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.

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 68:  A writer in the Vengeur.]

[Footnote 69:  For translation, see Appendix 7.]

LXV.

An anonymous writer, who is no other, it is said, than the citizen Delescluze, has just published the following:—­

    “The Commune has assured to itself the receipt of a sum of 600,000
    francs a day—­eighteen millions a month.”

There was once upon a time a French forger, named Colle, celebrated for the extent and importance of his swindling, and who possessed, it was said, a very large fortune.  When questioned upon the subject, he used to answer:  “I have assured to myself a receipt of a hundred francs a day—­three thousand francs a month.”

Between Colle and the Commune there exists a difference, however:  in the first place, Colle affected a particular liking for the clergy, whose various garbs he used frequently to assume, and the Commune cannot endure cures and secondly, while Colle, in assuring himself a receipt of three thousand francs a month, had done all that was possible for him to do, the Commune puts up with a miserable eighteen millions, when it might have ensured to itself a great deal more.  It is astounding, and, I may add, little in accordance with its dignity, that it should be satisfied with so moderate an allowance.  You show too much modesty; it is not worth while being victorious for so little.  Eighteen millions—­a mere nothing!  Your delicacy might be better understood were you more scrupulous as to the choice of your means.  Thank Heaven! you do not err on that score.  Come! a little more energy, if you please.  “But!” sighs the Commune, “I have done my best, it seems to me.  Thanks to Jourde,[70] who throws Law into the shade, and to Dereure,[71] the shoemaker —­Financier and Cobbler of La Fontaine’s Fable—­I pocket daily the gross value of the sale of tobacco, which is a pretty speculation enough, since I have had to pay neither the cost of the raw materials nor of the manufacture.  I have besides this, thanks to what I call the ‘regular income from the public departments,’ a good number of little revenues which do not cost me much and bring me in a good deal.  Now there’s the Post, for instance.  I take good care to despatch none of the letters that are confided to me, but I manage to secure the price of the postage by an arrangement with my employes.  This shows cleverness and tact, I think.  Finally, in addition to this, I get the railway companies to be kind enough to drop into my pockets the sum of two millions of francs:  the Northern Railway Company will supply me with three hundred and ninety-three thousand francs; the Western, with two hundred and seventy-five thousand; the Eastern, three hundred and fifty-four thousand francs; the Lyons Railway Company, with six hundred and ninety-two thousand francs; the Orleans Railway, three hundred

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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