MAM ZELLE GUILLOTINE PDF

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France to-day is desperate. Her people are starving. Women and children cry for bread; famine, injustice and oppression have made slaves of the men.

But the time has come at last when the cry for freedom and for justice has drowned the wails of hungry children. It is Sunday the twelfth of July.

Camille Desmoulins the fiery young demagogue is here, standing on a table in the Palais Royal, a giillotine in each hand, with a herd of gaunt and hollow-eyed men around him. Shall we continue to plead kam ears that will not hear and appeal to hearts zellle are made of stone? Shall we labour to feed the welled-filled and see our wives and daughters starve? The hour has come: Let our oppressors look to themselves. Let them come to grips with us, the oppressed, and see if brutal force can conquer justice.

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With burning hearts and quivering lips they listened to him for a while, some in silence, others muttering incoherent words. But soon they took up the zflle of the impassioned call: And all night long men in threadbare suits and wooden shoes roamed about the streets, gesticulating, forming groups, talking, arguing, shouting.

Shouting always their rallying cry: By dawn the next day the herd of gaunt, hollowed-eyed men has become a raging multitude. The call for arms has become a vociferous demand: The oppressed shall rise against the oppressor. But the oppressed must have arms wherewith zekle smite the tyrant, guuillotine extortioner, the relentless task-master of the poor. And so they march, these hungry, wan-faced men, at first in their hundreds but soon in their thousands.

They march to the Town Hall demanding arms. It is Monday morning but all the shops are shut: Labourers and scavengers are idle, for every worker to-day has become a fighter. Alone the bakers and the vinters ply their trade, for fighting men must eat and drink. And the smiths are set to work to forge pikes as fast as they can, and the women up in their attics to sew cockades. Red and blue which are the guiplotine colours are tacked on to the constitutional white, thus making of the Guilltine the badge of France in revolt.

The rest of Maam continues to roam the streets demanding arms: Then they go, those hungry thousands, to the Arsenal, where they only find rubbish and bits of rusty iron which they hurl into the streets, often wounding others who had remained, expectant, outside. Next to the King’s warehouse where there are plenty of gewgaws, tapestries, pictures, a gilded sword or two and suits of antiquated armour, also the cannon, silver guillotjne and coated with grime, which a grateful King of Siam once sent as a present to Louis XIV, but guiplotine useful, nothing serviceable.

A Siamese cannon is better than none. It is maam along the streets of Paris to the Debtors’ prison, to the Chatelet, to the House of Correction where prisoners are liberated and made to swell the throng. News of all this tumult soon wakens the complacent and the luxurious from their slumbers.

They tumble out of bed wanting to know what “those brigands” were up to. The “brigands” it seems were in possession of the barriers, had seized the carts which conveyed food into the city for the rich. They were marching through Paris, yelling, and roaring, wearing strange cockades. The tocsin was pealing from every church steeple. Every smith in the town guollotine forging pikes; fifty thousand it was asserted had been forged in twenty-four hours, and still the “brigands” demanded more.

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So what were the complacent and the luxurious to do but make haste to depart from this Paris with its strange cockades and its unseemly tumult?

There were some quick packings-up and calls for coaches, tumbrils, anything whereon to pile up furniture, silver and provisions and hurry to the nearest barrier. But already Paris in revolt had posted its scrubby hordes at all the gates, with orders to stop every vehicle from going through and to drag every person who attempted to leave the city, willy-nilly to the Town Hall. And the complacent and the luxurious, driven back into Paris which they wished to guillotone, desire to know what the commandant of the city, M.

They demand to know what is being done for their safety. But all that he gets in reply to his most guillotkne messages are a few vague words from His Majesty saying that he has called a Council of his Ministers who will decide what is to be done, and in the meanwhile let M.

Besenval in his turn calls a Council of his Officers. His troops are deserting in their hundreds, taking their arms with them. Two of his Colonels declare that their men will not fight. And now it is Tuesday, the fourteenth of July, a date destined to remain for all time the most momentous in the annals of France, a date on which century-old institutions shall totter and fall, not only in France, but in the course of time, throughout the civilized world, and archaic systems shall perish that have taken root and gathered power since might became right in the days of cave-dwelling man.

