Monday, February 25, 2013

Fersen Letters: Execution

On October 14, Marie Antoinette is dragged before the Revolutionary Tribunal and after a sham of a trial (in which they accused her of treason and incest, among other crimes.) is sentenced to death.  After her execution on October 16, Fersen wrote to Sophie:  "My dear loving Sophie, Oh pity me, pity me!   The state I am in only you can conceive.  You alone are left to me.  Oh!  Do not abandon me.  She who was my happiness, she for whom I lived - yes, my dear Sophie, never have I ceased to love her.  No - I could not;  never for a moment could I cease to love her, for her I would have sacrificed all in all.  Well do I feel it now.  She, whom I loved so well, for whom I would have given a thousand lives, is no more.  Oh, my God!  Why overwhelm me thus?  What have I done to deserve your anger?  She lives no longer!  My cup is full to the brim, and I do not know how I am to live and bear my sorrow.  It is such that nothing can ever wipe it out.  I shall always have her image before me and in me;  the memory of all that she was to weep over for ever…  All is over for me.  Why did I not die by her side?  Why could I not spill my blood for her, for them?  I should not he to drag out an existence that will be perpetual pain and eternal regret.  My heart will bleed henceforth as long as it beats.  You alone can feel what I suffer, and I need your tenderness.  Weep with me, my gentle Sophie.  Let us weep for them, I have not the strength to write more.  I have just received the terrible confirmation of the execution.  Nothing is said of the rest of the family, but my fear is terrible.  Oh, my God!  save them!  Have pity on me!"

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