The Reality Effect

Au bout d'une heure et demie, on frappa doucement à une petite porte qui était derrière elle.
Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). The Death of Marshall Ney. 1868. Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 101.6 cm. Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery.

At nine o’clock precisely, the marshal, attended by his confessor, stepped into the carriage prepared for their reception, which drove across the garden on the Luxembourg, to the grand alley leading to the observatory, the place appointed for his execution. A picket of veterans, sixty strong, awaited his arrival. The marshal, having descended from the carriage, faced his executioners, and after taking off his hat with his left hand, and placing his right hand on his breast, he exclaimed with a loud and unfaultering voice—” Comrades, straight at the heart— fire.” The officer gave the signal at the same moment with his sword, and he fell dead without a struggle. Twelve balls had taken effect; three of them in the head. There were but few persons present, for the populace, believing that the execution would take place on the plain of Crenelle, where Labedoyere was shot, had repaired thither.
- Edward Baines. History of the Wars of the French Revolution. Vol. II. 1817.

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). The Death of Marshall Ney. 1868. Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 101.6 cm. Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery.

At nine o’clock precisely, the marshal, attended by his confessor, stepped into the carriage prepared for their reception, which drove across the garden on the Luxembourg, to the grand alley leading to the observatory, the place appointed for his execution. A picket of veterans, sixty strong, awaited his arrival. The marshal, having descended from the carriage, faced his executioners, and after taking off his hat with his left hand, and placing his right hand on his breast, he exclaimed with a loud and unfaultering voice—” Comrades, straight at the heart— fire.” The officer gave the signal at the same moment with his sword, and he fell dead without a struggle. Twelve balls had taken effect; three of them in the head. There were but few persons present, for the populace, believing that the execution would take place on the plain of Crenelle, where Labedoyere was shot, had repaired thither.

- Edward Baines. History of the Wars of the French Revolution. Vol. II. 1817.

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    Years ago, I wrote a Paper about it
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    Another shame on the Bourbons
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    after Napoleon’s second defeat and exile, Michel Ney, one of his original 18 Marshals of France, was tried for treason...