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.
a lad; his wound was hidden, but the collar of his shirt was dyed crimson with blood.  When the men returned for the third time, their gait was so unsteady that it was with difficulty they raised the poor boy’s bier, and then went off staggering.  At the turning of a street the corpse fell, and I ran up as it was being picked from the ground; one of the drunken men was shedding tears, and maudling out, “My poor brother!”


[Footnote 74:  Megy, the famous governor of the Fort of Issy, was implicated in the last, supposed, plot against the life of Napoleon III.  Having shot one of the police agents charged with his arrest, he was tried and condemned to death.  He was, however, delivered from prison on the fourth of September, and appointed to the command of a battalion of National Guards, with which he marched against the Hotel de Ville on the thirty-first of October and the twentieth of January.  He was named a member of the Commune on the eighteenth of March, and set fire to the Cour des Comptes and the Palace of the Legion d’Honneur on the twenty-third of May, 1871.]


We shall see no more of Cluseret!  Cluseret is done for, Cluseret is in prison![75] What has he done?  Is he in disgrace on account of Fort Issy?  This would scarcely be just, considering that if the fort were evacuated yesterday it was reoccupied this morning; by the bye, I cannot explain satisfactorily to myself why the Versaillais should have abandoned this position, which they seem to have considered of some importance.  If it is not on account of Fort Issy that Cluseret was politely asked to go and keep Monseigneur Darboy company, why was it?  I remember hearing yesterday and the day before something about a letter of General Fabrice, in which that amiable Prussian, it is reported, begged General Cluseret to intercede with the Commune in behalf of the imprisoned priests.  Is it possible that the Communal delegate, at the risk of passing for a Jesuit, could have made the required demand?  Why, M. Cluseret, that was quite enough for you to be put in prison, and shot too into the bargain.  However, you did not intercede for anybody, for the very excellent reason that General Fabrice no more thought of writing to you, than of giving back Alsace and Lorraine.  So we must search somewhere else for the motive of this sudden eclipse.  Some say there was a quarrel with Dombrowski, that the latter thought fit to sign a truce without the authority of Cluseret—­a truce, what an idea!  Has Dombrowski any scruples about slaughter?—­that Cluseret flew into a great rage; but that his rival got the best of it in the end.  You see if one is an American and the other a Pole, the Commune must have a hard time of it between the two!

No, neither the evacuation of Fort Issy—­in spite of what the Journal Officiel says—­Monseigneur Darboy, nor the quarrel with Dombrowski are the real causes of the fall of Cluseret.  Cluseret’s destiny was to fall; Cluseret has fallen because he did not like gold lace and embroidery—­“that is the question,” all the rest are pretexts.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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