So, under one pretext and another, almost everyone is going away. As for me, I am like a hardened Parisian—my boots have a rooted dislike to any other pavement than that of the boulevards. Who is right, I, or those who are rushing off? Is there really danger here for those who are not ardently attached to the principles of the Commune? I try to believe not. True there have been arrests—domiciliary visits and other illegal and tyrannical acts—but I do not think it can last. May we not hope that the dangerous element in the Commune will soon be neutralised by the more intelligent portion of the Municipal Council, if, indeed, that portion exists? I cannot believe that a revolution, accomplished by one-third of the population of Paris, and tolerated by another (the remaining fraction having taken flight), can be entirely devoid of the spirit of generosity and usefulness, capable only of appropriating the funds of others, and unjustly imprisoning innocent citizens. Besides, even if the Commune, instead of trying to make us forget the bloody deeds with which it preceded its establishment, or seeking to repair the faults of which it has been guilty, on the contrary continues to commit such excesses, thus harrying to its ruin a city which has already suffered so much, even then I will not leave it. I will cling to it to the last, as a sailor who has grown to love the ship that has borne him gallantly in so many voyages, clings to the wreck of his favourite, and refuses to be saved without it.
[Footnote 29: The following is a document which completely justifies these apprehensions:—
“30th March—The Commune of Paris—Orders from the Central Committee to the officer in command, of the battalion on guard at the station of Ouest-Ceinture.
“To stop all trains proceeding in the direction of Paris at the Ouest-Ceinture station.
“To place an energetic man night and day at this post. This man is to mount guard with a beam, which he is to throw across the rails at the arrival of each train, so as to cause it to run off the rails, if the engine-driver refuses to stop.
“HENRI, Chief of a Legion.”]
[Footnote 30: Vexatious measures accumulated:
The pacific M. Glais-Bizoin was arrested in a tobacconist’s shop, where he was, doubtless, lighting a reactionary cigar. He fancied at first that there had been a mistake, but he was taken before the Committee, which caused him, however, to be liberated.
M. Maris Proth, a writer in Charivari, which is certainly not a royalist journal, was arrested on the following day, and detained for a longer time.
On the same day a search was made at the house of the publisher Lacroix.]
Garibaldi is expected. Gambon has gone to Corsica to meet him. He is to be placed at the head of the National Guard. It is devoutly to be hoped that he will not come.