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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Publicado porDharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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woman. She knew that husband, home, child, and friends were not for her
any more, and that very soon she was to see the last of earth from beside
the headsman and from the block, and yet she turned from all regret and
fear, and summoned the great assize of posterity, "of foreign nations and
the next ages," to do her justice. There was no sign of fear. She looked as
calmly on what she knew she must soon undergo as the spirit released into
never-ending bliss looks back upon the corporeal trammels from which it
has just earned its escape.

There are those who believe that a woman can not be great as she was and
still be pure. These ghouls of history will to the end of time dig into the
graves where such queens lie entombed. This woman has slept serenely for
nearly a century. Sweet oblivion has dimmed with denial and forgetfulness
the obloquy which hunted her in her last days. Tears such as are shed for
vestal martyrs have been shed for her, and for all her faults she has the
condonation of universal sorrow. Nothing but the evil magic of sympathetic
malice can restore these calumnies, and even then they quickly fade away
in the sunlight of her life. Nothing can touch her further. Dismiss them with
the exorcism of Carlyle, grown strangely tender and elegiac here. "Breathe
not thy poison breath! Evil speech! That soul is taintless; clear as the mirror
sea." She was brought to trial. The charge against her was, "That there has
existed a horrible conspiracy against the unity and indivisibility of the
French people; that Marie Jeanne Phlipon, wife of Jean Marie Roland has
been one of the abettors or accomplices of that conspiracy." This was the
formula by which this woman was killed, and it simply meant that the
Gironde had existed and that she had sympathized with it.

She was racked with interrogations, and returned to the prison, weeping at
the infernal imputations which they cast upon her womanhood. On the day
of her final trial she dressed herself in spotless white, and let fall the
voluminous masses of her brown, abundant hair. She was asked to betray
her husband by disclosing his hiding place. Her answer is full of wifely
loyalty and dignity--"Whether I know it or not I neither ought nor will say."

There was absolutely no evidence against her except of her affiliations with
the Girondists. The mockery ended by her condemnation to death within

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