips, and chin with light-coloured hair, which
concealed the melancholy expression of his mouth; he had become thin, and
his garments hung loosely on him; but his manner was perfectly collected
and calm, and he recognised and named to the Mayor the various quarters
through which he passed. On arriving at the Feuillans he was taken to a
room to await the orders of the Assembly.

It was about half-past two when the King appeared at the bar. The Mayor
and Generaux Santerre and Wittengoff were at his side. Profound silence
pervaded the Assembly. All were touched by the King's dignity and the
composure of his looks under so great a reverse of fortune. By nature he
had been formed rather to endure calamity with patience than to contend
against it with energy. The approach of death could not disturb his

"Louis, you may be seated," said Barere. "Answer the questions that
shall be put to you." The King seated himself and listened to the
reading of the 'acte enonciatif', article by article. All the faults
of the Court were there enumerated and imputed to Louis XVI. personally.
He was charged with the interruption of the sittings of the 20th of June,
1789, with the Bed of Justice held on the 23d of the same month, the
aristocratic conspiracy thwarted by the insurrection of the 14th of July,
the entertainment of the Life Guards, the insults offered to the national
cockade, the refusal to sanction the Declaration of Rights, as well as
several constitutional articles; lastly, all the facts which indicated a
new conspiracy in October, and which were followed by the scenes of the
5th and 6th; the speeches of reconciliation which had succeeded all these
scenes, and which promised a change that was not sincere; the false oath
taken at the Federation of the 14th of July; the secret practices of
Talon and Mirabeau to effect a counter-revolution; the money spent in
bribing a great number of deputies; the assemblage of the "knights of
the dagger" on the 28th of February, 1791; the flight to Varennes; the
fusilade of the Champ de Mars; the silence observed respecting the Treaty
of Pilnitz; the delay in the promulgation of the decree which
incorporated Avignon with France; the commotions at Nimes, Montauban,
Mende, and Jales; the continuance of their pay to the emigrant Life
Guards and to the disbanded Constitutional Guard; the insufficiency of
the armies assembled on the frontiers; the refusal to sanction the decree
for the camp of twenty thousand men; the disarming of the fortresses; the
organisation of secret societies in the interior of Paris; the review of
the Swiss and the garrison of the palace on the 10th August; the
summoning the Mayor to the Tuileries; and lastly, the effusion of blood
which had resulted from these military dispositions. After each article
the President paused, and said, "What have you to answer?" The King, in
a firm voice, denied some of the facts, imputed others to his ministers,
and always appealed to the constitution, from which he declared he had
never deviated. His answers were very temperate, but on the charge, "You
spilt the blood of the people on the 10th of August," he exclaimed, with
emphasis, "No, monsieur, no; it was not I."

All the papers on which the act of accusation was founded were then shown
to the King, and he disavowed some of them and disputed the existence of
the iron chest; this produced a bad impression, and was worse than
useless, as the fact had been proved.

[A secret closet which the King had directed to be constructed in a
wall in the Tuileries. The door was of iron, whence it was
afterwards known by the name of the iron chest. See Thiers, and

Throughout the examination the King showed great presence of mind.
He was careful in his answers never to implicate any members of the
constituent, and legislative Assemblies; many who then sat as his judges
trembled lest he should betray them. The Jacobins beheld with dismay the
profound impression made on the Convention by the firm but mild demeanour
of the sovereign. The most violent of the party proposed that he should
be hanged that very night; a laugh as of demons followed the proposal
from the benches of the Mountain, but the majority, composed of the
Girondists and the neutrals, decided that he should be formally tried.

After the examination Santerre took the King by the arm and led him back
to the waiting-room of the Convention, accompanied by Chambon and
Chaumette. Mental agitation and the length of the proceedings had
exhausted him, and he staggered from weakness. Chaumette inquired if he
wished for refreshment, but the King refused it. A moment after, seeing
a grenadier of the escort offer the Procureur de la Commune half a small
loaf, Louis XVI. approached and asked him, in a whisper, for a piece.

"Ask aloud for what you want," said Chaumette, retreating as though he
feared being suspected of pity.

