these two, they were sometimes opposed. Have you
never seen two young artists in a studio performing
the old trick, one making a speech, while the other,
with his head and body hidden in the folds of a cloak,
stretches forth his arms and executes the most extravagant
gestures? Rochefort and Flourens performed this
farce in politics, the former talking, the latter
gesticulating; but on the day of the burial of Victor
Noir they went different ways. On that day Rochefort,
to do him justice, saved a large multitude of men
from terrible danger. Flourens, always the same,
wished the body to be carried to Pere Lachaise; on
the road there must have been a collision; that was
what he desired, but he was defeated. The tongue
prevailed, a hundred thousand cries of vengeance filled
the air, but they were only cries, and no mischief
was done, except to a few graves in the Neuilly cemetery.
Flourens awaited a better occasion, but by no means
passively. He was a man of barricades; he did
not seem to think that paving-stones were made to walk
on, he only cared to see them heaped up across a street
for the protection of armed patriots. Although
he always wore the dress of a gentleman, he was not
one of those black-coated individuals who incite the
men to rebellion and keep out of the way while the
fight is going on; he helped to defend the barricades
he had ordered to be thrown up. Wherever there
was a chance of being killed, he was sure to be; and
in the midst of all this he never lost his placid
expression, nor the politeness of a gentleman, nor
the look of extreme youth which beamed from his eyes,
and must have been on his face even when he fell under
the cruel blows of the gendarmes. Now he is dead.
He is judged harshly, he is condemned, but he cannot
be hated. He was a madman, but he was a hero.
The conduct of Flourens at the Hotel de Ville in the
night of the 31st October is hardly in keeping with
so favourable a view. The French forgive and
forget with facility—let that pass.
[Illustration: COLONEL FLOURENS.]
[Footnote 38: Prison of Detention.]
[Footnote 39: The following is still more naive:—A
man takes a return-ticket for the environs, and sometimes
finds a guard silly enough to allow him to pass on
the supposition that such a ticket was sufficient
proof of his intention of returning to Paris.
Others get into the waiting-room without tickets,
under the pretext of speaking to some one there.
M. Bergerat, a poet, passed the barrier in a cart-load