[Illustration: Burning the Guillotine. April]
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