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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.
expression on his face.  I ask him where he is going.—­“you do not know what has happened to me?” he cries.  I confess I do not.—­“The most extraordinary thing:  I am condemned to death!”—­“You!” I exclaim.—­“Yes! by the Commune!”—­“And wherefore?” I ask.—­“Because I write on the Figaro.”—­“Why, I never knew that!”—­“Oh! not very often; but last year I addressed a letter to the Editor, to explain to him that my new farce called ‘My Aunt’s Garters’ had nothing at all to do with ‘My Uncle’s Braces,’ which is by somebody else.  You understand that I did not want to change the title, which is rather good of its kind, so I wrote to the Figaro, and as my letter was inserted, and as the Commune condemns all the contributors....  You see ...!”—­“Perfectly!  Why, my dear fellow, you ought to have been off before.  Of course you go to Versailles?”—­“Why, yes.”—­“By the railway?” I cannot help having a joke at his expense.—­“Yes, of course.”—­“Well, if I were you, I would not, really; the engine might blow up, or you might run into a luggage train.  Such things do happen in the best of times, and I think the Commune capable of anything to get rid of so dangerous an adversary.”—­“You don’t mean to say,” says the poor little, man in a tremor, “that they would go to such lengths!  Well, at any rate I will travel by the road."[29]

A little farther up the Boulevard des Italiens I see another acquaintance.  “What, still in Paris?” I say, shaking hands with him.—­“I am off this evening,” he answers.—­“Are you condemned to death?”—­“No, but I shall be tried to-night.”—­“The devil!  Do you write on the Figaro!”—­“No, no, it is quite a long story.  Three years ago, I made the acquaintance of a charming blonde, who reciprocated my advances, and made herself highly agreeable.  In a word, I was smitten.  Unfortunately there was a husband in the case!”—­“The devil there was!”—­“He made inquiries, and found out who I was, and ...”—­“And invited you to mortal combat?”—­“Oh! no, he is a hosier.  But from that day forth he became my most bitter enemy.”—­“Very disagreeable of him, I am sure, but I do not see how the enmity of this retail dealer obliges you to quit Paris?”—­“Why, you see he has a cousin who is elected a member of the Commune.”—­“I understand your uneasiness; you fear the latent revenge of this unreasonable hosier.”—­“I am to be tried to-night, but it is not the fear of death which makes me fly.  It is worse than that.  Those Hotel de Ville people are capable of anything, and I hear they are going to make a law on divorce.  I know the malignity of the lady’s husband—­and I believe he is capable of getting a divorce, and forcing me to marry her!”

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