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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.

As to Citizen Lullier,[43] who was one of the first victims of “fraternity,” he is imprisoned because he did not succeed in capturing Mont Valerien.  I think with horror that if I had been in the place of Citizen Lullier I should most certainly have had to undergo the same punishment, for how in the devil’s name I could have managed to transport that impregnable fortress on to the council-table at the Hotel de Ville I have not the least conception.  It is as bad as if you were in Switzerland, and asked the first child you met to go and fetch Mont Blanc; of course the child would go and have a game of marbles with his companions, and come back without the smallest trace of Mont Blanc in his arms, thereupon you would whip the youngster within an ace of his life.  However, it appears that M. Lullier objected to being whipped, or rather imprisoned, and being as full of cunning as of valour he managed to slip out of his place of confinement, without drum or trumpet.  “Dear Rochefort,” he writes to the editor of Le Mot d’Ordre, “you know of what infamous machinations I have been the victim.”  I suppose M. Rochefort does, but I am obliged to confess that I have not the least idea, unless indeed M. Lullier means by “machinations” the order that was given him to bring Mont Valerien in his waistcoat pocket.  “Imprisoned without motive,” he continues, “by order of the Central Committee, I was thrown ...” (Oh! you should not have thrown M. Lullier) “into the Prefecture of Police,” (the ex-Prefecture, if you please), “and put in solitary confinement at the very moment when Paris was in want of men of action and military experience.”  Oh, fie! men of the Commune, you had at your disposal a man of action—­who does not know the noble actions of Citizen Lullier?  A man of military experience—­who does not know what profound experience M. Lullier has acquired in his numerous campaigns—­and yet you put him, or rather throw him, into the Prefecture!  This is bad, very bad.  “The Prefecture is transformed into a state prison, and the most rigorous discipline is maintained.”  It appears then that the Communal prison is anything but a fool’s paradise.  “However, in spite of everything, I and my secretary managed to make our escape calmly ...”—­the calm of the high-minded—­“from a cell where I was strictly guarded, to pass two court-yards and a dozen or two of soldiers, to have three doors opened for me while the sentinels presented arms as I passed ...”  What a wonderful escape:  the adventures of Baron Munchausen are nothing to it.  What a fine chapter poor old Dumas might have made of it.  The door of the cell is passed under the very nose of the jailer, who has doubtless been drugged with some narcotic, of which M. Lullier has learnt the secret during his travels in the East Indies; the twelve guards in the court-yards are seized one after another by the throat, thrown on the ground, bound with cords, and prevented from giving the alarm by twelve gags thrust into their twelve mouths; the

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