Little Dauphin - George Upton

The Cobbler Simon

Guarded by six deputies and a turn-key, the young Prince, or rather King, since he was the only and lawful heir to the throne, was taken to that part of the Tower formerly occupied by his father. There a guardian was awaiting him, a cruel, tyrannical master, the cobbler Simon. The room was poorly lighted. After conversing with this man for some time in an undertone, the deputies gave him some final instructions and withdrew, and the child found himself alone with Simon, whose slouching gait, rough and violent language, and arrogant manner, easily proclaimed him the future master of the unfortunate Prince.

The cobbler Simon was fifty-seven years old, of more than medium height, powerfully built, with a swarthy skin and a shock of stiff black hair falling over his eyebrows. His features were heavy, and he wore large mustaches. His wife was about the same age, but very short and stout; she was dark and ill-favored, like her husband, and usually wore a cap with red ribbons, and a blue apron. This worthy pair were given absolute control over the Dauphin, the descendant of so many kings, torn from his royal mother's arms to be delivered into such hands as these! The very refinement of cruelty could scarcely have conceived a greater infamy! The poor child, confused and bewildered by having been awakened so suddenly from a sound sleep, remained for hours sitting on a stool in the farthest corner of the room and weeping pitifully. Simon plied him with rude questions, plentifully sprinkled with curses and blasphemies, as he smoked his pipe, but only succeeded in extracting short answers from his victim.

For the first two or three days the little Prince was in such despair at being parted from his mother that he could swallow nothing but a few mouthfuls of broth. Soon, however, he began to rebel inwardly; gleams of indignation shone through his tears, and his anger broke forth at last in passionate words:

"I want to know," he cried imperiously to the municipal officers who were visiting Simon, "what law gives you the right to take me from my mother and keep me shut up here? Show me this law! I will see it!"

The officers were amazed at this child of nine years, who dared to question their power and address them in such a kingly tone. But their worthy comrade came to their aid. He harshly ordered his charge to be silent, saying:

"Hold your tongue, Capet! you are only a chatterer."

The little prisoner's sad and longing gaze was continually fixed upon the door, although he knew he could never pass its threshold without permission from his jailers. He often wept, but seemed at last to resign himself to his fate, and mutely obeyed the commands of his tormentors. He would not speak, however.

"Oho, little Capet!" said the cobbler to him one day; so you are dumb! Well, I am going to teach you to talk, to sing the Carmagnole, and shout 'Vive la Republique!' Oh, yes, you are dumb, are you?"

"If I said all I thought," returned the poor child, with a touch of his old spirit, "you would call me mad. I am silent because I am afraid of saying too much."

"Ho! so Monsieur Capet has much to say!" shouted the cobbler with a malicious laugh. "That sounds very aristocratic, but it won't do with me, do you hear? You are still young, and some allowance should be made for you on that account; but I am your master, and cannot allow such ignorance. I must teach you to understand progress and the new ideas. So, look here! I am going to give you a jews-harp. Your she-wolf of a mother and your dog of an aunt play the piano, you must learn the jews-harp."

A gleam of anger flashed in the boy's beautiful blue eyes, and he refused to take the jews-harp, declaring that he never would play on it.

"Never?" cried the cobbler, furiously. "Never?"

"Play on it this moment!"

The child persisted in his determination, and the cobbler—the pen almost refuses to write it—the cobbler seized the defenceless child and beat him most cruelly, but without being able to conquer his will.

"You can punish me if I do wrong," cried the poor little Prince, "but you must not strike me; do you understand? For you are stronger than I am."

"I am here to command you, you beast!" roared the cobbler. "I can do what I like! Long live Liberty and Equality!"

On Sunday, the 17th of July, 1793, a report spread through Paris that the Dauphin had been carried off. In order to refute this rumor, which had already begun to create disturbances among the lower classes, a deputation was sent to the Temple by the Committee of Public Safety, with orders that the son of the tyrant should be brought down into the garden where he might be seen. The cobbler obeyed, and unceremoniously demanded of the deputies what the real intentions of the Committee were in regard to little Capet.

"What have they decided to do with the young wolf? He has been taught to be insolent, and I will see that he is tamed. If he rebels, so much the worse for him, I warrant you! But what is to be done with him in the end? Send him out of the country? No! Kill him.? No! Poison him ? No! Well, what then?"

