“The Commune of Paris, considering that the Church of Notre Dame de Paris is a monument of superstition, a symbol of divine tyranny, an affirmation of fanaticism, a denial of human rights, a permanent insult offered by believers to atheists, a perpetual conspiracy against one of the great principles of the Commune, namely, the convenience of its members,
“The Church of Notre Dame shall be demolished.”
What say you to my proposition? Does it not agree with your dearest desire? But you can do better and better: believe me you ought to have the courage of your opinions.
“The Commune of Paris, considering that the Museum of the Louvre contains a great number of pictures, of statues, and other objects of art, which, by the subjects they represent, bring eternally to the mind of the people the actions of gods, and kings, and priests; that these actions indicated by flattering brush or chisel are often delineated in such a way as to diminish the hatred that priests, kings, and gods should inspire to all good citizens; moreover, the admiration excited by the works of human genius is a perpetual assault on one of the great principles of the Commune, namely, its imbecility,
Museum of the Louvre shall be burned to the
Do not attempt to reply that in spite of the recollections of religion and despotism attached to these monuments you would leave Notre Dame and the Museum of the Louvre untouched for the sake of their artistic importance. Beware of insinuating that you would have respected the Colonne Vendome had it possessed some merit as a work of art. You! respect the masterpieces of human art! Wherefore? Since when, and by what right? No, little as you may have been known before you were masters, you were yet known enough for us to assert that one of you—whom I will name: M. Lefrancais—wished in 1848 to set fire to the Salon Carre; there is another of you—whom I will also name: M. Jules Valles—asserts that Homer was an old fool. It is true that M. Jules Valles is Minister of Public Instruction. If you have spared Notre Dame and the Museum of the Louvre up to this moment, it is that you dared not touch them, which is a proof, not of respect but of cowardice.
Ah! our eyes are open at last! We are no longer dazzled by the chimerical hopes we nourished for a moment, of obtaining, through you communal liberties. You did but adopt those opinions for the sake of misleading us, as a thief assumes the livery of a house to enter his master’s room and lay hands on his money. We see you now as you are. We had hoped that you were revolutionists, too ardent, too venturous perhaps, but on the whole impelled by a noble intention: you are nothing but insurgents, insurgents whose aim is to sack and pillage, favoured by disturbances and darkness. If a few well-intentioned men were among