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have argued nothing at all but the weakness of a genial nature shrinking from the instant approach of torment. And those will often pity that weakness most who in their own person would yield to it least. Meantime there never was a calumny uttered that drew less support from the recorded circumstances. It rests upon no positive testimony, and it has a weight of contradicting testimony to stem. . . . . What else but her meek, saintly demeanor won, from the enemies that till now had believed her a witch, tears of rapturous admiration? “Ten thousand men,” says M. Michelet himself, "ten thousand men wept; and of those ten thousand the majority were political enemies." What else was it but her constancy, united with her angelic gentleness, that drove the fanátic English soldier-who had sworn to throw a faggot on her scaffold as his tribute of abhorrence that did so, that fulfilled his vow—suddenly to turn away a penitent for life, saying everywhere that he had seen a dove rising upon wings to heaven from the ashes where she had stood? What else drove the executioner to kneel at every shrine for pardon to his share in the tragedy? And if all this were insufficient, then I cite the closing act of her life as valid on her behalf, were all other testimonies against her. The executioner had been directed
to apply the torch from below. He did so. The fiery smoke rose up in billowy columns. A Dominican monk was then standing almost at her side. Wrapped up in his sublime office, he saw not the danger, but still persisted in his prayers. Even then, when the last enemy was racing up the fiery stairs to seize her, even at that moment did this noblest of girls think only for him, the one friend that would not forsake her, and not for herself; bidding him with her last breath to care for his own preservation, but to leave her to God. That girl, whose latest breath descended in this sublime expression of self-oblivion, did not utter the word recant, either with her lips or in her heart. No, she did not, though one should rise from the dead to swear it.
THOMAS DE QUINCEY,
DEATH OF MARIE ANTOINETTE.
Is there a man's heart that thinks without pity of those long months and years and slow-wasting ignominy; of thy birth, self-cradled in imperial Schönbrunn, the winds of heaven not to visit thy face too roughly, thy foot to light on softness, thy eyes on splendor; and then of thy death, or hun-dred deaths, to which the guillotine, and FouquierTinville's judgment bar was but the merciful end ! Look there, O man born of woman! The blood of that fair face is wasted, the hair is gray with care; the brightness of those eyes is quenched, their lids hang drooping, the face is stony pale, as of one living in death. Mean weeds which her own hand has mended attire the queen of the world. The death hurdle where thou sittest pale, motionless, which only curses environ, has to stop ; a people, drunk with vengeance, will drink it again in full draught, looking at thee there. Far as the eye reaches, a multitudinous sea of maniac heads, the air deaf with their triumph-yell! The living-dead must shudder with yet one other pang; her startled
blood yet again suffuses with the hue of agony that pale face, which she hides with her hands. There is there no heart to say, God pity thee! Oh, think not of these ; think of Him whom thou worshippest, the Crucified--who also treading the wine-press alone fronted sorrow still deeper; and triumphed over it and made it holy, and built of it a "sanctuary of sorrow” for thee and all the wretched ! Thy path of thorns is nigh ended, one long last look at the Tuilleries, where thy step was once so light—where thy children shall not dwell. The head is on the block; the axe rushes-dumb lies the world; that wild-yelling world, and all its madness, is behind thee.
THOMAS CARLYLE, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IN ITS RELA
TION WITH THE POPE.
It is not for his Holiness that we intend this consolatory declaration of our own weakness, and of the tyrannous temper of his grand enemy. That prince has known both the one and the other from the beginning. The artists of the French Revolution had given their very first essays and sketches of robbery and desolation against his territories, in a far more cruel “murdering piece” than had ever entered into the imagination of painter or poet. Without ceremony they tore from his cherishing arms the possessions which he had held for five hundred years, undisturbed by all the ambition of all the ambitious monarchs who during that period have reigned in France. Is it to him, in whose wrong we have in our late negotiation ceded his now unhappy countries near the Rhone, lately amongst the most flourishing (perhaps the most flourishing for their extent) of all the countries upon earth, that we are to prove the sincerity of our resolution to make peace with the Republic of Barbarism ? That venerable potentate and Pontiff