Do not say, “We have not done this; it is the people who are working out their own revenge, and we stand for nothing, we are as gentle as lambs. Ranvier would not hurt a fly.” Away with all this pretence; were you not on the balcony of the Hotel de Ville with your blood-red scarfs, uttering your commands? The populace, deceived and blinded, have but obeyed you. Do not all the circumstances leading to this stupendous catastrophe, reveal an elaborate and digested plan, determined long beforehand? Did we not read this notice, daily, in your official journal: “All those who have petroleum are requested immediately to declare the quantities in their possession?” Was there not a quick-match extinguished in the quarter of the Invalides that was to have communicated the flames to barrels of powder placed, long ago, in the great sewers? Yes, what has taken place you had decreed. If the disasters have not been more terrible, is it not, that, surprised at the sudden arrival of the troops, you had not the time to finish your preparations? Yes, you are the criminals! It was Eudes who gave out the petroleum to the Petroleuses; it was Felix Pyat who laid the train of gunpowder. It is Tridon who said: “Take care that the phials be not uncorked.” The public incendiary committee has well performed its duty! Wicked criminals! Execrable madmen! May Heaven bear me witness that my heart abhors revenge, is always inclined to pardon—but for these! What chastisement can be great enough to appease the wrath of justice! What vow of repentance could be offered up fervent enough to be received in Heaven, even at the moment when, struck down by balls, they offer their lives as expiation? Misguided humanity!
[Illustration: MINISTERE DES FINANCES
RUE DE RIVOLI
POLICE OF PARIS
Au Citoyen Lucas,
Faites de suite flamber Finances et venez nous retrouver. 4 prairial, an 79.
[Footnote 106: This Milliere, formerly an advocate and writer on the Marseillaise, was a native of St-Etienne, and fifty-four years of age, a cool speaker, and advocate of advanced ideas, that got him several imprisonments. In March 1870 he was taken from the prison of Sainte-Pelagie to give evidence at Tours against Pierre Bonaparte for the murder of Victor Noir, where his lucid depositions told greatly against the prisoner. When regaining his liberty he became more revolutionary than ever, writing during the siege in the Patrie en Danger. At the peace he became one of the members for Paris, and sat at Bordeaux and Versailles, agitating social subjects and the law of lodgers. About the 10th of April he took part with the Commune, and at the entrance of the troops was taken at the Luxembourg after having fired six rounds from a revolver, was shot on the steps of the Pantheon, and died as he opened his shirt front, shouting, “Vive la Republique! Vive la Liberte! Vive l’Humanite!”]