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.
by willing locksmiths; when the locksmiths are tired, the soldiers of the Commune help them with the butt-ends of their muskets.  They do worse still, these Communists—­they do all that the consciousness of supreme power can suggest to despots without experience; each day they send honest fathers of families to their death, who think they are suffering for the good cause, when they are only dying for the good pleasure of Monsieur Avrial and Monsieur Billioray.  Well! and what is Paris doing all this time?  Paris reads the papers, lounges, runs after the last news and ejaculates:  “Ah! ah! they have put Amouroux into prison!  The Archbishop of Paris has been transferred from the Conciergerie to Mazas!  Several thousand francs have been stolen from Monsieur Denouille!  Diable!  Diable!” And then Paris begins the same round of newspaper reading, lounging, and gossiping again.  Nothing seems changed.  Nothing seems interrupted.  Even the proclamation of the famous Cluseret, who threatens us all with active service in the marching regiments, has not succeeded in troubling the tranquillity and indifference of the greater number of Parisians.  They look on at what is taking place, as at a performance, and only bestow just enough interest upon it to afford them amusement.  This evening the cannonading has increased; on listening attentively, we can distinguish the sounds of platoon-firing; but Paris takes its glass of beer tranquilly at the Cafe de Madrid and its Mazagran at the Cafe Riche.  Sometimes, towards midnight, when the sky is clear, Paris goes to the Champs Elysees, to see things a little nearer, strolls under the trees, and smoking a cigar exclaims:  “Ah! there go the shells.”  Then leisurely compares the roar of the battle of to-day to that of yesterday.  In strolling about thus in the neighbourhood of the shells, Paris exposes itself voluntarily to danger; Paris is indifferent, and use is second nature.  Then bed-time comes, Paris looks over the evening papers, and asks, with a yawn, where the devil all this will end?  By a conciliation?  Or the Prussians perhaps?  And then Paris falls asleep, and gets up the next morning, just as fresh and lusty as if Napoleon the Third were still Emperor by the grace of God and the will of the French nation.

XLVI.

An insertion in the Journal Officiel of Versailles has justly irritated the greater part of the French press.  This is the paragraph.  “False news of the most infamous kind has been spread in Paris where no independent journal is allowed to appear.”  From these few lines it may be concluded, that in the eyes of the Government of Versailles the whole of the Paris newspapers, whose editors have not deserted their posts, have entirely submitted to the Commune, and only think and say what the Commune permits them to think and say.  This is an egregious calumny.  No, thank heaven!  The Parisian press has not renounced its independence, and if no account is taken

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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