Letter to Constant Martin, April 11, 1892

A letter from Ravachol

One of our colleagues publishes a letter from Ravachol, communicated to him by an anarchist, Mr. Constant Martin, to whom it had been addressed. Here is the text of that letter:


Conciergerie, Cell 4, April 11, 1892.

            Dear friend,

I thank you for the feelings of gratitude and for your desire to see the trial go in my favor. I am not deluding myself. I am waiting to be sentenced to death. It is what I want, for live without liberty is too sad when one has the idea but cannot give it vigor.

I received the 5 francs that you sent me. I’m letting you know that I don’t need it, for I received at the same time as the 5 francs a 100-franc note from an anonymous source who cries to me in their letter these words only: to the prisoner Ravachol.

Previously, I received 5 francs from a good woman who doubtless would like to see me convert.

Monsieur Athalin, who has conducted the inquiry, has been very seemly and very nice to me.

It is unfortunate when men like him are hated because of the position that they occupy.

Don’t think that I say this because I have changed my opinion, but I must say just what I think.

A cordial handshake to all.


Source: Le Radical 12 no 108 (April 17, 1892) : 2

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

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Independent scholar, translator and archivist.