THE PUBLIC HOUSE OF RUE DU PAON.
MINOS, ÆACUS, AND RHADAMANTHUS.
In Rue du Paon there was a public house, called a café. This café had a back room, which is now historical. It was there that men, so powerful and so closely watched that they hesitated to speak to one another in public, occasionally met almost secretly. It was there, on the twenty-third of October, 1792, that the famous kiss was exchanged between la Montague and la Gironde. Although he does not admit it in his " Mémoires," it was there that Garat came for information that gloomy night, when he stopped his carriage on the Port-Royal, to listen to the tocsin, after he had put Clavière in a place of safety in Rue de Beaune.
On the twenty-eighth of June, 1793, three men were gathered around a table in this back room. Their chairs did not touch; they were seated on different sides of the table, leaving the fourth vacant. It was about eight o'clock in the evening; it was still light in the street, but dark in the back room, and a hanging lamp, then a luxury, lighted the table.
The first of these three men was pale, young, solemn, with thin lips, and a cold face. He had a nervous twitching in his cheek, which must have hindered him from smiling. He was powdered and gloved, there was not a wrinkle in his light blue coat, well brushed and buttoned up. He wore nankeen breeches, white stockings, a high cravat a plaited shirt frill, shoes with silver buckles.
The two other men were one, a sort of giant, the other