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John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.



[Footnote 90:  It should be remarked that the destruction of M. Thiers’ house coincided with the first success of the Versailles army; it was the spirit of hatred and mad destructiveness which dictated the following decree, issued by the Committee of Public Safety on the 10th of May:—­

“Art. 1.  The goods and property of Thiers (they even denied him the appellation of citizen) are seized by order of the administration of public domains.

“Art. 2.  The house of Thiers, situated at the Place Saint-Georges, to be demolished.”

On the following day the National Assembly, in presence of the activity exhibited by M. Thiers, declared that the proscribed, whose house was demolished, had exhibited proofs of an amount of patriotism and political ability which inspired every confidence in the future.  On the 12th of the same month works were commenced at Versailles for the formation of a railway-station sufficient for all the wants of an important army, the initiation of which was due to M. Thiers; a conference was opened on the 19th April with the Western Railway Company, the plans were approved on the 22nd of the same month, and the preliminary works were commenced on the 12th of May.  When these are terminated, they will consist of thirty-five parallel lines of rails, more than a mile in length.  But the principal point in the plan is, that by means of branches to Pontoise and Chevreuse, this immense station may be placed in direct communication with all the lines of railway in France.  It is easy enough to draw the following conclusion, namely, that if the necessity should ever again arise, Paris would cease to be the central depot for all commercial movements, and thus the paralysis of the affairs of the whole country would be avoided, in case the Parisian populace should again be bitten by the barricade mania.  At one time it was feared that the collections of M. Thiers were destroyed in the conflagration at the Tuileries; but M. Courbet reports that on the 12th of May he asked what he ought to do about the different things taken at the house of M. Thiers, and if they were to be sent to the Louvre or to be publicly sold, and he was then appointed a member of the commission to examine the case.  Regarding his conduct at the time of the demolishing of the house of M. Thiers, he arrived too late, he says, to make an inventory; the furniture and effects had been already packed by the employes of the Garde Meuble; “I made some observations about it, and on going through the empty apartments, I noticed two small figures that I packed in paper, thinking they might be private souvenirs, and that I would return them some day to their owner.  All the other things were already destroyed or gone.”]


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