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of an idea to return, because it has been
already in the mind, and to return the more
frequently because it has already been
frequently in the mind. Thus it was with this
homicidal dilemma. Necessarily the brain is
inflamed by such thoughts, and the more it
is inflamed the more it is injured and
diseased. Evil thoughts, if not dismissed at
once and shunned carefully, after entering
the mind as curious strangers, if entertained,
remain in it as destructive tyrants.

The appeal of Verger to the Court of
Cassation, came on for consideration on
Thursday, the twenty-ninth of January. M. Morin
produced what he called three means of
breaking the condemnation, in this Breaking

First: The President Delangle had assumed
the presidency informally, without announcing
the change by an ordinance.

The supreme senate decided that an ordinance
was not necessary, and, if necessary, the
administrative informality was not a sufficient
reason for breaking the condemnation.

Secondly: M. Morin said: " I state the
dates. On the ninth January, the accusation;
the tenth, the indictment; ninth and
tenth, intimations; tenth, interrogatory;
fourteenth, appeal against the decision
which sent the case before the Court of
Assizes; fifteenth, rejection; seventeenth,
debate and condemnation. The accused had
less than forty-eight hours to prepare his
defence and name and summon his witnesses.
Could the accused summon his witnesses
while he was appealing to you ? No. Could
he after the rejection ? There was no time,
since he only knew it in the evening for the
day after the next. The list of witnesses was
kept because it was supposed there would be
scandal, but who knows but their testimonies
might have dissipated doubts? A decision
said that the testimonies would not have
been favourable to the defence, but the Court
of Assizes has no right thus to paralyse the
rights of the defence."

In answer to this second plea for breaking
the condemnation the Court of Cassation
said the delay of five days is accorded by
article two hundred and twenty-nine of the
Criminal Code to the accused, not merely to
prepare a demand for the nullification of the
proceedings prior to his interrogatory by the
President of Assizes, but also to prepare for
his defence. This delay, which commences
from the day of the interrogatory, is not suspended
by the appeal of the accused against the
decision which places him in accusation, and
cannot consequently, in this case, begin to be
counted only from the date of the rejection
of the appeal. The demand of a delay to
summon witnesses is rejected sovereignly
(souverainement) by the Court of Assizes
when it decides that the hearing of these
witnesses is not likely to enlighten the

Thirdly: The law says: " The President,
prior to applying the penalty, shall ask the
accused if he has anything to say in his
defence." Ten condemnations have been
broken for want of these formalities. The
Chamber of Peers, in eighteen hundred and
thirty-four, having to deal with a hundred
culprits, and clamours far more formidable
than those of Verger, was forced to expel
them from the audience; but, the Court of
Peers established the indispensable necessity
either to make every culprit appear in open
court, or, at least, to have the summing-up
delivered to him orally, in order that he
might be in a position to state his defence.

In regard to this third means of breaking
the condemnation, the Court of Cassation
decided, " That a culprit expelled in virtue
of the law of the ninth September, eighteen
hundred and thirty-five, ought not to be
brought back at the risk of nullity, to hear
the reading of the verdict of the jury and the
sentence of the Court of Assizes; the requirements
of the law which prescribes that notice
shall be given to the accused after each
audience, cannot be applied in a case which
has only endured one sitting; and the
irregularities which may have existed in the
intimations afterwards, cannot give an opening
to the breaking of the condemnation."

For which reasons the appeal for a new
trial was rejected by the supreme judicial

The business of which I have given a
digest occupied a long day, and passed in a
very crowded court. For many fatiguing
hours I remained in the court, leaning against
the pedestal of a marble statue, with a young
man by my side, whose appearance attracted
my attention to a degree which made me miss
many fine phrases of forensic eloquence. It
was a most terrible thing to witness the
countenance of a young man of less than
thirty, with the grief-worn features and the
white corpse-like face of decrepit old age.
I could not help wondering how long he would
live. In reply to compassionate observers,
he said that he had poisoned his respiratory
organs while making experiments in the
application of mercury to mirrors. Every
tongue was busy, discussing the arguments of
the pleadings during the absence of the
court. I overheard this young man with an
almost extinct voice taking the part of
Verger. His antagonist said:

"You defend an assassin!"

"Assassin! Do not say thathe is my

Only thirteen or fourteen hours afterwards,
Verger appeared for a few seconds upon the
guillotine, at eight o'clock in the morning;
and there his history was quickly ended.