The people are forming barricades in various parts of the town, and some of our servants, who have been out to collect intelligence, assert that no hinderance seems to be opposed to this mischievous measure. Where are the civil authorities during all this commotion? is the natural question that suggests itself to one who knows how in London, under any disturbance, they would oppose themselves to check such proceedings. And why, if the civil authorities are too weak to resist the torrent, is there not a sufficient military force to stem it? is the next question that presents itself. No one seems to know where the blame lies, but every one foretells a dangerous result from this unaccountable state of things.
The promulgation of the ordonnances which had led to this tumult, ought to have been accompanied by a display of force sufficient to maintain their enactment. If a government will try the hazardous measure of a coup d’etat, it ought to be well prepared to meet the probable consequences.
I feel so little disposed to sleep that, instead of seeking my pillow, I occupy myself by noting down my impressions, occasionally looking out of my window to catch the sounds that break the stillness of the night. The heat is intense, but the sky is as pure and cloudless as if it canopied a calm and slumbering multitude instead of a waking and turbulent one, filled with the most angry emotions.
Comtes d’Orsay and Valeski have just returned, and state that they have been as far as the Place de la Bourse, where they saw a scene of the utmost confusion. The populace had assembled there in great force, armed with every kind of weapon they could obtain, their arms bared up to the shoulders, and the whole of them presenting the most wild and motley appearance imaginable. They had set fire to the Corps-de-Garde, the flames of which spread a light around as bright as day. Strange to say, the populace evinced a perfect good-humour, and more resembled a mob met to celebrate a saturnalia than to subvert a monarchy.
Comtes d’O—— and V—— were recognised by some of the people, who seemed pleased at seeing them. On returning, they passed through the Rue de Richelieu, which they found in total darkness, all the lanterns having been broken. Comte d’O—— luckily found his cabriolet in the Rue de Menars, where he had left it, not being able to take it farther, owing to a portion of the pavement being broken up, and had only time to reach the club-house in the Rue de Gramont, in the court of which he placed his cab, before the populace rushed by, destroying every thing they met, among which was the carriage of the Prince Tufiakin. A considerable number of the members of the club were assembled, a few of whom witnessed, from the balcony on the Boulevart, the burning of the chairs placed there, the breaking of the lamps, and other depredations.
Some gentlemen went to the battalion of the guards stationed in front of the Prince Polignac’s, and suggested to the officer in command the propriety of sending a few men to arrest the progress of the insurgents, a thing then easily to be accomplished; but the officer, having no orders, declined to take any step, and the populace continued their depredations within three hundred yards of so imposing a force as a battalion of the guards!