Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.

“Recognition of the Republic.

“Recognition of the rights of Paris to govern itself, to regulate its police, its finances, its public charities, its public instruction, and the exercise of its religious liberty by a council freely elected and all-powerful within the scope of its action.

“The protection of Paris exclusively confided to the National Guard, formed of all citizens fit to serve.

“It is to the defence of this programme that the members of the League wish to devote their efforts, and they appeal to all citizens to aid them in the work, by making known their adhesion, so that the members of the League, thereby strengthened and supported, may exercise a powerful mediatory influence, tending to bring about the return of peace, and to secure the maintenance of the Republic.

“Paris, 6th April, 1871.”

Here follow the signatures of former representatives, maires, doctors, lawyers, literary men, merchants, and others.]


“In the presence of the fearful events which make all France shudder and mourn, in the sight of the precious blood that flows in streams, the Freemasons, who represent the sentiments of humanity and have spread them through the world, come once more to declare before you, government and members of the Assembly, and before you, members of the Commune, these great principles which are their law and which ought to be the law of every one who has the heart of a man.

“The flag of the Freemasons bears inscribed upon it, the noble device—­Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Union.  The Freemasons uphold peace among men, and, in the name of humanity, proclaim the inviolability of human life.  The Freemasons detest all wars, and cannot sufficiently express grief and horror at civil warfare.  Their duty and their right are to come between you and to say: 

“’In the name of humanity, in the name of fraternity, in the name of the distracted country, put a stop to this effusion of blood; we ask of you, we implore of you, to listen to our appeal.’”]

[Footnote 55:  Gavroche is a street boy of Paris, a gamin immortalized by Victor Hugo in “Les Miserables,” a master of Parisian argot (slang).]


I have just witnessed a horrible scene.  Alas! what harrowing spectacles meet our eyes on every side, and will still before all this comes to an end.  I accompanied a poor old woman to a cemetery in the east of Paris.  Her son, who had engaged himself in a battalion of Federal guards, had not been home for five days.  He was most likely dead, the neighbours said, and one bade her “go and look at the Cimetiere de l’Est, they have brought in a load of bodies there.”  Imagine a deep trench and about thirty coffins placed side by side.  Numbers of people came there to claim their own among the dead.  To avoid crowding, the National Guards made the people

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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