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I don't know that she used him, really; she sent at least one letter begging him not to make another rescue attempt. Perhaps the guilt factor again, although I don't think she would have sent the letter if she thought there was the chance a rescue might've succeeded.

Anyway, one thing I'm discovering about Antoinette is that she had a very good sense of humor (I find her funny anyway). There's another wonderful incident... horse racing was hugely poplular at the time, and after the races it became the fad to have "ass races," which at one point rivaled the horse races in popularity. (You can see why -- not only are they slow and ridiculous, but they don't always go where you want them to.) It's known that Antoinette attended a few of these ass races at Artois' house in Paris.

The story goes that Antoinette and Artois participated in a small ass race, along with a number of other royalty. During the race, she was overcome with a fit of laughter (perhaps some Duke or another was passing on the inside), and she toppled off her ass. After she hit the ground, she played it totally straight. She made no effort to get up. She assumed her standard, regal persona, and said to the people who'd gathered around to help, "Please summon Madame de Noailles." (Who she had nicknamed "Madame Etiquette".) So off someone went to locate her, and the whole time Antoinette maintained her regal bearing while lying in the mud on her back. Finally Madame Etiquette arrived, and Antoinette said to her, "Madame, what is the proper course of action for a Queen of France who has fallen off her ass?"

I really hope that one is true!


Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:59 pm
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Quote:
I don't know that she used him, really; she sent at least one letter begging him not to make another rescue attempt. Perhaps the guilt factor again, although I don't think she would have sent the letter if she thought there was the chance a rescue might've succeeded.

Are you sure ? Never read such a letter... :shock:

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Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:33 pm
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I do not remember either than she asks him not to consider one escape more... but in her letter to him of December 7, 1791, she asks him not to come to see her: she wrote that :
"Il est absolument impossible que vous veniez ici dans ce moment, ce serait risquer notre bonheur, et quand je le dis on peut m'en croire, car j'ai un extrême désir de vous voir."

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Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:15 pm
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I suppose it's more accurate to say that she sent a letter which could be interpreted as discouraging him. She says it'd put them both in danger, and also: "Be tranquil; nothing will happen to me. The Assembly desires to treat us with gentleness. Adieu. I shall not be able to write to you again." Presumably the reason for a visit would be to work out some sort of solution.


Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:25 am
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This letter you are talking about, Byron, is dated no longer after Varennes catastrophe, as far as I remember. The one Chou quotes refers to Fersen's last visit in the Tuileries, which really happened in February 1792.

Gustavus III had other projects for rescuing French royal family. But king Louis XVI did not accept to go again. Fersen regrets it, he wrote the king's words, who considered he lost his only chance in July 1789. But Fersen says nothing about Marie Antoinette, so that we don't know if she was ready for another plan or not.

However, many biographers assume she was. Knowing that she would never stop trying to escape, from the temple, from the conciergerie, I agree with them.

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:10 am
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I think that Marie-Antoinette wanted to try to flee once again with her family, if of course the plan was good, but Louis XVI after the failure of Varennes wanted nothing any more to try, him who had already hesitated to flee on June 20, 1791... :?
But Marie-Antoinette did not want any more that Fersen interferes and risks his life...She thought initially of her friends... it is beautiful! :D

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:24 am
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Yes, perhaps she hadn't yet realized the seriousness of the situation when she asked him not to write or visit.


Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:48 am
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I think that she knew well all dangers, and that she did not want that Fersen takes risks, for him but also to avoid compromising the safety of the royal family.
It is what she says in this passage of her letter:

"Il est absolument impossible que vous veniez ici dans ce moment, ce serait risquer notre bonheur[...]
"
And I think that she is frank. :wink:

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:58 am
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I think so, Chou-Charles. Later, when the carnation plot did not succeed, in the conciergerie (alas, alas ! :cry: ), she had to be questioned twice for, the first time, she refused to acknowledge anything. The second time, she did, but always managing to spare and to protect those who had helped her.

Here you have a wonderful site about Jarjayes family.
http://us.geocities.com/eglantine5/hjarj.html?20077
(I noticed a mistake about the logographe box. Of course, Fersen wasn't there ! )

Jarjayes and his wife were among Marie Antoinette's closest friends. Madame de Jarjayes even slept in the queen's bedroom for Antoinette was too afraid after this horrible October 5th night. They were standing at her side the longer they could, even after the king's execution.

Hey, Chou... you can even pick up letters and billiets by Antoinette on this site ! L'extase... :D

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:28 pm
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Waaa....nice site indeed! Thank you dear Pim! :D
I did not know this site t but it is very interesting!
And "La Rose de Versailles"... soft memory! :wink:

The letters of Marie-Antoinette are splendid! I adore to read it! Especially these letters, they are rare!

Yes I confirm Fersen was not in the logographe 's cabin in the national assembly... :?

The Jarjayes 's history and his relations with Marie-Antoinette are enthralling because not very detailed, and very subtle! :D

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:47 pm
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Yes, the queen never gave up trying to escape, but she would not leave without Louis. If the Royal family had consented to separate from each other and escape individually, they may all have gotten out. But the queen would not leave the king, and they would not hand their children over to anyone.

In the summer of 1791, after Varennes, Fersen went on a secret mission to Vienna, I think, at his sovereign's request, to try to devise a plan to rescue the family again, but it came to nought.

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:37 pm
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That Varennes incident is maddening. If they had just gotten an ordinary looking carriage and kept their heads inside the whole way, they would've made it.


Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:28 pm
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I am not sure. Several historians say that they did not show their heads, that it is but legend.

In my view, the mistake was to take only one berline. They should have used two light carriages. Provence and his wife did so. Their escape succeeded.

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:30 pm
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Yes, Pimprenelle, I have read the same in many places.

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Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:53 pm
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The escape failed because of a too important delay compared to what was envisaged... and indeed the too imposing berline is responsible. :D

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Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:14 am
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