Friday, July 24, 2015

Louis XVI on the French Constitution

From Vive la Reine:
I feel all the difficulties of governing so great a nation. I might say I feel its impossibility, but any obstacle I had placed in the way would have caused the war I was anxious to avoid, and would have prevented the people from judging of the Constitution, because they would have seen nothing but my constant opposition. By adopting their ideas and following them in all good faith they will learn the cause of their troubles; public opinion will change; and since without this change one can hope for nothing but fresh convulsions, I shall bring about a better order of things by my acceptance than by my refusal … I wished to let you know the motives for my acceptance, so that your conduct should be in accord with mine.
–excerpt from a letter written by Louis XVI to his brothers, 2 days after he accepted the French Constitution of 1791. [translation by Nesta Webster.]
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