« 이전계속 »
the street, waves him an adieu, and turns aside to hide her tears. Their eyes will never meet again in this world. She knows it; happily for him he does not. Her terrible idea now fully matured, she takes steps for its execution. Barbaroux is at Caen; he will assist her to the first step of her design; she seeks an introduction to him, eagerly questions him upon the state of Paris, upon the prospects of his party; his gloomy answers strengthen her resolution. The gossips smile and whisper at these interviews with the handsome young Girondist. Alas! they little think how speedy and how sad will be her vindication. It is not love that is in her soul, but martyrdom—for him and for his party. One day she astonished her friends by informing them that the was going to Paris to lay before the Convention the claims of an exiled friend. In vain they attempted to dissuade her from her purpose; she bade them a tender adieu, wrote a farewell to her father, and with a letter to a M. Duperret, a Girondist, obtained from Barbaroux, started in the diligence for Paris. Accident frustrated her plan as she had at first conceived it, and obliged her to depend upon her own efforts to gain admission to Marat's presence. She wrote Marat a letter in which she told him she was the bearer of momentous intelligence concerning the affairs of Caen, and requested an interview. To this she received no reply. She then wrote a second, as follows:
"Did you have my letter? I cannot believe it, as they refused admittance to me. I hope to-morrow you will grant the interview I request. I repeat, I have secrets to disclose to you most important for the safety of the republic. Besides, I am persecuted for the cause of liberty; I am unhappy, and that I am so should give me a claim upon your patriotism."*
On the afternoon of the day appointed she sallies forth from the house of M. Perretier, whose hospitality she had accepted during her sojourn in Paris. Alas! it will cost him and all his family their lives. She is dressed in pure white, a scarf is thrown across her shoulders, a
* The false pretences under which she gained admission to the tyrant occasioned the only remorse she ever felt. To her exalted imagination such subterfuges were a blot upon her early mission. New Series.—Vol. XIV., No 3.
AT. 353 Normandy cap is upon her head, and her hair is bound with broad green ribbon. Her first act is to buy a long, keen knife; concealing this beneath her dress she walks quickly towards the rue St. Honorc. The sun has set, the evening is closing in, the light in the streets is growing dim, when she presents herself at Marat's house. She walks into the outer room; all is bustle and business; the Journal de la Republique, the successor of LAmi du Peuple, has just come from the press; people are busy folding the copies, which messengers are waiting to carry to their destination. But little attention is vouchsafed to the stranger. She requests to see Marat. Albertine, the woman with whom he cohabits, comes forward; she eyes the beautiful face and form of the visitor with anything but favor. She fears a rival! She is jealous of her hideous lover! She informs Charlotte, in no gentle accents, that she cannot see him—he is in his bath. They are standing close to the door of the inner room. Marat overhears the discussion, and calls to Albertine to ask what it is about. She goes to him, closes the door behind her, but returns in a few seconds, with a lowering visage, to bid the intruder enter. The next instant Charlotte is standing in the lion's den; the door is again closed, but Albertine stands without, with her ear against the crevice, to catch the business of this importunate woman. It is a small room, dimly lit even at noon-day, now more than half dark; in the centre is a huge bath, nearly filled with water. Out of it rises the head, shoulders, and arms of the man she seeks. In a book, supported upon a plank placed across the two sides of the bath, he is busily writing down the names of new victims for the guillotine. He calls her to stand beside him. Appalled by the horror of her coming act, but with no thought of receding, no quiver of irresolution, she advances like one in a dream and stands close against the bath. He asks her if she has just come from Caen ; she answers quietly in the affirmative. He then asks the names of the deputies who have taken refuge there. She repeats them while he notes them down. Her opportunity is slipping away, yet she cannot summon the impulse to strike. "Before they are a week older they shall have the guillotine!" he cries exultingly. in bringing about the same result by nearly the same means, almost starve themselves for three or four days, while the dyeing is going on, lest the food should disturb the dye. The Sunda Islanders sometimes blacken all the teeth but two with burned cocoa-nut; covering the two excepted teeth with thin plates of gold or silver. The Macassar people sometimes pull out two front teeth, in order to supply their place with teeth of pure gold or silver! Two Italian girls, twins, have been known to have natural teeth of a light-red rose color—both the milk teeth and those which succeeded them. The charms, omens, sighs, panaceas relating to the teeth constitute quite a formidable item in folk-lore. In some parts of Sussex there is a superstition that if you put on your right stocking, right shoe, and right trouser-leg before the left, you will never have toothache. To drink out of a skull taken from a graveyard; to take a tooth from such a skull, and wear it round the neck; to apply the tooth to your own living but aching tooth; to put a double nut into your pocket; to pare your finger-nails and toe-nails, and wrap up the parings in paper—all are charms against the toothache. If you catch a mole in a trap, cut off one of his paws, and wear it as a charm; you will " soon see the effect," provided a right paw be used for a left tooth, and vice versa. When an aching tooth is extracted, mix it with salt, and burn it. There is in Norfolk a custom of calling the toothache the "love-pain," for which the sufferer is not entitled to any commiseration; whether he (or she) fully assents to this, may perhaps be doubted. Many other items of tooth-lore have no connection with toothache. For instance: if the teeth are set wide apart, there will be good luck and plenty of traveling for the fortunate possessor. When a tooth is drawn, if you refrain from thrusting your tongue into the cavity, the new tooth to grow in its place will be a lucky one. Lady Wentworth, in a letter written in 1713, to her son Lord Strafford, spoke of the efficacy of wolves' teeth set in gold to assist children in cutting their teeth: "They .are very luckey things; for my tvvoe first one did dye, the other bred his very ill, and none of y* rest did, for I had one for al the rest." Bless the good lady; her grammar and her logic are about on a par!
