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St. Just. I may be heard then ! much Shudder with horror. Henriot comthe times are changed,
mands When St. Just thanks this hall for hear. The marshall’d force of Paris. Hening him.
riot, Robespierre is call'd a tyrant. Men of Foul parricide—the sworn ally of Hébert, France,
Denounced by all — upheld by RobesJudge not too soon. By popular dis
Who spar'd La Valette ? who promoted Was Aristides driven into exile,
him, Was Phocion murder'd. Ere ye dare Stain'd with the deep dye of nobility ? pronounce
Who to an ex-peer gave the high comRobespierre is guilty, it befits ye well,
230 Consider who accuse him. Tallien, Who screen’d from justice the rapacious Bourdon of Oise — the very men de
Who cast in chains the friends of For that their dark intrigues disturb'd
Liberty? the plan
Robespierre, the self-stild patriot RobesOf government. Legendre the sworn
Robespierre, allied with villain DauOf Danton, fall'n apostate.
Robespierre, the foul arch-tyrant RobesHe who at Lyons spared the royalists
pierre. Collot d'Herbois
Bourdon l'Oise. He talks of virtueBourdon l'Oise. What-shall the traitor
Consistent patriot! he Daubigné's friend ! His head amid our tribune--and blas- Henriot's supporter virtuous ! preach of pheme
virtue, Each patriot ? shall the hireling slave of Yet league with villains, for with Robesfaction
pierre St. Just. I am of no one faction. I Villains alone ally. Thou art a tyrant ! contend
I stile thee tyrant, Robespierre ! 241 Against all factions.
[Loud applauses. Tallien.
I espouse the cause Robespierre. Take back the name. Of truth. Robespierre on yester morn
Ye citizens of France pronounced
Cries of Upon his own authority a report.
Down with the Tyrant ! To-day St. Just comes down.
Tallien. Oppression falls. The traitor neglects
stands appal'dWhat the Committee orders, and Guilt's iron fangs engrasp his shrinking harangues
soulFrom his own will. O citizens of France He hears assembled France denounce his I weep for you I weep for my poor
crimes ! country
He sees the mask torn from his secret I tremble for the cause of Liberty,
sinsWhen individuals shall assume the sway, He trembles on the precipice of fate. And with more insolence than kingly Fall'n guilty tyrant! murder'd by thy pride
rage Rule the Republic.
How many an innocent victim's blood Billaud Varennes. Shudder, ye repre
has stain'd sentatives of France,
Fair freedom's altar! Sylla-like thy hand
Mark'd down the virtues, that, thy foes Robespierre.
Yes! Memorable removed,
This day will be for France--for villains Perpetual Dictator thou might'st reign,
281 And tyrannize o'er France, and call it Lebas. I will not share in this day's freedom!
damning guilt. Long time in timid guilt the traitor Condemn me too. plann'd
[Great cry- Down with the Tyrants ! His fearful wiles success emboldened (The two ROBESPIERRES, Couthon, St. sin
Just, and LEBAS are led off.) And his stretch'd arm had grasp'd the
diadem Ere now, but that the coward's heart re
ACT III coil'd, Lest France awak'd should rouse her
SCENE CONTINUES. from her dream,
Collot d'Herbois. Cæsar is fall’n ! The And call aloud for vengeance.
baneful tree of Java, Cæsar,
Whose death - distilling boughs dropt With rapid step urged on his bold
poisonous dew, career,
Is rooted from its base. This worse than Even to the summit of ambitious power,
Cromwell, And deem'd the name of King alone was
The austere, the self-denying Robespierre, wanting.
