The Commune has naturally brought an infinite number of journals into existence. Try, if you will, to count the leaves of the forest, the grains of sand on the seashore, the stars in the heavens, but do not, in your wildest dreams, attempt to enumerate the newspapers that have seen the light since the famous day of the 18th of March. Felix Pyat has a journal, Le Vengeur; Vermorel has a journal, Le Cri du People; Delescluze has a journal, Le Reveil; there is not a member of the Commune but indulges in the luxury of a sheet in which he tells his colleagues daily all the evil he thinks of them. It must be acknowledged that these gentlemen have an extremely bad opinion one of the other. I defy even the Gaulois of Versailles—yes, the Gaulois itself—to treat Felix Pyat as Vermorel treats him, and if it be remembered on the other hand what Felix Pyat says of Vermorel, the Gaulois will be found singularly good-natured. Napoleon cautioned us long ago “to wash our dirty linen at home,” but good patriots cannot be expected to profit by the counsels of a tyrant. So the columns of the Commune papers are devoted to the daily and mutual pulling to pieces of the Commune’s members. But where will these ephemeral sheets be in six months, in one month, or in a week’s time perhaps? The wind which wafts away the leaves of the rose and the laurel, will be no less cruel for the political leaves. Let us then, for the sake of posterity, offer a specimen of what is—or as we shall soon say, what was—the Communalist press of to-day. Be they edited by Marotteau, or Duchesne, or Paschal Grousset, or by any other emulator of Paul-Louis Courier, these worthy journals are all much alike, and one example will suffice for the whole.
[Illustration: VERMESCH (PERE DUCHESNE).]
First of all, and generally in enormous type, stand the LATEST NEWS, the news from the Porte Maillot where the friends of the Commune are fighting, and the news from Versailles where the enemies of the country are sitting. They usually run somewhat in this style:—
“It is more and more confirmed that the Assembly of Versailles is surrounded and made prisoner by the troops returned from Germany. The generals of the Empire have newly proclaimed Napoleon: the Third, Emperor. After a violent quarrel about two National Guards whom Marshal MacMahon had had shot, but had omitted to have cooked for his soldiers, Monsieur Thiers sent a challenge to the Marshal, by his two seconds. These seconds were no other than the Comte de Chambord and the Comte de Paris. Marshal MacMahon chose the ex-Emperor and Paul de Cassagnac. The duel took place in the Rue des Reservoirs, in the midst of an immense crowd. The Marshal was killed, and was therefore obliged to renounce the command of the troops. But the Assembly would not accept his resignation.