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.
The Federals, surprised by the suddenness and number of the attacks, at first lost much ground.  But the resistance is being organised.  They hold their own at the Place de la Concorde; at the Place Vendome they are very numerous, and have at their disposal a formidable amount of artillery.  Montmartre is shelling furiously.  I turn up the Rue Vivienne, where I meet several people in search of news.  They tell me that “two battalions of the Faubourg Saint Germain have just gone over to the troops, with their muskets reversed.  A captain of the National Guard has been the first in that quarter to unfurl the tricolour.  A shell had set fire to the Ministere des Finances, but the firemen in the midst of the shot and shell had managed to put it out.”  At the Place de la Bourse I find three of four hundred Federals constructing a barricade; having gained some experience, I hurry on to escape the trouble of being pressed into the service.  The surrounding streets are almost deserted; Paris is in hiding.  The cannonading is becoming more furious every minute.  I cross the garden of the Palais Royal.  There I see a few loiterers, a knot of children are skipping.  The Rue de Rivoli is all alive with people.  A battalion marches hurriedly from the Hotel de Ville; at the head rides a young man mounted on a superb black horse.  It is Dombrowski.  I had been told he was dead.  He is very pale.  “A fragment of shell hit him in the chest at La Muette, but did not enter the flesh,” says some one.  The men sing the Chant du Depart as they march along.  I see a few women carrying arms among the insurgents; one who walks just behind Dombrowski has a child in her arms.  Looking in the direction of the Place de la Concorde, I see smoke arising from the terrace of the Tuileries.  In front of the Ministere des Finances, this side of the barricade is a black mass of something; I think I can distinguish wheels; it is either cannon or engines.  All around is confusion.  I can hear the musketry distinctly, but the noise seems to come from the Champs Elysees; they are not firing at the barricade.  I turn and walk towards the Hotel de Ville:  mounted expresses ride constantly past; companies of Federals are here and there lying on the ground around their piled muskets.  By the Rue du Louvre there is another barricade; a little further there is another and then another.[100] Close to Saint Germain l’Auxerrois women are busy pulling down the wooden seats; children are rolling empty wine-barrels and carrying sacks of earth.  As one nears the Hotel de Ville the barricades are higher, better armed, and better manned.  All the Nationals here look ardent, resolved, and fierce.  They say little, and do not shout at all.  Two guards, seated on the pavement, are playing at picquet.  I push on, and am allowed to pass.  The barricades are terminated here, and I have nothing to fear from paving-stones.  Looking up, I see that all the windows are closed, with the exception of one, where
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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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