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.
best; frankly though, can you hope to bring over to your side that large body of citizens, whose confidence you had shaken, by massacring innocent people in the streets, and destroying their dwellings?  If this bombardment continues, if it increases in violence as it seems likely to do, you will become odious, and then, were you a hundred times in the right, you will still be in the wrong.  Therefore, it is most urgent that you give orders to the artillerymen of Courbevoie and Mont Valerien, to moderate their zeal, if you do not desire that Paris—­neutral Paris—­should make dangerous comparisons between the Assembly which flings us its shells, and the Commune which launches its decrees, and come to the conclusion that decrees are less dangerous missiles than cannon-balls.  As to the legality of the thing, we do not much care about that; we have seen so many governments, more or less legal, that we are somewhat blases on that point; and a few millions of votes have scarcely power enough to put us in good humour with shot and shell.  Certainly the Commune, such as the men at the Hotel de Ville have constituted it, is not a brilliant prospect.  It arrests priests, stops newspapers, wishes to incorporate us, in spite of ourselves, in the National Guard; robs us—­so we are told; lies inveterately—­that is incontestable, and altogether makes itself a great bore; but what does that matter?—­human nature is full of weaknesses, and prefers to be bored than bombarded.


During the Prussian siege the sailors of the French navy played an important part, their bravery, activity, and ingenuity being much esteemed by the Parisians.  Some, of them took the red side, and manned the gun-boats on the Seine.  Knowing the prestige attached to the brave marines, the Communist generals made use of the naval clothes found in the marine stores, and dressed therein some of the valliant heroes of Belleville and Montmartre.]


[Footnote 46:  The game of pitch-halfpenny, in, which, in France, a cork (bouchon), with halfpence on the top of it, is placed on the ground.]

[Footnote 47:  General Eudes was the Alcibiades, or rather the Saint Just, of the Commune.  He had the face and manners of a fashionable tenorino, the luxurious taste of the Athenian, the cruel inflexibility of Robespierre’s protege.  He was born at Bonay, in the arrondissement of Coutances.  His father was a tradesman of the Boulevard des Italians.  In his examination before the Council of War in August, 1870, Eudes called himself a shorthand writer and law student, though his real position was said to be that of a linendraper’s clerk.  His first notable exploit was the assassination of a fireman at La Villette.  For this crime he was brought before the First Council of War at Paris.  Here he informed the President, in somewhat unparliamentary

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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