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.
three doors are opened by three enormous false keys, the work of a member of the Commune, locksmith by trade, who has remained faithful to the cause of M. Lullier; and last, but not least, the sentinels, plunged in ecstasy at the sight of the glorious fugitive, present arms.  What a scene for a melodrama!  The most interesting figure, however, in my opinion, is the secretary.  I have the greatest respect for that secretary, who never dreamt one instant of abandoning his master, and I can see him, while Lullier is accomplishing his miracles, calmly writing in the midst of the danger, with a firm hand, the faithful account of these immortal adventures.  “I have now,” continues the ex-prisoner of the ex-Prefecture, “two hundred determined men, who serve me as a guard, and three excellent revolvers, loaded, in my pocket.  I had foolishly remained too long without arms and without friends; now I am resolved to blow the brains out of the first man who tries to arrest me!” I heard a bourgeois who had read this exclaim, that he wished to Heaven each member of the Commune would come to arrest him in turn.  Oh! blood-thirsty bourgeois!  Then Lullier finishes up by declaring that he scorns to hide, but continues to show himself freely and openly on the boulevards.  What a proud, what a noble nature!  Oh, ye marionettes, ye fantoccini!  Yet let me not be unjust; I will try and believe in you once more, in spite of armed requisitions, in spite of arrests, of robberies—­for there have been robberies in spite of your decrees—­I will try and believe that you have not only taken possession of the Hotel de Ville for the purpose of setting up a Punch and Judy show and playing your sinister farces; I want to believe that you had and still have honourable and avowable intentions; that it is only your natural inexperience joined to the difficulties of the moment which is the cause of your faults and your follies; I want to believe that there are among you, even after the successive dismissal of so many of your members, some honourable men who deplore the evil that has been done, who wish to repair it, and who will try to make us forget the crimes and forfeits of the civil war by the benefits which revolution sometimes brings in its train.  Yes, I am naturally full of hope, and will try and believe this; but, honestly, what hope can you have of inspiring confidence in those who are not prejudiced as I am in favour of innovators, when they see you arrest each other in this fashion, and know that you have among you such generals as Bergeret, such honest citizens as Assy, and such escaped lunatics as Lullier?

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 42:  Assy, who first became publicly known as the leader of the strike at Messrs. Schneider’s works at Creuzot, was an engineer.  He was born in 1840.  He became a member of the International Society, and was selected in 1870 to organise the Creuzot strike.  Being threatened with arrest, he went to Paris, but did not remain there long, and on the 21st of March in that year, a few days after his return to Creuzot, the strike of the miners commenced.  Assy was, finally, arrested and tried before the Correctional Tribune of Paris as chief and founder of a secret society, but he was acquitted of that charge.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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