Fear > The Death of King Louis XVI > They Royalist Bernard's Account of the Execution of Louis XVI
Paris, January 23rd, 1793
Wednesday morning. My dearest mother, I commend to you the spirit of the lamented Louis XVI. He lost his life on Monday, at half past ten in the morning, and to the very last he maintained the greatest possible courage.
He wished to speak to the people from the scaffold, but was interrupted by a drum-roll and was seized by the executioners, who were following their orders, and who pushed him straight under the fatal blade. He was able to speak only these words, in a very strong voice: 'I forgive my enemies; I trust that my death will be for the happiness of my people, but I grieve for France and I fear that she may suffer the anger of the Lord.'
The King took off his coat himself at the foot of the scaffold, and when someone sought to help him he said cheerfully, 'I do not need any help.' He also refused help to climb on the scaffold, and went up with a firm, brisk step. The executioner wanted to cut his hair; he refused saying that it wasn't necessary. But on the scaffold, the executioner tied his hands behind his back (this was when the king spoke to the people), and then cut his hair.
After his death his body and head were immediately taken to the parish cemetery and thrown into a pit of fifteen feet deep, where they were consumed by quicklime. And so there remains nothing of this unhappy prince except the memory of his virtues and of his misfortune.
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