belonging to a monk, on the third story took upon himself to burn them up, of this prison. He was happier than I but not in that chamber. The smoke am, for he was a believer. He could and the smell there would never do. look up to heaven, and see his true He rolled up the bundle and took it country there. But my heaven, my with him to his own room. beloved, has been thy presence. Per- Those mysterious clothes must disaphaps I shall never see you any more. pear. “Ah, Nettie, my poor child," Farewell. So long as I live I am he thought, “low you carried out your thine. CLAUDE.”

purpose without a word !” Citizen Andrey walked up and down The petticoats and jacket were soon the room with this letter in his hand. committed to the


It He could trace in it presentiments of strange, the old man thought, that the coming evil. He shook his head. sight of the blood on them caused him Claude probably did not know, when so little horror. he wrote, what had happened to his He laid the garments on the top of enemy: Parbleu ! but the monster the fire on his hearth, but they burned bad deserved his fate. Claude would very slowly. He poked them with the soon find it out, for there would be no tongs, scattering the black crust, which, one in power now who had any interest as they were consumed, formed over in persecuting him. His uncle would them. The heat became suffocating. find some means to let him know that He was about to open the window he was not forgotten. He would never when he remembered that it would be fail him. He had grown brave and unsafe to send the smoke and the firm.

smell of burning wool into the street. He formed his plans at once for It would have to ascend to the upper Claude's release. As soon as Manette story, but that was empty. Au old should be a little better, he would ask lady had lived there whose son had Grégoire to go with him to see Citizen found means to escape from Paris, and Bazire. Brigette, who was putting a she had gone into hiding, that she cool bandage on the head of her mis- might not be arrested under the cruel tress, gave a sudden start and a little law which proscribed the relatives of

Then, without a word, she emigrés. rushed to the adjoining closet, and "Ah, Nénette !"he murmured,“ one

» brought forth a bundle of wet clothes, cannot efface the traces of thy crime which she flung on the floor. “I did without suffering — for it was a crime not kuow,” she said, “but now I fully - say what we will, to kill is a crime, understand. If madame went out in and always must be. But may it be the night, it was in these clothes. I forgiven thee 1” lieard her say so just this minute. The old man smiled. Where could she have got them ?” All was burned at last, except the

She opened the bundle. The black cloak, which would be the hardest of cloak fell out, and the cotton skirt, and all. He was about to do the best with the knitted petticoat. On one of the it he could, and unrolled it for the purjacket sleeves there was a stain of pose, when he, like Brigette by the blood. The old man and the servant bedside of her mistress, gave a start looked at each other.

and a sharp cry. The Spanish dagger “How had she got them ?”

had dropped from it to the ground. Its Brigette knew nothing of Citoyenne blade was red. The blood had dried Lamblet's second visit after dark the upon it. Assuredly she would have night before. " Monsieur,” she said got rid of it ere this if the fear had not presently, “don't you think we ought made her incapable of thought or acto burn them ?"

tion. The old man's hands trembled. Citizen Andrey made a sign of as- He threw two large logs on the fire, sent. She was right; they might be and made them burn up fiercely. The mute witnesses, if discovered. He ebony handle of the dagger soon crum


[ocr errors]


bled into ashes. The blade was con- over the prison who has no bowels torted by the heat. He flung on more of mercy. Since he came, we have wood. The room grew like an oven; been subjected to many indignities but at last only a steel fragment lay and many privations.

Our cells are among the ashes, an unrecognizable bit searched, and those who have any of metal. Citizen Andrey's task was objects very dear to them, have them ended. It had lasted an hour.

all taken away. After dark we are not When he went back into Manette's allowed any lights. We go to bed in chamber she seemed more tranquil. darkness. Oh, my dearest, I am terBrigette kept the wet cloths constantly ribly cast down. I feel that dangers about her head, and now, with the as- thicken round

Yesterday my sistance of the old man, made her jailer told me that the president of the drink a few drops of tisane with the Section Poissonière has been assassiopium. Night soon after came on, and nated. Is it true? He was probably the patient slept.

my only personal enemy, but I cannot Then the profound silence seemed rejoice at his death. The jailer tells very terrible to the watchers by her me that several prisoners whom I have bed. The old man sat there during known have been taken before the the hours of the day while Brigette Revolutionary Tribunal. Two have took some sleep. At night she was the been acquitted. They are free; they watcher. Manette was drowsy most of are happy! It may be my turn next. the time. Occasionally she would grow But do not be alarmed. Nothing makes violent, as if distressed by some terri- me think I am likely to be called ; it is ble vision, but she rarely spoke intel- only a presentiment. I shall probably ligible words. At such times she lie long months in prison.

