|Louis Antoine de Saint-Just by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1793|
In the past we have met many famed figures of the French Revolution and witnessed many iconic victims of the National Razor, Today we return to that heady time and the death of a man whose name has become synonymous with the Terror, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just.
Saint-Just's rise to power was stratospheric and unstoppable. Fiercely intelligent, dedicated and focused on his cause, he drafted the French Constitution of 1793 and was among Robespierre's most trusted friends. Like Robespierre, when the end came for Saint-Just it was swift and merciless and he was executed alongside his friend on 28th July.
Immediately before his arrest, Saint-Just attempted to make an eloquent speech in defence of Robespierre before members of the Convention but found himself unable to finish. Disgruntled deputies countered and heckled until, eventually, Jean-Lambert Tallien interrupted and silenced him, pushing him away from the lectern. Despite this, Saint-Just would not be provoked and instead attempted to continue speaking and make his point. Calm and dignified, he refused to surrender the platform and remained in place until his arrest and removal.
Detained in the Hôtel de Ville with the other arrested men, Saint-Just remained as calm as ever as around him, his former colleagues fell into a panic. Whilst others committed suicide or attempted to do so, Saint-Just calmly accepted his fate and walked unflinchingly to the scaffold alongside Robespierre and twenty others. With no trace of fear he went to the guillotine, convinced of his righteousness to the last.