Page:Englishmen in the French Revolution.djvu/328
of the cell doors under the pretext of presenting the nun with a silk gown. In this interview she unfolded her heart and declared the afflicted state of her mind. Expecting shortly to be put to death, and being totally unprepared, having for a long time neglected her duty to God, she begged the nuns would assist her to implore Heaven on her behalf. Some days after was brought to the prison a very worthy and respectable priest, who was an uncle of this lady. He was a chanoine of the Church of St. Geneviève, and had disapproved much of his niece's conduct.
She finding this favourable opportunity, which she considered as sent from God, lost no time in making herself known to him, who was ignorant where she was. He gave her his assistance in such a manner that she was enabled to die in a very happy manner very shortly after. She was beheaded with her son and daughter and several others on the same day. The religious were now deprived of their church, choir, and every part of the convent except their cells and a small room in the infirmary. The gardens and burial-ground were likewise all occupied for the use of the prisoners, for whose convenience the graves were laid flat, and the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, which stood in the middle of the cemetery, taken down, all the crosses burnt, and the large gravestones carried off. They then made gravel walks over the graves and turned the whole into a pleasure garden, which was filled every day with gentlemen as well as ladies. The nuns, being still in the religious dress, remained as near together as possible, observing their regular duties as punctually as their situation would permit, surrounded by alarms and continually insulted by the keeper for appearing in the religious dress, so that they could not pass from room to room with safety. On the 29th of December they put off the religious habit.