"I asked for a piece of your bread," replied the King.

"Divide it with me," said Chaumette. "It is a Spartan breakfast. If I
had a root I would give you half."--[Lamartine's "History of the
Girondists," edit. 1870, vol. ii., p. 313.]

Soon after six in the evening the King returned to the Temple. "He
seemed tired," says Clery, simply, "and his first wish was to be led to
his family. The officers refused, on the plea that they had no orders.
He insisted that at least they should be informed of his return, and this
was promised him. The King ordered me to ask for his supper at half-past
eight. The intervening hours he employed in his usual reading,
surrounded by four municipals. When I announced that supper was served,
the King asked the commissaries if his family could not come down. They
made no reply. 'But at least,' the King said, 'my son will pass the
night in my room, his bed being here?' The same silence. After supper
the King again urged his wish to see his family. They answered that they
must await the decision of the Convention. While I was undressing him
the King said, 'I was far from expecting all the questions they put to
me.' He lay down with perfect calmness. The order for my removal during
the night was not executed." On the King's return to the Temple being
known, "my mother asked to see him instantly," writes Madame Royale.
"She made the same request even to Chambon, but received no answer. My
brother passed the night with her; and as he had no bed, she gave him
hers, and sat up all the night in such deep affliction that we were
afraid to leave her; but she compelled my aunt and me to go to bed. Next
day she again asked to see my father, and to read the newspapers, that
she might learn the course of the trial. She entreated that if she was
to be denied this indulgence, his children, at least, might see him. Her
requests were referred to the Commune. The newspapers were refused; but
my brother and I were to be allowed to see my father on condition of
being entirely separated from my mother. My father replied that, great
as his happiness was in seeing his children, the important business which
then occupied him would not allow of his attending altogether to his son,
and that his daughter could not leave her mother."

[During their last interview Madame Elisabeth had given Clery one of
her handkerchiefs, saying, "You shall keep it so long as my brother
continues well; if he becomes ill, send it to me among my nephew's

The Assembly having, after a violent debate, resolved that Louis XVI.
should have the aid of counsel, a deputation was sent to the Temple to
ask whom he would choose. The King named Messieurs Target and Tronchet.
The former refused his services on the ground that he had discontinued
practice since 1785; the latter complied at once with the King's request;
and while the Assembly was considering whom to, nominate in Target's
place, the President received a letter from the venerable Malesherbes,

[Christian Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, an eminent French
statesman, son of the Chancellor of France, was born at Paris in
1721. In 1750 he succeeded his father as President of the Court of
Aids, and was also made superintendent of the press. On the
banishment of the Parliaments and the suppression of the Court of
Aids, Malesherbes was exiled to his country-seat. In 1775 he was
appointed Minister of State. On the decree of the Convention for
the King's trial, he emerged from his retreat to become the
voluntary advocate of his sovereign. Malesherbes was guillotined in
1794, and almost his whole family were extirpated by their merciless

then seventy years old, and "the most respected magistrate in France," in
the course of which he said: "I have been twice called to be counsel for
him who was my master, in times when that duty was coveted by every one.
I owe him the same service now that it is a duty which many people deem
dangerous. If I knew any possible means of acquainting him with my
desires, I should not take the liberty of addressing myself to you."
Other citizens made similar proposals, but the King, being made
acquainted with them by a deputation from the Commune, while expressing
his gratitude for all the offers, accepted only that of Malesherbes.

[The Citoyenne Olympia Degonges, calling herself a free and loyal
Republican without spot or blame, and declaring that the cold and
selfish cruelty of Target had inflamed her heroism and roused her
sensibility, asked permission to assist M, de Malesherbes in
defending the King. The Assembly passed to the order of the day on
this request.--BERTRAND DE MOLLEVILLE, "Annals," edit. 1802, vol,
viii., p. 254.]

On 14th December M. Tronchet was allowed to confer with the King, and
later in the same day M. de Malesherbes was admitted to the Tower. "The
King ran up to this worthy old man, whom he clasped in his arms," said
Clery, "and the former minister melted into tears at the sight of his

[According to M. de Hue, "The first time M. de Malesherbes entered
the Temple, the King clasped him in his arms and said, 'Ah, is it
you, my friend? You fear not to endanger your own life to save
mine; but all will be useless. They will bring me to the scaffold.
No matter; I shall gain my cause if I leave an unspotted memory
behind me.'"]

