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.
Therefore you have not only committed a crime in so doing, but made a great mistake as well.  No one can meddle with the liberty of the press with impunity.  The persecution of the press always brings with it its own punishment.  Look back to the many years of the Imperial Government, to the few months of the Government of the 4th of September; of all the crimes perpetrated by the former, of all the errors committed by the latter, those crimes and errors which most particularly hastened the end were those that were levelled against the freedom of the press.  The most valable excuse in favour of the revolt of the 18th of March was certainly the suppression of several journals by General Vinoy, with the consent of M. Thiers.  How can you be so rash as to make the very same mistakes which have been the destruction of former governments, and also so unmindful of your own honour as to commit the very crime which reduces you to the same level as your enemies?

Ah I truly those who were ready to judge you with patience and impartiality, those who at first were perhaps, on the whole, favourable to you, because it seemed to them that you represented some of the legitimate aspirations of Paris, even those, seeing you act like thoughtless tyrants, will feel it quite impossible to blind themselves any longer to your faults; those who having wished to esteem you for the sake of liberty, will for the sake of liberty, be obliged to despise you!

XXXVIII.

It cannot be true.  I will not believe it.  It cannot be possible that Paris is to be again bombarded:  and by whom?  By Frenchmen!  In spite of the danger I was told there was to be apprehended near Neuilly, I wished to see with my own eyes what was going on.  So this morning, the 8th April, I went to the Champs Elysees.

Until I reached the Rond Point there was nothing unusual, only perhaps fewer people to be seen about.  The omnibus does not go any farther than the corner of the Avenue Marigny.  An Englishwoman, whom the conductor had just helped down, came up to me and asked me the way; she wanted to go to the Rue Galilee, but did not like to walk up the wide avenue.  I pointed out to her a side-street, and continued my way.  A little higher up a line of National Guards, standing about ten feet distant from each other, had orders to stop passengers from going any farther.  “You can’t pass.”—­“But ...,” and I stopped to think of some plausible motive to justify my curiosity.  However, I was saved the trouble.  Although I had only uttered a hesitating “but,” the sentinel seemed to consider that sufficient, and replied, “Oh, very well, you can pass.”

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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