Daily Archives: September 10, 2007

Item of the Day: The Jockey Club (Marie Antoinette), 1792.

Full title:  The Jockey Club, or a Sketch of the Manners of the Age.  Part the Third.  The Tenth Edition.  London: Printed for H. D. Symonds, Pternoster-Row.  1792.

M–IE   A-T-N-TTE, late Q—-N OF THE F—-H

The tears of beauty in affliction plead with eloquent persuasion.  All the exterior graces that can adorn the sex, are united in the person of M–ie A-t-n-tte, but recollection of her vices obliterates all sympathy for her sufferings, and if in the plenitude of Omnipotence, when the treasures of a great empire were poured into her lap, at the mercy of her direction, she never strove to alleviate the intolerable burthens of public calamity, but blindly hurried on in the mad career of unbounded prodigality, and inordinate excess, inattentive to the affecting scene, unmindful of consequences;–if, when in the zenith of her power and her glory, the rays of benevolence never shone upon others.  She can have no reason at this day, to expect compassion for herself. 

The influence which she carried into the councils, and which she never ceased to exercise over the weak mind of her wretched husband, equally unadmonished by experience and misfortune, nor discouraged by the terror of future disasters, threatened the speedy devastation and probable existence of France.  Her antipathy to that nation was hereditary: not all the favor, all the liberality, or affectionate kindness of a people easily moved and most susceptible of similar impressions ever touched her heart, or altered those stubborn sentiments she had conceived against them.  Neither the person or character of Louis XVI. were formed to conciliate any tenderness or respect for himself, or to operate a change in those dispositions, that she brought into his country;–dispositions that have been invariably directed to the accomplishments of its destruction. 

During the old government, till a short time before the revolution, the ministers were always chosen from amongst her own creatures, nor were their places tenable on any other terms, than blind and implicit obedience to her sovereign command.  Since the above period, all the abandoned tribe, with very few exceptions, have left the kingdom, and engaged in rebellion; some as her agents in different foreign courts, to instigate the conspiracy, and foment the jealousy of crowned Brigands. Some have enlisted themsleves in the traitorous armies, and all employed in such pursuits as appear most conducive to the success of their sanguinary, desperate adventure.


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Filed under 1790's, France, French Revolution, Political Commentary, Posted by Matthew Williams, Satire