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I will be free! unbar the door!
His chain some furious madman breaks ;
Now, now, my dungeon grate he shakes.
I am not mad, but soon shall be.
Mark how yon demon's eyeballs glare !
He whirls a serpent high in air.
Deep in my heart, so crushed and sad;
Your task is done I'm mad! I'm mad!
EXECUTION OF MADAM ROLAND.
1. The examination and trial of Madame Roland were but a repetition of those charges against the Gironde, with which every harangue of the Jacobin party was filled. She was re proached with being the wife of Roland, and the friend of his accomplices. With a proud look of triumph, Madame Rie land admitted her guilt in both instances; spoke with tender ness of her husband, with respect of her friends, and with dig nified modesty of herself; but, borne down by the clamors of the court whenever she gave vent to her indignation against her persecutors, she ceased speaking amid the threats and invectives of her hearers. The people were at that period permitted to take a fearful and leading part in the dialogue between the judges and accused; they even permitted persons on trial to address the court, or compelled their silence; the
Very verdict rested with them.
2. Madame Roland heard herself sentenced to death with the air of one who saw in her condemnation merely her title to immortality. She rose, and slightly bowing to her judges, said, with a bitter and ironical smile, “ I thank you for considering me worthy to share the fate of the good and great men you have murdered !” She flew down the steps of the Conciergerie with the rapid swiftness of a child about to obtain some long-desired object: the end and aim of her desires was death. As she passed along the corridor, where all the prisoners had assembled to greet her return, she looked at them smi. lingly, and, drawing her right hand across her throat, made a sign expressive of cutting off a head. This was her only farewell; it was tragic as her destiny, joyous as her deliverance; and well was it understood by those who saw it. Many who were incapable of weeping for their own fate shed tears of unfeigned sorrow for hers.
3. On that day (November 10, 1793, a greater number than usual of carts laden with victims rolled onward toward the scaffold. Madame Roland was placed in the last, beside an infirm old man, named Lamarche. She wore a white robe, as a symbol of her innocence, of which she was anxious to convince the people; her magnificent hair, black and glossy as a raven's wing, fell in thick masses almost to her knees : her complexion, purified by her long captivity, and now glowing under the influence of a sharp, frosty November day, bloomed with all the freshness of early youth. Her eyes were full of expression; her whole countenance seemned radiant with glory, while a
movement between pity and contempt agitated her lips. A crowd followed them, uttering the coa:sest threats and most revolting expressions. “To the guillotine! to the guillotine!” exclaimed the female part of the rabble.
4. “I am going to the guillotine," replied Madame Roland; a few moments and I shall be there; but those who send me thither will follow me ere long. I go innocent, but they will come stained with blood, and you who applaud our execution will then applaud theirs with equal zeal.” Sometimes she would turn away her head that she might not appear to hear the insults with which she was assailed, and would lean with almost filial tenderness over the aged partner of her execution. The poor old man wept bitterly, and she kindly and cheeringly encouraged him to bear up with firmness, and to suffer with res ignation. She even tried to enliven the dreary journey they were performing together by little attempts at cheerfulness, and at length succeeded in winning a smile from her fellow-sufferer.
5. A colossal statue of Liberty, composed of clay, like the liberty of the time, then stood in the middle of the Place de la Concorde, on the spot now occupied by the Obelisk; the scaffold was erected beside this statue. Upon arriving there, Madame Roland descended from the cart in which she had been conveyed. Just as the executioner had seized her arm to enaable her to be the first to mount to the guillotine, she displayed an instance of that noble and tender consideration for others, which only a woman's heart could conceive, or put into practice at such a moment. “Stay!" said she, momentarily resisting the man's grasp. “I have one only favor to ask, and that is not for myself; I beseech you grant it me." Then, turning to the old man, she said, “Do you precede me to the scaffold ; to my
blood flow would be making you suffer the bitterness of death twice over.
I must spare you the pain of witnessing my punishment.” The executioner allowed this arrangement to be made.
6. With what sensibility and firmness must the mind have been imbued which could, at such a time, forget its own sufferings, to think only of saving one pang to an unknown old man ! and how clearly does this one little trait attest the heroic calm. ness with which this celebrated woman met her death! After the execution of Lamarche, which she witnessed without changing color, Madame Roland stepped lightly up to the scaffold, and, bowing before the statue of Liberty, as though to do homage to a power for whom she was about to die, exclaimed, Liberty! Liberty ! how many crimes are committed in thy name!”
She then resigned herself to the hands of the executioner, and in a few seconds her head fell into the basket placed to receive it.
LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.
1. A CHIEFTAIN to the Highlands bound
Cries, “ Boatman, do not tarry!
To row us o'er the ferry.”
This dark and stormy water ? ”
And this Lord Ullin's daughter.
3. “ And fast before her father's men,
Three days we've fled together,
My blood would stain the heather.
4. “ His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover, Then who will cheer my bonny bride,
When they have slain her lover?” 5. Out spoke the hardy, Highland wight,
“ I'll go, my chief, I'm ready; It is not for
In danger shall not tarry ;
I'll row you o'er the ferry.”
apace, The water-wraith was shrieking; And, in the scowl of heaven, each face
Grew dark as they were speaking. 8. But still, as wilder grew the wind,
And as the night grew drearer,
Their trampling sounded nearer.
• Though tempests round us gather; I'll meet the raging of the skies,
But not my angry father.”
A stormy sea before her,
The tempest gathered o'er her.
Of waters, fast prevailing;
His wrath was changed to wailing.