Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
ONE YEAR and three months. During all that time Lucie was
never sure, from hour to hour, but that the Guillotine would strike
off her husband’s head next day. Every day, through the stony
streets, the tumbrils now jolted heavily, filled with Condemned.
Lovely girls; bright women, brown-haired, black-haired, and grey;
youths; stalwart men and old; gentle born and peasant born; all red
wine for La Guillotine, all daily brought into light from the dark
cellars of the loathsome prisons, and carried to her through the
streets to slake her devouring thirst. Liberty, equality, fraternity, or
death;- the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!
If the suddenness of her calamity, and the whirling wheels of the
time, had stunned the Doctor’s daughter into awaiting the result in
idle despair, it would but have been with her as it was with many.
But, from the hour when she had taken the white head to her fresh
young bosom in the garret of Saint Antoine, she had been true to
her duties. She was truest to them in the season of trial, as all the
quietly loyal and good will always be.
As soon as they were established in their new residence, and her
father had entered on the routine of his avocations, she arranged
the little household as exactly as if her husband had been there.
Everything had its appointed place and its appointed time. Little
Lucie she taught, as regularly, as if they had all been united in their
English home. The slight devices with which she cheated herself
into the show of a belief that they would soon be reunited-the little
preparations for his speedy return, the setting aside of his chair
and his books-these, and the solemn prayer at night for one dear
prisoner especially, among the many unhappy souls in prison and
the shadow of death-were almost the only outspoken reliefs of her
She did not greatly alter in appearance. The plain dark dresses,
akin to mourning dresses, which she and her child wore, were as
neat and as well attended to as the brighter clothes of happy days.
She lost her colour, and the old and intent expression was a
constant, not an occasional, thing; otherwise, she remained very
pretty and comely. Sometimes, at night on kissing her father, she
would burst into the grief she had repressed all day, and would
say that her sole reliance, under Heaven, was on him. He always
resolutely answered: “Nothing can happen to him without my
knowledge, and I know that I can save him, Lucie.” They had not