Excerpt of a letter by George Sand

For the partisan men there are only assassins and victims. They don’t understand that they are all victims and assassins in their turn. And yet it is a horrible thing to see blood shed! To discover a red furrow in the Seine beneath the morgue, to see them spread the straw that barely covers a heavy cart, and to glimpse beneath this crude packaging twenty or thirty bodies, some in black coats, others in corduroy jackets, all torn, mutilated, blackened by powder, filthy with mud and dried blood. To hear the cries of the women who recognize their husbands there, their children, this is all horrible; but more horrible still is to see the end that awaits the fugitive who escapes half-dead while asking for mercy, to hear under your window the groans of the wounded man whom it is forbidden to save and who is condemned by thirty bayonets. There were horrible, ferocious episodes on both sides. […] My poor [daughter] Solange was on the balcony, watching all that, listening to the gunfire and not understanding.

George Sand, letter to Laure Decerfz, Wednesday 13 June 1832.

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