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3 1822 00132 4672


^,3 37



Portrait of Robespierre.
Photo-Etching. — From Drawing by Rartet.

Illustrated Holiday edition





























Cagliostro's Prediction is fulfilled . . 9

The Place de Grève 14

The Monarchy is saved 22

The Farmer's Return 31

Pitou as a Nurse 34

Pitou as a Geographer 43

Pitou as a Captain 50

In which Abb:é Portier gives Fresh Proof

OF HIS Anti-Revolutionary Spirit ... 54

The Declaration of the Rights of Man . 61

A Friend in Need 67

In which Father Clouis reappears upon

the Scene 71

A Game of Tag 74

The Watch for the Wolf 78

After the Tempest 83

MiRABEAu's Treachery 88

The Elixir of Life 95

There is no Relationship beyond the

Fourth Degree 102

A Lady resembling the Queen 109

In which the Influence of the Unknown

Lady begins to assert itself . . . . 115

Le Champ de Mars 120































In which One discovers what had be-
come OF Catherine, but not what

WILL become of her 125

July 14, 1790 130

Dancing Here 136

The Appointment 147

The Lodge 153

Rendering an Account 162

Women and Flowers 173

What the King said, and what the

Queen said 179

"Long Live Mirabeau!" 189

Flee! Flee ! Flee! 195

The Obsequies 199

The Messenger 203

The Promise 212

Second Sight 217

The Twentieth of June 227

The Departure 238

A Question of Etiquette 247

En Eoute 255

Fate 261

Fate 269

Fate 276

Jean Baptiste Drouet 284

The Tollgate Tower 291

Again a Prisoner 300

The Language of Desperation. . . . 308

Poor Catherine ! 316

Charny 324

One Enemy More 330




Portrait of Robespierre Frontispiece

Reading the Articles of the Convention 64

Portrait of Marie Antoinette 88

The Secret Lodge 152

Portrait of Louis XVI 254




About one o'clock on the afternoon of that same day, the
head-gaoler of the Châtelet, with four armed men, de-
scended into Monsieur de Favras' dungeon, and informed
him that he was about to appear before his judges.

The marquis had been warned of this fact during the
previous night by Cagliostro, and also about nine o'clock
in the morning by the assistant superintendent of the

The hearing of the case had begun at nine o'clock that
morning, and at three o'clock in the afternoon it was still
going on.

Ever since the doors opened, the court-room had been
thronged by a crowd eager to get a glimpse of the man
upon whom sentence of death was to be pronounced; for
every one felt that the prisoner's conviction was certain,
for in political conspiracies there are unfortunates whose
sacrifice is a foregone conclusion.

Forty judges were seated on a circular daïs at the upper
end of the hall. The seat of the president was surmounted
by a canopy, and behind him was a painting of the Cruci-
fixion of Christ; while opposite it, at the other end of the
hall, hung a portrait of the king.


A row of National Grenadiers surrounded the hall, both
inside and out, and the door was guarded by four men.

At quarter-past three the judges ordered the accused
to be brought in, and a detachment of a dozen grenadiers,
who had been awaiting this order with muskets at their
sides, immediately marched out. Every eye, even those
of the judges, was turned towards the door by which
Favras must enter.

In about ten minutes four of the grenadiers reappeared ;
behind them walked Favras; the eight remaining grena-
diers followed him.

The prisoner entered in the midst of a silence that was
oppressive in its breathless expectancy. His face was
calm, and his toilet had evidently been made with scrupu-
lous care. He wore a grey silk coat richly embroidered, a
white satin waistcoat, knee-breeches of the same material
as his coat, silk stockings, and buckled shoes; and the
cross of St. Louis hung from his button-hole.

His hair, too, was dressed with scrupulous care, and
thickly powdered; as the Two Friends of Liberty remark
in their "History of the Revolution," not a single hair was
out of place.

Several seconds elapsed between the prisoner's entrance
and the first words addressed to him by the chief magis-
trate. At last the judge made the customary gesture for
enforcing silence, though it was entirely unnecessary in
this instance, and asked, in a voice in which a slight
tremor was apparent, —

"Who are you?"

