Let them eat cake, she said, flouncing out of the room in a gown that made her look like a small cathedral.
Louis knew there was no use arguing with her when she got like this. He sighed and reached for the sealing wax. The ban on ordinary citizens consuming pastries within the territories of France had been rigidly enforced for nearly three hundred years, but it was no match for the generosity of Marie Antoinette.
They’d better bloody remember this, he grumbled.
It just goes to show that even at the height of the Bourbon monarchy, context is always king.
“So,” he said, squinting again as he peered closer. “These Ten Commandments.”
“Yes?” said Moses, shifting his weight uneasily from one foot to the other. “What about them?”
“Given to you by God, were they, up there on the mountain?”
“Yes, Aaron,” said Moses. “Given to me by God.”
“His chiselling’s a little sloppy, isn’t it? Especially down here around Respecting thy Fat Mother”
“Father and Mother,” corrected Moses
“It definitely says Fat,” said Aaron, judiciously. “And it’s high time the Almighty revisited His apostrophes!”
Moses, fidgeting with the stone tablets, suddenly wished he’d included something nasty about older brothers.
The bishop of Rouen tapped his foot impatiently and wiped the sweat off his mitred brow. He hated public burnings. They took forever. He wondered idly, as a jagged coronet of flame encircled the high-piled dais, if her fabled voices had finally deserted her. The voices that had given a shepherdess the words to challenge kings. The voices of a girl who led an army. As her eyes blazed at him through a chink in the roaring curtain, his soul was suddenly burned with understanding. She raised her mouth to the Heavens; and her lips formed a single fire-blackened word.