madame roland

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. TWO QUEENS. The announcement of Louis XV.'s mortal illness found an echo even in the secluded life of the humble engraver's family. Writing to her friend at Amiens on the gth May, 1774, Manon remarks : " Although the obscurity of my birth, name, and position seem to preclude me from taking any interest in the Government, yet I feel that the common weal touches me in spite of it. My country is something to me, and the love I bear it is most unquestionable. How could it be otherwise, since nothing in the world is indifferent to me ? I am something of a cosmopolitan, and a love of humanity unites me to everything that breathes. A Caribbean interests me ; the fate of a Kaffir goes to my heart. Alexander wished for more worlds to conquer; I could wish for others to love." Magnificent humanitarian cry to have burst from the lips of this lovely recluse of twenty ! And while a young girl on the Quai de 1'Hor- loge felt the deep stirrings of a woman's heart for a people whose suffering condition she had not apprehended as yet, another girl — also in her first bewitching bloom — ascended the throne of France, and was hailed by Burke, as "just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevatedsphere she just began to move in, glittering like the morning star, full of life and splendor and joy." It is curious to remember that these two women, born in such opposite ranks, — the one on a throne, the other in a workshop, — destined one day to play such opposite parts in the approaching political tragedy, both destined to perish amid the clash of warring social forces, were for a short time at this the spring-time of their lives lodged in the same palace, where Marie Antoinette reigned in the lustre of royalty, while Marie Jeanne looked on critically from the b...
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