Page:Pierre and Luce.djvu/19

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variable but infallible. Established powers were invested by him with a sacred truth. He admired sincerely those souls of iron, the great free and unbending magistrates of the past; and perhaps secretly believed himself to be of their stock. He was a very small edition of Michel de l'Hospital over whom a century of republican slavery had passed.

As to Madame Aubier she was as good a Christian as her husband was a good republican. Just as sincerely and honestly as he made himself a docile instrument of the government against any form of liberty which was not official, so did she mingle her prayers, and that in perfect purity of heart, with the homicidal vows which were made about the war in every country of Europe by the Catholic priests, the Protestant ministers, the rabbis and the popes, the newspapers and the right-minded thinkers of the time. And both of them, father and mother, adored their children and, like true French people, had for them only a profound, essential affection, would have sacrificed everything for them, and yet, in order to do as others, would