Even in this hall, where once with terror Was it for this we hurl'd proud Capet
We listen’d to the hypocrite's harangues, Is it for this we wage eternal war
Has heard his doom. Against the tyrant horde of murderers,
Billaud Varennes. Yet must we not The crowned cockatrices whose foul
The tyrant will fall tamely. His sworn Infects all Europe? was it then for this
hireling We swore to guard our liberty with life,
Henriot, the daring desperate Henriot, That Robespierre should reign ? the
Commands the force of Paris. I denounce spirit of freedom
him. Is not yet sunk so low. The glowing
Freron. I denounce Fleuriot too, the flame
270 That animates each honest Frenchman's
mayor of Paris. heart
Enter DUBOIS CRANCÉ. Not yet extinguish'd. I invoke thy shade,
Dubois Crancé. Robespierre is rescued. Immortal Brutus! I too wear a dagger ;
Henriot at the head And if the representatives of France, Of the arm'd force has rescued the fierce Through fear or favour, should delay the
Collot d'Herbois. Ring the tocsin--call Of justice, Tallien emulates thy virtues;
all the citizens Tallien, like Brutus, lifts the avenging To save their country--never yet has arm ;
Paris Tallien shall save his country.
Forsook the representatives of France. [Violent applauses. Tallien. It is the hour of danger. I Billaud Varennes.
propose The arrest of all the traitors. Memorable This sitting be made permanent. Will be this day for France.
Collot d'Herbois. The National Con- The majesty of the Republic is insultedvention shall remain
Tyrants are up in arms. An armed force Firm at its post.
Threats the Convention. The Conven
tion swears Enter a Messenger.
To die, or save the country ! Messenger. Robespierre has reach'd [Violent applauses from the galleries. the Commune. They espouse
Citizen (from above).
We too swear The tyrant's cause. St. Just is up in
To die, or save the country. Follow me. arms !
[All the men quit the galleries. St. Just—the young ambitious bold St. Just
Enter another Messenger.
Fourth Messenger. Henriot is taken ! Thirsts for your blood. [Tocsin rings.
[Loud applauses. Tallien. These tyrants are in arms
Three of your brave soldiers against the law :
Swore they would seize the rebel slave Outlaw the rebels.
49 Or perish in the attempt. As he patrollid Enter MERLIN OF DOUAY. The streets of Paris, stirring up the Merlin. Health to the representatives They seiz’d him.
[Applauses. of France !
Billaud Varennes. Let the names of I past this moment through the armed
these brave men force
Live to the future day. They ask'd my name--and when they heard a delegate,
30 Swore I was not the friend of France.
Enter BOURDON L'OISE, sword in hand. Collot d'Herbois. The tyrants threaten
Bourdon l'Oise. I have clear'd the us as when they turn'd
[Applauses. The cannon's mouth on Brissot.
Through the throng I rush'd, Enter another Messenger.
Brandishing my good sword to drench its
blade Second Messenger. Vivier harangues Deep in the tyrant's heart. The timid the Jacobins—the Club
rebels Espouse the cause of Robespierre. Gave way. I met the soldiery, I spake Enter another Messenger.
Of the dictator's crimes — of patriots
chain'd Third Messenger. All's lost—the tyrant | In dark deep dungeons by his lawless triumphs. Henriot leads
rageThe soldiers to his aid. —Already I hear Of knaves secure beneath his fostering The rattling cannon destined to surround
бо This sacred hall.
I spake of Liberty. Their honest hearts Tallien. Why, we will die like men Caught the warm flame. The general then,
shout burst forth, The representatives of France dare death, · Live the Convention — Down with When duty steels their bosoms.
Robespierre !' [Applauses. [Loud applauses. (Shouts from without-Down with the Tallien (addressing the galleries). Citi
Tyrant !) zens !
Tallien. I hear, I hear the soul-inspirFrance is insulted in her delegates
France shall be saved ! her generous sons Expell’d me from their sittings.- Now, attached
90 To principles, not persons, spurn the idol Humbled and trembling re-insert my They worshipp'd once. Yes, Robespierre
name. shall fall
But Freron enters not the Club again As Capet fell! Oh! never let us deem 'Till it be purged of guilt :-'till, purified That France shall crouch beneath a Of tyrants and of traitors, honest men tyrant's throne,
May breathe the air in safety. That the almighty people who have broke
[Shouts from without. On their oppressors' heads the oppressive Barrere. What means this uproar ! chain,
if the tyrant band Will court again their fetters! easier Should gain the people once again to were it
riseTo hurl the cloud-capt mountain from its We are as dead ! base,
Tallien. And wherefore fear we death? Than force the bonds of slavery upon Did Brutus fear it? or the Grecian men
friends Determined to be free ! [Applauses. Who buried in Hipparchus' breast the
100 Enter LEGENDRE-a pistol in one hand,
And died triumphant ? Cæsar should keys in the other.
fear death, Legendre ( flinging down the keys). So Brutus must scorn the bugbear.