Ah, my would scream and fling herself rest- love, away from thee! I may possibly lessly about the bed, but, for the most be able to send you another letter. part, she never stirred. Her face lay Yours as long as life lasts. ghastly white upon the pillows, with

CLAUDE. her long hair unconfined.

Citizen Andrey repeated the words, When a crisis of this sort occurred, “ As long as life lasts." Claude was Citizen Andrey, if he was on guard, right. Fresh dangers encompassed walked up and down the room, wring- him. It was possible that Cilly's ing his old hands. “ Nature must pull death, so far from proving his deliverher through,” he would exclaim. "Oh, ance, might draw the net closer around Nettie, who would close my eyes if I his victim. The old man drew near should lose you?” But Brigette knelt Manette's bed. She was asleep, and and prayed for her if these paroxysms he whispered : “Oh, Nénette, when came on during her hours of watching. you struck that blow, did you know

The third day of Manette's illness what you were doing ?another letter came from Claude. This Somebody was at the door. Brigette time it was brought by the post. The was asleep. Old Andrey went and day was the 4th Pluvoise - the 24th of opened it. He found himself face to January. It seemed Claude had de- face with Citizen Grégoire. One look spaired too soon. He was still able to passed between them. Something terwrite, for the letter was to Manette, as rible had taken place, or was about usual. It was dated the 3rd Pluvoise, to happen. Grégoire came in without

“I am very much depressed, saying a word. Citizen Andrey drew my dearest, and I cannot account for back to let him pass, but his legs shook it, since I am confident you love me. under him. At last he found words : The good mau who has compassion on "Is it Claude ?” Grégoire put his my misery, promised that you should arm round his old friend, but he said get this letter. He would pay dearly nothing. They went back into the for his humanity if it should be dis- chamber. Grégoire led his friend to copered, for a new man has been set an armchair ; he dropped into it heav


[ocr errors]

8 A.M.



[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


ily. On the bed lay Manette, white bed, and leaning over it whispered and still. She would not hear the hoarsely : “Oh! Nénette — could you news he brought for a long while. only understand 1” “Better so,” he said to himself. "Bet- But, happily for her, she never did. ter for her."

He took out of his pocket a newspaper; he unfolded it and laid it upon On the 2nd of Vendémaire of the Andrey's knees.

year III, the Criminal Tribunal Ex" REPORT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY

traordinary (that was the legal desigTRIBUNAL, ESTABLISHED

THE nation of the Revolutionary Tribunal) PALAIS DE JUSTICE, BY THE DE- held a memorable session. It took CREE OF MARCH 10, 1793."

place in the same hall where hundreds “ Sentenced on the 3d Pluvoise of of innocent people had been the year II. : Agathe Jollivet, feather- demned, but the spirit of the place was dresser ; Marie Françoise More, dress changed.

The same black plumes maker; Louis Claude Cézaron ; Fran- adorned the hats of the judges, but the çois Jean de Tremblay, ci-devant noble-befeathered head-gear covered other man ; Rosalie d'Albert ; Antoine Louis heads. There were twelve jurymen Champagne, priest and canon. Rosalie as there had always been, but now they d'Albert was acquitted.”

as anxious to acquit as their Then followed an enumeration of predecessors had been 'to condemn. the causes that had led to the sen- They did not stand in dread of the tence of death passed on the five cruel, pox-marked face of Fouquierothers.

