c. 1833: paris
There still exists a monstrous power, a kind of
divine right, which rises up amid the smoking
ruins of so many destroyed powers, a commandment upon its lips, imposing and severe
on its ancient pedestal, against which the centuries have been smashing their waves without
bringing it down: a power under which all of us
have groaned for many long years, a harsh and
fatal exploitation of man by man to which we
have all been subjected.
society erects around them an impenetrable
barrier of reprobation and casts them out of its
bosom like filthy things!
and i, who want to take my turn in protest-
ing against the legitimacy and holiness of this
paternal power, will perhaps succeed in breaking
myself against it and see my name proscribed,
my person insulted, and my memory shamed!
Yet behold that time, stronger and more
powerful than a woman’s words, has created this
authority, the very time that endlessly destroys
all authority. see how he has shattered one by
one the loveliest rosettes in the crown of this
other royalty, he who needs no paving stones to
abraham, fanatic and furious illuminated
man, sets up a pyre, prepares the sacrificial fire,
and God smiles upon the infanticide and heaps
benedictions upon his head!
Jephte in his triumph slits his daughter’s
throat, and Jephte is a man according to God !
and the holy writ inscribes in the pantheon
of Jews the names abraham and Jephte, eternalizes