“Horror! Upon the bed lay stretched the corpse of the unhappy mother, a dagger plunged into her heart, and in her clutched hand was found a paper upon which the victim, before rendering her last breath, had traced the following lines:—
“’I die, murdered by him who has betrayed me; he would have murdered also my three children, if a noise in the next room had not caused him to take flight. He had come from Versailles for the express purpose of accomplishing this quadruple crime, and, by this means, obliterate every trace of his past villany. His name is Jules Ferry. You who read this, revenge me!’”
[Footnote 72: Vermesch, who was born at Lille, in 1846, though not an official member of the Commune, was one of its most powerful champions. He was founder and principal editor of the Pere Duchesne, a poor imitation of the journal, published under the same title, by Hebert, in the time of the first Revolution. This paper, one of the most characteristic of the Commune, was filled with trivialities, in the vilest taste and slang, which cannot be rendered in English. The first number of Vermesch’s journal was published on the 6th of March, but was suppressed by General Vinoy; it re-appeared, however, on the eighteenth of the same month, and met with such prodigious success, that even its editor himself was astonished. Intoxicated with the result, the writers became more and more virulent, and not content with penning the vilest personal abuse, Vermesch assumed the role of public informer. For instance, he denounced M. Gustave Chaudey, a writer in the Siecle, in the Pere Duchesne of the 12th of April, and that journalist was arrested in consequence on the following day. The journal became, not only the medium of all kinds of personal abuse and vengeance, but did the duty of inquisitor for the Communal Government, for whom it produced a terrible crop of victims. The Official Journal contained a number of decrees, the drafts of which at first appeared in Pere Duchesne.
Amongst other acts, Vermesch organised what he called the battalion of the Enfants of the Pere Duchesne, and considering the origin of this corps, the character of the rabble which filled its ranks may easily be imagined. The children of such a father could only be found amidst the lowest dregs of the Parisian population; fit instruments for the infamous work which was afterwards to be done.]
[Footnote 73: Paschal Grousset prepared himself for politics by the study of medicine; from the anatomy of heads he passed to the dissection of ideas. Having turned journalist, he wrote scientific articles in Figaro, contributed to the Standard, and was one of the editors of the Marseillaise when the challenge, which gave rise to the death of Victor Noir and the famous trial at Tours, was sent