Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 483 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.

Next appears an immense funeral car draped with black, and drawn by four black horses; the gigantic pall is of velvet, with silver stars.  At the corners float four great trophies of red flags.

Then another car of the same sort appears, another, and again another; in each of them there are thirty-two corpses.  Behind the cars march the members of the Commune bare-headed, and wearing red scarfs.  Alas! always that sanguinary colour!  Last of all, between a double row of National Guards, follows a vast multitude of men, women, and children, all sorrowful and dejected, many in tears.

The procession proceeds along the boulevards; it started from the Beaujon hospital, and is going to the Pere Lachaise:  as it passes all heads are bared.  One man alone up at a window remains covered; the crowd hiss him.  Shame on him who will not bow before those who died for a cause, whether it may be a worthy one or not!  On looking on those corpses, do not remember the evil they caused when they were alive.  They are dead now, and have become sacred.  But remember, oh! remember, that it is to the crimes of a few that are due the deaths of so many, and let us help to hasten the hour when the criminals, whoever they be, and to whatever party they belong; will feel the weight of the inexorable Nemesis of human destiny.


We are to have no more letters!  As in the time of the siege, if you desire to obtain news of your mother or your wife, you have no other alternative than to consult a somnambulist or a fortune-teller.  This is not at all a complicated operation; of course you possess a ribbon or a look of hair, something appertaining to the absent person.  This suffices to keep you informed, hour by hour, of what she says, does, and thinks.  Perhaps you would prefer the ordinary course of things, and that you would rather receive a letter than consult a charlatan.  But if so, I would advise you not to say so.  They would accuse you of being, what you are doubtless, a reactionist, and you might get into trouble.

Yesterday a young man was walking in the Champs Elysees, a Guard National stalked up to him and asked him for a light for his cigar.—­“I am really very sorry,” said he, “but my cigar has gone out.”—­“Oh! your cigar is out, is it?  Oh! so you blush to render a service to a patriot!  Reactionist that you are!” Thereupon a torrent of invectives was poured on the poor young man, who was quickly surrounded by a crowd of eager faces:  One charming young person exclaimed, “Why, he is a disguised sergent-de-ville!”—­“Yes, yes; he is a gendarme!” is echoed on all sides.—­“I think he looks like Ernest Picard,” says one.—­“Throw him into the Seine,” says another.—­“To the Seine, to the Seine, the spy!” and the unfortunate victim is pushed, jostled, and hurried off.  A dense crowd of National Guards, women, and children had by this time collected, all crying out at the

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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