Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/29

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III. THE DEATH or THE EMPEROR LEOPOLD.

NE after another, Marie Antoinette lost her

last chances of safety; blows as unforeseen as terrible beat down the combinations on which she had built her hopes. VVithin a fortnight she was to see the two sovereigns disappear from whom she had expected succor: her brother, the Emperor Leopold, and Gustavus III.,. the King of Sweden. Leopold had not been equal to all the illusions which his sister had cherished with regard to him, but, never- theless, he showed great interest in French affairs, a11d a lively desire to be useful to Louis XVI. Pacific by disposition, he had temporized at first, a11d adopted a conciliatory "policy. He desired a reconciliation with the new principles, and, more- over, he was not blind to the inexperience and levity of the émigrés. But the obligation, to which he was bound by treaties, to defend the rights of princes holding property in Alsace, his fear of the propa- ganda of sedition, the aggressive language of the National Assembly and the Parisian press, had ended by determining him to take a more resolute attitude, and it was at the moment when he was

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