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.
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.[40]]

FOOTNOTES: 

[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 of charcoal.]

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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