Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The seperation of Louis XVI and his son

On December 11th, 1792, Louis XVI was taken from the Temple and brought before the National Convention. In his journal of the royal family's life at the Temple, Jean-Baptiste Cléry described the painful and sudden separation of Louis XVI and his son.

image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

"At eleven o'clock, while the king was giving his son a reading-lesson, two municipals entered and told His Majesty that they had come to fetch young Louis and take him to his mother. The king wished to know the reason of this removal; the commissioners replied that they executed the orders of the council of the Commune. His Majesty kissed his son tenderly, and charged me to go with him. When I returned to the king, I told him I had left the young prince in his mother's arms, and that seemed to tranquillize His Majesty. One of the commissioners entered to inform him that Chambon, mayor of Paris, was in the council-chamber and was coming up to see him. 

'What does he want of me?' asked the king.

'I do not know,' replied the municipal.

His Majesty walked hastily up and down his room for some moments; then he seated himself in an arm-chair close to the head of his bed; the door was half closed and the municipal dared not enter, to avoid, as he told me, questions. Half an hour passed thus in the deepest silence. The commissioner became uneasy at not hearing the king; he entered softly, and found him with his head on one of his hands, apparently deeply absorbed.

'What do you want?' asked the king, in a loud voice.

'I feared you were ill,' replied the municipal.

'I am obliged to you,' said the king, in a tone of the keenest sorrow, 'but the manner in which my son has been taken from me is infinitely painful to me.'

The municipal said nothing and withdrew."

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