Another deputation brought the King the Act of Accusation and the
documents relating to it, numbering more than a hundred, and taking from
four o'clock till midnight to read. During this long process the King
had refreshments served to the deputies, taking nothing himself till they
had left, but considerately reproving Clery for not having supped. From
the 14th to the 26th December the King saw his counsel and their
colleague M. de Size every day. At this time a means of communication
between the royal family and the King was devised: a man named Turgi, who
had been in the royal kitchen, and who contrived to obtain employment in
the Temple, when conveying the meals of the royal family to their
apartments, or articles he had purchased for them, managed to give Madame
Elisabeth news of the King. Next day, the Princess, when Turgi was
removing the dinner, slipped into his hand a bit of paper on which she
had pricked with a pin a request for a word from her brother's own hand.
Turgi gave this paper to Clery, who conveyed it to the King the same
evening; and he, being allowed writing materials while preparing his
defence, wrote Madame Elisabeth a short note. An answer was conveyed in
a ball of cotton, which Turgi threw under Clery's bed while passing the
door of his room. Letters were also passed between the Princess's room
and that of Clery, who lodged beneath her, by means of a string let down
and drawn up at night. This communication with his family was a great
comfort to the King, who, nevertheless, constantly cautioned his faithful
servant. "Take care," he would say kindly, "you expose yourself too

[The King's natural benevolence was constantly shown while in the
Temple. His own dreadful position never prevented him from sympathy
with the smaller troubles of others. A servant in the Temple named
Marchand, the father of a family, was robbed of two hundred francs,
--his wages for two months. The King observed his distress, asked
its cause, and gave Clery the amount to be handed to Marchand, with
a caution not to speak of it to any one, and, above all, not to
thank the King, lest it should injure him with his employers.]

During his separation from his family the King refused to go into the
garden. When it was proposed to him he said, "I cannot make up my mind
to go out alone; the walk was agreeable to me only when I shared it with
my family." But he did not allow himself to dwell on painful
reflections. He talked freely to the municipals on guard, and surprised
them by his varied and practical knowledge of their trades, and his
interest in their domestic affairs. On the 19th December the King's
breakfast was served as usual; but, being a fast-day, he refused to take
anything. At dinner-time the King said to Clery, "Fourteen years ago you
were up earlier than you were to-day; it is the day my daughter was born-
-today, her birthday," he repeated, with tears, "and to be prevented from
seeing her!" Madame Royale had wished for a calendar; the King ordered
Clery to buy her the "Almanac of the Republic," which had replaced the
"Court Almanac," and ran through it, marking with a pencil many names.

"On Christmas Day," Says Clery, "the King wrote his will."

[Madame Royale says: "On the 26th December, St. Stephen's Day, my
father made his will, because he expected to be assassinated that
day on his way to the bar of the Convention. He went thither,
nevertheless, with his usual calmness."--"Royal Memoirs," p. 196.]

On the 26th December, 1792, the King appeared a second time before the
Convention. M. de Seze, labouring night and day, had completed his
defence. The King insisted on excluding from it all that was too
rhetorical, and confining it to the mere discussion of essential points.

[When the pathetic peroration of M, de Seze was read to the King,
the evening before it was delivered to the Assembly, "I have to
request of you," he said, "to make a painful sacrifice; strike out
of your pleading the peroration. It is enough for me to appear
before such judges, and show my entire innocence; I will not move
their feelings.--"LACRETELLE.]

At half-past nine in the morning the whole armed force was in motion to
conduct him from the Temple to the Feuillans, with the same precautions
and in the same order as had been observed on the former occasion.
Riding in the carriage of the Mayor, he conversed, on the way, with the
same composure as usual, and talked of Seneca, of Livy, of the hospitals.
Arrived at the Feuillans, he showed great anxiety for his defenders; he
seated himself beside them in the Assembly, surveyed with great composure
the benches where his accusers and his judges sat, seemed to examine
their faces with the view of discovering the impression produced by the
pleading of M. de Seze, and more than once conversed smilingly with
Tronchet and Malesherbes. The Assembly received his defence in sullen
silence, but without any tokens of disapprobation.

