« 前へ次へ »
agitated and disturbed by the inces- gers of that past epoch with those sant arrival of carriages conveying which immediately surrounded me. prisoners, whom we were enabled September 1st.- Some of our comto see from the windows of a tower rades were released; as were other which communicated with our room. occupants of the adjacent rooms. In the sequel, our curiosity was pain. Among the latter was M. de Jaufully punished by the scenes we wit- court, a member of the legislative nessed on the Place, in the Rue assembly, who, shortly before bis St Marguerite, and above all, im- arrest, had vacated his seat as a de. mediately opposite the wicket of puty. our prison.
August 30th. Eleven at night.-A man of eighty years of age was conducted to his bed, in our room; the My Thirty-eight Hours' Agony. next day we learned that he was the Sieur Cazotte, the author of a poem September 2d. Sunday. The turncalled Olivier, of the Diable Amou- key served our dinner earlier than reux, &c. The extravagant gaiety and usual. His wild look and haggard Oriental style of speech of this old eyes seemed to announce some disman, afforded us a temporary diver- astrous tidings. He returned to us sion. In the midst of our misery, he at two o'clock; we surrounded him, endeavoured seriously to persuade in breathless anxiety and expectaus, by the History of Cain and Abel, tion, but he was deaf or dumb to that we were much happier than every question; and, with unusual those in the enjoyment of liberty, precaution, he collected the knives, and was sensibly offended at our in- which we were accustomed to fold credulity. Our discussion was ter- up in our napkins. minated by the arrival of two gen- At half past two o'clock, the turdarmes, who conducted him to the bulent noise of the mob was dreadcriminal tribunal.
fully augmented by the drums beatI lost not an instant in procuring ing““ the general;" by shots of alarm such attestations as supported the from the cannon; and by the tocsin, truths advanced in my memoran- wbich resounded on all sides. During dum. I was assisted by a friend, the this terrible tumult we saw three carlike of whom the world does not con- riages pass, surrounded by a counttain ; who, while the companions of less crowd of infuriated men and my misfortune were utterly aban- women, crying “A la Force, à la doned by theirs, laboured night and Force!"* The occupants of these day incessantly, in my behalf. He coaches were conveyed to the cloister forgot that at such a crisis of excite- of the Abbaye, which had been set ment and general mistrust, he ran the apart as a prison exclusively for the risk of implications like my own, by priests. An instant had hardly elapevincing such lively interest in the sed, when we heard that a general condition of a suspected man. His massacre had taken place of the noble spirit was above all these con- bishops and other ecclesiastics, who, siderations; no danger daunted him; to use the vulgar expression of the and well did he exemplify the pro- time, had been parqués (penned up) verb, that “adversity is the touch- in this receptacle. stone of friendship.” To his zealous Nearly four o'clock. We were atenergy am I, in a great degree, in- tracted to the window by the pierdebted for existence; and I owe it to cing cries of a man, whom they were the public, to myself, and to truth, to hacking to pieces with sabres. We declare the name of this generous beheld from the tower adjoining our and incomparable friend, M. Teyssier, apartment, a mangled body on the Rue Croix des Petits-Champs. pavement; in an instant the slaugh
The last days of August brought ter of another wretched being sucback to my remembrance the affair ceeded — It is impossible to deof Nanci, and I compared the dan- scribe the horror of the profound
* We were not aware, at the moment, that this was the cry in vogue, when the victims of popular ferocity were led to death.
and sombre silence which prevailed uttering a word. We wrung our during these ferocious executions. hands in agony; we embraced in des. The only perceptible sounds were pair. We were motionless—there the agonized shrieks of the massacred was a dead silence-and our eyes victims, and the clash of the sabres, were fixed on the pavement of the as they struck their heads. They prison, on which the moonlight fell were no sooner extended lifeless through the triple columns of our on the ground, than the cries of windows. But soon our agitation « Vive la Nation!” arose. In the short was revived by the shrieks of fresh intervals between the executions, we victims. We then thought on the beard beneath our windows, “ Not a words of the unfortunate M. Chansingle individual must escape; they terami, who said, on plunging a knife must all die, particularly those in the into his heart, “ We are all destined chapel, who are all conspirators.” to be massacred.” Every species of distraction con Midnight. Ten men, sword-inspired to rouse us from reflection on hand, preceded by two turnkeys our melancholy state; if silence pre- bearing torches, entered our room, vailed in the streets, a tumultuous and ordered each of us to appear at noise arose in the prison.
