Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Danton

Statue of Danton by Auguste Paris, Place de l'Odéon, Paris
«Après le pain, l'éducation est le premier besoin du peuple»
(After bread, education is the first need of the people)
Statue of Danton by Auguste Paris, 1891
Place de l'Odéon, 6e arrondissement
Paris, July 2012

A very lively discussion has been engendered by the erection of a statue in honor of Danton, the unveiling of which is to be one of the leading features of this year's national fête. So strong is the conviction among all but the most extreme Radicals that the glorification of such an infamous character as Danton would be a disgrace to the country, that the interpellation on the subject in the Senate by M. Wallon, the “Father of the French Constitution,” is looked forward with the liveliest interest. The sturdy old politician, in explanation of his action in the matter, descrives Danton as the author of the September massacres, the man who, according to Mme. Roland, exclaimed, just before the execution of a large batch of prisoners, “I don't care a -- about the prisoners or what becomes of them!” Mister Wallon on a former occasion opposed the naming of a stret in Paris after the chief of the assassins, and his objection to the statue is rendered the more strenuous as it is erected on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, within a few yards of the very spot where the atrocious massacre ordered by Danton took place. The opposite view of the case -that of the Socialist element in the Mucicipal Council- is expressed by M. Vaillant, who considers that Danton's robust patriotism compensates for any shortcomings in his character.

1 comment:

cieldequimper said...

Not my favourite person in history...