Those words are his last; the impulse is given, and the long keen knife is buried in his heart. With one cry he expires, and his murderess stands rooted to the spot, gazing fascinated upon her victim, with the bloody weapon in her hand. The cry has reached those without; in an instant they are in the room, a man strikes her down with a chair, and Albertine, uttering terrible shrieks, tramples upon her senseless body. And there lies the corpse, hanging half way out of the bath, looking as though life had been extinguished in a bath of blood. Like lightning the cry is carried through the streets—" Marat has been assassinated!" From every quarter rush scared and vengeful crowds. At the peril of their lives the gendarmes guard the prisoner from their frantic rage—they would tear her limb from limb. To the mob this news sounds like the deathknell of its reign. To the friends of order it is as though new life had been given them. But all Paris is agitated to its centre, consternation is stamped upon every countenance. A sense of terror and foreboding is upon the city. Her trial was a mere form; she confessed her guilt and the motive which actuated her: calm and serene in aspect, she betrayed neither exultation nor remorse. Only one circumstance distressed her—having involved in her fate the excellent M. Perretier and his family. For them she pleaded earnestly, asserting in the most solemn terms that they knew nothing of her purpose, that she alone had planned and executed it, without accomplice or even confidant. But the judges were inexorable and incredulous. A young advocate pleaded for her, but he could plead only on behalf of her sex and misguided enthusiasm. Her condemnation was a foregone conclusion from the first. Nothing could save her. They attired her in a red chemise, the garb of assassins, and thus, with her long bright hair flowing over her head and shoulders like a veil, the tumbril bore her on to the quillotine, the brilliant sunshine bathing her in its golden light. Her dazzling beauty, and above all the pure, sublime soul that shone through her eyes and irradiated her whole countenance, subdued even the rough mob that followed her; their execrations died in their throats, and many savage eyes were bedewed with tears of pity for her youth and beauty. The women, the furies of the guillotine, alone were merciless; as was their wont to all, they assailed her last moments with yells, imprecations, and obscenities. But these sounds fell unheeded upon her ears. With an unfaltering step she mounted to the scaffold, stood for an instant looking down calmly upon the multitude, with the full glare of the sunlight playing around her head, threading it with gold, and reflecting upon her face with a bright flash the crimson hues of her robe; then with the serenity of a martyr she laid her head in the groove, the knife descended, and all was over. The brutal executioner held up his hideous trophy by the hair, and struck it upon the cheek. It has been said that a blush followed the blow, as though life survived long enough to feel the insult. Its transient gleam of humanity passed away; the mob received the act with a yell of delight. Two touching romances marked her death. Among the spectators of her trial was a young German named Adam Lux; fascinated by her extraodinary beauty and sublime self-devotion, he conceived for her on the spot an intense and passionate love. Even in that terrible hour his pale earnest face attracted her attention, and though her eyes had never fallen upon him before, though she was destined never to hear his voice, his gaze revealed to her his secret. He followed her to the guillotine and saw the end. After her death he wrote and published a " Defence of Charlotte Corday." He was seized by the Revolutionary Tribunal and condemned to death. His last words were, "Thank God, I shall die for her!" When the young Norman who had marched away with the volunteers of Caen heard of her execution, he returned brokenhearted to his native village. A few months, and his soul had departed to seek hers whom he had so truly loved. His last request was that her portrait and letters should be buried in the coffin with him. Need I say that his behest was fulfilled?
