The Terror

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A servant's views of the French Revolution, showing that not all men are created evil.

Submitted: February 07, 2008

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Submitted: February 07, 2008



“The terror of Robespierre is upon us.” That is what my master says. As a nobleman, he lives in constant fear of the fateful knock on the door, of being dragged away to the guillotine. ”If those Jacobins can imprison the royal family, they can do anything, even kill all us nobles.” I do not know whether or not to celebrate this news. To be freed from this oppressive yoke that we of the third estate are pressed into would be wondrous, but if my master is killed, I have no way to feed my family. I feel that I cannot choose, but for now I don’t have to. Thump. Thump. There it is. The sound we have all been dreading. The knock that signals the arrival of the troops with their tumbrels, carts to carry the condemned to their doom. “No!” That is my master yelling, screaming, pleading as he is dragged out the door. No man wants to die. They are all bravery and braggadocio, thinking that they are untouchable, but no one is safe. After the Committee of Public Safety took over the actual rule of France, controlling local governments and the armed forces, not even supporters of the Committee are safe. I look up as the soldiers near. My master is struggling with all his might, but too many ample meals have made him lazy and corpulent. His eyes plead with me to aid him, but I too have no wish to die. He curses me as he is shoved into the tumbrel, but my thoughts are on where my next livelihood shall be found. I secure a post in the army, as have many of my fellow servants, pushed out of their jobs by the butchery of Robespierre and his Jacobin rabble. True, France needs democracy, but not like this. This is a dictatorship, and a madman holds our country’s reins. Because I feel that it is my duty, I go to see the execution of my master. It is a quick and bloody affair, and his last words are used to plead that he is innocent. He was, too. He frequently spoke for many of the decisions of the Committee, and felt that the rich should pay taxes. His was just another senseless murder in a senseless time, presided over by a man who is both mad and a slaughterer. Goodbye, master.

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