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.

Wednesday, 12th April.—­Another day passed as yesterday was, as to-morrow will be.  The Versaillais attack the forts of Vanves and Issy and are repulsed.  There is fighting at Neuilly, at Bagneux, at Asnieres.  In the town requisitions and arrests are being made.  A detachment of National Guards arrives before the Northern railway-station.  They inquire for the director, but director there is none.  Embarrassing situation this.  The National Guards cannot come all this way for nothing.  Determined on arresting some one, they carry off M. Felix Mathias, head of the works, and M. Coutin, chief inspector.  An hour later other National Guards imprison M. Lucien Dubois, general inspector of markets, in the depot of the ex-Prefecture of Police.  Here and there a few journalists are arrested without cause, to serve as examples; some priests are despatched to Mazas, among others M. Lartigues, cure of Saint Leu.  Yesterday the following was placarded on the shut doors of the church at Montmartre: 

“Since priests are bandits and churches retreats where they have morally assassinated the masses, causing France to cower beneath the clutches of the infamous Bonapartes, Favres, and Trochus, the delegates of the stone masons at the ex-Prefecture of Police give orders that the church of Saint-Pierre (not Cinq-Pierres this time) shall be closed, and decrees the imprisonment of its priests and its Freres Ignorantins.  Signed by Le Mousau.”

To-day it is the turn of the church of Notre Dame de Lorette.  A considerable number of worshippers had assembled in the holy place.  The National Guards arrive, headed by men in plain clothes.  Under the Empire such men were called spies.  The women found praying are turned out, those who do not obey promptly enough, with blows.  This done, the guards retire.  What they had come there for is not known.  But what we are certain of is, that they will begin again to-morrow in this same church, or in another.  The days resemble each other as the children of an accursed family.  What frightful catastrophe will break this shameful monotony?

XLVIII.

Eh!  What?  It is impossible!  Are your brains scattered?  I speak figuratively, awaiting the time when they will be scattered in earnest.  It must be some miserable jester who has worded, printed, and placarded this unconscionable decree.  But no, it is in the usual form, the usual type.  This is rather too much, Gentlemen of the Commune; it outsteps the bounds of the ridiculous; you count a little too much this time on the complicity of some of the population, and on the patience of others.  Here is the decree: 

[Illustration:  THE COLUMN IN THE PLACE VENDOME.

Erected by the first Napoleon to commemorate his German campaign of 1805.

An imitation of the Column of Trajan, at Rome, slightly taller.

It cost 1,500,000 francs!]

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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