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Wilhelmina had never seen the Prince of Wales. Her mother had not attempted to conceal from her that he was exceedingly plain in person, slightly deformed, weak in intellect, and debased by his debaucheries. But the ambitious queen urged these considerations, not as objections, but as incentives to the marriage. You will be able, she said, to have him entirely under your direction. You will thus be virtually King of England, and can exert a powerful control over all the nations of Europe. These considerations, however, did not influence the princess so much as they did her mother. She had never taken any special interest in her marriage with the Prince of Wales. Indeed, at times, she had said that nothing should ever induce her to marry him.
And peasants as postillions disguised,On the 29th of November, 1780, Maria Theresa died. The extraordinary character which she had developed through life was equally manifested in the hour of death. She died of congestion of the lungs, which created a painful and suffocating difficulty of breathing. Her struggles for breath rendered it impossible for her to lie upon the bed. Bolstered in her chair, she leaned her head back as if inclined to sleep.
Trzia was much better off at the Carmes, for she was no longer au secret, but mixed in the day with the rest of the prisoners and shared a cell at night with the Duchesse dAiguillon and Josphine Vicomtesse de Beauharnais, whose husband, a revolutionary general and a thoroughly contemptible character, had lately been guillotined by his republican friends. In Berlin you will do well to think of your safety. It is a great calamity. I will not survive it. The consequences of this battle will be worse than the battle itself. I have no resources more; and, to confess the truth, I hold all for lost. I will not survive the destruction of my country. Farewell forever.