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.
you, they have fled in horror.  Count your numbers, you are but a handful.  If there still remain any among you, who have not lost all power of discriminating between justice and injustice, they look towards the door, and would fly if they dared.  Yet this handful of furious fools governs Paris still.  Some among us have been ordered to their death, and they have gone!  How long will this last?  Did we not surrender our arms?  Can we not assemble, as we did a month ago near the Bank, and deal justice ourselves without awaiting an army from Versailles?  Ah I we must acknowledge that the deputies of the Seine and the Maires of Paris, misled like ourselves, erred in siding with the insurrectionists.  They wished to avert street fighting.  Is the strife we are witnessing not far more horrible than that we have escaped?  One day’s struggle, and it would have ended.  Yes, we were wrong to lay down our arms; but who could have believed—­the excesses of the first few days seemed more like the sad consequences of popular effervescence than like premeditated crimes—­who could have believed that the chiefs of the insurrection lied with such impudence as is now only too evident, and that before long the Commune would be the first to deprive us of the liberties it was its duty to protect and develope?  The “Rurals” were right then,—­they who had been so completely in the wrong in refusing to lend an attentive ear to the just prayers of a people eager for liberty, they were right when they warned us against the ignorance and wickedness of these men.  Ah! were the National Assembly but to will it, there would yet be time to save Paris.  If it really wished to establish a definite Republic, and concede to the capital of France the right, free and entire, of electing an independent municipality, with what ardour should we not rally round the legitimate Government!  How soon would the Hotel de Ville be delivered from the contemptible men who have planted themselves there.  If the National Assembly could only comprehend us!  If it would only consent to give Paris its liberty, and France its tranquillity, by means of honourable concessions!

XLIX.

The delegates of the League of the Republican Union of the Rights of Paris returned from Versailles to-day, the 14th April, and published the following reports:—­

“CITIZENS,—­The undersigned, chosen by you to present your programme to the Government of Versailles, and to proffer the good offices of the League to aid in the conclusion of an armistice, have the honour of submitting you an account of their mission.
“The delegates, having made known to Monsieur Thiers the programme of the League, he replied that as chief of the sole legal government existing in France he had not to discuss the basis of a treaty, but notwithstanding he was quite ready to treat with such persons whom he considered as representing Republican principles, and to acquaint
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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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