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Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
Had one of these committeemen been an assistant there, and did he owe his former master a grudge?  Ferraigu had a bottle of petroleum in his pocket; he was shot.  I am told that at the Theatre du Chatelet a court-martial has been established on the stage.  The Federals are brought up twenty at a time, judged, and condemned, they are then marched out on to the Place, with their hands tied behind their backs.  A mitrailleuse, standing a hundred yards off, mows them down like grass.  It is an expeditious contrivance.  In a yard, in the Rue Saint-Denis, is a stable filled with corpses; I have myself seen them there.  The Porte Saint-Martin Theatre is quite destroyed, a guard is stationed near.  This morning three petroleuses were shot there, the bodies are still lying on the boulevards.  I have just seen two insurgents walking between four soldiers; one an old man, the other almost a lad.  I heard the elder one say to the younger, “All our misery comes of our having arms.  In ’48 we had none, so we took those of the soldiers, and then they were without.  Now there is more killing and less business done.”  A few minutes after the little procession passed up the Rue d’Hauteville, and I heard the reports of two rifles.  Oh! what horrible days!  I feel a prey to the deepest dejection—­if it were but over!  The town looks wretched; even where the fighting is not going on, the houses are closed and the streets deserted, except here and there:  a lonely passenger hurrying along, or a wretched prisoner marching between four soldiers.  It is all very dreadful!  In the streets where the battle is still raging the shutters are not closed; as soon as the soldiers get into a new quarter of the town they cry out, “Shut the windows, open the shutters.”  The reason for this is, that the open barred outer shutters, or persiennes, form a capital screen through which aim maybe taken with a gun.  As for me, in the midst of this horror and sadness, I feel like a madman in the night.  The rumour that the hostages have been shot at Mazas gains ground.[111] I am told that the Archbishop, the Abbe Degueiry, and Chaudey have all been assassinated.  It was Bigault who ordered these executions.  He has since been taken, and fell, crying “Down with murderers!” This reminds one of Dumollard, the assassin, calling the jurymen “Canaille!” Milliere is said to have been shot in the Place du Pantheon.  When they told him to kneel down he drew himself up to his full height, his eyes flashing defiance.  Strange caprice of nature, to make these scoundrels brave.

[Illustration:  THEATRE PORTE ST MARTIN.

SENSATION DRAMA OUT SENSATIONED.]

[Illustration]

[Illustration:  CELL OF THE ARCHBISHOP IN THE PRISON OF LA ROQUETTE.]

[Illustration:  COURT-YARD OF PRISON OF LA ROQUETTE, WHERE THE HOSTAGES WERE SHOT.]

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