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John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
carried there by the members of the Republican Union of the rights of Paris,[53] by the delegates of Parisian trade and by the emissaries of the Freemasons;[54] when the principal object of all these propositions is the definitive establishment of the Republic, and the fall and entire recognition of our municipal liberties.  The National Assembly is at the same point as it was on the eve of the 18th of March; it disregards now, as it did then, the legitimate wishes of the population, and, moreover, it will not perceive the fact that the triumphant insurrection—­in spite of the excesses that everyone condemns—­has naturally added to the validity of our just revendications.  The “Communists” are wrong, but the Commune, the true Commune, is right; this is what Paris believes, and, unhappily, this is what Versailles will not understand; it wants to remain, as to the form of its government, weakly stationary; it makes a municipal law that will be judged insufficient; and, as it obstinately persists in errors which were worn out a month ago and are rotten now, they will soon consider the “conciliators” whose ideas have progressed from day to day, as the veritable agents of the insurrection, and send them, purely and simply, about their business.

Nevertheless, the desire of seeing this fratricidal war at an end, is so great, so ardent, so general, that convinced as we are of the uselessness of their efforts, we admire and encourage those who undertake the almost hopeless task of pacification with persistent courage.  True Paris has now but one flag, which is neither the crimson rag nor the tricolour standard, but the white flag of truce.

XLIII.

Do you know what the Abbaye de Cinq-Pierres is, or rather what it was?  Mind, not Saint-Pierre, but Cinq-Pierres (Five Stones).  Gavroche,[55] who loves puns and is very fond of slang, gave this nickname to a set of huge stones which stood before the prison of La Roquette, and on which the guillotine used to be erected on the mornings when a capital punishment was to take place.  The executioner was the Abbe de Cinq-Pierres, for Gavroche is as logical as he is ingenious.  Well! the abbey exists no longer, swept clean away from the front of the Roquette prison.  This is splendid! and as for the guillotine itself, you know what has been done with that.  Oh! we had a narrow escape!  Would you believe that that infamous, that abominable Government of Versailles, conceived the idea, at the time it sat in Paris, of having a new and exquisitely improved guillotine, constructed by anonymous carpenters?  It is exactly as I have the honour of telling you.  You can easily verify the fact by reading the proclamation of the “sous-comite en exercice.” What is the “active under-committee?” I admit that I am in total ignorance on the subject; but, what does it matter!  In these times when committees spring up like mushrooms, it would be absurd to allow oneself to be astonished at a committee—­and especially a sub-committee—­more or less.  Here is the proclamation:—­

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