"We must get rid of him!" was the significant reply.

Such, indeed, was the real purpose of the inhuman leaders of the Revolution. They did not want to put the unfortunate Prince to death, they only wished to get rid of him; that is to say, to torture him to death by slow degrees, without anyone being able to say that he had been poisoned, strangled, hanged, or beheaded!

As soon as the Dauphin found himself in the garden, he began to call to his mother as loudly as he could. Some of the guards tried to quiet him; but he answered indignantly, pointing to Simon and the deputies:

"They will not, they cannot, show me the law that orders me to be separated from my mother."

Astonished at his firmness and moved by his childish affection, one of the guards asked the cobbler whether no one could help the little fellow; but Simon replied sharply:

"The young wolf does not submit to the muzzle easily; he might know the law as well as you do, but he is always asking for the reasons of things—as if people were obliged to give him reasons! Now, Capet, keep still, or I will show the citizens how I beat you when you deserve it!"

The poor little prisoner turned to the deputies as if to appeal to their compassion, but they coldly turned their backs on him. He was to be got rid of!

How could this be possible if he were left to the tender care of his mother?

Henceforth Simon's cruelties toward his victim were redoubled. He understood at last what was expected of him, and wished to do credit to his task. The youth, the innocence, the indescribable charm of the little Prince, did not in the least diminish the ferocity of his jailer. On the contrary, it seemed as though the child's delicate face, his clear eyes, his slender little hands, the nobility of his demeanor, only served to inflame the brutal passions of Simon and his wife. They felt the Prince's refinement and delicacy, in contrast with their own uncouthness, as a personal affront; and their jealous rage, their implacable hatred, made them take a savage pleasure in attempting to degrade their charge to their own level and extinguishing in this scion of a royal house all recollection of his illustrious family and of his early education.

Still another circumstance added to Simon's abuse of the Prince. Marat, that bloody and ferocious hyena of the Revolution, died at last by the knife of Charlotte Corday. Marat had been a patron of Simon's, and was largely responsible for the appointment of the cobbler as the Dauphin's keeper—a position which carried with it a considerable income—and his sudden death threw Simon into a sort of frenzy. When he heard the news, he deserted his prisoner for the first time, and returned in a state of excitement and irritation that relieved itself in abuse and blasphemy. He drank quantities of wine and brandy, and then, inflamed with the liquor, his brain on fire, he dragged his wife and the Prince up to the platform of the Tower, where he smoked his pipe and tried to catch an echo of the far-away lamentations for his friend Marat.

"Do you hear that noise down there, Capet?" he shouted to the Prince. "It is the voice of the people, lamenting the loss of their friend. You wear black clothes for your father; I was going to make you take them off to-morrow, but now you shall wear them still longer. Capet shall put on mourning for Marat! But, accursed one, you do not seem much grieved about it! Perhaps you are glad that he is dead?"

With these words, furious with rage, he shook the boy, threatened him with his fist, and pushed him violently away.

"I do not know the man who is dead," returned the child, "and you should not say that I am glad. We never wish for the death of anyone."

"Ah, we?' We wish?' We?" roared the cobbler. "Are you presuming to say we, like those tyrants, your forefathers?"

"Oh, no," answered the Prince, "I say we, in the plural, meaning myself and my family."

Somewhat appeased by this apology, the cobbler strode up and down, puffing great clouds of smoke from his mouth and laughing to himself as he repeated: "Capet shall put on mourning for Marat!"

Marat was buried on the following morning, and Simon's resentment at not being able to attend the funeral ceremonies made him furious. All day long he paced the floor of his room like a caged tiger, sparing the innocent Prince neither blows nor curses.

Some days later, news came of a crushing defeat of the Republican army at Saumur, and again the poor child had to suffer from his master's rage and spite.

"It is your friends who are doing this!" shouted Simon to him.

In vain the little Prince cried, "Indeed it is not my fault!" The infamous wretch furiously rushed at him, and shook him with the ferocity of a maddened beast. The child bore it all in silence; great tears rolled down his cheeks, but he allowed no cry of pain to escape him, for fear his mother might hear it and be distressed about him. This fear gave him strength, and enabled him to bear his sufferings with the courage of a hero. Joy had long since been banished from his heart, the roses of health from his cheeks, but they had not succeeded yet in extinguishing his love of truth and purity.