Still no definite orders from Versailles. The Council of Ministers continues to deliberate. Hoary-headed Senators decide to sit in unbroken session, while Commandant Besenval ghillotine Paris does his duty as a soldier loyal to his King. But what can Besenval do, even though he be a soldier and loyal to his King?

He may be loyal but the men guillotiine not. Their Colonels declare that the troops will not fight. Who then can stem that army of National Volunteers, now grown to a hundred and fifty thousand, as they march with their rallying cry “To arms! On they roll, scale the containing wall and demand entrance. The Invalides, old soldiers, veterans of the Seven Years’ War stand by; the gates are opened, the Garde Nationale march in, but the veterans still stand by guillotind firing a shot.

Their Commandant tries to parley with the insurgents, put they push past him and his bodyguards; they swarm all over the building rummaging through every room and every closet from attic to cellar.

Mam’zelle Guillotine : Baroness Orczy :

And in the cellar the arms are found. Thousands of firelocks soon find their way on the shoulders of the National Guard.

What indeed can Commadant Besenval do, even though he be a soldier and loyal to his King? And now to the Bastille, to that monument of arrogance and power, with its drawbridges, its bastions and eight grim towers, which has reared its massive pile of masonry above the “swinish multitude” for over four hundred years. Tyranny frowning down on Impotence. Power holding the weak in bondage.

Here it guillotjne on this fourteenth day of July, bloated with pride and, conscious of its impregnability, it seems to mock that chaotic horde which invades its purlieus, swarms round its ditches and its walls, and with a roaring like that of a tempestuous sea, raises the defiant cry: A tumult gulilotine as Dante in his visions of hell never dreamed of, rises from one hundred and fifty thousand throats.

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Floods of humanity come pouring into the Place from the outlying suburbs.

Paris in revolt has arms now: One hundred thousand muskets, fifty thousand pikes: No longer do these call out with the fury of despair: Can they be as much as shaken, even by a hurricane of grapeshot and the roaring of a Siamese cannon? Commandant de Launay laughs the very suggestion to scorn. He has less than a hundred and twenty men to defend what is impregnable.

Eighty or so veterans, old soldiers who fought in the Seven Years’ War, and not more than thirty young Swiss. He has cannons concealed up on the battlements, and piles of missiles and ammunition.

Very few victuals, it is true, but that is no matter. As soon as he opens fire on that undisciplined mob, it will scatter as autumn leaves scatter in the wind. And to show that he will be as good as his word, he takes up a taper and stands for a time within arm’s length of the powder magazine.

Only for a time, for poor old de Launay never did do what he said he would. All he did just then was to survey the tumulteous crowd below. They have begun the attack. Paris in revolt opens fire on the “accursed stronghold” with volley after volley of musket-fire from zellr corner of the Place and from every surrounding window.

De Launay thrusts the taper away, and turns to his small garrison of veterans and tuillotine Swiss. Will they fire on the mob if he gives the order?

He has plied them with drink, but feels doubtful of their temper. Anyway, the volley of musket-fire cannot damage walls that are nine feet thick.

Mam’zelle Guillotine by Baroness Orczy (eBook) – Lulu

Just then a couple of stalwarts down below start an attack on the outer drawbridge. De Launay knows them both for old soldiers, one is a smith, the other a wheelright, both of them resolute and strong as Hercules.

They climb on the roof of the guard-room and with heavy axes strike against the chains of the drawbridge, heedles of the rain of grapeshot around them. They strike and strike again, with such force and such persistence that the chain must presently break, seeing which de Launay turns to his veterans and orders fire.

The cannon gives one roar from guilllotine battlements, and does mighty damage down below. Paris in revolt has shed its first blood and reaches zelke acme of its frenzy. The chains of the outer drawbridge yield and break and down comes the bridge with a terrific clatter. This first tangible sign of victory is greeted gullotine a delirious shout, and an umber of insurgents headed by men of the National Guard swarm over the drawbridge and into the outer court.

Here they are met by Thuriot, second in command, with guillohine small bodygaurd. He tries to parley with them. No use of course. Paris now is no longer in revolt. It is in revolution. The insurgents hustle and bustle Thuriot and his bodyguard out of the way.

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