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.
“We were called to arms, what could we do but obey?  They give us our pay, and so here we are.”  Were they sincere in this?  Did they come with the hope of joining us, or to spy into what we were doing?  Others, however, either more frank or less clever at deception, declared that they wanted the Commune, and would have, it at any price.  This, however, was by far the smaller number; the majority of the insurgents are of the opinion of these men who joined in conversation with us.  It is quite possible to believe that some understanding might be brought about.  A fact has just been related to me which confirms me in my opinion.

The Comptoir d’Escompte was occupied by a post of Federals.  A company of Government Guards from the 9th Arrondissement marched up to take possession.  “You have been here for two whole days; go home and rest,” said the officer in command of the latter.  But the Federals obstinately refused to be sent away.  The officer insisted.—­“We are in our own quarter, you are from Belleville; it is our place to guard the Comptoir d’Escompte.”—­It was all of no avail until the officer said:  “Go away directly, and we will give you a hundred francs.”—­They did not wait for the offer to be repeated, but accepted the money and marched off.  Now men who are willing to sell their consciences at two francs a head—­for there were fifty of them—­cannot have any very formidable political opinions.  I forgot to say that this post of Federals was commanded by the Italian Tibaldi, the same who had been arrested in one of the passages of the Hotel de Ville during the riots of the 31st October.


The news is excellent, in a few hours perhaps it will be better.  We rejoice beforehand at the almost certain prospect of pacification.  The sun shines, the boulevards are crowded with people, the faces of the women especially are beaming.  What is the cause of all this joy?  A placard has just been posted up on all the walls in the city.  I copy it with pleasure.

“DEAR FELLOW CITIZENS,—­I hasten to announce to you that together with the Deputies of the Seine and the Mayors of Paris, we have obtained from the Government of the National Assembly:  1st.  The complete recognition of your municipal franchises; 2nd.  The right of electing all the officers of the National Guard, as well as the general-in-chief; 3rd.  Modifications of the law on bills; 4th.  A project for a law on rents, favourable to tenants paying 1,200 francs a year, or less than that sum.  Until you have confirmed my nomination, or until you name some one else in my stead, I shall continue to remain at my post to watch over the execution of these conciliatory measures that we have succeeded in obtaining, and to contribute to the well-being of the Republic!

    “The Vice-Admiral and

    Provisional Commander,


    Paris, 23rd March.”

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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