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.

What do you think of all this, gentlemen and Catholics!  Do you still regret the priests and choristers who used awhile ago to preach and chant in the Parisian churches?  Where is the man, who at the very sight of this new congregation, so tolerant, so intelligent, listening with such gratitude to these noble lessons of politics and morality; where is the man, who could any longer blind himself to the admirable influence of the present revolution?  Innumerable are the benefits that the Paris Commune showers upon us!  As I leave the church, a little vagabond walks up to the font, and taking a pinch of tobacco,—­“In the name of the...!” says he, then fills his pipe; “In the name of the ...!” proceeding to strike a lucifer, adds, “In the name of the ...!”—­“Confound the blasphemous rascal!” say I, giving him a good box on the ears.  After having written these lines I felt inclined to erase them; on second thoughts I let them remain—­they belong to history!


[Footnote 89:  A political refugee, who left his country in 1869 for Prussia, where he taught mathematics in the University of Ulm, and afterwards accepted service under Garibaldi.]


This morning I took a walk in the most innocent manner, having committed no crime that I knew of.  It was lovely weather, and the streets looked gay, as they generally do when it is very bright, even when the hearts of the people are most sad.  I passed through the Rue Saint-Honore, the Palais Royal, and finally the Rue Richelieu.  I beg pardon for these details, but I am particularly careful in indicating the road I took, as I wish the inhabitants of the places in question, to bear witness that I did not steal in passing a single quartern loaf, or appropriate the smallest article of jewellery.  As I was about to turn on to the boulevards, one of the four National Guards who were on duty, I do not know what for, at the corner of the street, cried out, “You can’t pass!” All right, thought I to myself; there is nothing fresh I suppose, only the Commune does not want people to pass; of course, it has right on its side.  Thereupon I began to retrace my steps.  “You can’t pass,” calls out another sentinel, by the time I have reached the other side of the street.

This is strange, the Commune cannot mean to limit my walk to a melancholy pacing up and down between two opposite pavements.  A sergeant came up to me; I recognised him as a Spaniard, who during the siege belonged to my company.  “Why are you not in uniform?” he asked me, with a roughness that I fancied was somewhat mitigated by the remembrance of the many cigars I had given him, the nights we were on guard during the siege.  I understood in an instant what they wanted with me, and replied unhesitatingly, “Because it is not my turn to be on guard,”—­“No, of course it’s not, it never is.  You have been taking

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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