Page:Ninety-three.djvu/128

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124
NINETY-THREE.

And he smiled.

Danton saw this smile.

"Marat," he exclaimed, "you are a sneak, I am a man for open air and daylight. I hate the life of a reptile. It would not suit me to be a wood-louse. You live in a cellar; I live in the street. You have nothing to say to anybody; any passer-by can see me and speak to me."

"Pretty boy, will you come up where I live?" muttered Marat.

And ceasing to smile, he assumed a peremptory tone.

"Danton, give account of the thirty-three thousand crowns, ready money, that Montmorin paid to you in the name of the king, under pretext of indemnifying you in your capacity of attorney at the Châtelet."

"I was concerned with the fourteenth of July," said Danton, haughtily.

"And the Garde-Meuble? and the crown diamonds?"

"I was concerned with the sixth of October."

"And the plunder committed by your alter ego, Lacroix, in Belgium?"

"I was concerned with the twentieth of June."

"And the loans made à la Montansier?"

"I impelled the people to the return from Varennes."

"And the opera house, built with money furnished by you?"

"I armed the sections of Paris."

"And the hundred thousand francs, the secret funds of the Minister of Justice?"

"I caused the tenth of August."

"And the two millions for the Assembly's secret expenses, of which you took a fourth?"

"I stopped the marching enemy and prevented the allied kings from passing."

"Prostitute!" said Marat.

Danton rose.

"Yes," he cried, "I am a harlot, I have sold my body, but I have saved the world."

Robespierre began to bite his nails. He could neither laugh nor smile. Laughing, Danton's lightning, and smiling, Marat's sting, were left out of him.

Danton replied,—

"I am like the ocean; I have my ebb and flow; at low