inhabitants of Montmartre and of Belleville have
taken their guns and intend to keep them.”
But then it would not have the air of a proclamation. Extraordinary fact! you may overturn an entire country, but you must not touch the official style; it is immutable. One may triumph over empires, but must respect red tape. Let us read on:
“Tranquil, calm in our
force, we have awaited without fear as
without provocation, the shameless madmen who menaced the Republic.”
The Republic? Again an improper expression, it was the cannons they wanted to take.
“This time, our brothers of the army....”
Ah! your brothers of the army! They are your brothers because they fraternised and threw up the butt-ends of their muskets. In your family you acknowledge no brotherhood except those who hold the same opinion.
“This time, our brothers
of the army would not raise their hands
against the holy ark of our liberty.”
Oh! So the guns are a holy ark now. A very holy metaphor, for people not greatly enamoured of churchmen.
“Thanks for all; and
let Paris and France unite to build a Republic,
and accept with acclamations the only government that will close for
ever the flood gates of invasion and civil war.
“The state of siege is raised.
“The people of Paris
are convoked in their sections to elect a
Commune. The safety of all citizens is assured by the body of the
“Hotel de Ville of Paris, the 19th of March, 1871.
“The Central Committee of the National Guard:
“Assy, Billioray, Ferrat,
Babick, Ed. Moreau, Oh. Dupont, Varlin,
Boursier, Mortier, Gouhier, Lavallette, Fr. Jourde, Rousseau, Ch.
Lullier, Blanchet, G. Gaillard, Barroud, H. Geresme, Fabre,
There is one reproach that the new Parisian Revolution could not be charged with; it is that of having placed at the head men of proved incapacity. Those who dared to assert that each of the persons named above had not more genius than would be required to regenerate two or three nations would greatly astonish me. In a drama of Victor Hugo it is said a parentless child ought to be deemed a gentleman; thus an obscure individual ought, on the same terms, to be considered a man of genius.
But on the walls of the Rue Drouot many more proclamations were to be seen.
“LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRATERNITE,
“To the National Guards of Paris.
had entrusted us with the charge of organising the
defence of Paris and of your rights.”