Posts tagged quotes
Posts tagged quotes
What the king does from clemency they will say he does from fear, for they will not do him the justice he deserves. As for me, who read his heart, I know well that all his thoughts are for the welfare of his people. But he would make that more sure by isolating himself less from his nobles. He is advised to the contrary.
God grant he may never repent it! I dare not speak to him openly about many things that I see and that he does not suspect because his soul is so fine that intrigue is foreign to it. Ah! why cannot I get away and live as I like!
—Madame Elisabeth to the Marquise de Bombelles, 6 June 1788
image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet
Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron, the duchesse de Polignac, died on December 9th, 1793. She had been living with her family in exile; they had fled France after the fall of the Bastille due to the intense hatred of the Polignac clan in France.
[A friend of the duchesse wrote, of her final months:]
“She did not stop crying. For six months, a deep sadness, great sufferings without certain causes weakened her each day more.”
A last blow hit her when they were forced to announce to her this horrible news: on October, 16th, 1793, Marie-Antoinette had been beheaded in Paris. This was the true beginning of Madame de Polignac’s agony.
She could not survive the queen, and she herself died on December, 9th, 1793, one month and a half, precisely, after her friend.
A witness told of her death: “Her last sigh was but her last breath, and to tell this in one word, her death was as sweet as she herself had been. She was buried in Vienna and they wrote on her tomb her name only, followed by this mention: ‘Dead from suffering’ on December 9th, 1793.”
I am overcome by this distressing news, and I cannot stop weeping as I write to you. My brother, my friend, you alone are left to me in a country which is and always will be dear to me! Be careful, look after yourself; you owe it to everyone. All that remains is for me to recommend my sisters to you. They have lost more than I have; they will be inconsolable! Farewell! I can no longer see what I am writing. Remember that we are your friends, your allies; love me.
—Marie Antoinette to her brother Joseph II, December 10th 1780, after learning of the death of her mother Maria Theresa.
In her last letter to her daughter, Marie Antoinette, dated the day after her 25th birthday, Maria Theresa wrote:
"Yesterday I spent time more in France than in Austria, and I remembered all the happy times in the past, which is indeed gone."
On November 29th, 1780, Maria Theresa of Austria died, presumably after taking a chill that deteriorated her health. An account of Maria Theresa’s last days, written by her daughter Maria Anna, recounts her final hours:
The night of the 29th was horrifying. Her Majesty had attacks of breathlessness during which more than once she almost died. When she came back to her senses, it seemed to us that she was ready to sleep; as she wanted to prevent herself sleeping, we advised her not to struggle; but she told us:
'Why do you want me to sleep when at any moment I could be called before my judge? I am afraid to sleep, I do not want to be taken by surprise. I want to see death coming.'
—Madame de Montespan in The Orange Trees of Versailles
This was a really weird book.