ever-increasing noise of the battle; and, over all,
the brightness of a dazzling morning sun—all
this has something sinister and yet horribly captivating
about it. While we are at work, they talk; I
listen. The Versaillais have been coming in all
night. The Porte de la Muette and the Porte Dauphine
have been surrendered by the 13th and the 113th battalions
of the first arrondissement. “Those two
numbers 13 will bring them ill-luck,” says a
woman. Vinoy is established at the Trocadero,
and Douai at the Point du Jour: they continue
to advance. The Champ de Mars has been taken
from the Federals after two hours’ fighting.
A battery is erected at the Arc de Triomphe, which
sweeps the Champs Elysees and bombards the Tuileries.
A shell has fallen in the Rue du Marche Saint Honore.
In the Cours-la-Reine the 188th battalion stood bravely.
The Tuileries is armed with guns, and shells the Arc
de Triomphe. In the Avenue de Marigny the gendarmes
have shot twelve Federals who had surrendered; their
bodies are still lying on the pavement in front of
the tobacconist’s. Rue de Sevres, the Vengeurs
have put to flight a whole regiment
of the line: the Vengeurs
have sworn to
resist to a man. They are fighting in the Champs
Elysees, around the Ministere de la Guerre, and on
the Boulevard Haussman. Dombrowski has been killed
at the Chateau de la Muette. The Versaillais
have attacked the Western Saint Lazare station, and
are marching towards the Pepiniere barracks.
“We have been sold, betrayed, and surprised;
but what does it matter, we will triumph. We want
no more chiefs or generals; behind the barricades
every man is a marshal!”
[Illustration: Place de la Concorde]
[Illustration: Poor Pradier’s Statues.
Lille suffers from her friends in fight—whilst
Strasbourg—in crape—mourns the
foe of France.]
Eight or ten men come flying down the Chaussee d’Antin;
they join, crying out, “The Versaillais have
taken the barracks; they are establishing a battery.
Delescluze has been captured at the Ministere de la
Guerre.”—“It is false!”
exclaims a vivandiere; “we have just seen him
at the Hotel de Ville.”—“Yes,
yes,” cry out other women, “he is at the
Hotel de Ville. He gave us a mitrailleuse.
Jules Valles embraced us, one after another; he is
a fine man, he is! He told us all was going well,
that the Versaillais should never have Paris, that
we shall surround them, and that it will all be over
in two days.”—“Vive la Commune!”
is the reply. The barricade is by this time finished.
They expect to be attacked every second. “You,”
said a sergeant, “you had better be off, if
you care for your life.” I do not wait for
the man to repeat his warning. I retrace my steps
up the Boulevard, which is less solitary than it was.
Several groups are standing at the doors. It
appears quite certain that the troops of the Assembly
have been pretty successful since they came in.