Being afterwards conducted to an adjoining room with his counsel, the
King showed great anxiety about M. de Seze, who seemed fatigued by the
long defence. While riding back to the Temple he conversed with his
companions with the same serenity as he had shown on leaving it.

No sooner had the King left the hall of the Convention than a violent
tumult arose there. Some were for opening the discussion. Others,
complaining of the delays which postponed the decision of this process,
demanded the vote immediately, remarking that in every court, after the
accused had been heard, the judges proceed to give their opinion.
Lanjuinais had from the commencement of the proceedings felt an
indignation which his impetuous disposition no longer suffered him to
repress. He darted to the tribune, and, amidst the cries excited by his
presence, demanded the annulling of the proceedings altogether.
He exclaimed that the days of ferocious men were gone by, that the
Assembly ought not to be so dishonoured as to be made to sit in judgment
on Louis XVI., that no authority in France had that right, and the
Assembly in particular had no claim to it; that if it resolved to act as
a political body, it could do no more than take measures of safety
against the ci-devant King; but that if it was acting as a court of
justice it was overstepping all principles, for it was subjecting the
vanquished to be tried by the conquerors, since most of the present
members had declared themselves the conspirators of the 10th of August.
At the word "conspirators" a tremendous uproar arose on all aides. Cries
of "Order!"--"To the Abbaye!"--"Down with the Tribune!" were heard.
Lanjuinais strove in vain to justify the word "conspirators," saying that
he meant it to be taken in a favourable sense, and that the 10th of
August was a glorious conspiracy. He concluded by declaring that he
would rather die a thousand deaths than condemn, contrary to all laws,
even the most execrable of tyrants.

A great number of speakers followed, and the confusion continually
increased. The members, determined not to hear any more, mingled
together, formed groups, abused and threatened one another. After a
tempest of an hour's duration, tranquillity was at last restored; and the
Assembly, adopting the opinion of those who demanded the discussion on
the trial of Louis XVI., declared that it was opened, and that it should
be continued, to the exclusion of all other business, till sentence
should be passed.

The discussion was accordingly resumed on the 27th, and there was a
constant succession of speakers from the 28th to the 31st. Vergniaud at
length ascended the tribune for the first time, and an extraordinary
eagerness was manifested to hear the Girondists express their sentiments
by the lips of their greatest orator.

The speech of Vergniaud produced a deep impression on all his hearers.
Robespierre was thunderstruck by his earnest and, persuasive eloquence.
Vergniaud, however, had but shaken, not convinced, the Assembly, which
wavered between the two parties. Several members were successively
heard, for and against the appeal to the people. Brissot, Gensonne,
Petion, supported it in their turn. One speaker at length had a decisive
influence on the question. Barere, by his suppleness, and his cold and
evasive eloquence, was the model and oracle of the centre. He spoke at
great length on the trial, reviewed it in all its bearings--of facts, of
laws, and of policy--and furnished all those weak minds, who only wanted
specious reasons for yielding, with motives for the condemnation of the
King. From that moment the unfortunate King was condemned. The
discussion lasted till the 7th, and nobody would listen any longer to the
continual repetition of the same facts and arguments. It was therefore
declared to be closed without opposition, but the proposal of a fresh
adjournment excited a commotion among the most violent, and ended in a
decree which fixed the 14th of January for putting the questions to the

Meantime the King did not allow the torturing suspense to disturb his
outward composure, or lessen his kindness to those around him. On the
morning after his second appearance at the bar of the Convention, the
commissary Vincent, who had undertaken secretly to convey to the Queen
a copy of the King's printed defence, asked for something which had
belonged to him, to treasure as a relic; the King took off his neck
handkerchief and gave it him; his gloves he bestowed on another
municipal, who had made the same request. "On January 1st," says Clery,
"I approached the King's bed and asked permission to offer him my warmest
prayers for the end of his misfortunes. 'I accept your good wishes with
affection,' he replied, extending his hand to me. As soon as he had
risen, he requested a municipal to go and inquire for his family, and
present them his good wishes for the new year. The officers were moved
by the tone in which these words, so heartrending considering the
position of the King, were pronounced . . . . The correspondence
between their Majesties went on constantly. The King being informed that
Madame Royale was ill, was very uneasy for some days. The Queen, after
begging earnestly, obtained permission for M. Brunnier, the medical
attendant of the royal children, to come to the Temple. This seemed to
quiet him."

