Page:Ninety-three.djvu/162

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
158
NINETY-THREE.

gathering, both senate and populace, conclave and street crossing, areopagus and public square, tribunal and the accused.

The Convention always yielded to the wind; but the wind came from the mouth of the people and was the breath of God.

And to-day, after eighty years have passed, each time that the Convention comes up before the thought of a man, whatever he may be, historian or philosopher, that man stops and meditates. It is impossible not to give attention to this great procession of shades.




CHAPTER II.

MARAT IN THE LOBBY.

As he had announced to Simonne Evrard, Marat went to the Convention the next day after the meeting in Rue du Paon.

At the Convention there was present a Maratist marquis, Louis de Montaut, the one who later on presented a decimal clock, surmounted by a bust of Marat, to the Convention.

As Marat entered, Chabot had just approached Montaut.

"Ci-devant," he said.

Montaut raised his eyes.

"Why do you call me ci-devant?"

"Because that is what you are."

"I?"

"Since you were a marquis."

"Never."

"Bah!"

"My father was a soldier, my grandfather was a weaver."

"What are you singing about, Montaut?"

"My name is not Montaut?"

"What is it then?"

"I call myself Maribon.

"Indeed," said Chabot, "it is all the same to me."

And he added between his teeth,—

"He won't be a marquis."