(To Brioche (2 syl.). A sort of bun or cake common in
France, and now pretty generally sold in England. When Marie Antoinette
was talking about the bread riots of Paris during the 5th and 6th
October, 1789, the Duchesse de Polignac naïvely exclaimed, “How is it
that these silly people are so clamorous for bread, when they can buy
such nice brioches for a few sous?” This was in spirit not unlike the
remark of our own Princess Charlotte, who avowed “that she would for
her part rather eat beef than starve,” “and wondered that the people
should be so obstinate as to insist upon having bread when it was so
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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