Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/26

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20 THE DOIVNFALL OF ROYALTY.

obliged, that it was the effect of constraint. “ They must put me out of the question,” he added, “and

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let m.e do what I can.’ F ersen h.ad a long talk with Marie Antoinette the

same day. She entered into full details about the present and especially about the past. She ex- plained why the flight to Varennes, in which Fersen had taken such a prominent part, and which had succeeded so well so long as he directed it, had ended in failure. The Queen described the anguish of the arrest and the return. To the project of a new effort to escape, she replied by pointing out the implacable surveillance of which she was the object, and the effervescence of popular passions, which this time would overleap all restraint if the fugitives were taken. It would be better for the royal family to suffer together than to expose them- selves to die separately. It would be better to die like princes, who abdicate majesty only with life, than as vagabonds, under a vulgar disguise. “The Queen,” adds Fersen, “told me that she saw Alex- ander La.meth and Duport ; that they always tell her that there is no remedy but foreign troops; failing that, all is lost, that this cannot last, that they have gone farther". than they wished to. _In spite of all this, she thinks them malicious, does not trust them, but uses them as best she can. All the ministers are traitors who betray the King.” Fer-sen had a final interview with Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette on February 21, 1792. By February 24,