Authors: Louis Bayard
Tags: #Fiction, #Historical
In memory of my dad
To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.
Marie-Antoinette, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, marries the French dauphin, Louis-Auguste.
Louis-Auguste, upon the death of his grandfather, becomes Louis XVI.
Marie-Antoinette gives birth to her first child, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte.
Marie-Antoinette gives birth to her second son, Louis-Charles.
A mob destroys the Bastille, triggering the outbreak of the French Revolution. Parisian marketwomen march on Versailles and force the royal family to live under guard in the Tuileries palace in Paris.
The royal family attempts to flee France. They are stopped near the French border and returned to Paris.
Revolutionaries imprison the royal family in the Temple.
Louis-Charles’ death is announced. Body is buried in unmarked grave in cemetery of Sainte-Marguerite.
Napoleon installs himself as First Consul.
Napoleon crowns himself Emperor.
Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo culminates in his exile at St. Helena. Louis XVIII (younger brother of Louis XVI) is now permanently installed as King of France.
Louis XVIII dies. His younger brother, the Comte d’Artois, becomes Charles X.
July Revolution forces Charles X to abdicate. Charles’ cousin, Louis-Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, is proclaimed king.
1st meeting with Prisoner: shortly after 1
. Prisoner alone in cell. Dinner had not been eaten. Nor breakfast.
, cd be detected thru grating. Must speak to Barras re conditions. Piles of excrement
. Urine, sweat, mold, rotted skin. Surfeit of rats. Maggots, cockroaches, lice.
Prisoner discovered in cot, approx. size of cradle. (For reasons unknown, Prisoner refuses to sleep in bed.) Ankle protruding at unnatural angle. Knees & wrists
swollen, blue & yellow.
Prisoner wears only scraps of filthy cloth, ragged trousers. No longer bothers to dress or undress. Ribs clearly visible thru skin. Arms & legs entirely fretted w. sores, purulent. Body covered, head to toe, w. vermin. Bugs & lice to be found in every fold of sheet, blanket.
Prisoner started when door was opened. Turned head slightly twd us, made no other move. Eyes opened a fraction when I lowered candle to face, immediately closed again. Light acutely painful. Appears Prisoner has not been exposed to light of any kind in at least 6 mos, may be considered functionally blind.
No initial reply from Prisoner when I bade him gd morning. Did not respond to questions. Faint exhalation detected thru lips (coated in yeast). Lge black spider crawling up neck. Rat was found chewing Prisoner’s hair, extricated w. difficulty. This occasioned Prisoner’s first words, which were to thank me.
I asked Prisoner to stand. Prisoner declined. After repeated requests, he attempted to rise but wanted strength. W. assistance, he was able to take 2 steps—extrmly painful, by all appearances. Prisoner collapsed as soon as I removed my arm. (Guard, who was present thruout interview, declined to assist me in raising him up.)
Having returned Prisoner to cot, I promised to return next day
to begin treatment. Upon hearing this, Prisoner, in barely audible voice, begged me not to bother. Prisoner observed it was his fondest wish to die. As soon as God would allow.
Must speak to Genl Barras re
, obtaining more light for Prisoner. Knee most pressing medical concern. Prisoner wd benefit fm bath, exercise—contact with family, friends,
. Must speak to Must also
What have we done