In accordance with the orders he had received, Simon allowed his prisoner to go down into the garden every day, and sometimes took him with him when he went up on the roof of the Tower to breathe the air and smoke his pipe undisturbed. The boy followed him with hanging head, like a whipped dog; he never ventured to raise his eyes to his master's face, knowing he should meet only hatred and abuse.

Naturally there was no further mention of any kind of instruction for the Prince. Simon made him listen to revolutionary or so-called patriotic songs, and filled his ears with the vilest oaths and blasphemies; but he did not think it necessary to occupy young Capet's time otherwise. He forced the child to wait on him and perform the most menial duties; he took away his suit of mourning, and gave him instead a coat of orange-colored cloth, with breeches of the same color, and a red cap, which was the notorious uniform of the Jacobins.

"If I allow you to take off black for Marat," he said, "at least you shall wear his livery and honor his memory in that way!"

The Prince put on the clothes without protest, but nothing could induce him to wear the Jacobin cap; and Simon was powerless, even by the cruellest treatment, to overcome his resistance. He had become the slave of his jailers, he had submitted to a thousand insults and indignities, but he would not allow the badge of his father's murderers to be placed upon his head. Weary with his efforts, the cobbler finally desisted from the attempt, at the intercession of his wife. To tell the truth, this was not the first time this woman had taken the part of the unfortunate child, for she, indeed, had good reason to be satisfied with him.

"He is an amiable being, and a nice child," she remarked one day to another woman. He cleans and polishes my shoes, and makes the fire for me when I get up," for these were also his duties now. Alas! what a change from the days when every morning he had brought his adored mother a nosegay from his garden, picked and arranged with his own hands! Now, the drudge of a shoemaker's wife—poor, lovely, high-born little Prince!

A systematic effort was made to debase the child in every way, morally and physically; no pains were spared to vitiate his pure innocent mind and make him familiar with the most revolting infamies. Madame Simon cut off his beautiful hair for no other reason than because it had been his mother's delight. As it happened, some guards and deputies witnessed the act, and one of them, a good-natured fellow named Meunier, cried out:

"Oh, what have you slashed off all his pretty hair for?"

"What for?" retorted Madame Simon. "Why, don't you see, citizen, we were playing the part of dethroned King, here!" And all, with the exception of Meunier, burst into shouts of laughter over the shorn lamb, who bent his poor little disfigured head upon his breast in mute despair. Not content with this outrage, that same evening the brutal wretches forced the child to drink large quantities of wine, which he detested; and when they had succeeded in making him drunk, so that he did not know what he was doing, Simon put the red cap on his head.

"At last I see you a Jacobin!" cried the villain, triumphantly, as the Revolutionary emblem nodded on the brow of the unhappy descendant of Louis the Fourteenth, the proudest King of Christendom! They had broken the child's noble pride at last—one shudders to think by what terrible means; and from this time a few blows or curses sufficed to make him put on the new head-covering. Thus far the wretched child's unhappy fate had remained unknown to his mother, although she had never ceased to implore the guards or deputies for news of him. They all assured her that she need not be uneasy about her son—that he was in good hands and well cared for; but all these protestations failed to soothe her maternal anxiety and but too well-founded distrust.

At last, on the thirteenth of July, through the assistance of Tison, who, at first a bitter enemy, had since changed and become friendly to her, she succeeded in obtaining a sight of her poor little son. But alas! this happiness, so long yearned for, so besought from Heaven, was granted her only to her sorrow. The little Prince indeed passed before the eyes of his mother, who bent her anxious, searching gaze upon him. He had laid aside the mourning for his father; the red cap was on his head, his brutal jailer beside him. Unluckily, moreover, just at that moment Simon fell into one of the outbursts of fury that usually vented themselves upon his wretched charge. The poor Queen, struck by this terrible sight as if by lightning, grasped her sister-in-law for support, and both quickly drew the Princess Marie Therese away from their place of concealment (whither she had hastened for a glimpse of her brother), at the same time reassuring themselves by a glance that she had seen nothing and remained in blissful ignorance of the Dauphin's fate.

