Danton

Danton

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Danton

Danton

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Excerpt

The Dantons at Arcis--Unruly Childhood--Troyes College--Danton and the Coronation--The Attorney's Office--The Licentiate's Degree--The Law--A Cheery Lawyer's Clerk--The Café Charpentier--Marriage-- "Monsieur d'Anton's" Office--Danton and Barentin--Briefs--A Life of Comfort.

GREAT was the excitement in the Salle du Manège at the Tuileries on September 25, 1792. The Convention was in session, and for the first time since its sittings had begun, just four days previously, the two parties destined to tear each other in pieces for many a month had come into collision.

A fierce attack on Paris and her deputies--"massacrers!" --had been delivered by Lasource, a member of the Gironde, which claimed to represent the "Provinces." And then, amidst the liveliest commotion, one of the Paris deputies was seen to move towards the rostrum. A broad mask, like the muzzle of an ox, an ill-shaped mouth that terrified, so fiercely did it work under the influence of its owner's passion, bushy eyebrows shading eyes that were small, indeed, but that shot flames of fire, a skin all pitted--a hideous face, in fact, but luminous with intelligence and flushed with fury-- a huge forehead under thick-growing locks, an air at once ferocious and imposing--this was Danton! His left hand, with an accustomed gesture, clasped his mighty hip; the right was outstretched threateningly, and seemed to seek his foe, denounce him, well-nigh tear him from his seat, to cast him into the pillory. Now and again he dropped his head, and then, with his neck all swollen with sheer rage, he was like some bull about to charge, and demolish everything upon his path.

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