Physiognomy Of The French Revolutionists





It is remarkable, (says Bulwer, in his Zanoni,) that most of the

principal actors of the French Revolution were singularly hideous in

appearance--from the colossal ugliness of Mirabeau and Danton, or the

villanous ferocity in the countenances of David and Simon, to the filthy

squalor of Marat, and the sinister and bilious meanness of the Dictator's

features. But Robespierre, who was said to resemble a cat, and had also

a cat's cleanliness, was prim and dainty in dress, shaven smoothness,

and the womanly whiteness of his hands. Rene Dumas, born of reputable

parents, and well educated, despite his ferocity, was not without a

certain refinement, which perhaps rendered him the more acceptable to

the precise Robespierre. Dumas was a beau in his way: his gala-dress

was a blood-red coat, with the finest ruffles. But Henriot had been a

lacquey, a thief, a spy of the police; he had drank the blood of Madame

de Lamballe, and had risen for no quality but his ruffianism; and Fouquier

Tinville, the son of a provincial agriculturist, and afterwards a clerk

at the bureau of the police, was little less base in his manners, and

yet more, from a certain loathsome buffoonery, revolting in his speech;

bull-headed, with black, sleek hair, with a narrow and livid forehead,

and small eyes that twinkled with sinister malice; strongly and coarsely

built, he looked what he was, the audacious bully of a lawless and

relentless bar.



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