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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 16

Execution of Marie Antoinette

By William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)

  • From “The Chronicle of the Drum”
  • Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI., was executed on Oct. 16, 1793, after an imprisonment of over a year.

  • “WE had taken the head of King Capet,

    We called for the blood of his wife;

    Undaunted she came to the scaffold,

    And bared her fair neck to the knife.

    As she felt the foul fingers that touch’d her,

    She shrank, but she deigned not to speak:

    She look’d with a royal disdain,

    And died with a blush on her check!