Danton carried a high look in the Death-cart. Not so Camille: it is but one week, and all is so topsy-turvied; angel Wife left weeping; love, riches, Revolutionary fame, left all at the Prison-gate; carnivorous Rabble now howling round. Palpable, and yet incredible; like a madman’s dream! Camille struggles and writhes; his shoulders shuffle the loose coat off them, which hangs knotted, the hands tied: “Calm my friend,” said Danton; “heed not that vile canaille (laissez la cette vile canaille).” At the foot of the Scaffold, Danton was heard to ejaculate: “O my Wife, my well-beloved, I shall never see thee more then!”—but, interrupting himself: “Danton, no weakness!” He said to Herault-Sechelles stepping forward to embrace him: “Our heads will meet there,” in the Headsman’s sack. His last words were to Samson the Headsman himself: “Thou wilt shew my head to the people; it is worth shewing.”
So passes, like a gigantic mass, of valour, ostentation, fury, affection and wild revolutionary manhood, this Danton, to his unknown home. He was of Arcis-sur-Aube; born of ‘good farmer-people’ there. He had many sins; but one worst sin he had not, that of Cant. No hollow Formalist, deceptive and self-deceptive, ghastly to the natural sense, was this; but a very Man: with all his dross he was a Man; fiery-real, from the great fire-bosom of Nature herself. He saved France from Brunswick; he walked straight his own wild road, whither it led him. He may live for some generations in the memory of men.
Next week, it is still but the 10th of April, there comes a new Nineteen; Chaumette, Gobel, Hebert’s Widow, the Widow of Camille: these also roll their fated journey; black Death devours them. Mean Hebert’s Widow was weeping, Camille’s Widow tried to speak comfort to her. O ye kind Heavens, azure, beautiful, eternal behind your tempests and Time-clouds, is there not pity for all! Gobel, it seems, was repentant; he begged absolution of a Priest; did as a Gobel best could. For Anaxagoras Chaumette, the sleek head now stript of its bonnet rouge, what hope is there? Unless Death were ‘an eternal sleep?’ Wretched Anaxagoras, God shall judge thee, not I.
Hebert, therefore, is gone, and the Hebertists; they that robbed Churches, and adored blue Reason in red nightcap. Great Danton, and the Dantonists; they also are gone. Down to the catacombs; they are become silent men! Let no Paris Municipality, no Sect or Party of this hue or that, resist the will of Robespierre and Salut. Mayor Pache, not prompt enough in denouncing these Pitts Plots, may congratulate about them now. Never so heartily; it skills not! His course likewise is to the Luxembourg. We appoint one Fleuriot-Lescot Interim-Mayor in his stead: an ‘architect from Belgium,’ they say, this Fleuriot; he is a man one can depend on. Our new Agent-National is Payan, lately Juryman; whose cynosure also is Robespierre.