"It is useless to wait any longer," said the Queen; he will not come now."

After a few moments, her tears began to flow; she turned away to hide them, and came back again, hoping for another sight of her son. A little later she did see him again. He passed by in silence, with bowed head; his tyrant was no longer cursing him. She heard no words, but this silence was almost as terrible to her as Simon's invectives. Mute and motionless, she remained as if rooted to the spot till Tison came for her.

"Oh, God!" she cried bitterly to him, "you have been deceiving me!"

"No, madame," he replied; "I merely did not tell you everything, so you would not be troubled. But now that you know all, in the future I will conceal nothing from you that I may chance to discover."

The knowledge of the pitiable condition of her son reduced the Queen to the apathy of despair, and she would sit for hours in silent misery. To know that her child was suffering and not be able to tend or care for him, to know that he was unhappy and not be able to comfort him, to know that he was in danger and not be able to protect him—what tortures could compare with the martyrdom of this poor mother? It turned her beautiful dark hair as white as snow, and made her indifferent to her own fate. The Convention had issued a decree that the Queen should be removed from the Temple to the Conciergerie, and on the second of August, at two o'clock in the morning, the Princesses were roused from their sleep to hear this order. The Queen listened quietly and without a word as it was read to them, then rose immediately and made her preparations to follow the officers, who first searched her roughly; and even took everything out of her pockets. Before she went, she embraced her daughter and sister-in-law, and exhorted them to be brave and steadfast. As she passed through the low doorway, she forgot to stoop, and struck her head a sharp blow against it. One of the men asked her if she was hurt, and she replied:

"Nothing can hurt me now."

"But ah! with what feelings must she have left that Tower! With what lingering glances at the door of the room where the Dauphin was confined! She knew she was leaving never to return; knew that never again should she clasp her child to her breast; knew that he was in the clutches of a tiger. Poor ill-fated, unhappy Queen and mother!

Meanwhile, Simon continued by every vile means in his power to maltreat the child committed to his guardianship. On the seventh of August, Madame Simon went to the theatre to see a low play performed, entitled "Brutus," and returned full of enthusiasm. She described the piece, the plot of which was directed against royalty, and Simon listened eagerly and attentively. Suddenly he perceived that the little Prince had turned away his head, as if to avoid hearing it.

"You accursed young wolf," he cried furiously, "so you do not want to listen to the citoyenne—to be improved and enlightened! You would like to remain a blockhead and the son of a tyrant!"

"Everyone has relatives that he should honor," replied the boy with angelic calmness and filial affection.

This very calmness and composure only seemed to enrage Simon the more. He could not forgive the child for honoring his father and mother, and, seizing him roughly, he threw him across the room and down to the floor, with a volley of oaths and abusive epithets. Nor was this the worst of which the monster was guilty. If a rising occurred anywhere in France, against the Revolution and its crimes, he vented his rage and spite upon his victim. On the sixth of August, Montbrison rose in arms, with the cry, "God save King Louis the Seventeenth!" Three or four days later the news reached the Temple, and Simon immediately pounced upon the Prince.

"Here, madame," said he, jeeringly, allow me to present to you the King of Montbrison, and"—he continued, taking off the boy's Jacobin cap—"I will anoint him at once and burn incense to him!" Whereupon he rubbed the poor child's head and ears roughly with his hard hands, blew tobacco smoke from his pipe into his face, and finally flung him over to his wife, that she in her turn might do homage to "His Majesty." On the tenth of August, the Convention gave a féte for the people, and Simon awakened the Prince from his morning sleep and commanded him to shout, "Long live the Republic!" The child did not seem to understand at first; he arose, and began to put on his clothes in silence, when Simon, who was standing before him with folded arms, repeated imperiously:

"Make haste, Capet! This is a great day; you must shout 'Vive la Republique!'"

The boy made no answer, but went on with his dressing.

"Hey! Who am I talking to here?" cried the cobbler, furiously. "Accursed King of Montbrison, will you shout 'Vive la Republique!' quickly—or" and he made a significant gesture with his clenched fist.

The Prince raised his head with a resolute expression, and, looking full at his tormentor, replied in a clear, firm voice: "You may do what you choose with me, but I will never cry, 'Vive la Republique!'"

