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Trial And Execution Of Charlotte Corday

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ited on li.e bench oí' the prisoners, sho was nsked ii'sliu had a defender. She replied llint a friend liad undertaken tliis office, but uot sceing him, she suppoeed his counp! had faüed iiim. ïiio president thei ! her the young Chauveau Legar■■. afterward illustrious by his defence oí the een, and already fumoua fur his eloquence and coupage in causes and timos wheri (lic advocate shared the pc ril of' his cliënt. Chauveau Legarde placed himselfatthe bar. Charlotte gazed on him as though sIjc feared lost, to save her 'ü'i hor defender would abandon 6O!l!:' pr! I of hotlOl'. The widow ofMarat wopt wliile givingher ovidence. Charlotte, moved by her grief exclnimed - 11 Vos, vos - 'twas I that killed him." She ÜlOD related the premeditolion of the tetforlhieo montlis ; her project of stabbinii him iü tho Cónvcntfbn ; and the ruse she had employod to obtain access to him. ' 1 confess," sai i i she, witli huniility, " that tilia ineans was unworthy of' me ; but it was necessury to appear to esteem this man, in order to obtain accuss 10 him." " Who ïnspiredyou with thishatred of Marat 1" shn was asked. " I did notneed the hatred ofany üne else," the replied. " My wassufficient beiidee, you aiways ex ecu te badly that whicli you havo not devised yourself," " W!iat di'd you hate in bina V' " Hia crimes," " What did vou hope to effect by killine him?" " J " Restore peace to my country." " Do you, thei) thiuk that you have assasinated all the Marais Í" " Since he ia dead, perhaps llie others will Tcstnble." The k'.áfe was shown her, that ehe might reüognizj it. Siie pushcd it frora her with a gesture of disgust. " Yes," replied she ; " I rooognizo it." " What persona did you visii at Caen V' Very few 1 saw Larue, a municipal officer, and the Cure ofSt. Joan." " Did you confoss to a conforming or noujuring priest V' " Neilher one or the other., " Sinco when had you formed this design V' "Since the Slstof May, when the depuliea of the people were anested. 1 have killed one man to savn a hundred thousand. I asa re publican long bofore the Revolution." Fauchet was confronted with lier. " I ouly know Pauchet by sight," saiil slio, diidaiiifully. " I look on him asa tnan devoid of principies ; and I despise him." 'l he accu ser reproachd her wiih havingdealt the fatal stroke downward, in oider to render it. more cortain, and observed that she muit duubtless havo boen woll exerciaed in crime. At this suggestion, whicli desti all lier ideas, by assimilaling her to prof. murderers she ultered a cry of horror. "Olí, the monster !" exclaimod slie, " he tukes me for an assassin !" _% oiKpner Tinville gummed up, ünd deman ded that gei leoth should be passed. Her defender rose. " 'J he aecusod," said to, " ei ercrimo stio avows its long premeditation, iind gives the imist ovcrwhelmHfg detail. Cilizena, thia is her wholedefence. 'il'. irable calm and entirc forgetfuliicsi ofaelf, ivhicli rovcals ro rernorse in ]iresonce ofdsoth, this calm, and this fbrgetfu!. utllime in one point of view is not natural: they cati o ;ly be fxplainod by the excitement of politica! fanaücism, which placed the poignard in her hand. Itis foryog to decido wliat so stern a funaticwm should have in the balance ot' justicr. 