Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Louis XVII: The Child Prisoner



Here is the account of the moderate revolutionary J.B. Harmand of his visit to the child incarcerated in the Temple Prison early in 1795. The little boy refused to speak. He died six months later on June 8, 1795.
The Prince was sitting near a small square table, on which were scattered a number of playing cards, some turned up into the shapes of trunks and boxes, and others raised into houses. He was occupied with these cards when we entered, and did not leave off his play. He had on a sailor's dress, new, and made of slate-coloured cloth; his head was uncovered; and the room was clean and well lighted. The bed was a small wooden one, without curtains, and the bedding linen seemed to us to be good and of a fine quality. The bed was behind the door, on the left hand on going in; and farther, on the same side, was another bedstead, without bedding, placed at the foot of the first. Between them was a door, which was shut, leading into another apartment which we did not see. The commissaries told us that the second bed had been that of the shoemaker Simon.
After having become acquainted with these preliminary details, I approached the Prince; but our motions did not appear to make any impression upon him. I told him that the government — informed too late of the bad state of his health, and of his refusal to take exercise, or to answer the questions put to him upon that subject, as well as his rejecting the proposals made to him to take some remedies, and to receive the visit of a physician — had sent us to him to ascertain these facts, and, in its name, to renew all those proposals; that we hoped they would be agreeable to him, but that we should take upon ourselves to offer him advice, and even to add reproaches, if he should persist in remaining silent, and in not taking exercise; that we were authorised to offer him such objects of diversion or recreation as he might desire; and that I requested he would tell me whether that pleased him.
Whilst I was thus addressing him, he looked at me steadfastly, without any change of position, and he listened to me apparently with the greatest attention; but not one word in reply.
[....]
I have stated that the motive to which the commissaries attributed the obstinate silence of the Prince was his having been forced by Simon to give evidence against his mother and his aunt. I inquired of them, in the ante-room, whether that silence really began on the day upon which that atrocious violence had compelled him to sign the odious and absurd deposition against the Queen. They repeated their assertions on that point, and protested that the Prince had not spoken since the evening of that day!
My colleagues and I agreed, that, for the honour of the nation, which was ignorant of these unhappy circumstances — for that of the Convention, which, indeed, knew them not, but which ought to have known them — and for that even of the criminal Municipality of Paris, which knew all, and which caused all these evils, we should confine ourselves to the ordering some steps of temporary alleviation (which were immediately carried into effect); and that we should not make a report in public, but in a secret committee;2 and it was so done.
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5 comments:

Vara said...

One can "understand" why the revolutionaries murdered the annointed Louis de Bourbon and Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov. After all, they had the seal of the kingship upon them.

This was NOT true of their sons. Both the Dauphin and the Tsarevich were murdered in wanton acts of cruelty against children. This is the depths to which the secularists are ready to sink. They do not care if children, elderly, or the lame are hurt by their actions, as long as the "Brave New World" is launched and one "reaches the New Shore".

THIS is the dirty little secret of modern post-"Enlghtenment" liberalism. They do not care who is hurt in the establishment of their Earthly "utopia" (actually, a demonic dystopia).

Are not the lessons of 1792 and 1917 sharp enough for us?

Vara

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the demonic affront upon the young Prince was just that: demonic in origin.

I have no doubt this little Prince will one day be canonized.

It can still make one weep what those wretches made the little Prince endure.

alaughland said...

That poor child. At least the llttleTsaravitch was able to remain with the family when they were imprisoned at Ekatarinberg.

Anonymous said...

Most of what I know about the ill fated Louis XVI and his family is from what I have gleaned of your books, Elena Maria. And I found this article interesting, in that it is a different perspective, inside the little Dauphin's quarters. And I feel sad thinking that we get the glimpse of him that his mother and sister were denied, if that makes sense. The whole story is so heart wrenching.

Vara, well said!

elena maria vidal said...

It is so odd to me that his sister was right upstairs and they would not let her see him. They would not let her visit him even when he was very sick. She was not even allowed to view his corpse when he was dead. But once the battered little body was out of the Temple and buried, then was the princess permitted to leave her cell and go down into the garden.