|British Newspaper Coverage of the French
Death of Marat and Execution of Charlotte Corday
July 30, 1793
France. [page 3]
[ . . . ] Marat's funeral obsequies were performed on the 16th, in the eveninga great concourse of citizens, the Convention in a body, the constituted authorities and the popular societies formed the procession, which followed the body in profound silence to the sound of mournful music. The cannon was fired in several quarters of the city. Marat was interred under the trees of the garden of the ci-devant Convent of Cordeliers, at two in the morning. His tomb is a rough stone without any ornament.
In the evening of the 17th, the execution of Charlotte Cordé, the assassin of Marat, took place in the Place de la Revolution. Her undaunted composure in her last moments, will serve, perhaps,more than her crime, to transmit her name to posterity. During her interrogatory, she astonished her judges and the spectators by her calm, decent and unaffected deportment; and even on the approach of death she expressed herself with the greatest ease, and in terms of pleasantry. She absolutely refused the assistance of a Confessor. In the cart which carried her to the place of execution, and even on the scaffold, her air and motions were graceful and decent. She placed her had, without any visible emotion, under the fatal instrument which severed it from her bodythe most profound silence was observed. The executioner, on shewing the head to the spectators, gave it a blowon which, by an almost universal murmur, the people expressed this sentiment
La loi punit et ne venge pas.
The law punishes and does not avenge.
The head was then pale, but perfectly beautiful. The Executioner shewed it a second time t the people, and the blood which was then extravasated, had restored to her cheeks its former animated glow: shouts of Vive la Republique were now heard, and the spectators dispersed less impressed with the recollection of her crime, than of her courage and beauty.
|Alan Liu, English Dept., U. California, Santa Barbara (transcribed 2/17/00)|