sábado, setembro 03, 2005

La Place de Révolution

Louis XVI was executed on the morning of Monday 21 January 1793 but it was four days before the news reached London. On 25 January “The Times” printed a detailed report describing the King’s last hours. He had taken an affectionate farewell of his family at 6 am and had been driven through the hushed streets of Paris in the mayor’s carriage to La Place de Révolution. The guillotine had been set up beside the pedestal which had formerly supported the statue of his grandfather. Dressed in a brown greatcoat, white waistcoat and black breeches, he mounted the scaffold with composure, attended by an Irish priest as his confessor. His attempt to address the crowds was drowned by the beating of hundreds of drums from the massed ranks of the soldiers surrounding the guillotine. The executioner laid hold of him and at a quarter past ten the blade came down. When his severed head was held up by the executioner the people threw their hats in the air and let out a great shout of ‘Vive la Nation!’

David Cordingly, Billy Ruffian, The Bellerophon and The Downfall of Napoleon

[Paulo Ferreira]