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John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
that we passed before a guard-house the men presented arms.  On the Place St. Sulpice a battalion drew up to allow us to pass.  We afterwards went along the Boulevard St. Michel and the Boulevard de Strasbourg.  During this part of our course we were joined by a large group, preceded by a tricolor flag with the inscription, ‘Vive l’Assemblee Nationale!’ From this time the two flags floated side by side at the head of the augmented procession.  As we were about to turn into the Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle, a man dressed in a paletot and wearing a grey felt hat, threw himself upon me as I was carrying the standard of the Friends of Order, but a negro, dressed in the uniform of the National Guard, who marched beside me, kept the man off, who thereupon turned against the person that carried the other flag, wrested it from him, and with extraordinary strength broke the staff, which was a strong one, over his knee.  This incident caused some confusion; the man was seized and carried off, and I fear he was rather maltreated.  We then made our way back to the boulevards.  At our appearance the enthusiasm of the passers-by was immense; and certainly, without exaggeration, we numbered between three and four thousand persons by the time we got back to the front of the New Opera-house, where we were to separate.  A Zouave climbed up a tree in front of the Grand Hotel, and fixed our flag on the highest branch.  It was arranged that we should meet on the following day, in uniform but without arms, at the same place.”

This account differs a little from those given in the newspapers, but I have the best reason to believe it absolutely true.

What will be the effect of this manifestation?  Will those who desire “Order through Liberty and in Liberty” succeed in meeting in sufficiently large numbers to bring to reason, without having recourse to force, the numerous partizans of the Commune?  Whatever may happen, this manifestation proves that Paris has no intention of being disposed of without her own consent.  In connection with the action of the deputies in the National Assembly, it cannot have been ineffective in aiding the coming pacification.

Many hopeful promises of concord and quiet circulate this evening amongst the less violent groups.

IX.

What is this fusillade?  Against whom is it directed?  Against the Prussians?  No!  Against Frenchmen, against passers-by, against those who cry “Vive la Republique et vive l’Ordre.”  Men are falling dead or wounded, women flying, shops closing, amid the whistling of the bullets,—­all Paris terrified.  This is what I have just seen or heard.  We are done for then at last.  We shall see the barricades thrown up in our streets; we shall meet the horrid litters, from which hang hands black with powder; every woman will weep in the evening when her husband is late in returning home, and all mothers will be seized with terror.  France, alas!  France, herself a weeping mother, will fall by the hands of her own children.

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