But the Simons were obviously grotesquely unfit guardians for a prince, and they doubtless caused much suffering to the impressionable child, who was made on occasion to eat and drink to excess, and learnt the language of the gutter.
Simon's wife now fell ill, and on the 19th of January 1794 the Simons left the Temple, after securing a receipt for the safe transfer of their prisoner, who was declared to be in good health.
Two days after the departure of the Simons the prisoner is said by the Restoration historians to have been put in a dark room which was barricaded like the cage of a wild animal.
The weak parts of this story are the sudden and unexplained departure of the Simons; the subsequent useless cruelty of treating the child like a wild beast and keeping him in a dark room practically out of sight (unless any doubt of his identity was possible), while his sister was in comparative comfort; the cause of death, declared to be of long standing, but in fact developed with such rapidity; the insufficient excuse provided for the child's muteness under Gomin's regime (he had answered Barras) and the irregularities in the formalities in attending the death and the funeral, when a simple identification of the body by Marie Therese would have prevented any question of resuscitated dauphins.
MENNO SIMONS (1492-1559), religious leader, was born in 1492 at Witmarsum in Friesland.