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26 notes


You ask me, my friend, how I pass my time; I shall answer: Rather sadly, because I see many things that grieve me. The famous Assembly of Notables has met. What will it do? Nothing, except make known to the people the critical situation in which we are. The king is sincere in asking their advice. Will they be the same in giving it? I think not. I have little experience, and the tender interest I take in my brother alone induces me to concern myself with these subjects, much too serious for my nature. I do not know, but it seems to me they are taking a course directly the opposite of that they ought to take … .
I have a presentiment that all will turn out ill. As for me, if it were not for my attachment to the king I would retire to Saint-Cyr. Intrigues fatigue me; they are not in accordance with my nature. I like peace and repose; but it is not at the moment when my brother is unfortunate that I will separate from him.

—Madame Elisabeth de France to the Marquise de Bombelles. March 15, 1787.

You ask me, my friend, how I pass my time; I shall answer: Rather sadly, because I see many things that grieve me. The famous Assembly of Notables has met. What will it do? Nothing, except make known to the people the critical situation in which we are. The king is sincere in asking their advice. Will they be the same in giving it? I think not. I have little experience, and the tender interest I take in my brother alone induces me to concern myself with these subjects, much too serious for my nature. I do not know, but it seems to me they are taking a course directly the opposite of that they ought to take … .

I have a presentiment that all will turn out ill. As for me, if it were not for my attachment to the king I would retire to Saint-Cyr. Intrigues fatigue me; they are not in accordance with my nature. I like peace and repose; but it is not at the moment when my brother is unfortunate that I will separate from him.

—Madame Elisabeth de France to the Marquise de Bombelles. March 15, 1787.

Filed under madame elisabeth 18th century french history quotes letters

48 notes


I cannot say enough of the goodness that she showed to me, which ended only with her life. She considered me and cared for me as her daughter, and I, I honoured her as a second mother and vowed to her all those feelings. It was said that we resembled each other in face: I feel that I have her nature; would that I might have all her virtues and rejoin her some day, also my father and mother, in the bosom of God, where, I doubt not, they are now enjoying the reward of a death so meritorious.

—Marie Thérèse Charlotte on her aunt, Madame Elisabeth
[image: Madame Elisabeth being separated from her niece. 19th century engraving. via my scan/collection]

I cannot say enough of the goodness that she showed to me, which ended only with her life. She considered me and cared for me as her daughter, and I, I honoured her as a second mother and vowed to her all those feelings. It was said that we resembled each other in face: I feel that I have her nature; would that I might have all her virtues and rejoin her some day, also my father and mother, in the bosom of God, where, I doubt not, they are now enjoying the reward of a death so meritorious.

—Marie Thérèse Charlotte on her aunt, Madame Elisabeth

[image: Madame Elisabeth being separated from her niece. 19th century engraving. via my scan/collection]

Filed under madame elisabeth 18th century french history marie therese charlotte quotes art

7 notes


I took care, when burning the fort at York, to leave a rather considerable storehouse at a distance from the fire, in which I deposited provisions, powder, shot, guns, and a certain quantity of European merchandise, such as was suitable to exchange with savages, in order that the English, who I know have taken refuge in the woods, may find, on their return to their old quarters, enough for their subsistence until the English authorities have been informed of their situation. I feel certain that the king will approve my conduct in this respect, and that in thus providing for those unfortunates I have only forestalled the benevolent intentions of His Majesty.

—An excerpt from a report to the French minister of the navy by Captain de la Pérouse, September 6 1782.
[translation: ‘The Ruin of a Princess’]

I took care, when burning the fort at York, to leave a rather considerable storehouse at a distance from the fire, in which I deposited provisions, powder, shot, guns, and a certain quantity of European merchandise, such as was suitable to exchange with savages, in order that the English, who I know have taken refuge in the woods, may find, on their return to their old quarters, enough for their subsistence until the English authorities have been informed of their situation. I feel certain that the king will approve my conduct in this respect, and that in thus providing for those unfortunates I have only forestalled the benevolent intentions of His Majesty.

—An excerpt from a report to the French minister of the navy by Captain de la Pérouse, September 6 1782.

[translation: ‘The Ruin of a Princess’]

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126 notes

Early in the morning I went to see the Queen’s Petit Trianon. My God, what a charming walk! How delicious were these thickets scented with liac and peopled with nightingales! The weather was magnificent, the air filed with perfumed vapors; butterflies spread their golden wings in the rays of the spring sun. I have never lived through more enchanted moments in my life than the three hours spent in visiting this retreat. The Queen spent most of the fine season of the year there, and I can well understand it.

—Baronne d’Oberkirch„ after visiting the Trianon in 1782

[translation: Nesta Webster, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Before the Revolution]

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157 notes


[Marie Antoinette] often sees in her cabinets the princesse de Lamballe, née princesse de Carignan; she is sweet, pleasant, no intriguer, and quite without drawbacks. For some time already, the Queen has felt real friendship for this young Princess…

—Ambassador Mercy to Marie Antoinette, 7 June 1774
[image: Detail from a portrait of the princesse de lamballe, attributed to Pierre Claude François Delorme]

[Marie Antoinette] often sees in her cabinets the princesse de Lamballe, née princesse de Carignan; she is sweet, pleasant, no intriguer, and quite without drawbacks. For some time already, the Queen has felt real friendship for this young Princess…

—Ambassador Mercy to Marie Antoinette, 7 June 1774

[image: Detail from a portrait of the princesse de lamballe, attributed to Pierre Claude François Delorme]

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161 notes

It is at the same time amazing and wonderful to be so well received two month after the riots and in spite of the high price of bread which unfortunately continues. … It is certain that when people who are suffering treat us so well, we are even more obligated to work for their happiness.

Marie Antoinette, in a letter to her mother after the coronation of Louis XVI.

[translation: Olivier Bernier, Secrets of Marie Antoinette]

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313 notes


Those who believe in the influence of the heavens over the destinies of human life might well declare that the royal pair, on whom the burden of monarchy had now descended, were born under an unlucky star. Evil omens had attended them from the beginning.

-Nesta Webster, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Before the Revolution

Those who believe in the influence of the heavens over the destinies of human life might well declare that the royal pair, on whom the burden of monarchy had now descended, were born under an unlucky star. Evil omens had attended them from the beginning.

-Nesta Webster, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Before the Revolution

Filed under louis xvi marie antoinette french history books quotes