1 leave all to votir concicn ■ ces." The jury unanimously sentenced her to die. Sho hemd thair verdict unmoved and the ; having asked hor il' sho had anything tu sny rclative to the punishment inflicted on her, she made no rtply, but, turning to her defender, " Monsieur,'1 said she, " yon have de tended me as 1 wished to be defended ; I thank you; I owe you a proofof my gratitiule and OEteern, and l offer you one worthy of vou. These gentlemen (poiming to the judges) I just declared my pro per ty coniiscatod ; I owe Kómethingin tho prison, and I bequeath to you tho payment of this debt." During her examination she perooi ved a pajnter in taking lior likeness; without interrupting thexamrnation, she smiling ly turned toward the artist, in order that he might the botter see features. She thoirght ofimmortalliry, and already sat for her po: I to imtnórtality. Behind the pai titer stoodayoung man.whoso f-, ir liair, blue eyes and palo complexion markod birá ír.i na ti ve of tlie North. His eyes wo.'e riviteil on the prisoncr; and at each mply he sbudcíered and changed color. He acá to driiijk in her words, and to ássociate himsolf by 'gesture, attitude and ciit'msiasm, with the téntinaenta she expressed. Utiable, frequently, represa his emotions, ho drew to himself, by involuntary éxclámations, the attenlion of the audience nnd of Charlotte Corday. At the moment wlten the President )assed 6entenco of death, the young man roso fi his seiit, with the gesture of' a man who ■' tests from the bot lom of his heart, and aten unk back, ;... tho i trength had fia him. Charlotte insensible to her own fate, perceived lliis raovetnent, and comp4;ehcnded that, at the moment when all on eartli abandon■ l her, a kind spirit attuched itsell to hors, and that, amáis; ihis hostflo or idiflerent throng, she possossed an unknown friend, and thankcd him with a look. Tliis youiig stranger was Adam Lux, a Germán republican, sent to Paris liy the rvolutions oi' Mayenco, to concert tlie rhovements ofQeráiany with thoso of Fránce, in thu copjmon causo of human reason and tho liberty of o, Hiseyes followed Charlotte i'intil ppearcd amidst the c;en'darvies bei: tlio crch of the st;urs. IÜ3 ihoughta ni 'mi her. On iif!-_. return to he Conciergorie. wliich '; so soon tn yield hor up to tho ecaiTolJ, Charlotte Curduy siniled 011 her companions i" !; thcmse!vc8 n tho ■üiü court3 to kcq her pass. Siie said meiergo : "II I thatwe shou'd breakfastoncc r, l)jt tlie jucigos detainod me so must forive me having broken i-d." The exfïcutionar an-ivcd ; sha req; lier timo to finish a lottor, wliich was I e outpoui hi ui' weakness nor regrot, bilt the last riet of wounded friondship adJi , eternal reproncli to tlie cowardly spirit which had abandoned her. Jt was to Doulcet de Pontecou!snt, whom alie had teen at her aunt's, and on ! rn eho bolieved she had called in vain to efender. The letter as as follows : have refused to dfend me ivkcri it was so easy. - I He who uudertook it perforroed his task ■ , and I slinll retain a grníei'ul recolleclioti of hitn to my last moments " Hr ndignation was ünjust ; the joirn Poiitecoulant who was absent from Paris, had i received lier letter ; his gencrosiry and cour j age were a sufïieient guaranty lliat he woujd have accepted tho office ; and Charlotte bore an error and an injuslice to iho scaffold. The nrtlst wlioliad sketched Charlotte's ' at the tribunal was M. Hauer i pain andan officeroftha National (.uurd, ( the sectióh of the Tlieatm Francais. On her return to the prigon eIio requested the conciërge to alfow liim to finish his woik, and, on lus rival Charlotte ihankc.l him Rr ;hc interes: appeared to fake in her, and qwietly sat to I) as thougli, while sbe pcr'mitted him to tcansmit her lorm and features to poterity, so charge-d him to hand dewn hor naiud and lier patriotism to unborn generations. She converged with M. Hnuer on his profession, t'ue events oí tho day, and the peace of nnnn siio iel t afier the execution of her design ; she alio spoke of her young friends at Caen, and requested hitn to paint a miniature from the por! nut and send it to thfi luniily. Buddenly a geritte knock was heard at the door, and the exeentionerentered. Charlotte, turning rniuid, perceived iho scissors and red cheiiiuo he carned over bis arm. " W'hat! alreadv,' exclaitned she, turning pal e. Then recovering her composure, and glancing at the unfinished