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'Baudin de la Chenaye was called; sixty years of virtues could not save him. They said, "A l'Abbaye:" he passed the fatal outer-gate; gave a cry of terror, at sight of the heaped corpses; covered his eyes with his hands, and died of innumerable wounds. At every new opening of the grate, I thought I should hear my own name called, and see Rossignol enter.
'I flung off my nightgown and cap; I put on a coarse unwashed shirt, a worn frock without waistcoat, an old round hat; these things I had sent for, some days ago, in the fear of what might happen.
'The rooms of this corridor had been all emptied but ours. We were four together; whom they seemed to have forgotten: we addressed our prayers in common to the Eternal to be delivered from this peril.
'Baptiste the turnkey came up by himself, to see us. I took him by the hands; I conjured him to save us; promised him a hundred louis, if he would conduct me home. A noise coming from the grates made him hastily withdraw.
'It was the noise of some dozen or fifteen men, armed to the teeth; as we, lying flat to escape being seen, could see from our windows: "Up stairs!" said they: "Let not one remain." I took out my penknife; I considered where I should strike myself,'--but reflected 'that the blade was too short,' and also 'on religion.'
Finally, however, between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, enter four men with bludgeons and sabres!--'to one of whom Gerard my comrade whispered, earnestly, apart. During their colloquy I searched every where for shoes, that I might lay off the Advocate pumps (pantoufles de Palais) I had on,' but could find none.--'Constant, called le Sauvage, Gerard, and a third whose name escapes me, they let clear off: as for me, four sabres were crossed over my breast, and they led me down. I was brought to their bar; to the Personage with the scarf, who sat as judge there. He was a lame man, of tall lank stature. He recognised me on the streets, and spoke to me seven months after. I have been assured that he was son of a retired attorney, and named Chepy. Crossing the Court called Des Nourrices, I saw Manuel haranguing in tricolor scarf.' The trial, as we see, ends in acquittal and resurrection. (Maton de la Varenne, Ma Resurrection (in Hist. Parl. xviii. 135-156).)
Poor Sicard, from the violon of the Abbaye, shall say but a few words; true-looking, though tremulous. Towards three in the morning, the killers bethink them of this little violon; and knock from the court. 'I tapped gently, trembling lest the murderers might hear, on the opposite door, where the Section Committee was sitting: they answered gruffly that they had no key. There were three of us in this violon; my companions thought they perceived a kind of loft overhead. But it was very high; only one of us could reach it, by mounting on the shoulders of both the others. One of them said to me, that my life was usefuller than theirs: I resisted, they insisted: no denial! I fling myself on the neck of these two deliverers; never was scene more touching. I mount on the shoulders of the first, then on those of the second, finally on the loft; and address to my two comrades the expression of a soul overwhelmed with natural emotions. (Abbe Sicard: Relation adressee a un de ses amis (Hist. Parl. xviii. 98-103).)
The two generous companions, we rejoice to find, did not perish. But it is time that Jourgniac de Saint-Meard should speak his last words, and end this singular trilogy. The night had become day; and the day has again become night. Jourgniac, worn down with uttermost agitation, has fallen asleep, and had a cheering dream: he has also contrived to make acquaintance with one of the volunteer bailiffs, and spoken in native Provencal with him. On Tuesday, about one in the morning, his Agony is reaching its crisis.
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The French Revolution -by- Thomas Carlyle