Welcome toCamera Networkfront page

French Revolution itself, except for its destructive force,

source:qsjtime:2023-12-05 17:03:02

"I have come to see that you respect them."

French Revolution itself, except for its destructive force,

"I warn you that, if you do not change your tone, I shall have you taken off to prison."

French Revolution itself, except for its destructive force,

"And I warn you that, if you love justice and serve God, you will listen to me and suspend the execution of this sentence. It is not for him who brings truth to humble himself before those who should be seeking it. But you who are listening to me now, you men of the people, whom I will not accuse the great of wishing to dupe, you whose voice is called 'the voice of God,' side with me; embrace the cause of truth, that truth which is in danger of being stifled under false outward shows, or else is about to triumph by unfair means. Go down on your knees, you men of the people, my brothers, my children; pray, implore, require that justice be done and anger repressed. It is your duty, it is your right, and to your own interest; for it is you who are insulted and threatened when laws are violated."

French Revolution itself, except for its destructive force,

Patience spoke with so much warmth, and his sincerity was so strikingly manifest, that a thrill of sympathy ran through the whole audience. At that time, philosophy was too fashionable with the young men of quality for these not to be among the first to respond to an appeal, though addressed to others than themselves. They rose with chivalrous enthusiasm and turned round to the people, who, carried away by their noble example, rose likewise. There was a wild uproar, and one and all, conscious of their dignity and power, cast away personal prejudices in order to combine for their common rights. Thus, a noble impetuosity and a true word are sometimes sufficient to bring back the masses who have long been led astray by sophism.

A respite was granted, and I was led back to my prison amid the applause of the people. Marcasse followed me. Patience disappeared without giving me a chance to thank him.

The revision of the sentence could not be made without an order from the high court. For my own part, before the verdict was given I had resolved to make no appeal to this court of cassation of the old jurisprudence. But Patience's bearing and words had had as much effect on my mind as on the minds of the spectators. The spirit of resistance and the sense of human dignity, dulled in me and paralyzed, as it were, by grief, suddenly awoke again, and in this hour I realized that man is not made for that selfish concentration of despair which is known as resignation or stoicism. No man can cease to have a regard for his own honour without at the same time ceasing to feel the respect due to the principle of honour. If it is grand to sacrifice personal glory and life to the mysterious decrees of conscience, it is cowardly to abandon both to the fury of an unjust persecution. I felt that I had risen in my own estimation, and I passed the rest of this momentous night in devising means of vindicating myself, with as much persistence as I had previously displayed in abandoning myself to fate. With this feeling of energy I could feel hope springing up anew. Edmee, perhaps, was neither mad nor mortally wounded. She might acquit me; she might recover.

"Who knows?" I said to myself. "Perhaps she has already done me justice. Perhaps it was she who sent Patience to my rescue. Undoubtedly I shall best please her by taking courage again, and not letting myself be crushed by a set of knaves."

But how was I to obtain this order from the high court? It needed a special mandate from the King; who would procure this? Who would cut short those odious delays which the law can introduce at will into the very cases that it has previously hurried on with blind precipitation? Who would prevent my enemies from injuring me and paralyzing all my efforts? In a word, who would fight for me? The abbe alone could have taken up my cause; but he was already in prison on my account. His generous behaviour in the trial had proved that he was still my friend, but his zeal was now fettered. And what could Marcasse do, hampered by his humble birth and enigmatical language? Evening came, and I fell asleep in the hope that help would be sent from on high; for I had prayed to God with my whole soul. A few hours of sleep refreshed me; I was aroused by the noise of bolts being drawn at the other side of my door. O God of goodness! what was my delight on seeing Arthur, my brother in arms, my other self, the man from whom I had had no secret for six long years! I wept like a child on receiving this mark of love from Providence. Arthur did not believe me guilty! Scientific matters connected with the library at Philadelphia had taken him to Paris, where he had heard of this sad affair in which I was implicated. He had broken a lance with all who attacked me, and had not lost a moment in coming to offer help or consolation.