The nearer the moment which was to decide the King's fate approached, the
greater became the agitation in, Paris. "A report was circulated that
the atrocities of September were to be repeated there, and the prisoners
and their relatives beset the deputies with supplications that they would
snatch them from destruction. The Jacobins, on their part, alleged that
conspiracies were hatching in all quarters to save Louis XVI. from
punishment, and to restore royalty. Their anger, excited by delays and
obstacles, assumed a more threatening aspect; and the two parties thus
alarmed one another by supposing that each harboured sinister designs."

On the 14th of January the Convention called for the order of the day,
being the final judgment of Louis XVI.

"The sitting of the Convention which concluded the trial," says Hazlitt,
"lasted seventy-two hours. It might naturally be supposed that silence,
restraint, a sort of religious awe, would have pervaded the scene. On
the contrary, everything bore the marks of gaiety, dissipation, and the
most grotesque confusion. The farther end of the hall was converted into
boxes, where ladies, in a studied deshabille, swallowed ices, oranges,
liqueurs, and received the salutations of the members who went and came,
as on ordinary occasions. Here the doorkeepers on the Mountain side
opened and shut the boxes reserved for the mistresses of the Duc
d'Orleans; and there, though every sound of approbation or disapprobation
was strictly forbidden, you heard the long and indignant 'Ha, ha's!' of
the mother-duchess, the patroness of the bands of female Jacobins,
whenever her ears were not loudly greeted with the welcome sounds of
death. The upper gallery, reserved for the people, was during the whole
trial constantly full of strangers of every description, drinking wine as
in a tavern.

"Bets were made as to the issue of the trial in all the neighbouring
coffee-houses. Ennui, impatience, disgust sat on almost every
countenance. The figures passing and repassing, rendered more ghastly by
the pallid lights, and who in a slow, sepulchral voice pronounced only
the word--Death; others calculating if they should have time to go to
dinner before they gave their verdict; women pricking cards with pins in
order to count the votes; some of the deputies fallen asleep, and only
waking up to give their sentence,--all this had the appearance rather of
a hideous dream than of a reality."

The Duc d'Orleans, when called on to give his vote for the death of his
King and relation, walked with a faltering step, and a face paler than
death itself, to the appointed place, and there read these words:
"Exclusively governed by my duty, and convinced that all those who have
resisted the sovereignty of the people deserve death, my vote is for
death!" Important as the accession of the first Prince of the blood was
to the Terrorist faction, his conduct in this instance was too obviously
selfish and atrocious not to excite a general feeling of indignation; the
agitation of the Assembly became extreme; it seemed as if by this single
vote the fate of the monarch was irrevocably sealed.

The President having examined the register, the result of the scrutiny
was proclaimed as follows

Against an appeal to the people........... 480
For an appeal to the people............... 283

Majority for final judgment............... 197

The President having announced that he was about to declare the result of
the scrutiny, a profound silence ensued, and he then gave in the
following declaration: that, out of 719 votes, 366 were for DEATH, 319
were for imprisonment during the war, two for perpetual imprisonment,
eight for a suspension of the execution of the sentence of death until
after the expulsion of the family of the Bourbons, twenty-three were for
not putting him to death until the French territory was invaded by any
foreign power, and one was for a sentence of death, but with power of
commutation of the punishment.

After this enumeration the President took off his hat, and, lowering his
voice, said: "In consequence of this expression of opinion I declare that
the punishment pronounced by the National Convention against Louis Capet
is DEATH!"

