Savoir Faire, Savoir Dire

February 25, 2021

Schönbrunn Palace

The young archduchess was the sixth daughter and ninth child of Francis of Lorraine, Emperor of Germany, and of the illustrious Maria Theresa. A story is told that one evening in the early autumn of 1755, when the empress was receiving at Schönbrunn, she laughingly asked the Duke von Tarouka, “Shall I have a boy or a girl?” “A prince, without doubt, Madame,” replied the courtier. “Well,” Maria Theresa answered, “I wager two ducats that I shall give birth to a girl.” Some time after, the child was born. The Duke von Tarouka lost; he sent the amount of the bet to the empress enclosed in this ingenious quatrain of the poet Metastasio: –

“I have lost: the august girl has condemned me to pay. But if it be true that she resembles you, then all the world has gained.”

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 By Maxime de La Rocheterie, Chapter 1, pg 1-2.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 766

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