fete de la federation

You will think my style a little frivolous, considering the circumstances, but as there is no counter-revolution in it, I can be forgiven. Far from thinking of counter-revolutions we are about to rejoice (two weeks hence) with all the militia of the kingdom and celebrate the famous days of July 14 and 15, of which you may perhaps have heard. They are making ready the Champs de Mars, which can contain, they say, six hundred thousand souls.

I hope for their health and mine, that it will not be as hot as it is this week, otherwise, with the liking that I have for heat, I believe I should explode.

Pardon this nonsense; but I was so suffocated last week, at the review and in my own little room, that I am still dazed. Besides, one must laugh a little, it does one good. Mme. d'Aumale always told me, when I was a child, to laugh, because it dilated the lungs.

–Madame Elisabeth to the Marquise de Bombelles, 27 June 1790

image:  © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet