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John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.

    “When the peasant, armed with loaded gun, has to neglect the
    cultivation of his crops in order to protect them: 

    “When the first sheaf shall have been stolen, the first house
    forced, the first church profaned, the first torch fired, the first
    woman violated: 

    “When the first blood shall have been spilt: 

    “When the first head shall have fallen: 

    “When abomination and desolation shall have spread over all France—­

    “Oh! then you will know what we mean by a social revolution: 

    “A multitude let loose, arms in hand, mad with revenge and fury: 

    “Soldiers, pikes, empty homes, knives and crowbars: 

    “The city, silent and oppressed; the police in our very homes,
    opinions suspected, words noted down, tears observed, sighs counted,
    silence watched; spying and denunciations: 

    “Inexorable requisitions, forced and progressive loans, paper money
    made worthless: 

    “Civil war, and the enemy on the frontiers: 

    “Pitiless proconsuls, a supreme committee, with hearts of stone—­

    “This would be the fruits of what they call democratic and social
    revolution.”

Who wrote this admirable page?—­Proudhon.

O all-merciful Providence!  Take pity on France, for she has come to this.

LXVII.

A balloon!  A balloon!  Quick!  A balloon!  There is not a moment to be lost.  The inhabitants of Brive-la-Gaillarde and the mountaineers of Savoy are thirsting for news; let us shower manna on them.  Write away!  Pierre Denis!  Pump in your gas, emulators of Godard!  And may the four winds of heaven carry our “Declarations” to the four quarters of France!  Ah! ah!  The Versaillais—­band of traitors that they are!—­did not calculate on this.  They raise soldiers, the simpletons; they bombard our forts and our houses, the idiots!  But we make decrees, and distribute our proclamations throughout the country by means of an unlimited number of revolutionary aeronauts.  May they be guided by the wind which blows across the mountains!  How the honest labourers, the good farmers, the eager workers of the departments will rejoice when they receive, dropping, from the sky, the pages on which are inscribed the rights and duties of the man of the present day!  They will not hesitate one single instant.  They will leave their fields, their homes, their workshops, and cry, “A musket! a musket!” with no thought that they leave behind them women without husbands, and children without fathers!  They will fly to us, happy to conquer or die for the glory of Citizen Delescluze and Citizen Vermorel!  What ardour!  What patriotism!  Already they are on their way; they are coming, they are come!  Those who had no fire-arms have seized their pickaxes or pieces of their broken ploughs!  Hurrah!  Forward!  March!  To arms, citizens, to arms!  Hail to France, who comes to the rescue of Paris!

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