The Dauphin is wrenched from Marie Antoinette

February 27, 2012

Marie Antoinette rose to her feet, pale and trembling….

As they advanced to seize him the Dauphin awoke, and, realizing what was happening, threw himself screaming into his mother’s arms, sobbing:

“Maman, Maman, do not leave me!”

Marie Antoinette pressed him passionately to her heart, kissed him, soothed him, and holding with one hand desperately to the bedstead, cried out: “You shall kill me before you take him from me!”

But it was all in vain. After a whole hour had passed in entreaties on one side, in threats and insults on the other, the Queen, weeping bitterly, was obliged to dress him, covering each little garment with tears and kisses as, for the last time, her gentle hands fastened them around him. Then, with a superhuman effort she dried her eyes and, holding him by the shoulders, said solemnly:

“My child, we have got to part. Remember your duty when I shall be no longer with you. Do not forget the good God or your mother who loves you. Be good, patient and upright and your father will bless you from Heaven above.”

Then kissing him once again she handed him over to his jailers. The little boy clung to her dress, but his mother told him to obey their orders and he allowed himself to be dragged away.

Then Marie Antoinette, seeing the door close behind him, threw herself on to his empty bed in an agony of weeping.

Never again were they to meet on earth.

Nesta H. Webster, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette During the Revolution (New York: Gordon Press, 1976), pp. 324-325.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 155


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