Sunday, March 7, 2010

Death of a Child

One of the most moving passages in Marie-Amélie's Journal concerns the death of her third daughter, the baby princess Françoise (1816-1818).

Si préparés que nous ayons été à ce cruel événement, il n'en est pas moins douloureux; je suis mère, et c'est la première fois que je perds un enfant, juste douze ans, jour pour jour, après ma bien-aimée soeur Toto (Marie-Antoinette de Bourbon-Naples, Princesse des Asturies). Ma seule consolation est la certitude qu'elle est désormais un ange au ciel, qu'elle y jouit d'un inaltérable bonheur et qu'elle est à l'abri des vicissitudes de ce monde. Même si je pouvais je ne lui rendrais pas la vie, ce serait de ma part égoïsme, puisqu'elle est assurée de posséder cet heureux sort que je souhaite à tous ceux qui sont l'objet de mes plus tendres, de mes plus profondes affections.

As prepared as we had been for this cruel event, it is not, for that reason, less painful; I am a mother, and it is the first time I have lost a child, only twelve years, to the day, after my beloved sister Toto (Maria Antonia of Bourbon-Naples, Princess of Asturias). My only consolation is the certainty that she is henceforth an angel in heaven, that she enjoys, there, an unalterable happiness and that she is safe from the vicissitudes of this world. Even if I could, I would not restore life to her, it would be selfishness on my part, because she is assured of possessing that happy lot that I wish for all those who are the object of my most tender, my most profound affections. (Le journal de Marie-Amélie, Duchesse d'Orléans:1814-1822, 1938, p. 210)

4 comments:

Jorge said...

Her last phrase is impressive, unselfish and shows how deep was her faith.

Matterhorn said...

Yes, indeed!

Jorge, I was reading about the terrible earthquake in Chile. I do hope you and your family and friends have been safe?

Jorge said...

Thank you for your concern, Matterhorn. My family and friends are all safe, thanks to God. We live far from the most affected area, although the earthquake was still felt heavily here.

Matterhorn said...

How good to hear you have all been safe. God bless.