"I am the accused," responded Favras, with unruffled

"What is your name?"

"Thomas Mahi, Marquis de Favras."

"Whence did you come?"


"Your business? '

"A colonel in the king's service."


" Your residence? "
"No. 21 Place Royale."

"Your age?"

"Forty-six years."

"Be seated."

The marquis obeyed. Not until then did the crowd
appear to breathe again ; and their respiration sounded like
a terrible blast of wind, — a blast of vengeance.

The prisoner did not shrink when he looked about him
and saw so many eyes gleaming with hatred, and fists
threateningly clenched. A moment later he recognised
amid the excited throng the calm countenance and sym-
pathising eyes of his nocturnal visitor, and, saluting him
with an almost imperceptible gesture, he quietly continued
his survey of the crowd.

"Prisoner, hold yourself in readiness to answer."

Favras bowed.

"I am entirely at your service, Monsieur le Président,"
he said courteously.

A second examination began, — an examination which
the prisoner sustained as coolly as the first.

The witnesses for the prosecution were next summoned.

Though Favras was unwilling to save his life by flight,
he wished to defend it by argument, and fourteen wit-
nesses had been summoned for the defence ; but after the
evidence for the prosecution had been given, the president
said, —

"Gentlemen, all the evidence has been heard."

"Pardon me, monsieur," said Favras, with all his accus-
tomed courtesy; "you forgot one thing, — though it is
really of no very great importance: you neglected to hear
the fourteen witnesses summoned at my request."

" The court has decided that no more witnesses shall be

The face of the prisoner darkened, and lightning flashed
from his eyes.

" I supposed I was to be tried by the Châtelet Court, "


he remarked. " I was mistaken ; it seems I am to be tried
according to tlie rules of the Spanish Inquisition."

"Remove the prisoner," thundered the judge.

Pavras was conducted back to prison, his exit from the
court-room being attended with savage yells and howls
from the throng.

Favras went to bed at his usual hour. About one o'clock
in the morning the turnkey, Louis, came in and awakened
him, giving as an excuse the delivery of a bottle of wine
the prisoner had not ordered.

"The judges are about to pronounce your sentence,
monsieur," he said.

"If it was merely to tell me this you awakened me, my
friend, you had better have let me sleep."

" Xo, marquis, I woke you to ask if you had not some
message for the person who visited you last night."

"No, nothing."

"But think, monsieur. When the sentence of death is
pronounced, you will be more closely guarded, and powerful
as that gentleman is, he may be obliged to contend with

"Thanks, my friend; but I have no favours to ask of
him, either now or hereafter."

" Then I am sorry I woke you ; but you would have been
disturbed within an hour, any way."

"So you think it will hardly be worth while for me to
go to sleep again," said Favras, smiling.

" Wait and judge for yourself."

In fact, they could already hear a great hubbub on the
floor above, — doors opening and shutting, and the butt-
ends of muskets striking upon the floor.

"Am I the cause of all this commotion?" asked Favras.

"They are coming in person to announce the verdict."

" The deuce ! Ask the gentlemen to give me time to get
into my clothes, won't you?"

The gaoler went out, closing the door behind him; but
the marquis had only partially completed his toilet when


it opened again. As the registrar of tlie court entered,
the marquis pushed his open collar still further back, and
exclaimed, —

"I await you in fighting trim, you see, monsieur," pass-
ing his hand over his uncovered throat, ready for the sword
or the rope, as the case might be; "go on, monsieur, I am
all attention."

A. strikingly handsome picture he made, with his head
thrown proudly back, his hair partially disarranged, and
his lace-trimmed shirt disclosing to view his stalwart

The registrar read, or rather mumbled out, the sentence
of the court.

The marquis was condemned to die ; he was to read his
death sentence in public in front of Notre Dame, and be
hanged on the Place de Grève.

Favras listened with the utmost calmness. He did not
even wince at the word "hanged," — a word so terrible
to a nobleman's ears; only, after a moment's silence, he
remarked, looking the registrar full in the face, "I pity
you, sir, for being obliged to condemn a man on such
meagre proofs."

The registrar attempted no reply, but merely said,
" Monsieur, you know the consolations of religion are all
that are left you now."

