Page:History of the Guillotine.djvu/29

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vogue; but still these 'Observations' afford no details as to any machine.[1]

The subsequent proceedings on Guillotin's propositions are involved in some obscurity. In the reports of the debates it is stated that the discussion, interrupted on the 1st of December, was adjourned to the following day; but on that day we find no mention of it, and it is stated by Guyot that the debate was resumed on the 27th of December; but we find no report of any such debate on that day, and we believe that all that Guyot says of this debate of the 27th of December is a confusion of three debates: the one of the 1st of December, which we have just mentioned; another on the 23rd, on the right of citizenship, which touched incidentally the 3rd and 4th articles of Guillotin's proposition; and a third on the 21st January, 1790, at which we shall soon arrive. A remarkable circumstance in the debate of the 23rd December was, that the Count de Clermont Tonnere, one of the ablest and most amiable members of the Assembly, but who, like so many other well-meaning persons, was at the outset a dupe to that giddy mania of innovation and that wild pursuit of abstract plausi-

  1. Some even of the most violent revolutionists disapproved Guillotin's motion and attest the effect of the song:—Cette motion (que les condamnés fussent décapités par l'effet d'un simple mécanisme) a été faite par le Docteur Guillotin. La machine qu'il a proposée a été appelée Guillotine. On a fait à ce sujet une chanson sur l'air du "Menuet d'Exaudet." C'est une douce correction que le public lui inflige; l'honorable membre a donné des preuves assez fortes de son patriotisme pour que l'on doive oublier sa motion et la chanson.—Prudhomme, Rev. de Paris, 26 Décembre, 1739.