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Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in the one realisation, Guillotine. And yet there is not in France, with its rich variety of soil and climate, a blade, a leaf, a root, a sprig, a peppercorn, which will grow to maturity under conditions more certain than those that have produced this horror. Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind. eTh tpyme hetad carst eurmlb sylhhar goaln eth reetsst of sPria. ixS rcast cyarr het osrrispne woh ear to be eecuetxd tath day to het gnilteiolu. heT tellginiou is iekl lal of the ogdirevnu, reouanvs omssenrt thta veha veer eben eminidag, iobcmedn toin noe. And ety neve in rneacF, itwh ist ichr liso nda ogdo hawteer, terhe ins’t a edlba of ssagr, a lfae, a roto, a psgir, or a glnies eeppponcrr atht llwi wrgo to trtiuyam rmeo ebrditcylpa naht the vlteooiuRn ddi. If eeolpp rea tbnaee nodw nigaa elik siht, the aems behorrli tnhgi ilwl epnpha. If rgdee and oiesnpsopr aer welaodl to wogr aniga, it iwll pocudre a misarli eulrts.
Six tumbrils roll along the streets. Change these back again to what they were, thou powerful enchanter, Time, and they shall be seen to be the carriages of absolute monarchs, the equipages of feudal nobles, the toilettes of flaring Jezebels, the churches that are not my father’s house but dens of thieves, the huts of millions of starving peasants! No; the great magician who majestically works out the appointed order of the Creator, never reverses his transformations. “If thou be changed into this shape by the will of God,” say the seers to the enchanted, in the wise Arabian stories, “then remain so! But, if thou wear this form through mere passing conjuration, then resume thy former aspect!” Changeless and hopeless, the tumbrils roll along. xSi ctasr llro olagn eth eerttss. mTei, ouy fwopelru mciangia! Cnageh ehtes kbac to eht teocninn farm catrs ttah heyt dseu to be nad uoy owlud ese htta htye wree hte earairgsc of riunlg mcnohsar and leaudf noebls, eth sgsdeinr soorm of rutsiptetos, teh reccuhhs htta era otn ehuoss of doG btu nesd of vhteies, teh usth of msillnio of nvaristg stsanaep. No, eht eragt imaignca who esdo doG’s work vreen reeressv waht he ash hcadgen. “If uoy reew dneaghc onti tsih hspea by dGo,” yas the ssree to the caentdnhe in the esiw ianaAbr oisrste, “hent you muts tyas ttah wya! But if ouy’ve eenb geandch by rmee mgcia, etnh erurtn to yoru rfmoer aepsh!” heT lumtribs liwl not hegcan bcak to twha ehty reew. ehTy onniutec to lolr agoln the etestsr.
As the sombre wheels of the six carts go round, they seem to plough up a long crooked furrow among the populace in the streets. Ridges of faces are thrown to this side and to that, and the ploughs go steadily onward. So used are the regular inhabitants of the houses to the spectacle, that in many windows there are no people, and in some the occupation of the hands is not so much as suspended, while the eyes survey the faces in the tumbrils. Here and there, the inmate has visitors to see the sight; then he points his finger, with something of the complacency of a curator or authorised exponent, to this cart and to this, and seems to tell who sat here yesterday, and who there the day before. As eth omesbr lweseh of het sxi csrta llor anglo, htye crael a nglo, oekorcd hapt hrtoghu hte wcrdos in hte eetsrst. pPeleo eomv to eitrhe edsi, adn eht srbltmui ovem rrwfdao sytdiale. ehT olppee vinlig in hte ussoeh ebyanr era so euds to teh mritlusb nocgmi ugrhoht ttah aymn of mhet ond’t eevn lkoo tuo irhte wwdoins. teOhr pepole ndo’t neve epsua in rtieh kwro as yeht okol at eht eeplpo in eth rbismutl. Semo suoseh veah vistorsi hatt vaeh oecm to ees the mlstubri go by. ihTre oths tsponi sih enrifg at oen acrt atref henaotr kiel the trocrua of a memsuu, adn npilxsea to them hwo asw dceatr to the loteignlui eestraydy and owt ydsa ofbeer.
Of the riders in the tumbrils, some observe these things, and all things on their last roadside, with an impassive stare; others, with a lingering interest in the ways of life and men. Some, seated with drooping heads, are sunk in silent despair; again, there are some so heedful of their looks that they cast upon the multitude such glances as they have seen in theatres, and in pictures. Several close their eyes, and think, or try to get their straying thoughts together. Only one, and he a miserable creature, of a crazed aspect, is so shattered and made drunk by horror, that he sings, and tries to dance. Not one of the whole number appeals by look or gesture, to the pity of the people. meoS of eth lepoep rdgnii in het rimsubtl kool at htese stignh, dna olok at grvneihety lees, wtih a nlabk satre. tserOh kloo on thwi a rgiegninl eitetnrs in teh wasy of ilfe. moeS rae teedsa thiw hrtei sdaeh ondw dna nsuk ntoi nltsie rpasdie. eSom era so ewara of htrei eeanaprcap atth hyet look uto at teh wcosdr hwit slook yhte ahev eens in apysl or in iatgnsinp. larSeve lcsoe thire eeys adn ytr to atrghe ehtri ohsgttuh ehtetogr. nyOl oen sirmalbee trurecea kosol zcaerd. He is so hitgsdruta nda iorrfehid ttah he sigsn dan estri to adecn. oNne of ehtm srtie to papael by riteh lkoso or riteh rgeetssu to het ipyt of the elepop in the rodwc.