Page:Ninety-three.djvu/144

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140
NINETY-THREE.

Apocalypse to be present at the Revolution. They looked as if they had been taken out of Ezekiel's chariot to draw Samson's tumbrel.

On the president's table there was a great bell, almost as large as a church bell, a large copper inkstand, and a folio volume bound in parchment, which contained the official reports.

Decapitated heads, borne on the end of a pike, dripped blood on this table.

The tribune was reached by means of nine steps. These steps were high, steep, and difficult to mount; Gensonné stumbled one day as he was ascending them. "They are scaffold stairs!" he said. "Serve your apprenticeship," exclaimed Carrier.

In the corners of the hall, where the wall semed too bare, the architect had placed fasces for ornamentation, with the axe outside.

On the right and on the left of the tribune, there were pedestals bearing two candelabra twelve feet high, each with four pairs of lamps. Each public box had similar candelabra. On the pedestals of these candelabra there were carved circles, which the people called "guillotine collars."

The seats of the Assembly rose almost to the cornice of the tribunes; the representatives and the people could converse together.

The exits of the tribunes opened into a labyrinth of corridors, usually filled with a furious din.

The convention crowded the palace and overflowed into the neighboring mansions. Hôtel de Longueville and Hôtel de Coigny. Hôtel de Coigny was where the royal furniture was removed after the tenth of August, if a letter of Lord Bradford's can be believed. It took two months to dismantle the Tuileries.

The commitee had their quarters in the vicinity of the hall; the Committees of Legislature, Agriculture, and Commerce were in the Pavilion Egalité; those of the Marine, Colonies, Finance, Assignats and Public Welfare in the Pavilion Liberté. The committee of War was in the Pavilion Unité.

The Committee of General Safety communicated directly with the Committee of Public Welfare by means of a dark passage lighted day and night by a reflector, where the