Some years ago, CBS-TV News did some research into the opinions of the
working class in Paris, with reference to restoring the monarchy. Oddly
enough, more than 51 percent of the working stiffs said they would like the
monarchy restored. They said it would give "dignity and stability."
This being written by one of the only Orthodox priests in town who has
actually been to St-Denis Abbey, to bless the reputed place of burial of King
Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. (Mother Alexandra once told me she
thought they had had quick lime poured over them.) So, there is always a
place in my heart for the dear dead days beyond recall; I used to tell my
children: "Some day, we will restore the monarchy in France."
Louis XVI and his government paid for most of the American Revolution. More
than 60 percent of the French government's debt, in July, 1789, was
occasioned by spending to defeat the English on these shores.
God bless King Louis. He was apparently a good soul. Incompetent as a
ruler, but a good soul. I have defended his honor, and that of Queen Marie
Antoinette, several times in various papers and magazines, because they are
much (and ignorantly) maligned.
On the 14th of July, 1789, King Louis wrote a single French word in his
Ah, but whatever he meant by that was certainly not what had happened that
When he finally heard about what happened, King Louis asked: "C'est un
(Is it a revolt?)
"Non Sire," the answer came, "c'est un revolution."
We can never get the genie back into the bottle. Never. Even the
ideologues among us will have to admit the truth of that.