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and companies of other regiments, to the number of 1,200 men.

In front of the lower window, with its Gothic archway hastily converted into a door, a shapeless platform of rough unhewn planks had that night been rudely patched together. This was the scaffold. A slight railing around it served to protect it from the crowd, and a heap of sand had been thrown upon it. A squalid, unclean box of unplaned boards lay on the scaffold; it had been made some time before as the coffin of a Frenchman, who had been convicted of murder, but had been pardoned at the last moment. Upon this coffin sat two common soldiers of ruffianly aspect, playing at dice, and betting whether the Lord or the Devil would get the soul of Barneveld. Many a foul and ribald jest at the expense of the prisoner was exchanged between these gamblers and a few townsmen who were grouped about at that early hour.

The great mass of spectators had forced their way by daybreak into the Hall itself, to hear the sentence, so that the Inner Court-yard had remained comparatively empty. At last, at half-past nine o'clock, a shout arose. "There he comes!" and the populace flowed out from the Hall of Judgment into the Court-yard like a tidal wave. In an instant the Inner Court was filled with more than three thousand spectators.

The old statesman, leaning upon his staff, walked out upon the scaffold, and calmly surveyed the scene. Lifting his eyes to heaven, he was heard to murmur, "O God! what does man come to at last!" Then he said bitterly once more, This, then, is the reward of forty years' service done to the State!"


La Motte, who attended him, said, fervently: "It is no longer time to think of this. Let us prepare your coming before God."

"Is there no cushion or stool to kneel upon?" said Barneveld, looking around him.

The Provost said he would send for one: but the old man knelt at once. His servant, who waited upon him as composedly as if he had been serving him at dinner, held him by the arm. It was remarked that neither master nor man shed a single tear on the scaffold.

La Motte prayed for a quarter of an hour, Barneveld remaining upon his knees. He then rose, and said to John Franken: "See that he does not come near me,” pointing to the executioner, who stood in the background, grasping his long, double-handled sword. Barneveld then rapidly unbuttoned his doublet with his own hands, and the valet helped him off with it. "Make haste; make haste!" said his master.

The statesman then came forward, and said, in a loud, firm voice, to the people, "Men, do not believe that I am a traitor to the country. I have ever acted uprightly and loyally; and as such I shall die." The crowd was perfectly silent. He then took his cap from John Franken, drew it over his eyes, and went toward the sand, saying, “Christ be my guide! O Lord, my heavenly Father, receive my spirit!"

As he was about to kneel with his face to the south, the Provost said, "My lord will be pleased to move to the other side, not where the sun is in his face." He knelt accordingly with his face toward his own house. The servant took farewell of him, and Barneveld said to the executioner, “Be quick about it. Be quick." The executioner then struck off his head at a single blow.


LOUIS CHARLES ALFRED DE MUSSET, famous French poet, born at Paris, in 1810; died there in 1857. While still in school he determined to lead a literary life. His first book "Stories of Spain and Italy was an instant success. "André del Sarto" and "La Spectacle dans un Fautenil" followed. Among the best of his later poems were "The Night of August," "The Night of October" and "The Night of December." He also wrote a number of plays that are still produced on the French stage, and his fame in his own country rests on them to a great degree.



(From "Story of a White Blackbird." Copyright by Brentanos. Translated by E. P. Robins)

T took me only six weeks to bring out my first


be, a poem in forty-eight cantos. It is true that there were some passages that showed marks of hasty composition, but that was owing to the prodigious rapidity with which it had been written, and I thought that the public, accustomed as it is to the fine writing that it finds in the feuilletons of the newspapers nowadays, would overlook such a trifling defect.

My success was such as accorded with my merit, that is to say, it was unparalleled. The subject of my work was nothing other than myself; in that I conformed to the ruling fashion of our time. The egotistic unreserve with which I told the story of my late sufferings was charming; I let the

reader into the secret of a thousand domestic details of most absorbing interest; the description of my mother's porringer alone filled no less than fourteen cantos. The description was perfect; I enumerated every dent, chink, and cranny, every spot and stain, the places where it had been mended and its varying appearances under different lights; I exhibited it inside and out, top, sides, and bottom, curves and plain surfaces; then, passing to what was within, I made a minute study of the blades of grass, sticks, straws, and bits of wood, the gravel-stones and drops of water, the remains of dead flies and broken cockchafers' legs that were there; the description was simply charming. Do not think, however, that I sent it to the press as an unbroken whole; there are readers who would have known no better than to skip it. I cunningly cut it up into fragments which I interspersed among the episodes of the story in such a way that no part of it was lost, so that, at the most thrilling and dramatic moments, one suddenly came to fifteen pages of porringer. Therein, I think, lies one of the great secrets of our art, and as there is nothing mean about me, let anyone who is inclined to do so profit by it.

All Europe was in a commotion upon the appearance of my book; it greedily devoured the details of private life that I condescended to reveal to it. How could it have been otherwise? Not only had I enumerated every circumstance that had the slightest bearing on my personality, but I gave to the public in addition a finished picture of all the idle reveries that had passed through my head since the time when I was two months old; nay, I even inserted at the most interesting part an ode composed by me when in the shell. It may be supposed that I did not fail to allude cursorily to the great theme that is now occupying the attention of the world; to wit, the future of humanity. This problem had seemed to

me to have something of interest in it, and in one of my leisure moments I had roughly drafted a solution of it, which seemed to give general satisfaction.

There was not a day that I failed to receive complimentary verses, congratulatory letters, and anonymous declarations of love. As to callers, I adhered unflinchingly to the resolution that I had formed for my protection: my door was rigorously barred against all the world. Still, I could not help receiving two foreigners who had announced themselves as relatives of mine; they were blackbirds both, one from Senegal, the other from China.

"Ah! sir," said they, with an embrace that nearly drove the breath out of my body, "what a great blackbird you are! How well have you depicted in your immortal lay the pangs of unrecognized genius! If we were not already as uncomprehended as possible, we should become so after having read you. How we sympathize with you in your sorrow, in your sublime scorn for the vulgar! We, too, dear sir, have reason to know something, of our own knowledge, of the secret griefs that you have sung so well. Here are two sonnets that we composed while coming hither and that we beg you will accept."

"Here also is some music," added the Chinese, "that my wife composed on a passage in your preface. It is marvelous in its illustration of the meaning of the author."


'Gentlemen," I said to them, "so far as I can judge, you appear to me to be endowed with great depth of feeling and great brilliancy of intellect; but pardon me for asking you a question. Why are you so sad?"

"Eh, monsieur !" replied the traveler from Senegal, "just look at me and see how I am constructed. My plumage is pleasing to the eye, it is true, and I am dressed in that beautiful shade of green that shines so lustrously on the neck of the duck, but my

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