"You are mistaken, monsieur; I also have the consola-
tion of a conscience void of offence. I should like to see
a confessor, however, but not a confessor sent by those
who assassinate me. I should have no confidence in such
a one. I am willing to deliver my body up to your tender
mercies, but not my soul. I should like to see the curé of
St. Paul, if you have no objections."

Two hours later the venerable priest he had named was
in his cell.




These two hours were by no means devoid of incident,
however, for the registrar had hardly departed before two
other men entered the room. It was the sheriff and an

"Follow me," said one of them.

Favras bowed his assent.

"May I have time to dress?"


With the aid of the little mirror hanging on the wall,
Favras arranged his shirt-collar and frill, and gave the
most aristocratic possible turn to the bow of his cravat.

"Shall I take my hat?" he asked, after he had slipped
on his coat and vest.

"It is not necessary."

Meanwhile, the man who had not spoken looked at
Favras in such a way as to attract his attention. It even
seemed to Favras that he made an almost impercei^tible
sign to him, but so quickly that the marquis was still in
doubt; so he troubled himself no more about the matter,
but, waving his hand in token of farewell to the goaler,
Louis, exclaimed, —

"All right, gentlemen, lead the way; I will follow."

They ascended many steps, and then walked on until
they came to a heavy oaken door, bristling with iron
spikes. It opened, and Favras was pushed inside.

He saw that he was in the torture chamber, and his face
turned a trifle pale.


"Heavens! gentlemen," he exclaimed, "you ought to give
a man a little warning before you take him into a place
like this."

He had scarcely uttered these words when the two men
threw themselves upon him and tore off his coat and waist-
coat, as well as his cravat, and tied his hands behind his
back. As he fulfilled his portion of this task, the man
Favras had noticed before whispered in his ear, " Will you
be saved? There is still time."

The marquis shook his head.

A sort of rack, known as the wooden horse, was already
prepared, and they stretched the marquis upon it. The
torturer approached with his apron full of oaken wedges,
and an iron mallet in his hand. Favras extended his
shapely leg, still adorned with its silk stocking and high-
heeled shoe, to the man, but the sheriff raised his hand.

"That is enough; the court spares the prisoner the

"Ah! it would seem that the court is afraid I may speak
out. I am none the less thankful, however, as I shall go
to my death on two sound legs, and that is something.
Meanwhile, gentlemen, I am at your service."

"You are to spend an hour in this hall," said the sheriff.

" And a very interesting, if not altogether cheerful, place
it is," remarked Favras, beginning to walk about and
examine the different instruments of torture, not unlike
gigantic spiders and scorpions in form, with which the
room was filled. He asked for the name of each, with a
coolness that astonished even the torturers; and one of
them inquired as to what was the prisoner's object in
asking so many questions.

" I may meet his Satanic Majesty on the journey I am
about to take," answered Favras, laughing, "and I might
make a friend of him by telling him of such instruments
of torture as he has never even heard of."

As the prisoner completed his examination, the prison
clock struck five. Two hours had elapsed since the


marquis left liis cell, and he was now conducted back to
it. He found the curé of St. Paul there.

On seeing him, the venerable priest opened his arms.

"Excuse me, father, if I can only open my heart to
you," said Favras; "these gentlemen have taken good care
I shall open nothing else."

" Can you not release the arms of the condemned during
the little time he is with me?" inquired the kind-hearted
old priest.

"It is not in my power to do so," replied the sheriff.

"Then ask them if they will not bind my hands in front
of me, instead of behind me, my father," said Favras. "It
will make it much more convenient for me to hold the
caudle when I read my sentence."

The assistant looked inquiringly at the sheriff, who
nodded, as if to indicate that he saw no objection to grant-
ing this request, and the prisoner was left alone with the

What took place during this solemn interview between
the man of the world and the man of God is known only
to themselves; but when the officers re-entered the cell,
they found the prisoner awaiting them with a smiling face,
dry eyes, and a stout heart.

They came to tell him it was time to die.

" Pardon me, gentlemen, but it is you who have kept me
waiting," he replied pleasantly.