He spoke so proudly and nobly that even this hardened villain gave way before him, and for once did not venture to do him any violence.

"Good, good!" said Simon with a sneer, to cover his discomfiture; "I will see that your behavior is made known." And indeed he did repeat the whole incident to everyone in the Temple; but no one blamed the Prince, and some even praised him for his strength of character.

The next morning the cobbler seemed to have repented of his weakness. He procured an account of the fete of the preceding day, and forced the boy to stand and listen while he read it aloud. The Prince obeyed; but at one part, which contained a gross insult to his father, he could no longer control his rebellious feelings, and retired to one of the window recesses to hide his face and his tears. Simon hurried after him, dragged him roughly back by the hair to the table, and ordered him, under pain of a beating, to stand there and listen quietly and attentively. Then he resumed his reading, and laid particular emphasis on the words: "Let us swear to defend the Constitution unto death; the Republic shall live forever!"

"Do you hear that, Capet?" he shouted; "the Republic shall live forever!"

The child made no reply, and did not even raise his head; his face was hidden in his hands.

"You cursed young wolf!" roared Simon, choking with passion, "yesterday you would not shout 'Vive la Republique!' but you see now, blockhead, that the Republic shall live forever! You shall say with us, 'The Republic shall live forever!'"

As he spoke, he seized the Dauphin by both shoulders and shook him with all his strength, as if to force the words from his mouth. After exhausting his fury, the cobbler paced up and down the floor for some time, then stopped beside the bed of the weeping child and said gruffly:

"It is your own fault, fool; you well deserved your treatment."

"Let him alone, Simon," said his wife; "he is blind, the little one. He was brought up on lies and deception, and knows no better." And, somewhat disconcerted, the cobbler turned away.

Not long after this, the police scattered through the streets of the city low songs and scurrilous rhymes against the "Austrian she-wolf," as the unfortunate Marie Antoinette was called, and Simon procured some of these sheets.

"Come, Capet," said he one day to the little Prince, holding out to him some abominable verses about his mother, "here is a new song you must sing for me."

The boy glanced at the song, and threw it indignantly on the table. Simon immediately flew into a rage, and said threateningly:

"I believe I said you should sing, and you shall sing!"

"I will never sing such a song as that!" replied the boy, with a firm determination against which the cobbler's rage was powerless.

"I tell you, I will strike you dead if you do not sing!" he shouted, seizing an iron grating from the chimney-place.

"Never!" retorted the Prince, and the furious brute actually hurled the heavy iron at the boy's head, and would certainly have killed him if he had not been quick enough to dodge the missile.

Scenes like this were of daily occurrence in the cruel prison of the Temple. Simon left nothing undone to accomplish his terrible purpose and rid the Convention of the unfortunate child. He kept his prisoner on an irregular diet, forcing him one day to eat and drink to excess, and the next leaving him to suffer from hunger. With diabolical calculation, he did everything possible to undermine the health of the Dauphin, and succeeded only too well. He gradually sickened, and an attack of fever helped to reduce his strength. He slowly recovered, it is true; but his old vigor of mind and body never returned. They took advantage of his illness to make him sign a deposition against his mother; and this false statement, extorted from him while he was too weak to resist, was used by the bloodthirsty Convention to bring the Queen's head to the scaffold. The rising in La Vendee also brought fresh abuse upon the Prince. The Vendeans had proclaimed him King, and Simon made merry, with some of his friends who were visiting him, over the "King of La Vendee."

"For all that," said one of them, "there are signs of change in the air, and it would be curious if this monkey should be a King sometime!"

"At least, citizen," returned Simon, "he will never be King of Paris trust me for that!"

The Prince, crouching at the foot of his bed, had been obliged to overhear all this, with other cruel and bloodthirsty jests about the son of "Louis the Shortened." After the guests had finally departed, Simon remained some time longer in the room, quarrelling with his wife, who did not attempt to conceal her fears for the future. The little Prince had not dared to leave his place, and heard Simon say:

"If the Vendeans should ever advance as far as Paris, I will throttle the young wolf before I will give him up to them."

He kept as still as he could, fearing that the least sound or movement would bring down on his head the storm that seemed ready to burst. Suddenly Simon came up to him, seized him by the ear, and led him to the table in the middle of the room.

