4 days ago
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
"Which famous victim of the guillotine was described as the 'Ste Genvieve' of the royalists, and considered for sainthood herself?"
The answer is; Madame Elizabeth, sister of Louis XVI. Refusing to go into exile she saw it as her duty to remain by her brother's side through all of his misfortunes, and eventually followed him to the guillotine. Her insistence on keeping faith with her Catholic principles, and her desire to to encourage others even to the point of praying for them at the foot of the execution site, led to her consideration for sainthood. The people in charge of her execution group decided to enact one final cruelty by having her go last and watch all of the previous beheadings, but one by one those who preceded her stopped to ask her blessing before mounting the scaffold, and she herself walked to her death with immense poise; that is, until her fichu fell away. Madame Elizabeth said to the executioner, "For the love of your mother, cover me!" Those became her final words.
For this week I ask:- The scientist, Emilie du Chatelet, is known as much for her relationship with Voltaire as she is for her work in the field of physics; but the famous couple once found themselves in a spot of trouble when in the middle of a card game he told Emilie that he suspected some of the other players of cheating. They didn't think anyone else would understand their conversation, as they were speaking what language, not much in use at the court of France?