“For ourselves, citizens
of Paris, it is our mission to accomplish
the modern revolution, the grandest and most fruitful of all those
that have illuminated history.
“Our duty is to struggle and to conquer!
“THE COMMUNE OF PARIS.”
Such is this long, emphatic, but often obscure declaration. It is not wanting, however, in a certain eloquence; and, although frequently disfigured by glaring exaggerations, it contains here and there some just ideas, or at least, such as conform to the views of the great majority. Will it destroy the bad effect produced by the successive defeats of the Federals at Neuilly and at Asnieres? Will it produce any good feeling towards the Commune in the minds of those who are daily drawing farther and farther from the men of the Commune? No; it is too late. Had this proclamation been placarded fifteen or twenty days sooner, some parts of it might have been approved and the rest discussed. Today we pass it by with a smile. Ah! many things have happened during the last three days. The acts of the Commune of Paris no longer allow us to take its declarations seriously, and we look upon its members as too mad—if not worse—to believe that by any accident they can be reasonable. These men have finished by rendering detestable whatever good there originally was in their idea.
[Footnote 65: He was born in 1841, in the department of the Rhone. His education was completed very early. At the age of twenty he was engaged on two journals of the opposition, La Jeune France, and La Jeunesse. Those papers were soon suppressed, and their young contributor was imprisoned for three months. In 1864 he became one of the staff of the Presse, whence he passed to the Liberte in 1866. Two years later he founded the Courrier Francais; but from the multiplicity of fines imposed upon it, and from the imprisonment of its founder, the new journal expired very shortly. After a year’s incarceration at Sainte-Pelagie, Vermorel was engaged on the Reforme, which continued to appear until the fall of the Empire. During the siege he served as a private in the National Guard. He became a member of the Committee of Justice under the Commune, and was one of those who, at its fall, neither deserted nor disgraced it. He is reported to have mounted a barricade armed only with a cane, crying “I come here to die and not to fight.” His mother obtained permission to transport his remains to Venice.]