Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chapter Three, "The Haydn Book," possible excerpt

Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna (deceased)

My darlings, you have no idea what terrible things they used to say about me before I was beheaded. They compared me to Messalina, Brunhilda, Fredegund and Catherine Medici. I have met Mademoiselle Messalina, and you cannot believe anything you may have read about her. Those little men at my trial described me as a scourge, sucking the blood of the French, and implied that I had midnight meetings with supernatural beings as if I were a sorceress. I leave it to you to decide if you will believe an honest Christian woman, wife and mother, or if you will believe an aging lunatic, a parasite who slept with an axe under his pillow and an armed guard at his bedchamber door, so afraid was he of those very peasants his revolution was going to elevate to noble status. The Revolutionary Tribunal was a circus of character assassination and nothing more, excuses by petty little men for committing murders by the hundreds. Did the Roman soldiers who drove the nails into the palms of our Savior become suddenly His betters? They did not, my darlings. They did not. Here I am of course beyond such pettiness, here beyond the arcing sun as it parades far above the face of the earth, here in the glow of Him. I am quite beyond the peevishness of wagging tongues, my darlings. But oh, I must tell you that I have as yet failed to grow beyond sadness, which must mean I retain my human compassion, which I claim as a mark of saintliness. That is not merely a prideful remark: I cast my gaze down upon the beloved cities of Paris and Vienna where such awful events transpire and my heart is encased in a chill as tears come forth unbeckoned. My family, you see. My friends. My everything, all wet with blood. But men have always been idiots. What could I have been expecting, you might well ask. Well, that's precisely what they did ask me, isn't it? Who was it who asked me that? I forget, I confess. It all seems so long ago now, so distant from where I recline, suspended in His holy grace. I have my head and beautiful tresses; what does it matter by whom I was so insolently interrogated? And now here I see that I've been completely absorbed with gossiping tongues and have told you nothing of that which I meant to tell. I beg your forgiveness, my darlings. I shall begin anew, as I've so often done. A moment, I beseech you. Just a moment.

A little rough, but that's the idea, I think.

1 comment:

  1. What a voice! I feel like I can hear her breathless pleading.