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having been present at the convention when the conspirators consummated their crimne by means of the military force of Paris, and concealed himself in the house of a friend, with his brother, one of the seventy-three deputies who had signed the protest.
They enclosed part of a room for their place of shelter, and built up the wall with their own hands, placing a book-case before the entrance, so that there was not the least appearance of concealment. They employed a carpenter in whom they had great confidence to make the door, and the wretch betrayed them. Rabaut de St. Etienne was imrnediately brought before the revolutionary tribunal to llave his person identified, for he was now outlawed, which in France is the sentence of death. He was led to execution ; and his wife, a most aniable woman, unable to support the loss of a husband whom she tenderly loved, put an end to her existence. His brother was taken to the Conciergerie, where he languished with three other victims, for maliy months, in a subterraneous dungeon ; and there being only one bed allotted for four persons, he lay upon the damp floor, and contracted such violent disorders that his life was long despaired of. He has now taken his seat in the convention. The generous friend and his wife, who had given the brothers an asylum, were also dragged to prison; and some time after were condemned, for this noble act of friendship, to perisht on the scaffold.
If France, during the unrelenting tyranny of Robespierre, exhibited unexampled crimes, it was also the scene of extraordinary virtue ; of the most affecting instances of magnanimity and kindness. Of this nature was the conduct of a young inan, who being a prisoner with his brother, happened tơ be present when the names of the victims were
called over, who were stummoned to appear the next day before the sanguinary tribunal." "The young man found the name of his brother, who at that moment was absent, upon the fatal list. He paused only an instant to rehect, that t?re life of the father of a large family was of more value than bis own: he answered the call, surrendered himself to the officer, and was executed in his brother's stead. A father made the sanie sacrifice for his son ; for the tribunal was so negligent of forms, that it was not difficult to deceive its vigilance.
The increasing horrors' which every day produced, had at length the effect of extinginishing in every heart the love of life, that sentiment which cliny's so fast to our nature. To' die, and get beyond the reach of oppression, appeared a privilege ; and perhaps nothing appalled the souls of the tyrants so much as that serenity with which their victims went to execution. The page of history has held up to the admiration of succeeding ages, those philosophers who have met death with fortitude. But had they been led among the victims of Robespierre to execution, they would have found themselves, in this respect, undistinguished from the crowd. They would have seen persons of each sex, of all ages, and all conditions, looking upon death with a contempt equal to their own. Socrates expiring, surrounded by his friends, or Seneca and Lucan sinking gently into death, bave perhaps less claim to admiration than those blooming beauties, who, in all the first freshness of youth, in the very spring of life, submitted to the stroke of the executioner with placid smiles on their countenances, and looked like angels in their flight to heaven.
Among the victims of the tyrants, the women have been peculiarly distinguished for their admirable firmness in death. Perhaps this arose froin the superior sensibility which belongs to the female
mind, and which made it feel that it was less terrible to die than to survive the objects of its tenderness. When the general who commanded at Longwy on its surrender to the Prussians, was condemned to die, his wife, a beautiful
young woman of four-and-twenty years of age, who heard the sentence pronounced, cried out in a tone of despair, « Vive le roi !" The inhuman tribunal, instead of attributing her conduct to distraction, condemned her to die. Her husband, when he was placed in the cart was filled with astonishment and anguish when he saw his beloved wife led towards it. The people, shocked at the spectaclu, followed her to the scañold, crying, “ Elle n'a pas mérité la mort.” 65 Mes amis,” said she,
said she, “c'est ma faute ; j'ai voulu périr avec mon mari*.'
The fury of these implacable monsters seemed directed with peculiar virulence against that sex, whose weakness man was destined by nature tó support. The scafold was every day bathed with the blood of women.
Some who had been condemned to die, but had been respited on account of their pregnancy, were dragged ta death immediately after their delivery, in that state of weakness which savages would have respected. One unfortunate woman, the wife of a peasant, had been brought to Paris, with nineteen other women of the same class, and condemned to die with her companions. She heard her sentence without emotion; but when they came to carry her to execution, and take away the infant who was hanging at her breast, and receiving that nourishment of which death was so soon to dry up the source, she rent the air with her cries, with the strong shriek of instinctive affection, the piercing throes of maternal
" She did not deserve death." 56 My friends, it is my own fault; I was rezolved to perish with my husband.”
tenderness-But in vain! the infant was torn from the bosom that cherished it, and the agonies of the unfortunate mother found respite in death. In
Fourteen young girls of Verdun, who had danced at a ball given by the Prussians, were led to the scaffold together, and looked like nymphs adeyned for a festival. Sometimes whole generations were swept away at one moment, and the tribunal ex-. hibited many a family piece, which has almost broken the heart of humanity. Malesherbes, the counsel of Louis XVI. was condemned to die, at eighty years of age, with his daughter and son-inlaw, his grand-daughter and grandson.
His daughter seemed to have lost sight of every earthly object but her venerable parent : she enbraced him a thousand times on their way to execution, bathed his face with her tears, and when the minister of death dragged her from him, forgeting that the next moment put an end to her own, she exclaimed, “ Wretch, are you going to murder my father'}"?
These proscribed families seemed to find the sweetest. source of consolation in dying together, and to consider the momentary passage which they were going to make as sa much the less painful, since they should undergo no separation, but enter at the same instant into another state of existence. A Α.
young lady, the former marchioness of BoisBerenger, was imprisoned in the Luxembourg, with her whole family. When her father, mother, and younger sister received their act of accusation, and she found herself alone exempted, she shed a flood of tears, her heart was oyerwhelmed with anguish: * You will die withoát : me,” she cried, "I astu condemned to survive you; we shall not perisha together!? While she abandoned herself to despair, her act of aceusation arrived: a ray of transport was instantly ditlused over her counte
nancê, she flew into the arms of her parents, and embraced them.', “ My dear mother,” she exclaimed, 5 we shall die together!" When the family was transferred to the Conciergerie, she never left her mother a moment, but watched over her with unwearied tenderness; and while she tried to sooth her sufferings by her filial endearments, she endeavoured to inspire her with courage by the example of her own heroic fortitude. It was the picture of a sort of Roman charity. The unfortunate mother was mute, and her whole soul seemed petrified with horror. She seemed another Niobe. Her admirable daughter died with a most noble resolution.
Mademoiselle Malesi, her youngest sister, when condemned to die, said to her father, with naïvetté, 66. Je me serrerai tant contre vous, mon bon père, vous qui êtes si honnête homme, que Dieu me laissera passer malgré mes pêchés*.”
In the prison of the Force, the men were allowed to breathe the air in a court-yard separated by a wall from the habitation of the women. mon sewer was the only means of communication. At that spot, an unhappy son presented himself every morning and every night, to enquire after his mother, who was condemned to die, but reprieved because she was pregnant, and after her delivery executed. That pious child, in his early age already the victim of misfortune, knelt down before the infectious sewer, and with his mouth placed upon the hole, poured forth the feelings of his filial tenderness. His younger brother, a lovely child of three years of age, and
who was suffered to remain with his mother till her last moments, was
* "I will cling so fast to you, my dear father, you, who are so good, that God will suffer me to pass in spite of my transgressions."