Thursday, July 28, 2011

Robespierre Executed

‘…Their chief, Robespierre, in an unsuccessful attempt to shoot himself, had only inflicted a horrible fracture on his under-jaw.

In this situation they were found like wolves in their lair, foul with blood, mutilated, despairing, and yet not able to die. Robespierre lay on a table in an anteroom, his head supported by a deal-box, and his hideous countenance half-hidden by a bloody and dirty cloth bound round the shattered chin.

The captives were carried in triumph to the Convention, who, refusing to admit them to the bar. sent them before the Revolutionary Tribunal, which ordered them, as outlaws, for instant execution. As the fatal cars passed to the guillotine, those who filled them, but especially Robespierre, were overwhelmed with execrations from the friends and relatives of victims whom he had sent on the same melancholy road. The nature of his previous wound. from which the cloth had never been removed till the executioner tore it off; added to the torture of the sufferer. The shattered jaw dropped, and the wretch yelled aloud, to the horror of the spectators.  A mask taken from that dreadful head was long exhibited in different nations of Europe, and appalled the spectator by its ugliness, and the mixture of fiendish expression with that of bodily agony. At the same time fell young Robespierre, Coulhon, Saint Just, Coffinhal, Henriot, Dumas, President of the Revolutionary Tribunal,  the Mayor, and fourteen of their subalterns…’

French revolutionary Maximillien Robespierre met his fate on the guillotine on July 28, 1794.  Many would have felt he received his just due, having been so active in the Reign of Terror.  Sir Walter Scott described Robespierre’s  end in “Life of Napoleon Bonaparte”.

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