Previous to the passing of the sentence the President announced on the
part of the Foreign Minister the receipt of a letter from the Spanish
Minister relative to that sentence. The Convention, however, refused to
hear it. [It will be remembered that a similar remonstrance was
forwarded by the English Government.]

M. de Malesherbes, according to his promise to the King, went to the
Temple at nine o'clock on the morning of the 17th?.

[Louis was fully prepared for his fate. During the calling of the
votes he asked M. de Malesherbes, "Have you not met near the Temple
the White Lady?"--" What do you mean?" replied he. "Do you not
know," resumed the King with a smile, "that when a prince of our
house is about to die, a female dressed in white is seen wandering
about the palace? My friends," added he to his defenders, "I am
about to depart before you for the land of the just, but there, at
least, we shall be reunited." In fact, his Majesty's only
apprehension seemed to be for his family.--ALISON.]

"All is lost," he said to Clery. "The King is condemned." The King, who
saw him arrive, rose to receive him.

[When M. de Malesherbes went to the Temple to announce the result of
the vote, he found Louis with his forehead resting on his hands, and
absorbed in a deep reverie. Without inquiring concerning his fate,
he said: "For two hours I have been considering whether, during my
whole reign, I have voluntarily given any cause of complaint to my
subjects; and with perfect sincerity I declare that I deserve no
reproach at their hands, and that I have never formed a wish but for
their happiness." LACRETELLE.]

M. de Malesherbes, choked by sobs, threw himself at his feet. The King
raised him up and affectionately embraced him. When he could control his
voice, De Malesherbes informed the King of the decree sentencing him to
death; he made no movement of surprise or emotion, but seemed only
affected by the distress of his advocate, whom he tried to comfort.

On the 20th of January, at two in the afternoon, Louis XVI. was awaiting
his advocates, when he heard the approach of a numerous party. He
stopped with dignity at the door of his apartment, apparently unmoved:
Garat then told him sorrowfully that he was commissioned to communicate
to him the decrees of the Convention. Grouvelle, secretary of the
Executive Council, read them to him. The first declared Louis XVI.
guilty of treason against the general safety of the State; the second
condemned him to death; the third rejected any appeal to the people; and
the fourth and last ordered his execution in twenty-four hours. Louis,
looking calmly round, took the paper from Grouvelle, and read Garat a
letter, in which he demanded from the Convention three days to prepare
for death, a confessor to assist him in his last moments, liberty to see
his family, and permission for them to leave France. Garat took the
letter, promising to submit it immediately to the Convention.

Louis XVI. then went back into his room with great composure, ordered his
dinner, and ate as usual. There were no knives on the table, and his
attendants refused to let him have any. "Do they think me so cowardly,"
he exclaimed, "as to lay violent hands on myself? I am innocent, and I
am not afraid to die."

The Convention refused the delay, but granted some other demands which he
had made. Garat sent for Edgeworth de Firmont, the ecclesiastic whom
Louis XVI. had chosen, and took him in his own carriage to the Temple.
M. Edgeworth, on being ushered into the presence of the King, would have
thrown himself at his feet, but Louis instantly raised him, and both shed
tears of emotion. He then, with eager curiosity, asked various questions
concerning the clergy of France, several bishops, and particularly the
Archbishop of Paris, requesting him to assure the latter that he died
faithfully attached to his communion.--The clock having struck eight, he
rose, begged M. Edgeworth to wait, and retired with emotion, saying that
he was going to see his family. The municipal officers, unwilling to
lose sight of the King, even while with his family, had decided that he
should see them in the dining-room, which had a glass door, through which
they could watch all his motions without hearing what he said. At half-
past eight the door opened. The Queen, holding the Dauphin by the hand,
Madame Elisabeth, and Madame Royale rushed sobbing into the arms of Louis
XVI. The door was closed, and the municipal officers, Clery, and M.
Edgeworth placed themselves behind it. During the first moments, it was
but a scene of confusion and despair. Cries and lamentations prevented
those who were on the watch from distinguishing anything. At length the
conversation became more calm, and the Princesses, still holding the King
clasped in their arms, spoke with him in a low tone. "He related his
trial to my mother," says Madame Royale, "apologising for the wretches
who had condemned him. He told her that he would not consent to any
attempt to save him, which might excite disturbance in the country.
He then gave my brother some religious advice, and desired him, above
all, to forgive those who caused his death; and he gave us his blessing.
My mother was very desirous that the whole family should pass the night
with my father, but he opposed this, observing to her that he much needed
some hours of repose and quiet." After a long conversation, interrupted
by silence and grief, the King put an end to the painful meeting,
agreeing to see his family again at eight the next morning. "Do you
promise that you will?" earnestly inquired the Princesses. "Yes, yes,"
sorrowfully replied the King.