the foot of his respective bed. When Five o'clock. Several voices pro- they had counted us, they said, we nounced the name aloud of M. Ca- were responsible for one another, zotte. A moment afterwards the and swore, that if one single indivistairs were descended by a crowd of dual escaped, we should all be maspeople talking loudly. The clattering sacred without a hearing from the of arms was mingled with the cries President. These last words conof women and men. They were veyed a gleam of hope ; for we were leading the venerable old man to not confident of any thing like trial death. He was followed by his previously to our destruction. daughter. When he passed to the Monday, 3d September, Two in exterior of the wicket to receive his the morning. One of the doors of doom, that courageous girl threw her. the prison was broken open by reself round the neck of her father. iterated blows. We thought, at first, The emotion of the people at this it was the wicket, and that the poputouching sight, obtained the old man's lace were rushing to destroy us in pardon.
our chamber. Our apprehensions About seven o'clock. Two men were partly tranquillized, on hearing entered, their hands bloody, and some one say on the stairs, that it armed with sabres; a turnkey bold. was a dungeon door wbich had been ing a torch conducted them, and barricaded by some prisoners. We pointed out the bed of the unfortu- shortly learned, that every human nate Reding, who was a captain of being in it was dispatched. the Swiss guard on the 10th of Au Ten o'clock. The Abbé L'Enfant, gust, on which day his arm had been confessor to the king, and the Abbé broken by a shot. He had also four Chapt-Rastignac, appeared in the sabre wounds on his head. At this tribune of the chapel where we horrible moment, I was pressing his were confined. They announced to hand and endeavouring to cheer him. us the approach of our last moments One of the men began to remove -and begged us to assemble to rehim, but the wretched creature stop- ceive their benediction. By an elecped him, saying, in a dying voice, tric impulse, we were on our knees, “ Ah! sir, I have suffered enough al- and our hands joined and raised to ready. I am not afraid of death; receive it. This moment, though but, in mercy, let me meet it here.” consoling, was one of the most! He was rendered motionless by this -! we had yet experienced. On appeal ; but his comrade saying, the eve ofappearing before the Su“Allons donc," decided him; he was preme Beng, kneeling before two carried out on their shoulders, and of his ministers, we presented an inconveyed into the street, where he describable spectacle. The posture was instantly dispatched-My eyes of these two venerable priests leanare so full of tears, that I cannot seeing over us—death hovering over our what I write.
heads, and surrounding us on all We looked at one another without sides every circumstance imparted
an awful solemnity to our condition. of safety, placed a ladder against the The moment seemed to approximate window of our room; but all ascent us to the Deity. It gave us courage, was prevented by the cry of “A bas, reason and reflection were suspend- a bas, c'est pour leur porter des ed, and the awful ceremony was armes.”. equally impressive on the cold and In addition to our mental agonies, incredulous, on the ardent and con- we endured the torture of a burning fiding. In half an hour, we heard thirst. At length our turnkey, Berthe cries of these two massacred ec- trand, made his appearance alone, clesiastics!
