Page:History of the Guillotine.djvu/97

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The next day the Guillotine was removed back to the scene of its longest triumphs—the Place de la Révolution—where on the 28th of July it avenged humanity on Robespierre and twenty-one of his followers; on the next day sixty-nine, and on the day after thirteen more of his associates fell, amongst whom were most of the judges, juries, and officers of the Revolutionary Tribunal, and a majority of the Commune of Paris—greater monsters, if possible, than the members of the Tribunal. Here indeed the trite quotation—

"Neque enim lex aequior ulla
Quam necis artifices arte perire suâ,"—

may be applied with incomparable propriety.

Of the operations of the Guillotine in the Departments during the Parisian Reign of Terror we have very scanty information. We only know that in most of the great towns it was in permanent activity, and that in some remarkable instances, as at Avignon, Nantes, and Lyons, its operations were found too slow for "the vengeance of the people" and were assisted by the wholesale massacres of fusillades and noyades. At Nantes, and some other places, the Conventional Proconsuls carried M. de Clermont Tonnère's principle to the extreme extent of ostentatiously inviting the Executioner to dinner.

For some months after the fall of Robespierre the Parisian Guillotine was, though not permanently, yet actively, employed against his immediate followers; and, subsequently, against the tail (as it was called) of his faction, who attempted to revive the Reign of