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.
Signed, Faustin.  Same author—­Same woman.  But this time she lies in a bed hung with red flags for curtains.  Her shoulders a little too bare, perhaps, for a Republic, but she must be made attractive to her good friends the Federals.  At the head of the bed a portrait of Rochefort; Rochefort is the favoured one of this lady, it seems.  Were I he, I should persuade her to dress a little more decently.  Three black men, in brigands’ hats, their limbs dragging, and their faces distorted, approach the bed, singing like the robbers in Fra Diavolo:  “Ad.... vance ... ad ... vance ... with ... pru ... dence ...!” The first, Monsieur Thiers, carries a heavy club and a dark lantern; Jules Favre, the second, brandishes a knife, and the third, carries nothing, but wears a peacock’s feather in his hat, and....  I have never seen Monsieur Picard, but they tell me that it is he.

The young Republic again, with shoulders bare and the style of face of a petite dame of the Rue Bossuet.  She comes to beg Monsieur Thiers, cobbler and cookshop-keeper, who “finds places for pretenders out of employ, and changes their old boots for new at the most reasonable prices,” to have her shoes mended.  “Wait a bit! wait a bit!” says the cobbler to himself, “I’ll manage ’em so as to put an end to her walking.”

Here is a green monkey perched on the extreme height of a microscopic tribune.  At the end of his tail he wears a crown; on his head is a Phrygian cap.  It is Monsieur Thiers of course.  “Gentlemen,” says he, “I assure you that I am republican, and that I adore the vile multitude.”  But underneath is written:  “We’ll pluck the Gallic cock!” The author of this is also Monsieur Faustin.  I have here a special reproach to add to what I have already said of these objectionable stupidities.  I do not like the manner in which the author takes off Monsieur Thiers; he quite forgets the old and well-known resemblance of the chief of the executive power to Monsieur Prud’homme, or what is the same thing, to Prud’homme’s inventor, Henri Monnier.  One day Gil Perez the actor, met Henri Monnier on the Boulevard Montmartre.  “Well, old fellow!” cried he, “are you back?  When are you and I going to get at our practical jokes again?” Henri Monnier looked profoundly astonished; it was Monsieur Thiers!

The next one is signed Pilotel.  Pilotel, the savage commissioner!  He who arrested Monsieur Chaudey, and who pocketed eight hundred and fifteen francs found in Monsieur Chaudey’s drawers.  Ah!  Pilotel, if by some unlucky adventure you were to succumb behind a barricade, you would cry like Nero:  “Qualis artifex pereo!” But let us leave the author to criticise the work.  A Gavroche, not the Gavroche of the Miserables, but the boy of Belleville, chewing tobacco like a Jack-tar, drunk as a Federal, in a purple blouse, green trousers, his hands in his pockets, his cap on the nape of his neck; squat, violent, and brutish.  With an impudent jerk of the head he grumbles out:  “I don’t want any of your kings!” This coarse sketch is graphic and not without merit.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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