---let the mutinous Jacobins meet (Shouts from without-Live the Convennow
tion !-Down with the Tyrants !) In the open air. [Loud applauses. Tallien.
Hark ! again A factious turbulent party The sounds of honest Freedom ! Lording it o'er the state since Danton died,
Enter Deputies from the Sections. And with him the Cordeliers. --A hireling Citizen. Citizens ! representatives of band
France ! Of loud-tongued orators controull'd the Hold on your steady course. The men Club,
of Paris And bade them bow the knee to Robes- Espouse your cause. The men of Paris pierre.
swear Vivier has 'scaped me. Curse his coward They will defend the delegates of Freedom. heart
Tallien. Hear ye this, Colleagues ? This fate-fraught tube of Justice in my hear ye this, my brethren? hand,
And does no thrill of joy pervade your I rush'd into the hall. He mark'd mine
My bosom bounds to rapture.
I have That beam'd its patriot anger, and flash'd
The sons of France shake off the tyrant With death-denouncing meaning.
yoke ; the throng
I have, as much as lies in mine own arm, He mingled. I pursued--but stay'd my Hurl'd down the usurper.--Come death hand,
when it will, Lest haply I might shed the innocent I have lived long enough. blood. [Applauses.
[Shouts without. Freron. They took from me my ticket Barrere. Hark ! how the noise inof admission
creases ! through the gloom
Of the still evening-harbinger of death, The sentence of the law, the clamorous Rings the tocsin ! the dreadful generale
cry Thunders through Paris
Of joyful thousands hailing their destruc[Cry without--Down with the Tyrant !
Each sought by suicide to escape the Enter LECOINTRE.
Of death. Lebas succeeded. From the Lecointre. So may eternal justice
window blast the foes
Leapt the younger Robespierre, but his Of France ! so perish all the tyrant
fractur'd limb brood,
Forbade to escape.
The self-willid As Robespierre has perishd! Citizens,
dictator Cæsar is taken.
Plunged often the keen knife in his dark [Loud and repeated applauses.
breast, I marvel not that with such fearless front Yet impotent to die. He lives all He braved our vengeance, and with
mangled angry eye
By his own tremulous hand! All gash'd Scowled round the hall defiance. He
He lives to taste the bitterness of On Henriot's aid—the Commune's villain
Even now they meet their doom. The And Henriot's boughten succours. Ye
bloody Couthon, have heard
The fierce St. Just, even now attend How Henriot rescued him-how with open arms
To fall beneath the axe.
I saw the The Commune welcom'd in the rebel
Flash on their visages a dreadful lightHow Fleuriot aided, and seditious Vivier I saw them whilst the black blood rollid Stirr'd up the Jacobins. All had been
Each stern face, even then with dauntThe representatives of France had perish'd
Scowl round contemptuous, dying as Freedom had sunk beneath the tyrant
Fearless of fate ! Of this foul parricide, but that her
[Loud and repeated applauses. spirit
Barrere mounts the Tribune. For ever Inspir'd the men of Paris. Henriot
hallowed be this glorious day, call'd
When Freedom, bursting her oppressive "To arms' in vain, whilst Bourdon's
161 patriot voice
Tramples on the oppressor. When the Breathed eloquence, and o'er the Jaco
Hurl'd from his blood-cemented throne, Legendre frown'd dismay. The tyrants
by the arm fled
Of the almighty people, meets the death They reach'd the Hôtel. We gather'd He plann'd for thousands. round-we call'd
sickening heart For vengeance ! Long time, obstinate Has sunk within me, when the various in despair,
woes With knives they hack'd around them. Of my brave country crowded o'er my 'Till foreboding