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.
top of their voices, and without any idea of what was the matter, “Shoot him! throw him the water! hang him!” Superstitious individuals leaned towards hanging for the sake of the cords.  As to the original cause of the commotion, no one seemed to remember anything about it.  I overheard one man say,—­“It appears that they arrested him just as he was setting fire to the ambulance at the Palais de l’Industrie!” As to what became of the young man I do not know; I trust he was neither hanged, shot, nor drowned.  At any rate, let it be a lesson to others not to get embroiled in dangerous adventures of that kind; and whatever your anxiety may be concerning your family or affairs, you would do well to hide it carefully under a smiling exterior.  Suppose you meet one of your friends, who says to you, “My dear fellow, how anxious you must be?” You must answer, “Anxious! oh, not at all.  On the contrary, I never felt more free of care in my life.”—­“Oh!  I thought your aunt was ill, and as you do not receive any letters ...”—­“Not receive any letters!” you continue in the same strain, “who told you that?  Not receive any letters! why, I have more than I want! what an idea!”—­“Then you must be strangely favoured,” says your mystified companion; “for since Citizen Theiz[45] has taken possession of the Post-office, the communications are stopped.”—­“Don’t believe it.  It is a rumour set on float by the reactionists.  Why, those terrible reactionists go so far as to pretend that the Commune has imprisoned the priests, arrested journalists, and stopped the newspapers!”—­“Well, you may say what you please, but a proclamation of Citizen Theiz announces that communication with the departments will not be re-established for some days.”—­“Nothing but modesty on his part; he has only to show himself at the Post-office, and the service, which has been put out of order by those wretched reactionists, will be immediately reorganised.”—­“So I am to understand that you have news every day of your aunt.”—­“Of course.”—­“Well, I am delighted to hear it; for one of my friends, who arrived from Marseilles this morning, told me that your aunt was dead.”—­“Dead, good heavens! what do you mean?  Now I think of it, I did not get a letter this morning.”—­“There you see!”

You must not, however, allow your sorrow to carry you away, at the risk of your personal safety, but answer readily.  “I see it all, for a wonder I did not get a letter this morning; Citizen Theiz is a kind-hearted man, and did not want to make me unhappy.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 45:  A working chaser, and one of the most active and influential members of the International Society.  He was among the accused who were tried in July, 1870, and was condemned to two years’ imprisonment.  On the formation of the Central Committee, he was appointed Vice-President.  It was Theiz who saved the General Post Office, Rue J.J.  Rousseau, from the total destruction decreed by other members of the Commune.  His fate is not well known.  Director of the General Post-office in the Rue J.J.  Rousseau, he is said to have saved that important establishment, doomed to destruction by the Commune.  Theiz escaped from Paris to London on the 29th of July; he took an active part in the struggle to the last, and was close to Vermorel when wounded at the barricade of the Chateau d’Eau.]

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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