December 11th, 1789
Madame de Genlis,
There are a couple of things that have been on my mind lately. England has been a unique and interesting place to venture; it’s certainly less chaotic than what’s going on in France.
Has anything new happened since I left? And how are you doing yourself? How about my children? I hope to chat with you when I return; I miss your intelligence and zeal.
I won’t lie. Being born into a wealthy family and getting married to the daughter of the richest man in all of France has made my life rather easy and pleasurable. I’m certainly grateful I’m not starving like a majority of the citizens of our country; I’m sure you are, too.
But unlike many nobleman, I feel intense sympathy for those that don’t have enough to feed their families. It was hard to live in a massive, exorbitant royal court like Versailles when King Louis XVI and his mercenary, self-obsessed wife paid absolutely zero attention to the condition of the very country that they are running. Their attitude of widespread apathy caused me to leave Versailles. I suppose I would have been kicked out sooner or later anyway; after all, in the past, I’ve been exiled all the way to Northern France simply for opposing the King’s attempt to force the Parlement of Paris to agree to his senseless taxation system.
I’ve been mistreated by this absurd ruler for far too long. In fact, just a few months ago, when mobs with thousands of people stormed into the Palace of Versailles, I was the one that was suspected of being behind all of the bedlam. It was as if the King was oblivious to idea that the people of France could get unruly when they were starving. I was so disgusted by the how the King treated me in the days that followed that I considered moving to the United States; in the end, I decided to stay in France.
Alas, I am not sending you this letter to complain. I’d like to know what you think about my choice of being the first nobleman to join the National Assembly. I’ve always supported the Third Estate over the First or the Second, and I urge you to join our cause too; with your help, we could revolutionize France. It won’t be easy by any means, but my optimism tells me we can turn the condition of our country around.
I’ve also began reading some of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Montesquieu’s work, and I find their publications intriguing. Imagine a form of government where everybody could have a say into how decisions are made, instead of one King. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? I’m hoping to use my wealth and connections to spread their work around. Oh, I’m excited just thinking about getting these works out there for the Parisians to read!
I must leave for lunch promptly. Thank you again for being such a great friend.
See you soon,
Louis Philippe Joseph