Memoirs of the Sansons from private notes and documents, ed. by H. Sanson..

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Clément Henri Sanson
1876
 

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Page 15 - ... his gait, in his air, in his physiognomy, indicated a malicious man. He imitated the immobility of the nuns and slowly turned his eyes on the room in which he found himself. Two mats of straw, laid on the floor, served as beds for the two nuns. A single table was in the middle of the room, on which was placed a brass candlestick, a few plates, three knives and a loaf of bread. A small fire burned in the chimney-place. A few pieces of wood, piled in a corner, attested, moreover, the poverty of...
Page 251 - We reached the guillotine, and the culprit was about to ascend to the platform, when the Abbe" Montes caught hold of his arm, and said, ' Kneel down, my son, and ask God's forgiveness for your crime.' ' Never, sir,' answered Louvel, haughtily ; ' I do not regret what I have done, and I would do it again, if necessary.' ' But, my friend, you have but one last effort to make to go to heaven. Come, be humble ' ' I shall go to heaven, just as you will, if there is one. Leave me alone, pray ; think of...
Page 19 - ... as he caught sight of the crape upon the chalice and the crucifix, — for in default of other means of proclaiming the object of this funeral rite the priest had put God himself into mourning, — the mysterious visitant was seized by some all-powerful recollection, and drops of sweat gathered on his brow. The four silent actors in this scene looked at each other with mysterious sympathy ; their souls, acting one upon another, communicated to each the feelings of all, blending them into the...
Page 79 - ... husband's place of refuge. She replied that, whether she knew it or not, she would not reveal it ; and that there was no law by which she was obliged, in a court of justice, to violate the strongest feelings of nature. Upon this she was condemned. On her sentence being read to her, she rose and said, " You judge me worthy of sharing the fate of the great men whom you have assassinated. I shall endeavour to imitate their firmness upon the scaffold.
Page 7 - Although the pastrycook could only see the large black silk cap, adorned vrith bows of violet ribbon, he disappeared, after looking at his wife in a manner which seemed to signify : ' Do you think I am stupid enough to leave it on your counter ? ' Astonished at the silence and stillness of the old lady, the woman returned to her ; and, upon looking at her, she was seized with compassion, or rather with curiosity. Although the unknown lady's face was naturally livid, as that of a person addicted to...
Page 22 - The stranger, suiting the action to the word, offered the priest a very light and small box. The priest took it, impulsively as it were ; for the gravity of the man's words, and the respect with which he held the box, surprised him very much. They then returned to the room where the two nuns were waiting for them. 'You live in a house,' said the stranger, 'of which the owner, Mucius Ccevola, the plasterer who lives on the first floor, is famous, in his section, for his patriotism ; but he is secretly...
Page 175 - From the 1st to the 4th of Messidor ninety-two convicts have been put to death. The dead are beginning to frighten the living. The inhabitants of the Montreuil section, where we now send the dead bodies, have complained. They urged that the stench is horrible, and that, unless the small cemetery of St. Marguerite be closed, serious consequences cannot but ensue. After much hesitation the Commune has selected a new place for the burial of the exe•cuted. This is the garden of the old convent of Picpus....
Page 20 - And forgive the regicides as Louis XVI. himself forgave them.' The two nuns saw two large tears rolling down the stranger's manly cheeks.
Page 167 - We removed the scaffold, and this gave credence to the rumours of amnesty. The hideous cesspool of blood which lies under the scaffold was covered with long and strong planks. Brilliant as the proceedings were, the day was not exactly a success. They say...
Page 246 - Neuilly" that I recovered, and even then my conscience smote me bitterly. At last I made up my mind. I had crossed the line, there was no help for it ; I had, as it were, passed my examination of executioner, and I could not return on my steps. I went home subdued, if not comforted, and I found some relief in the thought that the first step was made, and the first bitterness had passed.

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