Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/48

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4'2 THE DOWNFALL OF ROYALTY.

The King showed admirable calm and resignation during the thirteen days he had still to live. He asked with anxiety if the murderer had been arrested, and being answered that his name was not yet known: “Ah! God grant,” said he, “that he may not be discovered!” As soon as the first bandages were put on, the Wounded man was taken to his apartments at the castle. There he received his cour- tiers and the foreign ministers. When he saw the Duke d’Escars, who represented the brothers of Louis XVI. at Stockholm: “This is a blow,” said he, “which is going to rejoice your Parisian Jacobins; but write to the Princes that if I recover from it, it will change neither my sentiments nor my zeal for their just cause.” In the midst of his sufferings he preserved a dignity above all praise. Neither recrim- inations nor murmurs issued from his lips. He sum- moned to his death-bed both his friends and those who had been among the number of his enemies, but would have been horrified to have been accomplices in a crime. When the old Count de Brahé, leader of the nobles of the opposition, presented himself, Gustavus said, as he pressed him in his arms: “I bless my wound, since it has brought back an old friend who had withdrawn from me. Embrace me, my dear count, and let all be forgotten between us.”

The fate of his son, who was about to ascend the throne at the age of thirteen, was the chief preoccu- pation of the King. “ Let them put me on a litter,” cried he; “I will go to the public square and speak to