Page:History of the Guillotine.djvu/93

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"The Procureur Général Rœderer to Citizen Guidon.

"13th May, 1793,

"I enclose, Citizen, the copy of a letter from Citizen Chaumette, solicitor to the Commune of Paris, by which you will perceive that complaints are made that, after these public executions, the blood of the criminals remains in pools upon the place, that dogs come to drink it, and that crowds of men feed their eyes with this spectacle, which naturally instigates their hearts to ferocity and blood.

"I request you, therefore, to take the earliest and most convenient measures to remove from the eyes of men a sight so afflicting to humanity."

Our readers will observe the tender regret—not that all this blood was shed, but—that it was not wiped up; and they will be startled when they recollect that at the date of this letter not above a dozen persons had been yet executed here, but that within one year the blood of a thousand victims had saturated the same small spot of ground. In one of the foolish modern-antique processions of the Convention, the whole cortege was delayed and thrown into confusion because the cattle that were drawing some of their theatrical machines could neither be induced nor forced to traverse this blood-tainted place. This Chaumette was one of the most impious and sanguinary of the whole tribe, and we could almost believe that he envied the dogs the blood they drank. He it was that bullied the wretched idiot Gobel, Revolutionary Archbishop of Paris, to come to the bar of the Convention to abjure Christianity, and proclaim