["But when we were gone," says his daughter, "he requested that we
might not be permitted to return, as our presence afflicted him too

At this moment the Queen held him by one arm, Madame Elisabeth by the
other, while Madame Royale clasped him round the waist, and the Dauphin
stood before him, with one hand in that of his mother. At the moment of
retiring Madame Royale fainted; she was carried away, and the King
returned to M. Edgeworth deeply depressed by this painful interview.
The King retired to rest about midnight; M. Edgeworth threw himself upon
a bed, and Clery took his place near the pillow of his master.

Next morning, the 21st of January, at five, the King awoke, called Clery,
and dressed with great calmness. He congratulated himself on having
recovered his strength by sleep. Clery kindled a fire,, and moved a
chest of drawers, out of which he formed an altar. M. Edgeworth put on
his pontifical robes, and began to celebrate mass. Clery waited on him,
and the King listened, kneeling with the greatest devotion. He then
received the communion from the hands of M. Edgeworth, and after mass
rose with new vigour, and awaited with composure the moment for going to
the scaffold. He asked for scissors that Clery might cut his hair; but
the Commune refused to trust him with a pair.

At this moment the drums were beating in the capital. All who belonged
to the armed sections repaired to their company with complete submission.
It was reported that four or five hundred devoted men, were to make a
dash upon the carriage, and rescue the King. The Convention, the
Commune, the Executive Council, and the Jacobins were sitting. At eight.
in the morning, Santerre, with a deputation from the Commune, the
department, and the criminal tribunal, repaired to the Temple. Louis
XVI., on hearing them arrive, rose and prepared to depart. He desired
Clery to transmit his last farewell to his wife, his sister, and his
children; he gave him a sealed packet, hair, and various trinkets, with
directions to deliver these articles to them.

[In the course of the morning the King said to me: "You will give
this seal to my son and this ring to the Queen, and assure her that
it is with pain I part with it. This little packet contains the
hair of all my family; you will give her that, too. Tell the Queen,
my dear sister, and my children, that, although I promised to see
them again this morning, I have resolved to spare them the pang of
so cruel a separation. Tell them how much it costs me to go away
without receiving their embraces once more!" He wiped away some
tears, and then added, in the most mournful accents, "I charge you
to bear them my last farewell."--CLERY.]

He then clasped his hand and thanked him for his services. After this he
addressed himself to one of the municipal officers, requesting him to
transmit his last will to the Commune. This officer, who had formerly
been a priest, and was named Jacques Roux, brutally replied that his
business was to conduct him to execution, and not to perform his
commissions. Another person took charge of it, and Louis, turning
towards the party, gave with firmness the signal for starting.

Officers of gendarmerie were placed on the front seat of the carriage.
The King and M. Edgeworth occupied the back. During the ride, which was
rather long, the King read in M. Edgeworth's breviary the prayers for
persons at the point of death; the two gendarmes were astonished at his
piety and tranquil resignation. The vehicle advanced slowly, and amidst
universal silence. At the Place de la Revolution an extensive space had
been left vacant about the scaffold. Around this space were planted
cannon; the most violent of the Federalists were stationed about the
scaffold; and the vile rabble, always ready to insult genius, virtue, and
misfortune, when a signal is given it to do so, crowded behind the ranks
of the Federalists, and alone manifested some outward tokens of