poitrait, " Ml faiil she tf the artiit, " I know not how la thank you for the tronljle vou have t.iki;n ; I have only tliis to offer yon. Keep it. ïn memory of your.kindness and my gruliti.uh." Ab she pp:)i;e, she took the scissors from the executioner, and -serving a lock of her fuir liair gave it to M. Hui:, , ïhis ]o:trair interrupted by Jsath, 3 stül in the poisession of the iamily of M. Maner. - ■ The head Oüly was painted, and thebust mere y sketohed, But tlie painter who watched the preparations for ijhe gcaffbld, as so strvck with tho tho sinister splondour added hy the red chemise to the beauty of his modle, l! at alter Charlolte's death. Le painted her in ibis costume. A priesl sent by the public nccispr.presenti'd himself to offer the last cnnsolatioiis of' religión . ' Thank,' said slic to hirn, ' ihose who have htid tlie attention to send you, but I nood nol your mini.stry, T!io blood which I hafc spilt and my own which I am about 10 shed, are the only sacrifices I can offer the Bterrml.' The executioner then cut off her liair, bon ik! her hands, and put oa the chemtae eft vmne. 'This said slio is tlio toilet of dealh, arvanged by somewhüt rnde hands, but it le&ds to immortaiiry.' She colleclcd her long liair looked nt it f'or the last time, and gave it to Madame Ricin.rd. As she mounted the fu'al cart, a violent storm broke over Paris but ihe lightening and rain did not disperse the crowd, whti biocked up the squares, tlie bridges, and the slreets which siie ia.-?ed. Hordes of women, or rattior fu1 lowed her.witli ihe fiercs impreoatine; but insensible lo these ii.siill. sbe yuzed vu die populace with evos beaming withJPnitv aiul c.'[iiassion. The sUy cleared up, and the rain, which wcüc.l her to '.he skin, displnved l!:c exqisite symmetry o!' her (orm, like those of the woman ieavirrg the.bath. llt.T liands, bound behitid iior bck,obliged h-or tohcvld ipher had, and this forced ligidity ot' the musc'es gave mure íixily fo lier attitude, nnd pet off' the outlines of her figure. Tlie rayi of tlie setting sun feil on her hoad ; and her complexión, ! cned by the red chemise, scemedofati unearth (y brïljiaricy. Robesierrc, Duntou and Cauiille Desmoulins, had placed ihernselves on her passage, to gaze on her ; ibr ;!l those vho anticipated assassinatian vrere curioua to study in her ÍV%;i tutes the exprëssion of that fanaticism wliich tnight tnreaten thern to-morrow. - She resembled celestial ypngeance app I and transh'gured, and from lime to time she. secmed to seek a glauco of' intelligence 0:1 which lier oye could rest. Adam Lux awaited the cart at the en trance of the li.ii e St. 1 í and folio wad it to the foot of the scaffold. - 'He engravcil 111 his Invirt,' to quote bis own words, ' this unutterablo sweetness amid the barbareas cries of the crowd, that looked bo gentío, yet penetrating - those vivid flashes that broke fortn like burning ideas froin those brighi eyes, in which spoko a soul as in t rep i d as tender. Charming eyes.wfiieh shonld have melted a s( 1 luis an eniliiisiastic and uncnrihly attaclj ment accompanied her without he knuwledgo, (o tho VBry scnfTold, and prepared to follow her, n liopo f an efernal unión. TI ■ slopped, and Charlotte, ai lite sight of the fafal instrument, turned palé, but, soon rocovering herself, ascended the caffold wiili as light and rapid a step as iho long chémise and her pinioncd arras puiniittcd. Wlien the cxccu 10:1er, to bear hor ncck, removed the liandk-erclieif that covcred her bosom, lilis insult fo her modesty moved her more than hcrim'pend!ng deatli ; then, turning to the guillotine, lie placed herself under ibe ase, Tbe heavy feil, aml her head rulled on the scafiold. One of the assistants, named Legros, took tin !iis hand and struck it on the cheek. It : i'-at a .. on suffusio over lace, as lliovigh dignity anJ rnodcftj ! ad for an instant lastod longereren than .