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Book VII. The Reign Of Terror
Orrida maesta nei fero aspetto
Terrore accresce, e piu superbo il rende;
Rosseggian gli occhi, e di veneno infetto
Come infausta cometa, il guardo splende,
Gil involve il mento, e sull 'irsuto petto
Ispida efoita la gran barbe scende;
E IN GUISA DE VORAGINE PROFONDA
SAPRE LA BOCCA A'ATRO SANGUE IMMONDA.
(Ger. Lib., Cant. iv. 7.)
A horrible majesty in the fierce aspect increases it terror, and renders it more superb. Red
glow the eyes, and the aspect infected, like a baleful comet, with envenomed influences,
glares around. A vast beard covers the chin--and, rough and thick, descends over the
shaggy breast.--And like a profound gulf expand the jaws, foul with black gore.
Qui suis-je, moi qu'on accuse? Un esclave de la Liberte, un martyr vivant de la
"Discours de Robespierre, 8 Thermidor."
(Who am I,--_I_ whom they accuse? A slave of Liberty,--a living martyr for the
It roars,--The River of Hell, whose first outbreak was chanted as the gush of a channel to
Elysium. How burst into blossoming hopes fair hearts that had nourished themselves on
the diamond dews of the rosy dawn, when Liberty came from the dark ocean, and the
arms of decrepit Thraldom--Aurora from the bed of Tithon! Hopes! ye have ripened into
fruit, and the fruit is gore and ashes! Beautiful Roland, eloquent Vergniaud, visionary
Condorcet, high-hearted Malesherbes!--wits, philosophers, statesmen, patriots, dreamers!
behold the millennium for which ye dared and laboured!
I invoke the ghosts! Saturn hath devoured his children ("La Revolution est comme
Saturne, elle devorera tous ses enfans."-- Vergniaud.), and lives alone,--I his true name of
It is the Reign of Terror, with Robespierre the king. The struggles between the boa and
the lion are past: the boa has consumed the lion, and is heavy with the gorge,--Danton has
fallen, and Camille Desmoulins. Danton had said before his death, "The poltroon