There is one portrait of her still extant. She appears in it as she was attired for execution. The head alone is perfect, the body is only sketched. The impatience of a fraternal government prevented its completion. It is in the possession of the descendants of M. Hauer, the artist. Of all the heroes and heroines of the French Revolution, Charlotte Corday was the purest and most sublime; of all those who drew their inspiration from the pages of Plutarch, and their number was legion, she alone caught the pure fire of ancient republican virtue; in the others it was dimmed and sullied by envy, by malice, by selfishness, self-interest, or timidity; but in her it burned only for liberty, for love of country. Not even the annals of Greece and Rome record a nobler example of self-devotion. Of the Christian morality of her act it is superfluous to speak; of its legality—if the executions of Louis XVI. and his queen were justifiable, the execution of Marat was trebly so; the forms of justice were as much regarded in the one case as in the other. Her object signally failed of its attainment. Her immolation utterly destroyed those for whom she died—-the Girondists and Moderatists—secured the triumph of the Jacobins whom she abhorred, and led the way for that Reign of Terror. But amidst the hideous horrors of the Revolution the sad image of the beautiful enthusiast must ever be to the ardent and poetical as that of an angel strayed and lost in the halls of Pandemonium. The Assembly decreed Marat an altar, and that he should be worshipped as a god! His heart was taken out, embalmed, and placed in an urn, which was suspended from the roof of the Hall of Convention. The character of such a man affords but little scope for analysis. He was essentially the representative of the mob ;* the only one who really sympathized with the lowest stratum of society; who recognized its position in the Republic. He was of it by nature; fierce, turbulent, hating the shadow even of coercion or superiority, insatiate for blood, happy only in anarchy, unreasoning, swayed by every impulse that led to destruction, ever destroying, never creating, merciless, pitiless, a slave to every evil passion. He imitated it in his dress, in his habits, in his filth, and it was his glory to do so. To this condition he would have levelled all mankind. His passion for levelling was a monomania; he would have razed the mountains of the
* In using the expression "mob," I do not intend here or elsewhere to indicate the people, but simply the vile offscourings of great cities. earth, and with a gigantic roller have smoothed down the inequalities of matter as he would those of society. Like all demagogues, from Cleon to M , well, we need not mention names—he was a coward, brave only with his pen and in his words ; while inciting others to revolt, he fled at the first approach of personal danger, leaving his dupes to bear the brunt. He was once flogged in the streets by Westermann, an officer ot Dumouriez, whose head he had been constantly demanding; and he took his chastisement very tamely until he found himself surrounded by his bullies ; then he hectored and shrieked and foamed and howled for blood like a demoniac. He was a brave man behind a sheet of paper or when the mob was behind him. He was at once the most extreme of democrats, and the most absolute of tyrants. Liberty, to him, bore but one signification —the propagandisin and enforcement of his own principles. No man should have spoken, lived, or thought but as he directed; he would have controlled not only the actions, but the very hearts of men. Every mind should have been remodelled, cut, trimmed, and exactly fitted to his own. All humanity should have been but multiplied and inferior images of himself— should have borne but one aspect— Marat. In that hideous body was enshrined the perfect type of unlimited democracy, which, from the times of Greece and Rome unto the Paris Commune of today, and so on to all ages to come, has been, is, and will be the bloodiest, narrowest, blindest, most besotted, and most bigoted of despotisms. With all his omnipotence he was at times simply the mouthpiece of Danton, through which the latter sounded the Convention and the people upon the practicability of his designs—the hand by which he felt his way to the dictatorship. Marat is the darkest blot upon the history of the Republic. Each one of his fellow assassins possessed some redeeming virtue; but this man, like the hyama, loved blood for blood's sake. Danton, Robespierre, St. Just, have their apologists, their admirers; but did ever any man, except, perhaps, a French Communist or an English Socialist, write or utter one word in praise or extenuation ot Marat? Bloody was his life, bloody was his death, and so let him rest.
