MADAME ROLAND

The articulate heroine has her reward of appreciation and her dues of praise; it is her appropriate fortune to have it definitely measured, and generally on equal terms. She takes pains to explain herself, and is understood, and pitied, when need is, on the right occasions. For instance, Madame Roland, a woman of merit, who knew her "merit's name and place," addressed her memoirs, her studies in contemporary history, her autobiography, her many speeches, and her last phrase at the foot of the undaunting scaffold, to a great audience of her equals (more or less) then living and to live in the ages then to come—her equals and those she raises to her own level, as the heroic example has authority to do.

Another woman—the Queen—suffered at that time, and suffered without the command of language, the exactitude of phrase, the precision of judgement, the proffer of prophecy, the explicit sense of Innocence and Moderation oppressed in her person. These were Madame Roland's; but the other woman, without eloquence, without literature, and without any judicial sense of history, addresses no mere congregation of readers. Marie Antoinette's unrecorded pangs pass into the treasuries of the experience of the whole human family. All that are human have some part there; genius itself may lean in contemplation over that abyss

-219-

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