Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/43

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THE DEA TH OF GUSTA VUS III. 37

1ny interest touches me more and more, and I recog- nize in each word the augflt soul of a king whom the world admires as mucl1 for his magnanimous l1eart as for his wisdom. ”

Meanwhile the conspirators, animated either by personal rancor or the passions commo11 to nobles hostile to their king, were secretly preparing for an attack. The five leaders were Captain Ankarstruem, Count de Ribbing, Count de Horn, Count de Lilien— horn, major of the Blue Guards, and Baron Pechli11, an oldiman of seventy—two, who had been distin- guished in the civil wars, and was the soul of the plot. The conspirators had doubts before com1nit- ting the crime. Duri11g the Diet, which met at Gefle, January 25, 1792, they refrained at the very moment whe11 they were about to strike.

Gustavus was in his castle of Haga, about a league from Stockholm, without guards or attendants. Three of the conspirators approached the castle at five in the evening. They were armed w-ith car- bines, and, having placed themselves in ambush near the King’s apartment on the ground—floor, were awaiting an opportunity to kill their sovereign. Gustavus coming in from a long walk, went in his dressing-gown to sit in the library, the windows of which opened like doors into the garden. He fell asleep in his armchair. Whether they were alarmed by the sound of footsteps, or whether the contrast between the slumber of the unsuspicious King and the death poising above his head awakened