Every dentist insists upon it that he, above all others, is the one who has made the most felicitous discoveries in odontology. We hear very little about dentistfailures; because those unhappy beings who require a new mouthful of teeth shrink from saying much about it. A good box of ivories is a precious treasure when real, and a costly one when artificial. We ought to have our fair proportion of incisors, to bite through the beef and mutton; and of other teeth, to break and to crack harder substances, by means of saw-like serrations and file-like rough nesses. Professor Owen tells us that the teeth of the lower animals perform many more kinds of work than those of man— weapons of offence and defence, aids to locomotion, means of anchorage, instruments for uprooting or cutting down trees, and apparatus for the transport and workins of building materials. As to our own species, he proceeds to say that the milk teeth or children's teeth ought to be twenty in number; comprising four front teeth, or incisors; two dog-teeth, or canines; and four double teeth, or molars, in each jaw. When we come to man's estate, however (or woman's), the permanent teeth should be thirty-two in number, to enable us to seize, tear, divide, pound, and grind our food—four incisors, two canines, four premolars, and six true molars, in each jaw. It is rather mortifying to learn that a pig (who is his own dentist) beats us hollow in this respect; since he has no less than forty-four teeth. Some old folks cut their teeth when far advanced towards centenarianism. An old woman named Dillon, living near Castlerea, in Ireland, cut an incisive tooth in the lower jaw when seventy-five years old; it confirmed a strange hallucination with which she had long been possessed— that she had been dead, and was come to life again, with the usual infantine career of teething, &c. Mrs. Fussell, living at Acton about a dozen years ago, cut an entirely new set of teeth when about eighty years old, after having been many years toothless. In 1732, Margaret White, of Kirkcaldy, in Scotland, cut eight new teeth in the eighty-seventh year of her age—thus winding up a toothless period of many years. Mrs. Page, a dame of Southwark, after being toothless from seventy to ninety years of age, cut several new teeth. The Rev. Samuel Croxall, translator of At-sops Fables from the Greek, "died of fever, occasioned by the pain he underwent in cutting a new set of teeth at the great age of ninetythree." Edward Progers, aged ninety-six, died in 1713, "of the anguish of cutting teeth, he having cut four new teeth, and had several ready to cut, which so inflamed his gums that he died thereof." The late Sir George Cornewall Lewis was very sceptical as to people ever living to the age of a hundred; he would probably, therefore, have pooh-poohed the story of Robert Lyon, of Glasgow, who cut a new set of teeth at the age of a hundred and nine; and still more that of James Hook, of Belfast, who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and at the age of a hundred and twelve, "gott a new set of teeth, wd' has drove out all yc old stumps."
As if to take revenge for these duplications, or rather triplications of teething, nature sometimes requires us to dispense with dental apparatus altogether. At Gayton-le-Marsh in Lincolnshire, there is the following epitaph: "Elizabeth Cook, a poor wowan, aged 86, and who never had aiooth, was buried June nth, 1798." On the other hand, some folks greatly exceed the orthodox number of thirty-two. Dampier, in his account of the Philippine Islands, says: "The next day the sultan came on board again, and presented Captain Read with a little boy; but he was too small to be serviceable on board, and so Captain Read returned thanks, and told him he was too little for him. Then the sultan sent for a bigger boy, which the captain accepted. This boy was a very pretty, tractable boy; but what was wonderful in him, he had two rows of teeth, one within another, in each jaw. None of the other people were so; nor did I ever see the like." The "pearly teeth" of the poet and novelist would not be valued by some of the Eastern and Polynesian nations. The Chinese blacken their teeth by chewing the fruit of the areca, or betel nut. The Tonquinese and Siamese gents and belles,
Why do some people's teeth come out more readily than others? The reasons for this are probably many. About the middle of the last century, Peter Kalm, a Swede, visited America, and wrote sensibly about what he saw. He observed a frequent loss of teeth among settlers from Europe, especially women. After discussing and rejecting many modes of explanation, he attributed it to hot tea and other hot beverages; and came to a general conclusion that '' hot feeders lose their teeth more readily than cold feeders." Mr. Catlin, who some years ago had an interesting exhibition of Indian scenery, dresses, weapons, &c, noticed that North American Indians have better teeth than the whites. He accounts for the difference in this strange way—that the reds keep the mouth shut, whereas the whites keep it open. The teeth, he says, require moisture to keep their surfaces in good working order; when the mouth is open, the mucous membrane has a tendency to dry up, the teeth lose their needed supply of moisture, and thence come discoloration, toothache, tic-douloureux, decay, looseness, and eventual loss of teeth. Mr. Catlin scolds the human race generally for being less sensible than the brutes in this respect, and the white race specially in comparison with the red. We keep our mouths open far too much; the Indian warrior sleeps, hunts, and smiles with his mouth shut, and respires through the nostrils. Among the virtues attributed by him to closed lips, one is excellent—when you are angry, keep your mouth shut. There is reason to believe that the Greeks and Romans knew something about false teeth. Martial, in one of his Epigrams, said that Thais's teeth were discolored, while Lecania's were white. Why? Because the former wore her own teeth, whereas the latter wore those of some other person. There was an old Roman law, which allowed the gold settings of false teeth, or the gold with which they were bound, to be buried or burned with the deceased. There is also some indication that the Greeks were wont to extract teeth, and to fill up decayed teeth with gold. Dentistry was certainly known in England three centuries ago. Blagrave's Mathematicall /ewe/, published in the time of Queen Elizabeth, tells us that " Sir John Blagrave caused his teeth to be all drawne out, and after had a sett of ivory