and we prevailed on him to grant us The thought which now occupied a jug of water. We had passed sixour chief attention, was the posture and-twenty hours without one soli. by which, on the reception of our tary drop. When we represented fate, we should be exposed to the this negligence to a federe, who came least torture, on our entering the with other persons to inspect the priplace of massacre. Some of our son, he was so indignant at the circomrades went, from time to time, cumstance, that he demanded the to the window of the turret; that, name of the turnkey, that he might by witnessing the sufferings of thé be exterminated on the instant; but various victims, they mightform an in- our united and strenuous supplicaference of the least agonizing means tions averted the fate that, but for of meeting their destruction. They them, inevitably awaited him. reported that those who extended We were soon afterwards disturbtheir hands were the most considera- ed by plaintive cries, which we found ble sufferers, as such a posture inter proceeded from a young officer who cepted the sabre strokes, which fell, had wounded himself in several in consequence, with a diminished places. As the blade of his knife was power upon the head; that some lost rounded at the end, he had not suctheir hands and arms; but that they ceeded in giving himself a mortal who placed them behind their backs stroke; but the attempt accelerated were most readily and least painfully his execution ! dispatched. We resolved on this At Eight o'clock-The agitation of ready method of escaping from the the mob subsided, and several voices ferocity of our executioners. cried, “ Grace, grace, pour ceux qui
Towards mid-day. Overwhelmed, restent." These words were feebly almost annihilated, by supernatural applauded. They, however, gave us agitation, and absorbed in thoughts a gleam of hope; and some among too horrible to be expressed, I threw us were so convinced of their immemyself on a bed, and slept profound. diate deliverance, that they already ly. To this sleep I believe myself had placed their bundles under their indebted for the preservation of my arms; the hope was delusive. The life. I dreamed that I was before shrieks of death replunged us into the terrible tribunal appointed for the depth of our fears and agonies. my trial ; that, in spite of the hideous At eleven o'clock-Ten men, armclamour of the tocsin and surround- ed with sabres and pistols, ordered ing cries, I was heard attentively. us to form a rank, and conductMy case was concluded, and I was ed us to a ward next the apartset at liberty. This dream produced ment in which was sitting the tribua beneficent impression on my mind, nal appointed for our trial. I caudissipated my agitation; and I awoke tiously approached one of the sentiwith a presentiment of my salvation. nels placed over us, and succeeded I related it to the partners in my in entering into conversation with misfortune, who were surprised at him. He told me in a patois, from the confidence with which it inspi- which I discovered that he was either red me, from the moment until my of Provence or Languedoc, that he appearance before my judges. had served eight years in the regi
Two o'clock. A proclamation was ment of Lyonnais. I spoke patois made, which the populace received to him; this appeared to please him, with disapprobation; a moment af- and my interested situation at the terwards, some people, who were moment inspired me with such Gaseither curious to see us, or perhaps con and persuasive eloquence, that disposed to point out to us the means I succeeded in drawing from him
these words, the effect of which, at boli pér you; à ta santat."-"Sacre, my such crisis, I should in vain attempt friend, how you drink-I want some to state: “Ne te cougneichi pas, mé myself-here's to your health”-and pértant' né péinsi qué siusque un he drank the remainder. He then tréste ; au contrairi, te crési un boun continued—“ Né poudi pas damoura goyat;” implying, “I do not know dans tu loun tén; mé rapelé-té de ce you; however, I believe you are not qué té disi. Si ses un caloutin ou bé a traitor ; on the contrary, I take you ún conspirateur d' au castél de monto be a good fellow.”
ser Bétot, sias flambat; mé si né sias I endeavoured, by all imaginable pas un tréste, nage pas po; te rémeans, to confirm him in this favour- spoundi dé ta biste." able opinion, and so far succeeded, “Eh! moun amic, suis bien surt as to prevail on him to let me enter dé n'esta pas accusat de tout aco; the awful presence in which the trial mé passi per esta un tantinel aristouof a prisoner was proceeding. I wit- cratenessed the process
against a purveyor “ Coy re caco; los juges sabent bé to the king, who, being accused of the qui a d’hounestés gens pér tout. Lou conspiracy of the Toth, was con- president es un hounéste houmme, demned and executed; another, who qué n'est pas un sot.” was sobbing and uttering words in. “ Fasei mé lou plasei de préga los articulate from his anguish, was al. juges de m’escouta ; né damandi ready undressed, and on the point of cacobeing delivered to his fate, when a “ Lou siras, t'en respoundi. Arça, workman of Paris recognised him, adissias, amic; d'au couragé; m'en and protested that he was mistaken bau à mon poste ;-taquerci de fa for another person. He was accord- béné toun tour lou plu leu que sira ingly remanded; and on a subse- poussible. Embrasse mé; seui à tu quent hearing, proclaimed innocent dé boun co-” which dialogue inand set at liberty.
