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.
replace for a time the long course of prosperity that has been enjoyed by this very small class of individuals, than to see the last articles of furniture of five hundred thousand suffering wretches, put up to auction and knocked down for one-twentieth part of their value.  There must, however, be some way of conciliating the interests of both landlords and tenants.  Would it be sufficient to accord delays to the latter, and force the former to wait a certain time for their money?  I think not; if I were allowed three years to pay off my three quarters’ rent, I should still be embarrassed.  The tool of the artisan is not like the peasant’s plot of ground, which is more productive after having lain fallow.  During the last few sad months, when I had no work to do, I was obliged to draw upon the future, a future heavily mortgaged; when I shall perhaps scarcely be able to meet the expenses of each day, will there be any possibility of acquitting the debts of the past?  You may sell my furniture if the law gives you the right to do so, but I shall not pay!

The only possible solution, believe me, is that in favour of the tenants, only it ought not to be applied in so wholesale a fashion.  Inquiries should be instituted, and to those tenants from whom the war has taken away all possibility of payment an unconditional receipt should be delivered:  to those who have suffered less, a proportionate reduction should be allowed; but those whom the invasion has not ruined or seriously impoverished—­and the number is large, among provision merchants, cafe keepers, and private residents—­let those pay directly.  In this way the landlords will lose lees than one may imagine, because it will be the lowest rents that will be forfeited.  The decree of the Commune is based on a right principle, but too generally applied.

The new Government—­for it is a Government—­does not confine itself to decrees.  It has to install itself in its new quarters and make arrangements.[27]

In a few hours it has organized more than ten committees—­the executive, the financial, the public-service, the educational, the military, the legal, and the committee of public safety.  No end of committees and committeemen:  it is to be hoped that the business will be promptly despatched!


[Footnote 27:  Organisation of the Commissions on the 31st of March: 

    Executive Commission.—­Citizens Eudes, Tridou, Vaillant,
    Lefrancais, Duval, Felix Pyat, Bergeret.

    Commission of Finance.—­Victor Clement, Varlin, Jourde, Beslay,

    Military Commission.—­General E. Duval, General Bergeret, General
    Eudes, Colonel Chardon, Colonel Flourens, Colonel Pindly, Commandant

    Commission of Public Justice.—­Ranc, Protot, Leo Meillet,
    Vermorel, Ledroit, Babick.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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