Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
walk in order, two or three abreast, and thus they were marshalled among the tombs and crosses.  The poor woman and I followed the others.  From time to time I heard a burst of sobs; some one amongst the dead had been recognised.  On we go slowly, step by step, as if we were at the doors of a theatre.  At last we arrive before the first coffin.  The poor mother I have come with is very weak and very sad; it is I who lift up the thin lid of the coffin.  A grey-haired corpse is lying within it, from the shoulders downwards nothing but a heap of torn flesh, and clothes, and congealed blood.  We continue on.  The second coffin also contains the body of an old man; no wounds are to be seen; he was probably killed by a ball.  Still we advance.  I observe that the old men are in far greater number than the young.  The wounds are often fearful.  Sometimes the face is entirely mutilated.  When I had closed the lid of the last coffin the poor mother uttered a cry of relief; her son was not there!  For myself, I was stupefied with horror, and only recovered my senses on being pushed on by the men behind me, who wanted to see in their turn.  “Well! when will he have done?” said one.  “I suppose he thinks that it is all for him.”

[Illustration:  Burning the Guillotine.  April]

XLV.

What is absolutely stupefying in the midst of all this, is the smiling aspect of the streets and the promenades.  The constantly increasing emigration is only felt by the diminution in the number of depraved women and dissipated men; enough, however, remain to fill the cafes and give life to the boulevards.  It might almost be said that Paris is in its normal state.

Every morning, from the Champs Elysees, Les Ternes, and Vaugirard, families are seen removing into the town, out of the way of the bombardment, as at the time when Jules Favre anathematised the barbarity of the Prussians.  Some pass in cabs, others on foot, walking sadly, with their bedding and household furniture piled on a cart.  If you question these poor people, they will all tell you of the shells from the Versailles batteries, destroying houses and killing women and children.  What matters it?  Paris goes her usual round of business and pleasure.  The Commune suppresses journals and imprisons journalists.  Monsieur Richardet, of the National, was marched off to prison yesterday, for the sole crime of having requested a passport of the savage Monsieur Rigault; the Commune thrusts the priests into cells, and turns out the young girls from the convents, imprisons Monsieur O’yan, one of the directors of the Seminary of St. Sulpice; hurls a warrant of arrest at Monsieur Tresca, who escapes; tries to capture Monsieur Henri Vrignault, who however, succeeds in reaching a place of safety; the Commune causes perquisitions to be made by armed men in the banking houses, seizes upon title deeds and money; has strong-boxes burst open

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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