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Defosse, sheriff and advocate, had the sentence
brought, and read to me a post-script urn at the
bottom, conceived in these terms: ' If nevertheless
the said Monbailly, after remaining two
hours on the wheel is still alive, the retentum
may be applied to him, but not before.' This
retentum ordered that, at the end of two hours,
Monbailly should be secretly strangled. ' You
see, my reverend father,' he then said, ' that we
have no choice in the matter, that we cannot
hasten his death one minute without committing
the crime of homicide; that all that we can do
is to be exact in reckoning the time.
Consequently, as you see, the watch is constantly
before our eyes, in order not to hasten his death
one minute. We cannot do it; but also be
sure that we will not prolong his torments one
second, if the Lord allows him to live until
then.'

"At these words, I bowed and returned with
all diligence to the unfortunate man, whom I
found still patient, still suffering like a Christian,
never ceasing to testify the greatest confidence
in God; and persevering in these pious sentiments,
I saw him expire and give up his soul
to his Creator."

The last scene of this horrible drama consisted
of the populace gazing in consternation at the
flames of the funeral pile which consumed the
remains of poor Monbailly.

Almost before his ashes were cold, a reaction
commenced. The ferment of popular mind is like
the tempest of the physical elements. A slight
symptom, a lurid ray, a small, unusual, ominous
cloud, betokens its coming. It gathers; it
sweeps on impetuous; nothing can stop it; it
devastates, it kills. But even in the midst of
its fury, signs of its cessation often break forth.
Then comes a lull; pitying rain-drops succeed
to the merciless hail; and then sunshine follows.
But the wrecks and the ruins which the storm
has made still remain ruins and wrecks. Even
when Monbailly was on the way to death, the
tide of the hurricane had turned; during his
martyrdom to truth, blind prejudice yielded to
compassion and admiration; his persistence in
repudiating the imputed crime to the very last
convinced the crowd, and swept away every
doubt that might remain respecting his
innocence.

Many inhabitants of St. Omer uniting, caused
their protests to reach the foot of the throne.
The grand chancellor sent for the papers of the
trial and countermanded the execution of the
wife. Through the exertions of a young advocate,
Maître Muchembled, belonging to the bar
of St. Omer, the ignorance of the St. Omer
doctors, touching the real cause of the widow
D'Annebique's death was fully demonstrated by
the most celebrated physicians and surgeons of
Paris. By an edict of February, 1771, the
revision of the trial was decreed. After a careful
examination, which lasted more than a year, the
sentence of the first judges was reversed, and
proclamation made of the innocence of
Monbailly and his wife, who was immediately set at
liberty. After the thunderstroke the sun broke
forth.

About three o'clock in the afternoon of the
14th of April, 1772, Anne Thérèse Danel, Widow
Monbailly, accompanied by Maître Muchembled,
returned from prison to St. Omer. The
very same persons who, in the blindness of their
rage, had thirsted after her blood, and had shed
that of her unhappy husband, now put a crown
on her head, strewed flowers in her path, and
carried her in triumph from the Porte d Arras,
one of the city gates, to her father's house in
the Rue des Epées. The modest advocate had
great difficulty in withdrawing himself from this
glorious ovation, which concluded that same
evening with the illumination of the town and
bonfires in the different quarters. The next
evening the crowd assembled in the Petit-Marché
to admire a transparency painted by a monk of
St. Bertin, representing Monbailly and his wife
holding in their hands the palm of martyrdom.
In a glory, above the picture, was inscribed,
"There is no parricide in St. Omer," and, in a
shield beneath, " Honour to innocence! Honour
to Maître Muchembled!"

The decree which confiscated all the property
of the victim to the profit of the king was
declared null and void. Anne Danel entered into
possession of her husband's inheritance; but
this small fortune was insufficient for her
maintenance. Several citizens came to her aid, and
endeavoured thus, in some degree, to expiate
the popular error. They planted an iron cross
on the spot (then called La Voierie, now Les
Bruyères) where Monbailly's ashes had been
thrown; for a long while they caused masses
to be said in honour of the defunct, and also
for a long while, every Monday, threw flowers
and verdure on the place where an imaginary
crime had been atoned for by a lengthened
agony.

This little bit of history is seriously recommended,
without comment, to Locatelli's sentencers
as well as to all others whom it may
directly or indirectly concern.

At the completion, in March, of
SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON'S NEW WORK,
A STRANGE STORY,
Will be commenced
A NEW NOVEL, BY MR. WILKIE COLLINS.

Now Ready, price Fourpence,
TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND,
FORMING THE
EXTRA DOUBLE NUMBER
FOR CHRISTMAS.

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