As he had already been divested of coat and vest, they
removed his shoes and hose, and slipped a white shirt over
the rest of his clothing. On his breast they placed a
placard bearing the words, "A Conspirator against the

A tumbrel surrounded by a numerous guard was waiting
at the prison gate.

At the sight of the condemned the people clapped their
hands with delight; for they were beginning to lose
patience, as they had been waiting for hours. Favras
climbed into the waggon, and the curé of St. Paul followed


him, taking a seat at his left hand. The executioner
mounted last. It was the same kind, benevolent-faced
man we saw at the Bicetre prison when Guillotin's inven-
tion was first tested, and we shall meet him often, — this
real hero of the epoch upon which we are entering.

When the tumbrel started, there was a like movement
in the crowd; and Favras, who saw several men press
forward to secure places in the foremost rank, could not
repress a start when he perceived among them, attired in
the dress of a marketman, the nocturnal visitor who had
promised to watch over him until the last.

The waggon paused in front of the cathedral of Notre
Dame, the'central door of which stood open, so as to allow
a view of the grand altar, aflame with candles, at the other
end of the darkened church.

The priest alighted first, then the marquis, and then the
hangman, holding one end of the rope, which he had slipped
around the prisoner's neck.

The prisoner's wrists were tied rather loosely, in order
to allow him some use of his hands. In his right hand
they placed a lighted torch, in his left his death sentence.
The condemned advanced to the portico and knelt. Close
to him he saw the same pretended marketman and his
companions, whom he had noticed when he left the
Chatelet. This persistency of endeavour seemed to touch
Favras deeply; but not a word of appeal passed his lips.

A clerk from the Chatelet court was in attendance.

"Read, monsieur," he said in a loud voice; then added,
in a whisper, "If you wish to be saved, you have only to
say the word."

Without making any reply, the prisoner began to read
his sentence in a firm voice, which did not indicate the
slightest mental perturbation.

When the reading was concluded, he turned to the crowd
and said, —

"Being about to appear before my God, I forgive those
men who, contrary to the dictates of their own consciences,

VOL. II. — 2


have accused and convicted me of criminal designs. I love
my king, and I shall die faithful to him. By so doing, I
hope to leave an example which will be followed by many
loyal hearts. The populace clamour for my death; they
demand a victim! So be it. I am glad this test falls
upon me instead of upon some weak-hearted person, who
might be filled with despair by the sight of the scaffold, —
Now, unless we have some further business here, gentle-
men, suppose we move on; though, if you have no objec-
tion, I should like to enter the Hôtel de Ville awhile. I
desire to make my will, and I have heard that this request
is never refused a condemned prisoner."

So, instead of going straight to the gallows, the waggon
turned in the direction of the Hôtel de Ville, on the opposite
side of the square.

A fierce yell went up from the crowd.

"He's going to confess! he's going to confess!" was
shouted on every side.

On hearing this cry, a close observer might have noticed
that a young man dressed in black, who was standing upon
a horse-block at the corner of the Quay Pelletier, turned
very pale.

"Have no fears, Count Louis," said a satirical voice near
him ; " the prisoner will not say a word in regard to what
took place in the Place Royale."

The man in black turned hastily. The words had been
uttered by a marketman, whose face could not be seen;
for, as he spoke, he pulled his big hat far down over
his eyes.

If the young man still felt any misgivings, they were
soon dispelled, however.

As he reached the top of the flight of steps leading into
the Hôtel de Ville, Favras made a sign that he wished to
speak; and on the instant every sound was hushed as if
by magic.

"Gentlemen, I hear it said around me that I am going
into the Hôtel de Ville to make a confession. It is not


so; and in case there be any man among you — as is quite
possible — who has any cause to fear such a confession on
my part, he may rest easy, for I am only going to make
my last will and testament."

With a firm step he passed under the gloomy archway
and up the staircase to the room to which prisoners are
generally conducted at such times.

Three men dressed in black were there on duty, and
one of them Favras recognised as the same clerk who had
spoken to him near the cathedral.

As the prisoner could not write with bound hands, he
began to dictate his will.

