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Royal Loyalty

In December 1792, with his king (Louis XVI) facing trial by the Revolutionary Convention, the noted lawyer Chretien de Malesherbes ended his retirement to offer his services.

Louis gratefully accepted. "Your sacrifice is the greater," he observed, "for you are jeopardizing your own life while you cannot possibly save mine."

[Sure enough, Malesherbes was guillotined (along with most of his family) sixteen months later.]

[Louis XVI's last words (spoken from the scaffold)? "May my blood cement your happiness."]

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