+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

functionary who worked it; but, so armed, he was
stronger than his namesake, and blinder, and
tore away the gates of God's own Temple every

Among these terrors, and the brood belonging
to them, the Doctor walked with a steady head:
confident in his power, cautiously persistent in
his end, never doubting that he would save
Lucie's husband at last. Yet the current of the
time swept by, so strong and deep, and carried
the time away so fiercely, that Charles had
lain in prison one year and three months when
the Doctor was thus steady and confident. So
much more wicked and distracted had the
Revolution grown in that December month, that
the rivers of the South were encumbered with
the bodies of the violently drowned by night, and
prisoners were shot in lines and squares under
the southern wintry sun. Still, the Doctor walked
among the terrors with a steady head. No man
better known than he, in Paris at that day;
no man in a stranger situation. Silent,
humane, indispensable in hospital and prison,
using his art equally among assassins and
victims, he was a man apart. In the exercise
of his skill, the appearance and the story
of the Bastille Captive removed him from all
other men. He was not suspected or brought in
question, any more than if he had indeed been
recalled to life some eighteen years before, or
were a Spirit moving among mortals.


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 bom; 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

Tf 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 reunitedthe little preparations
for his speedy return, the setting aside of
his chair and his booksthese, and the solemn
prayer at night for one dear prisoner especially,
among the many unhappy souls in prison and the
shadow of deathwere almost the only
outspoken reliefs of her heavy mind.

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
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 made the round of their changed
life, many weeks, when her father said to her, on
coming home one evening:

"My dear, there is an upper window in the
prison, to which Charles can sometimes gain
access at three in the afternoon. When he
can get to itwhich depends on many
uncertainties and incidentshe might see you in the
street, he thinks, if you stood in a certain place
that I can show you. But you will not be
able to see him, my poor child, and even if you
could, it would be unsafe for you to make a
sign of recognition."

"O show me the place, my father, and I will
go there every day."

From that time, in all weathers, she waited
there two hours. As the clock struck two, she
was there, and at four she turned resignedly
away. When it was not too wet or inclement
for her child to be with her, they went together;
at other times she was alone; but, she never
missed a single day.

It was the dark and dirty corner of a small
winding street. The hovel of a cutter of wood
into lengths for burning, was the only house at
that end; all else was wall. On the third day
of her being there, he noticed her.

"Good day, citizeness."

"Good day, citizen."

This mode of address was now prescribed by
decree. It had been established voluntarily
some time ago, among the more thorough
patriots; but, was now law for everybody.

"Walking here again, citizeness?"

"You see me, citizen!"

The wood-sawyer, who was a little man with a
redundancy of gesture (he had once been a mender
of roads), cast a glance at the prison, pointed
at the prison, and putting his ten fingers before
his face to represent bars, peeped through them

"But it's not my business," said he. And
went on sawing his wood.

Next day, he was looking out for her, and
accosted her the moment she appeared.