Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
to call in other times the glory of France.  What a pretty spectacle—­when the sale by auction is over—­to see the buyers carrying away under their arms—­one, a bit of Wagram; another, a bit of Jena; and some, who had thought to be buying a pound or two of bronze, having made the acquisition of the First Consul at Arcole or the Emperor at Austerlitz.  It is a sad pity that you did not puff up the value and importance of your sale to the bidders.  Your speculation would then have turned out better.  You have managed badly, my dear Commune; you have not known how to take advantage of your position.  Repair your faults, impose your taxes, appropriate, confiscate!  All may be yours, disdain nothing, and have no fear of resistance; everyone is afraid of you.  Here!  I have five francs in my own pocket, will you have them?


[Footnote 70:  Jourde occupied the position of financial Minister under the Commune Government.  He is well-educated, and is said to be one of the most intellectually distinguished of the Federal functionaries.  He is a medical student, and said to be twenty-seven years of age.  See Appendix 8.]

[Footnote 71:  A working cobbler, and member of the International Society, which he represented at the Congress of Bale.  He occupied a post on the Marseillaise newspaper, became a Commissary of Police after the fourth of September, and took part on the popular side in the outbreak of the thirty-first of October.  He was deprived of his office by General Trochu’s government, and appointed one of the delegates for justice, by the authorities of the Commune.]


    “The social revolution could end but in one great catastrophe, of
    which the immediate effects would be—­

    “To make the land a barren waste: 

    “To put a strait jacket upon society: 

    “And, if it were possible that such a state of things could be
    prolonged for several weeks—­

    “To cause three or four millions of human beings to perish by
    horrible famine.

    “When the Government shall be without resources, when the country
    shall be without produce and without commerce: 

    “When starving Paris, blockaded by the departments, will no longer
    discharge its debts and make payments, no longer export nor import: 

    “When workmen, demoralised by the politics taught at the clubs and
    the closing of the workshops, will have found a means of living, no
    matter how: 

    “When the State appropriates to itself the silver and ornaments of
    the citizens for the purpose of sending them to the Mint: 

    “When perquisitions made in the private houses are the only means of
    collecting taxes: 

    “When hungry bands spread over the country, committing robbery and

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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