Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Citoyenne Sourdille Lavatelle

"Adieu, kind and affectionate wife, and adieu forever.  It is two o'clock, and I hope at three to be on my way to the Place de la Révolution.  You see, my dearest, that by four o'clock I shall be happier, or at least not so unhappy as thou.  Thou art the only person who made me cling to life, and for some time I was afraid of having lost thee.  Thy silence, unbroken since the 30 Pluviose, made me think that thou hadst succumbed to the innumerable blows which thou hast undergone for some time, and then my days were numbered.  I defended myself with courage and firmness.  I shall show this up to the last moment, and I shall leave, I hope, the name of an honest man.  I have not written to thee a longer letter, but I wish to converse a last time with thee.  I swear to thee that under the fatal knife my thoughts will be fixed on thee.  Live for my sons, my mother, my aunt.  Bid my sister farewell, and receive the tenderest kisses.  I have swallowed thy ring. (Italics added.)  It was bound never to quit me.  Adieu, my dearest.  I send thee a thousand kisses."        From Pierre Jean Sourdille-Lavatelle, aged 30, barrister, a prominent Girondon at Laval.

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