Shall I go away? Why not? Do I particularly wish to be shut up one morning in some barrack-room, or sent in spite of myself to the out-posts? My position of refractaire is sensibly aggravated by the fact of my being in rather a dangerous neighbourhood. For the last few days, I have felt rather astonished at the searching glances that a neighbour always casts upon me, when we met in the street. I told my servant to try and find out who this man was. Great heavens! this scowling neighbour of mine is Gerardin—Gerardin of the Commune! Add to this the perilous fact, that our concierge is lieutenant in a Federal battalion, and you will have good reason to consider me the most unfortunate of refractaires. However, what does it matter? I decide on remaining; I will stay and see the end, even should the terrible Pyat and the sweet Vermorel both of them be living under the same roof with me, even if my concierge be M. Delescluze himself!
[Footnote 87: The decree which rendered obligatory the service in the marching companies of the National Guard, and the establishment of courts-martial, spread terror among the population, and thousands of people thronged daily to the Prefecture of Police. Sometimes, the queue extended from the Place Dauphine to beyond the Pont Neuf. But soon afterwards, stratagems of every kind were put into requisition to escape from the researches of the Commune, which became more eager and determined, from day to day, after the publication of the following decree, the chef-d’oeuvre of the too famous Raoul Rigault:—
“EX-PREFECTURE OF POLICE.
“Delivery of Passports.
“Considering that the civil authority cannot favour the non-execution of the decrees of the Commune, without failing in its duty, and that it is highly necessary that all communications with those who carry on this savage war against us should be prevented,
“The member of the Committee of Public Safety, Delegate at the Prefecture of Police,
“Art. 1. Passports can only be delivered on the production of satisfactory documents.
“Art. 2. No passport will be delivered to individuals between the ages of seventeen and thirty-five years, as such fall within the military law.
“Art. 3. No passport will be issued to any member of the old police, or who are in relation with Versailles.
“Art. 4. Any persons who come within the conditions of Articles 2 or 3, and apply for passports, will be immediately sent to the depot of the ex-Prefecture of Police.
(Signed) “RAOUL RIGAULT,
“Member of the Committee of Public Safety.”]
[Footnote 88: Those who decline to join the Commune.]