Tinville, framed by his long, straight

hair. The new public prosecutor, Cit“ Agathe Jollivet, aged 30, convicted izen Leblois, stated his cases gravely of being the author or conniver of cor

and moderately. He was there, he respondence and information commu

said, to see that no outrage was done nicated to the enemies of the Republic

to innocence, the “ daughter of the within and without France. Marie

skies.” That day the Tribunal had Françoise More, 23, of hiding a priest. Louis Claude Cézaron, convicted of pronounced seven acquittals, and not

one condemnation. having taken part in the conspiracy

The last man to be acquitted was against the internal and external safety

a sorry figure, dressed in a tattered of the State, having intrigued for Raffet against Hanriot, and also of having Justice, two men endeavored to speak

carmagnole. As he left the Hall of said in his section that aristocrats should to him. Both were strangers to him, be spared.”

and to each other. To one he said a Citizen Andrey's lips quivered ; tears few words only, the other, an elderly rolled down his cheeks. “He died man, evidently connected with some happy in the belief that Manette loved learned profession, failed to get through him,” he murmured. “He said so in the press in time to detain him. Both his last letter."

met on the steps of the Palais de JusGrégoire came and sat down beside tice, and looked after his retreating him.

figure. " He was sentenced yesterday," he One of these citizens was Maximil. said, at noon. The execution took ian Grégoire. He wore his old frieze place at four o'clock. Cilly's death coat and small-clothes ; a white waisthastened his fate. It seems Cilly was coat had replaced the one of Foulon's holding back Fouquier-Tinville in his blood, which had been assumed out of for

He said : compliment, as it were, to the bloodWait; I will tell you when to strike.' | thirstiness of the period, and he had As soon as he was gone Fouquier took resumed his white stockings. The the poor fellow's head.”

other man remarked to him : “Do you The old man rose, went slowly to the know that young man,

the last person

[ocr errors]



case 6

[ocr errors]



acquitted by the Revolutionary Tri- | wore ragged clothes but they dealt in bunal ?"

precious metals. Possibly they would * By the Criminal Tribunal Extraor- have been quite as ready to extract dinary in the sanctuary of regenerated gold from the pockets of the stranger, justice, corrected Grégoire, “whose who looked as if he might have some sessions I have attended ever since about him, in one way as another. Thermidor, that I might have the Gold louis were worth thousands of pleasure of beholding innocence francs in assignats, and their value avenged."

enhanced day by day. The citizen thus - That last man whom they acquitted addressed pushed past the men withi 10-day is one to whom I think I should an impatient gesture, and turned into make a

conmunication. He looked what had been once the Palais Royal. miserable enough as he stood there in He walked swiftly through the long bis torp carmagnole. I heard that they arcades, where at that time of day was bad arrested him in Brumaire, sleep- concentrated the very life of the great ing in a gully in the Bois de Bou- city, panting for pleasure and for liblogne."

erty of action after the terrible experi• Yes. They took him to Sainte ences it had passed through. A motley Pélagie, and there, for ten months he crowd thronged the palace gardens, bas obstinately refused to disclose his refreshing, however, after the great

Possibly, that may have saved heat of a summer day — the hottest bim. But, citizen, we must admire his summer of the eighteenth century, strength of will."

Through this crowd, which seemed “He gave his name, however, at last little to attract his notice, the man to the Tribunal ; it was Citizen Lau- elbowed his way. He was tall and well rent de Laverdac,” said the other. "I dressed. He wore

a swallow-tailed hearl it said that he was anxious to get coat, a waistcoat of India silk striped news of his wife, arrested on the night with red, and a cravat of muslin, very of the same day when Marat was assas- fine. But he looked too preoccupied to sipated. They sent her a night or two have anything in common with the after from the Prison of La Force to pleasure seekers round him. the National Hospital, of which I was He grew tired of pushing his way in charge at that period. I tried to through the throng, and turned into make my way to the man but the crowd one of the galleries, where, as if by a was great, and I lost sight of him. If sudden impulse, lie made his way, with you know him

the air of an habitué, into the Café “I spoke to him as he came out, but Corazza, and seated himself at a table. he seemed too much in haste to wait, “ Citizen, would you like a glass of and only said he should be this even- crême de café de la Citoyenne Aming under the colonnades of the Palais phoux ?” said a waiter, proposing to Egalité. We had a mutual friend. His him the fashionable liquid of the day. name was Claude Cézaron. He, too, He made a sign of assent, not caring poor fellow, died a victim to tyranny.” what he ordered ; put his elbows on

