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July 23, 2010

A Letter from Marie Antoinette: Part 2

While the French Revolution unfolded, it was increasingly dangerous for the members of the aristocracy to stay in France.

Many became emigres and fled to places of refuge such as Coblentz or London.  While Marie Antoinette was separated from her best friend the princesse de Lamballe, she would often write her letters, tinged with a certain lack of hope.

The following is a letter from Marie Antoinette to the princesse de Lamballe dated 13 October:

"I am broken-hearted at what I see passing around me, and can only entreat you not to come back. The present moment is too terrible. Although I have courage enough on my own account, I cannot help feeling uneasy for my friends, more especially for one so precious as you. I do not, therefore, wish you to expose yourself uselessly to danger. It is already as much as I can do to face circumstances calmly at the side of the King and my children. Farewell then dear heart! Give me your pity, since, from the very love I bear you, your absence is perhaps a greater trial to me than it is to you."

Collection of M. Feuillet de Conches 

6 comments

  1. Wow, so dramatic!

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  2. It's a pity she didn't take her advice considering the horrible end she met at the hands of the revolutionaries. That was true friendship.

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  3. Yes, they both had a very bad end. As women withoutreal power they were not to blame for the anger they took.

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  4. Poor Marie. I really feel badly for her. I can't imagine being in her position - terrified and yet helpless to change anything. Breaks my heart :(

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