Even if he were not the author of the forgeries he can scarcely have been the dupe of his own partisans.
It is generally believed that Marie Antoinette was stainless in the matter, that Rohan was an innocent dupe, and that the Lamottes deceived both for their own ends.
The royal dupe was the last man in the world to check the advance of the papacy.
Even the detractors who defend her conduct on the plea that she was a dastard and a dupe are compelled in the same breath to retract this implied reproach, and to admit, with illogical acclamation and incongruous applause, that the world never saw more splendid courage at the service of more brilliant intelligence, that a braver if not "a rarer spirit never did steer humanity."
The nominal head was the king's brother Charles, duke of Berry, then eighteen years old, a weak character, the tool of the rebels as he was later the dupe of the king.
Nothing is now extant to prove that, if this lady really existed, she was the Laura of the Canzoniere, while there are reasons for suspecting that the abbe was either the fabricator of a romance flattering to his own family, or the dupe, of some previous impostor.