A French heir to the throne saves a man from suicide

November 26, 2012

Portrait of Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duc de Berry

As [the Duke of Berry] was out walking, he saw a very animated group of charcoal-burners, who were trying to prevent one of their number from throwing himself into the Seine. Without being recognized, he approached them and inquired the cause of the despair of the poor devil who wanted to kill himself. It was the loss of some money which impelled him to suicide. The Prince opened his purse at once, and the charcoal-burner did not throw himself into the river. His comrades were greatly astonished when they learned that the man with whom they had just been talking so familiarly was the King’s nephew.

Imbert de Saint-Amand, The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII, trans. Elizabeth Gilbert Martin (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892), pp. 140-141.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 233

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