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.

[Footnote 93:  Arnould is a man of about forty-seven years of age, small in stature, lively and intelligent.  He has written in many of the Democratic journals of Paris and the provinces; and his literary talents are of a good kind.  Being connected with Rochefort’s journal, the Marseillaise, he was sent by the latter to challenge Pierre Bonaparte, and was a witness at the trial which followed the murder of Victor Noir.

Although naturally drawn by his connections into the movement of the eighteenth of March, he always protested loudly against the arbitrary acts of the Commune, and it is surprising that he did not fall under accusation, by his colleagues.  He opposed particularly the proposals for the suppression of newspapers.  “It is prodigious to me,” he said, in full meeting of the committee, “that people will still talk of arresting others for expressing their opinions.”

He voted against the organisation of the Committee of Public Safety on the ground:—­

“That such an institution would be directly opposed to the political opinions of the electoral body, of which the Commune is the representative.”

He protested most energetically against secret imprisonment—­

“Secret incarceration has something immoral in it; it is moral torture substituted for physical.

“I cannot understand men who have passed their life in combating the errors of despotism, falling into the same faults when they arrive at power.  Of two things one:  either secret imprisonment is an indispensable and good thing; or, it is odious.  If it was good it was wrong to oppose it, and if it be odious and immoral, we ought not to continue it.”

What on earth had he then to do in the Commune?

“Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere?”]


“Central Committee.

“To the People of Paris!  To the National Guard!

“Rumours of dissensions between the majority of the Commune and the Central Committee have been spread by our common enemies with a persistency which, once for all, must be crushed by public compact.

“The Central Committee, appointed to the administration of military affairs by the Committee of Public Safety, will enter upon office from this day.

“This Committee, which has upheld the standard of the Communal revolution, has undergone no change and no deterioration.  It is today what it was yesterday, the legitimate defender of the Commune, the basis of its power, at the same time as it is the determined enemy of civil war; the sentinel placed by the people to protect the rights that they have conquered,

“In the name, then, of the Commune, and of the Central Committee, who sign this pact of good faith, let these gross suspicions and calumnies be swept away.  Let hearts beat, let hands be ready to strike in the good cause, and may we triumph in the name of union and fraternity.

    “Long live the Republic!

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.