terpreted is this :-"I cannot remain From what I had just seen, I dis- with you long, but remember what I tinctly saw the turn it was advisable tell you: If you are a priest or a to give to my defence. I returned conspirator of the château of M. Veto, into the adjoining ward, where I saw you are undone; but if you are no some prisoners who had been just traitor, entertain no fear; I answer brought in. I begged my Provençal for your life.” friend to procure me a glass of wine. I replied—"Ah! my good friend, As he was going to get it, he was de. I don't fear being accused of all that, sired to reconduct me to the chapel, though I am supposed to be somewhich I accordingly re-entered, quite what of an aristocrat." at a loss to discover for what pur He said—“That is nothing; the pose we had been taken down; I judges know that there are honest found that ten new prisoners had re men of all parties. The president is placed five who had been tried. I an upright man, and no fool.” lost no time in making the needful I requested him—“ Do me the faalterations in my defence, and was vour to beg the judges to hear me; busily employed on it, convinced that I ask but that.”-_“You shall be heard, firmness and frankness alone could this I promise you. So now, my save me, when my Provençal ac- friend, adieu. Courage !-I am off quaintance entered, and said to the to my post.—I will endeavour to turnkey, “Bacle la porte, à la tour. bring your turn on as soon as posnante seulément, et attens mé en sible. "Embrace me; I am yours, défore.”-“Shut the door, with the with all my heart.” key only, and wait for me outside.” We embraced, and he departed, He drew near me and said, seizing No one but a prisoner in the Abbaye my hand, “Béni per tu-Baqui lou on the 3d of September 1792, can bin qué mas demandat :-beu.”—“I appreciate the consoling influence of come for you—There's the wine you the brief conversation I have reasked me for-drink.” I had drank corded. more than half of it, when he put his Towards midnight, the frightful and hand on the bottle and said, “ Sa unnatural tumuli which had raged crisdi, moun amic, coumé ybas; n'en for thirty-six hours, began to abate:
and we imagined that the judges, turnkey kept his hand incessantly on and their executive authority,* being the bolts. Three persons, in front overwhelmed with fatigue, would of the President, held a prisoner require repose before they entered about sixty years of age. I was seaton our trial.
We were making our ed in a corner; my guards placed beds, when we heard a proclama- their sabres across my breast, and tion, which was loudly hooted. In warned me, that if I made the slighta moment, a man asked the populace est attempt to stir, they would poniwhat it wanted ; and we heard him ard me immediately. I looked on distinctly answer, “ The priests all sides for my Provençal. I saw and conspirators who remain, and two national guards present a reclawho are in the prison, (ont graissé la mation from the section of the Croix patte des juges,) have greased the Rouge, in favour of the accused bejudges' hands—and that is the reason fore the President. He repliedof their not being tried.” It appeared “these solicitations are useless in beto us, that he had no sooner spoken, half of traitors.”—The prisoner cried, than he was dispatched. The noise “it is horrible-your judgment is and agitation of the mob rose into a mere assassination.” The Presi. fearful exasperation. The tumult dent said, “My hands are washed of increased momentarily, and when it,- lead out M. Maillé—" He the disturbance was at its height, was pushed into the street, where I the officers of the committee came saw him massacred, while the door for M. Defon-one of the old garde was yet open. de corps-whose cries, in the agony The President sat down, appaof death, shortly succeeded. In a rently to register the name of the unfew moments, two of our comrades fortunate man just dispatched. I were carried off--and then, I began heard the order given : "à un auto think that my fatal hour ap- tre!”. proached.
I was immediately placed before At length, on Tuesday, at one in the the expeditious and bloody tribunal. morning, after enduring, for thirty- Two of my guards held each a band seven bours, an agony more terrible the third seized the collar of my than death itself-after having drunk coat. a thousand and a thousand times the The President, (addressing me.) cup of bitterness—the door of my Your name and profession? prison was thrown open-my name One of the Judges. The slightest was pronounced-I followed. Three lie will be fatal to you. men seized me, and placed me be- Ans.-My name is Jourgniac St fore my terrible judges.
Méard; I have served 25 years as an officer; and I appear before you with
the assurance naturally belonging to The last Crisis of my Agony.
a man, who has nothing with which
to reproach himself, and who conseBy the flaring light of two torches, quently will not resort to falsehood. I beheld the tribunal which was to The President. That we shall give me life or death. The Presi- A moment
(he then in dent, dressed in a grey coat, and spected the commitment and accusawearing a sabre, was leaning on a tion, which he passed round to the table, covered with papers, an escru- other judges.) Do you know the toire, pipes, and bottles. The table cause of your arrest ? was surrounded by ten persons, some Ans. Yes, Monsieur le President, standing, some seated, two of whom and I can readily believe, after the were in waistcoats only, and wore glaring falsity of the accusations aprons; others were extended on the made against me, that the Commitbenches, fast asleep. The door was tee of Surveillance would not have kept by two men, sword in hand, in sanctioned my imprisonment, were shirtsstained with blood ; an elderly it not for the precautions imposed
This was the designation given to the butchers of the condemned. + I was considerably annoyed at the frequency with which the President's attention was engrossed ; as well as that of the other Judges. People were constantly whispering to them, and bringing them letters,