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13 Pages

Passages from the Paris Journal of Fiona Satterlee, April 1946

ByLouis Auchincloss

Nothing is beyond the heart of man. In a generation the Nazi concentration camps will seem as remote as the Roman arenas. People never learn by example. The only way to keep them from slaughtering each other is to make it more profitable for them not to do so. Felix paid particular attention to the portraits of the revolutionary leaders. “It was a fantastic time.” This before a portrait of the beautiful Saint-Just. “And its leaders were fantastic men. For once in her history, France escaped the straitjacket of her fetish about la gloire. These men had a brilliant vision of a human society run by reason and equity. For this they were willing to make a clean sweep of the past. But they differed from the dreary socialists and communists in that they were romantics. They loved art. They worshiped beauty. Saint-Just was a poet, if a very bad one. Of course they bogged down in blood.