At ten minutes past ten the carriage stopped. Louis XVI., rising
briskly, stepped out into the Place. Three executioners came up; he
refused their assistance, and took off his clothes himself. But,
perceiving that they were going to bind his hands, he made a movement of
indignation, and seemed ready to resist. M. Edgeworth gave him a last
look, and said, "Suffer this outrage, as a last resemblance to that God
who is about to be your reward." At these words the King suffered
himself to be bound and conducted to the scaffold. All at once Louis
hurriedly advanced to address the people. "Frenchmen," said he, in a
firm voice, "I die innocent of the crimes which are imputed to me; I
forgive the authors of my death, and I pray that my blood may not fall
upon France." He would have continued, but the drums were instantly
ordered to beat: their rolling drowned his voice; the executioners laid
hold of him, and M. Edgeworth took his leave in these memorable words:
"Son of Saint Louis, ascend to heaven!" As soon as the blood flowed,
furious wretches dipped their pikes and handkerchiefs in it, then
dispersed throughout Paris, shouting "Vive la Republique! Vive la
Nation!" and even went to the gates of the Temple to display brutal and
factious joy.

[The body of Louis was, immediately after the execution, removed to
the ancient cemetery of the Madeleine. Large quantities of
quicklime were thrown into the grave, which occasioned so rapid a
decomposition that, when his remains were nought for in 1816, it was
with difficulty any part could be recovered. Over the spot where he
was interred Napoleon commenced the splendid Temple of Glory, after
the battle of Jena; and the superb edifice was completed by the
Bourbons, and now forms the Church of the Madeleine, the most
beautiful structure in Paris. Louis was executed on the same ground
where the Queen, Madame Elisabeth, and so many other noble victims
of the Revolution perished; where Robespierre and Danton afterwards
suffered; and where the Emperor Alexander and the allied sovereigns
took their station, when their victorious troops entered Paris in
1814! The history of modern Europe has not a scene fraught with
equally interesting recollections to exhibit. It is now marked by
the colossal obelisk of blood-red granite which was brought from
Thebes, in Upper Egypt, in 1833, by the French Government.--

The Royal Prisoners.--Separation of the Dauphin from His Family.
--Removal of the Queen.

On the morning of the King's execution, according to the narrative of
Madame Royale, his family rose at six: "The night before, my mother had
scarcely strength enough to put my brother to bed; She threw herself,
dressed as she was, on her own bed, where we heard her shivering with
cold and grief all night long. At a quarter-past six the door opened; we
believed that we were sent for to the King, but it was only the officers
looking for a prayer-book for him. We did not, however, abandon the hope
of seeing him, till shouts of joy from the infuriated populace told us
that all was over. In the afternoon my mother asked to see Clery, who
probably had some message for her; we hoped that seeing him would
occasion a burst of grief which might relieve the state of silent and
choking agony in which we saw her." The request was refused, and the
officers who brought the refusal said Clery was in "a frightful state of
despair" at not being allowed to see the royal family; shortly afterwards
he was dismissed from the Temple.

"We had now a little more freedom," continues the Princess; "our guards
even believed that we were about to be sent out of France; but nothing
could calm my mother's agony; no hope could touch her heart, and life or
death became indifferent to her. Fortunately my own affliction increased
my illness so seriously that it distracted her thoughts . . . .
My mother would go no more to the garden, because she must have passed
the door of what had been my father's room, and that she could not bear.
But fearing lest want of air should prove injurious to my brother and me,
about the end of February she asked permission to walk on the leads of
the Tower, and it was granted."

The Council of the Commune, becoming aware of the interest which these
sad promenades excited, and the sympathy with which they were observed
from the neighbouring houses, ordered that the spaces between the
battlements should be filled up with shutters, which intercepted the
view. But while the rules for the Queen's captivity were again made more
strict, some of the municipal commissioners tried slightly to alleviate
it, and by means of M. de Hue, who was at liberty in Paris, and the
faithful Turgi, who remained in the Tower, some communications passed
between the royal family and their friends. The wife of Tison, who
waited on the Queen, suspected and finally denounced these more lenient
guardians,--[Toulan, Lepitre, Vincent, Bruno, and others.]--who were
executed, the royal prisoners being subjected to a close examination.

"On the 20th of April," says Madame Royale, "my mother and I had just
gone to bed when Hebert arrived with several municipals. We got up


Back to Full Books