! “Well,” said the other, “if you see the table, and hid his face in his hands. him tell him this,” and he whispered a His prevailing thought (but many few words in Citizen Grégoire's ear. thoughts combined with it) was of the

first news he had obtained on coming On the perron of the Rue Vivienne, out of prison. Claude Cézaron was near the Bourse, where speculators and dead. money-changers congregate, a hand- Laurent de Laverdac rejoiced that he some man of elegant appearance at- himself should be still living. He was tracted much attention. Two fellows glad he had had the resolution to suffer stepped up to him.

“Citizen, do you solitary confinement, the browbeating want money changed ?"

“ Citizen, of examiners, and the cruelty of jailers will you buy ten louis in gold ?” They exasperated by his obstinacy, rather

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

than tell his name. Nothing had over- | much ceremony, wondering not a little come his resolution or his courage. at the transformation he beheld in the

All that was over now. What he man whom he had seen that morning had suffered was a memory. And Ma- in the tattered carmaynole. nette was a widow.

It was growing dark in the galleries ; Poor Claude Cézaron ! Poor, tender, a waiter was placing candles on the kindly, visionary soul! He had lived tables of the guests. He came up bein times when action, not idealism, was hind Grégoire as the old gentleman was necessary. But what availed it that making his best bow, and the silhouette Manette should be free? Was Laurent of his peaked profile fell distinctly on de Laverdac free also ?

the marble table. Twice Emilie's name had risen to his “ Citizen Laverdac,” said this pomlips. He had twice almost spoken it pous personage, “permit me to salute aloud since he sat down at that table. in you patient virtue, and unconquerIt was the habit of talking to himself able resolution.” that he had acquired in prison. Emi- His sonorous voice, the black shadow lie ! -suppose those brutes had guillo- on the table, and the attempt at oratory tined her ?

almost amused Laverdac. A half smile He was now indeed in a position to played a moment on his lips. But in a make all possible enquiries, and might moment the thought that preoccupied soon obtain news of her. He might him, checked all merriment, and he not be able to say to himself distinctly resumed his look of gravity. 66 Pardon what he hoped or what he wished for me,” he said, “I did not hear your in the future, but his most pressing name.” present anxiety was to find his Emilie. ** Grégoire, so please you. Grégoire, What could they have done with that receveur de rentes, and a citizen devoted pretty, timid, tender little creature ? to the service of humanity. Claude He would leave nothing undone to find Cézaron was my assistant.” her; for he had at least secured some- Laverdac remembered him at once. thing by his persistent resolution. He He had heard Claude speak of Gréhad escaped Fouquier-Tinville. His goire, and some one else. He said, name had not been inscribed upon the hardly above his breath : “ Claude Célist of emigrés. His property had not zaron was he not executed ?" been confiscated. These things he had "On the 3rd Pluvoise. His wife, just learned from his notary, who had who loved him most tenderly, was not given him a considerable sum of money. able to save him. Her friends were He was rich, and could be powerful. long in doubt if she would survive him.

He sipped the perfumed liquor that But at last she has been able to leave had been set before him, without tast- Paris. She quitted it soon after the ing it, but as le raised it to his lips had days of Thermidor, and our happy dewhispered another name.

liverance." A man appeared at the door of the Laverdac was unable to speak. He café. He was the same who had ac- questioned his visitor by his look and costed Citizen Laverdac as in haste he manner. made his way out of the Hall of Justice, “The Citoyenne Cézaron," said Gréa free man. But Laverdac had been goire, " has gone to live in her own too bewildered and confused at that house at Vélizy, with her uncle, Citimoment to listen to the oration the zen Andrey.” stranger seemed disposed to make to Laurent said, more to himself thai him, and had briefly said he would be to Grégoire : that evening in the galleries of the " She was attached to that house

; Palais Egalité. He bad, however, she had passed a happy childhood wholly forgotten the rendezvous. there."

The man advanced towards him, “ Citizen,” said Grégoire, “ I have holding his bat in his hand, and with something else to communicate, which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »