Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/27

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DE FERSEN‘S LAST JOURNEY TO PARIS. 01

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he had returned to Brussels. He was profoundly moved 011 quitting the Tuileries, but, dismal and lugubrious as his forebodings may have been, how much more sombre was the reality to prove!

\Vhat a terrible fate was reserved for the chief actors i11 this drama! Yet a few days, and the chivalrous Gustavus was to be assassinated. The hour of execution was approaching for Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette. Fersen, likewise, was to have a most tragic end. From the moment when he bade his last adieu to the unhappy Queen, his life was but one long torment. His disposition, already inclined to melancholy, became incurably sad. His loyal a11d devoted soul could not accustom itself to the thought of the calamities weighing so cruelly upon that good and beautiful sovereign of whom he said i11 1778: “"he Queen is the prettiest and most amiable princess that I know.” 011 October 14, 1793, he will still be endeavoring, with the aid of Baron de Breteuil, to bring to completion a thousandth plot to extricate the august captive from her fate. He will learn the fatal tidings on the 20th. “I can think of nothing but my loss,” he will write in his journal. “It is frightful to have no positive details. It is horrible that she should have been alone in her last moments, with no one to speak to, or to receive her last wishes. No; without vengeance, my heart will never be con- tent.” Covered with honors under the reign of Gustavus IV., senator, chancellor of the Academy of