PARIS AT THE BEGINNING OF 1792. 13
see the heads of all four fall at once, in the midst of loud applause, under the blade of the good (loctor’s machine. People amuse themselves with their fut- ure instrument of torture as if it were a toy. In a Girondin salon they play at guillotine with a move- able screen that is lifted and let fall again. At elegant dinners a little guillotine is brought in with the dessert and takes the place of a sweet dish. A pretty woman places a doll representing some polit- ical adversary under the knife; it is decapitated in the neatest possible style, and out of it runs some- thing red that smells good, a liqueur perfumed with ambergris, into which every lady hastens to dip her lace handkerchief. French gaiety would make a vaudeville out of the day of judgment. Poor soci- ety, which passes so quick from gay to grave, from lively to severe, and which, like the Figaro of Beaumarchais, laughs at everything so that it may not weep!