"Capet," said he, "if the Vendeans should set you free, what would you do with me?"

"I would forgive you," replied the child, calmly.

Such an answer might have softened the hardest heart, but it only increased the cobbler's hatred for him. Poor helpless, forsaken child! They had robbed him of his mother, too, now, for the Queen had been dragged to the guillotine on the sixteenth of October, though, happily, of this he knew nothing.

The poor little Prince had become sadly changed. The face that had been so fresh and smiling was deeply lined, and bore the marks of sorrow and suffering; the once clear, rosy complexion had grown dull and sallow; his limbs looked too long and thin for his size, and his back was bent a little, as if with the weight of his trouble. Since he had found that all his actions, and even his words, brought abuse or derision upon him he remained silent, scarcely daring to answer the simplest question with "yes" or "no." He was like a deaf-mute, and at last his mind began to be confused. He scarcely seemed to remember his past life or realize his present situation. Now that he no longer afforded Simon any excuse for beating him, that foul wretch found himself compelled to devise other means of venting his brutality and hastening the end of his victim.

Yet the Dauphin was not entirely destitute of friends and sympathizers. One of the turnkeys, named Gourlet, and Meunier, a servant in the Temple, ventured upon the dangerous attempt to provide him with a little diversion. The child had expressed a desire for some birds, and Meunier immediately exerted himself to obtain some canaries. He went to several families whose devotion to the royal house was known to him, and, on his stating his purpose, they hastened to place their birds at his disposal. He returned to the Temple with ten or twelve canaries, all of which were well tamed and trained. Their gay chirping and flutterings brought life and cheerfulness into the gloomy prison, and, full of delight, the little Prince caught them one after another, and kissed them. There was one of the winged band he noticed particularly. It was tamer and more affectionate than all the rest, and would come flying to him at the softest call, to perch on his outstretched finger, seeming to enjoy the caresses he bestowed on it. For this bird, the little Prince soon conceived an especial affection; he spent much time with it, fed it millet seed from his hand or his mouth, and, in order to be able to distinguish it more readily from the others, he fastened a little red ribbon on one of its feet. Whenever he called, the tiny creature would come to him instantly, alight first on his head, then hop to his shoulder, and finally settle itself upon his finger.

These playmates made the poor little prisoner very happy; but it was too pleasant, too sweet, to last long. On the nineteenth of December a visit of inspection was made, and when the officers entered; the Prince's yellow favorite was trilling its clear, shrill notes in a burst of song.

"What is the meaning of this?" cried one of the deputies, roughly. "The bird there is wearing a red ribbon like an order! That savors too much of aristocracy, and signifies a distinction that no good republican should tolerate."

With these words he seized the poor little songster, tore the ribbon from its foot, and hurled it against the wall. Happily, the bird used its wings, and saved itself from being killed; it fell to the floor indeed, but soon started up again and mingled with its companions, uttering soft, plaintive notes.

The little Prince, horror-stricken, could not take his eyes from his feathered friend. He had not been able to repress a cry at the cruel act, but did not dare to show any concern or sympathy, for fear of making matters worse. Poor child! as a result of this unlucky visit, all the birds that had afforded him so much innocent pleasure were ruthlessly taken away from him. It had been indeed too pleasant to last! Simon's fear that he might be blamed for allowing the creatures in the prison increased his resentment against the Dauphin, and he nursed his wrath until he could find an outlet for it. The opportunity soon came.

The next day he happened to take a foot-bath, and, as it was very agreeable to him to be waited on by a King's son, he ordered the boy to warm the linen for drying his feet. Trembling with fear of his brutal jailer, the poor child obeyed with more haste than dexterity, and in his agitation dropped a towel into the fire. The cobbler's feet were in the water, and, foaming with rage at his inability to reach the child, he hurled the most frightful imprecations at him. After a few moments, the Dauphin, thinking his master's fury had passed, knelt down to dry Simon's feet, and the monster profited by this opportunity to give him a kick that sent him half across the room and stretched him on the floor. As if stunned by the shock, the poor child lay there motionless; but, not content with this, the cobbler beat and kicked him, overwhelming him at the same time with the vilest epithets until his breath gave out. Then, seeing that his victim was still conscious and able to move, he ordered him to stand up; and the poor little Prince was obliged to rise and drag himself into a corner, where he was suffered to remain, weeping piteously.

