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 24 - 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 attached to the Bourbons. Formerly he was one of Prince de Conti's grooms, and what he possesses he got from his master. If you remain indoors, you are safer here than anywhere else in France. Do not move. Pious people will see to your wants, and you can wait for more prosperous days without danger. A year hence,...
Page 79 - ... generous men who were accused of having conspired against their country ; they were firm but humane Republicans ; they thought that good laws only could make the Republic popular with those who had no confidence in democratic institutions." The president of the Tribunal interrupted her, saying that she could not be allowed to praise traitors who had been righteously punished. Madame Roland turned towards the audience and protested against these words ; but insulting clamours were the only response...
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 20 - Dei, &c., the priest, by a divine inspiration, looked at his three companions who represented Christian France, and said to them : ' Let us enter God's sanctuary ! ' At these words, uttered with impressive softness, the stranger and the two nuns were seized with religious awe. God could not have appeared more majestic under the cupola of St Peter's at Rome than He then appeared to these Christians in this refuge of misery. The stranger's fervour was sincere. The sentiment which united the prayers...
Page 166 - Quartier St. Antoine are not so timid as those of the Place de la Revolution, and they made no secret of their disgust ; when the execution took place almost everybody had gone away. The Committee have determined not to renew the experiment, and under pretence that the Place de la Bastille is too good a place for aristocratic blood, they have directed the scaffold to be transferred to the Place du Trone. So we passed another sleepless night. We are now to send the corpses to the St. Marguerite Cemetery.
Page 173 - Messidor 1.—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 executed. This is the garden of the old convent...
Page 95 - Vervitch and his sister,were brought in to be cropped. Barnave and Du Tertre were very brave and quiet. The former came up to me, held out his hands, and said : ' Bind these hands, which were the first to sign the declaration of the rights of man!' When he was ready, and while Citizeness Vervitch,. who was in tears, was being bound, he went up to Duport and spoke to him with animation. Two carts had been provided : the late deputies entered one, with me ; the three other convicts occupied the other...
Page 165 - The festival of the Supreme Being took place yesterday. Flowers were brought from miles around in honour of the Divinity; but the Pontiff did not pronounce the words of clemency expected. 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 it was the festival of discord, not...
Page 17 - I know your names and that of your guest, and for three days I have had a knowledge of your distress and of your devotion to the venerable Abbe de — " "Hush!" said Sister Agathe, innocently placing a finger on her lips. "You see, my sisters, that if I had conceived the horrible design of betraying you, I should have been able to accomplish it more than once — " On hearing these words, the priest released himself from his prison and reappeared in the middle of the...
Page 22 - ... held out to the priest a little box that was extremely light. The latter took it in his hands automatically, so to say, for the solemnity of the words of this man, the tone in which he spoke, the reverence with which he handled the box, had plunged him into a reverie of deep astonishment. Then they returned to the room where the two nuns were waiting for them.

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