Page:History of the Guillotine.djvu/98

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83
EXECUTION OF FOUQUIER-TINVILLE.

Terror; but we have no distinct details of these proceedings; the numbers, though great, were insignificant in comparison with the former massacres, and no one, we believe, suffered who did not amply deserve it—Fouquier-Tinville himself and the remainder of his colleagues, the judges and jury of the tribunal, included. His and their trial is the most extraordinary document that the whole revolution has produced, and develops a series of turpitudes and horrors such as no imagination could conceive. But that does not belong to our present subject, and we must hasten to conclude.

Under the Directory, the Consulate, and the Empire, we do not find that any immoderate use was made of the Guillotine;[1]—the very name had become intolerably odious, and the ruling powers were reluctant to use it even on legitimate occasions. During the Restoration it was rarely employed, and never, as far as we recollect, for any political crime. When occasion for its use occurred it was brought forth and erected in the Place de Grève, and removed immediately after the execution; and we ourselves can bear witness—though we could not bring ourselves to see it—that one of these tragedies, which occurred while we happened to be in Paris, appeared to throw a kind of gloom and uneasiness over the whole city, that contrasted very strongly and very favourably with our recollection of the events of twenty years before.

  1. We should, perhaps, except Buonaparte's execution of George Cadoudal and a batch of thirteen Vendéans in 1804.