voyagers have thought that they found the climate and soil

Throwing bricks and attracting jade netnews2023-11-30 08:22:16 19318 6351

Although justice at this period was generally expeditious, and the lives of accused persons were by no means safe-guarded as they now are, it was impossible to condemn Derues in the absence of any positive proofs of guilt. He knew this, and waited patiently in his prison for the moment when he should triumph over the capital accusation which weighed against him. The storm no longer thundered over his head, the most terrible trials were passed, the examinations became less frequent, and there were no more surprises to dread. The lamentations of Monsieur de Lamotte went to the hearts of the magistrates, but his certainty could not establish theirs, and they pitied, but could not avenge him. In certain minds a sort of reaction favourable to the prisoner began to set in. Among the dupes of Derues' seeming piety, many who at first held their peace under these crushing accusations returned to their former opinion. The bigots and devotees, all who made a profession of kneeling in the churches, of publicly crossing themselves and dipping their fingers in the holy water, and who lived on cant and repetitions of "Amen" and "Alleluia," talked of persecution, of martyrdom, until Derues nearly became a saint destined by the Almighty to find canonisation in a dungeon. Hence arose quarrels and arguments; and this abortive trial, this unproved accusation, kept the public imagination in a constant ferment.

voyagers have thought that they found the climate and soil

To the greater part of those who talk of the "Supreme Being," and who expect His intervention in human affairs, "Providence" is only a word, solemn and sonorous, a sort of theatrical machine which sets all right in the end, and which they glorify with a few banalities proceeding from the lips, but not from the heart. It is true that this unknown and mysterious Cause which we call "God" or "Chance" often appears so exceedingly blind and deaf that one may be permitted to wonder whether certain crimes are really set apart for punishment, when so many others apparently go scot-free. How many murders remain buried in the night of the tomb! how many outrageous and avowed crimes have slept peacefully in an insolent and audacious prosperity! We know the names of many criminals, but who can tell the number of unknown and forgotten victims? The history of humanity is twofold, and like that of the invisible world, which contains marvels unexplored by the science of the visible one, the history recounted in books is by no means the most curious and strange. But without delaying over questions such as these, without protesting here against sophistries which cloud the conscience and hide the presence of an avenging Deity, we leave the facts to the general judgment, and have now to relate the last episode in this long and terrible drama.

voyagers have thought that they found the climate and soil

Of all the populous quarters of Paris which commented on the "affaire Derues," none showed more excitement than that of the Greve, and amongst all the surrounding streets none could boast more numerous crowds than the rue de la Mortellerie. Not that a secret instinct magnetised the crowd in the very place where the proof lay buried, but that each day its attention was aroused by a painful spectacle. A pale and grief-stricken man, whose eyes seemed quenched in tears, passed often down the street, hardly able to drag himself along; it was Monsieur de Lamotte, who lodged, as we have said, in the rue de la Mortellerie, and who seemed like a spectre wandering round a tomb. The crowd made way and uncovered before him, everybody respected such terrible misfortune, and when he had passed, the groups formed up again, and continued discussing the mystery until nightfall.

voyagers have thought that they found the climate and soil

On April 17th, about four in the afternoon, a score of workmen and gossiping women had collected in front of a shop. A stout woman, standing on the lowest step, like an orator in the tribune, held forth and related for the twentieth time what she knew, or rather, did not know. There were listening ears and gaping mouths, even a slight shudder ran through the group; for the widow Masson, discovering a gift of eloquence at the age of sixty, contrived to mingle great warmth and much indignation in her recital. All at once silence fell on the crowd, and a passage was made for Monsieur de Lamotte. One man ventured to ask--

"Is there anything fresh to-day?"

A sad shake of the head was the only answer, and the unhappy man continued his way.

"Is that Monsieur de Lamotte?" inquired a particularly dirty woman, whose cap, stuck on the side of her, head, allowed locks of grey hair to straggle from under it. "Ah! is that Monsieur de Lamotte?"

"Dear me!" said a neighbour, "don't you know him by this time? He passes every day."



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