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… [Marie Antoinette’s essays as a child reveal what the Abbe de Vermond] had suspected, that she was not without natural judgement.

At the end of an essay on Louis XIV in which she described an operation performed on the King without his son’s knowledge, she writes: “In my opinion I find that the Dauphin must have suffered cruelly in finding himself so disdained, and I think I would do all in my power to gain the friendship and esteem of everybody so that no one would ever want to hide such accidents from me.”

Her teacher’s comment was: “Her essays show some penetration and a good deal of sense.”

—Marie Antoinette by Dorothy Moulton Mayer

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