We have heard much said concerning the testament of
Louis XVI., because much is always said of royal docu-
ments; but we have that of Favras before us, and we say
to the public, "Read and compare."

His will finished, Favras asked the privilege of reading
it over before signing it. They untied his hands, and the
papers were given to him. He read each sheet carefully,
correcting such mistakes in spelling as the clerk had made,
and then signed his name, Mahi de Favras, at the bottom
of each page. After that, he held out his hands in order
that they might be bound again, — a task which was per-
formed this time by the executioner, who had not left his
side for an instant. The dictation of the will had taken
nearly two hours, and the people, many of whom had been
waiting since early morning, became impatient, and began
to murmur. It was the same ominous murmur, gradually
changing into a dull angry roar, which had been heard on
the same spot when De Launay was butchered, when
Foulon was hanged, and Berthier torn asunder.

It began to be whispered about, too, that Favras had
been allowed to make his escape through a back street,
and threats of hanging the municipal officers and demolish-
ing the Hôtel de Ville were already rife among the crowd.
Fortunately, about nine o'clock the prisoner reappeared.
The soldiers, who formed a living hedge around the square,


were provided with torches; the windows of the neighbour-
ing houses were brilliantly lighted. The gallows alone
remained shrouded in darkness.

The reappearance of the condemned was greeted with
loud cries of exultation; for the crowd was not only sure
now that he had not escaped, but that he could not escape.

Favras glanced around him, and, seeing no carriage in
waiting, he murmured, with an ironical smile, "Ah,
royalty is forgetful. They were more polite to Count
Horn than to me."

" That was because Horn was an assassin, while you, —
you are a martyr," said a voice beside him.

Favras turned, and saw the same marketman who had
followed him so closely ever since he left the prison.

"Farewell, monsieur," said Favras; "I hope you will
testify in my behalf, if need be."

As Favras placed his foot upon the first step leading up
to the scaffold, a voice cried, "Jump, marquis!"

"Citizens, I die innocent; pray for me," was the
prisoner's only response, uttered in a clear but solemn

On the fourth step he paused again, and, in a voice as
firm and clear as before, called out, "Citizens, I ask your
prayers; I die innocent."

At the eighth step — that from which he was to be
launched into eternity — he repeated a third time, " Citi-
zens, I die innocent; pray for me."

Even then one of the hangman's assistants, who had
mounted the steps with him, whispered, "Will you con-
sent to be saved?"

"No, my friend; but may Heaven reward you for your
good intentions ! "

Then, bowing to the executioner, who seemed to be await-
ing an order instead of giving it, Favras said, "Do your

He had hardly uttered the words when his body was
swung off into space.


During the scene of uproar tliat ensued the young man
dressed in black jumped from the horse-block on which he
was standing, and, after making his way through the crowd
to the Pont Neuf, sprang into a carriage that was in wait-
ing there, shouting to the coachman, " To the Luxembourg,
as fast as you can go ! "

The horses started off at a gallop. The arrival of the
occupant of the vehicle had been awaited with great im-
patience by Monsieur de Provence and two of his friends,
as they would have dined two hours before but for their
anxiety. The cook, too, was in despair, for this was the
third dinner he had prepared; and this, which had been
ready now at least ten minutes, would be utterly ruined in
another quarter of an hour.

At this critical moment they heard a carriage dash into
the courtyard.

Provence hurried to the window, but, unable to distin-
guish anything in the darkness, he left the window and
ran towards the door; but before the future king of France
reached it, — his gait being always somewhat halting, — the
door opened, and the young man dressed in black entered.

"All is over, your Highness!" he exclaimed. "Mon-
sieur de Favras died without uttering a word."

"Then we can eat our dinner with a tranquil mind, my
dear Louis."

"Yes, your Highness. By my faith, he was a gallant
gentleman ! "

"I quite agree with you, my dear fellow," said his Eoyal
Highness. "Let us drink to his health. And now to
dinner, gentlemen."

As he spoke, the folding-doors were thrown open, and the
illustrious host and his guests entered the dining-room.




A FEW days after the execution we have just described in
detail, in order to warn our readers what gratitude they

Online LibraryAlexandre DumasComtesse de Charny (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 24)