Thursday, October 16, 2008


Marie-Therese recalled that the King and Queen continued to be threatended in front of their children. Her brother would cry and tremble when he heard the jailers describe the ways in which they were going to torture and kill the King. Marie-Therese wrote that her father would respond with 'calm and contemptuous silence'. Her mother always maintained her dignity and poise in front of the guards, but on September 2, a three-day massacre began in the city that broke the Queen's resolve.

On day two of the slaughter the Princesse de Lamballe was taken from La Force on to the streets of Paris, decapitated, disemboweled and her breasts cut off. The Baronne de Courtot was convinced that the murder had been carried out on the orders of the Duc d' Orleans in order to taunt the Queen and benefit his wife. The Princess's head was placed on one pole, her mutilated body on another. A mob bearing the two pikes then marched to the Temple Prison where the prison guards let them into the courtyard and paraded Lamballe's head under the Queen's window. According to Marie-Therese, the jailer, Rocher, shouted with joy upon seeing the head. Although the mob screamed for the Queen to appear at her window, she did not. When questioned by the King as to what was going on outside, a young officer replied: 'Well, if you want to know, it is the head of Mme de Lamballe they wish to show you.' The Queen was overcome with terror and Marie-Therese recalled that her mother cried all night.

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