Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Death of Marat

On July 13, 1793, French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat, a man who had lived by the sword, died similarly.  From Sir Walter Scott’s “Life of Napoleon Buonaparte”:

‘The reader need not be reminded, that the three distinguished champions who assumed the front in the Jacobin ranks, were Marat, Danton, and Robespierre. The first was poniarded by Charlotte Corday,1 an enthusiastic young person, who had nourished, in a feeling betwixt lunacy and heroism, the ambition of ridding the world of a tyrant.

1 [Charlotte Corday was born, in 1768, near Seez, in Normandy. She was twenty-five years of age, and resided at Caen, when she conceived and executed the design of ridding the world of this monster. She reached Paris on the 11th July, and on the 12th wrote a note to Marat soliciting an interview, and purchased in the Palais-Royal a knife to plunge into the bosom of the tyrant. On the 13th, she obtained admission to Marat, whom she found in his bath-room. He enquired after the proscribed deputies at Caen.  Being told their names —" They shall soon, he said, "meet with the punishment they deserve." —" Thine is at hand!" exclaimed she, and stabbed him to the heart. She was immediately brought to trial, and executed on the 17th.’

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