Dauphin, Louis XVII


The jailer grew more vindictive every day, his passions more malignant; and his temper was not improved when his wife became so dangerously ill that the services of a physician were required. A surgeon named Nautin, a worthy, respectable man, was called in, prescribed a remedy, and promised to come again the next day. As he was leaving, he passed through the room where Simon sat with his charge and some of the municipal officers. The boy had refused to sing a licentious song as Simon had ordered, and, just as the surgeon entered, the cobbler flung himself upon the child, lifted him up by the hair and shook him, shouting furiously:

"Accursed viper! I have a mind to dash you to pieces against the wall!"

The doctor hastened to the spot and snatched the Dauphin from Simon's grasp, crying angrily: "Villain, what are you doing?"

Taken aback by this interference, Simon recoiled without a word, and for the time being did not venture to maltreat the Prince any further. On the following day the surgeon again visited his patient, and was greatly surprised and touched when suddenly, as he was passing through the room where the Dauphin was confined, the little prisoner seized his hand and offered him two pears which he had saved from his own meal.

"Take them, please, dear sir," he said in his touching voice; "yesterday you showed that you have an interest in me. I thank you for it, but have no way of proving my gratitude. Will you not take these pears, then? It will make me very happy!"

The old man pressed the child's hand kindly, but did not speak. He accepted the present, and a tear that rolled down his cheek betrayed the emotion he could not find words to express.

So noble was the nature of this royal child that even the terrible treatment he had received had not entirely destroyed his sensibilities at the slightest touch of kindness or sympathy they sprang to life again. Never had he forgotten his mother's admonitions. Sometimes he even recalled them in his dreams; and once it happened that Simon overheard him when, in his sleep, he knelt with folded hands and prayed fervently to God. Unmoved by this touching sight, the cobbler awakened his wife to look at the strange dreamer; then, seizing a pitcher of water, he suddenly dashed it over the little bowed head, regardless of the danger that the shock of such an ice-cold shower-bath on a January night might kill the child. Instantly seized with a chill, the Prince threw himself back on his bed without uttering a sound. But the dampness of his couch allowed him no rest. He got up again and sought refuge on the floor with his pillow—the only part of his bed that had escaped the deluge. As he crouched there, his teeth chattering with cold, Simon sprang up again in spite of his wife's efforts to detain him, grasped the child with both hands, and shook him violently, crying:

"I will teach you to get up in the night to recite your paternosters, like a Trappist!" Then as if in a frenzy he rushed at the boy with such a malignant expression upon his cruel face that the poor little Prince caught at the arms of his ferocious jailer and cried:

"Oh, what have I done that you should want to murder me?"

"Murder you! As if that was what I wanted! Don't you know that, if I wished to murder you, I could take you by the throat and stop your noise in no time?"

So speaking, he flung the boy roughly back into his bed, which had been turned into a veritable pond. Without a word, he sank down on his wretched cot, shivering with cold and terror, while the cobbler retired to his own rest filled with savage satisfaction. After this dreadful night the poor little Dauphin fell into a state of utter despair and apathy. Even his tearful glances no longer appealed to his brutal keeper. His eyes were always fixed on the floor. The last remnants of his courage were gone; he had finally succumbed to his fate.

Nevertheless, the terrible Simon was not to enjoy the triumph of seeing his victim expire at his feet. The municipal council had decreed that for the future the prisoner was to be guarded by four of its members, who were to serve as deputies, and on the nineteenth of January, 1794, Simon and his wife were removed from the Temple. The parting words of the cobbler to the innocent child he had tortured so barbarously were quite in keeping with his character. His wife had said:

"Capet, I do not know whether I shall ever see you again!" And Simon added: Oh! he is not crushed yet; but he will never get out of this prison not if all the saints of heaven moved in his behalf!"

A last blow accompanied these words, which the poor little Prince, who stood before him with downcast eyes, received meekly and apathetically, without even a glance at his departing jailer. But Simon did not escape the vengeance of Heaven. The cruel cobbler perished on the scaffold on the twenty-eighth of July, 1794, together with Robespierre and other monsters of the Revolution.