Though the surrender of the emperor and his army at Sedan took place on September 2, nothing whatever was known of it by the Parisian public until the evening of September 4, when a reporter arrived at the office of the "Gaulois" with a Belgian newspaper in his pocket. The "Gaulois" dared not be the first sheet to publish the news of such a disaster; but despatches had already reached the Government, and by degrees rumors of what had happened crept through the streets of the capital. No one knew any details of the calamity, but every one soon understood that something terrible had occurred.

The Legislative Assembly held a midnight session; but nothing was determined on until the morning, when the Empire was voted out, and a Republic voted in.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Every Parisian was in the street, and, wonderful to say, all faces seemed to express satisfaction. The loss of an army, the surrender of the emperor, the national disgrace, the prospect of a siege, the advance of the Prussians, - were things apparently forgotten. Paris was charmed to have got rid of so unlucky a ruler, - the emperor for whom more than seven millions of Frenchmen had passed a vote of confidence a few months before. He seemed to have no longer a single friend, or rather he had one: in the Assembly an elderly deputy stood up in his place and boldly said that he had taken an oath to be faithful to the Emperor Napoleon, and did not think himself absolved from it by his misfortunes.

It was almost in a moment, almost without a breath of opposition, that on the morning of Sept. 5, 1870, the Empire was voted at an end, and a Republic put in its place. The duty of governing was at once confided to seven men, called the Committee of Defence. Of these, Arago, Cremieux, and Gamier-Pages had been members of the Provisional Government in 1848, while Leon Gambetta, Jules Favre, Jules Ferry, and Jules Simon afterwards distinguished themselves. Rochefort, the insurrectionist, made but one step from prison to the council board, and was admitted among the new rulers. But the two chief men in the Committee of Defence were Jules Favre and Gambetta.

Gambetta, who before that time had been little known, was from the South of France, and of Italian origin. He was a man full of enthusiasm, vehement, irascible, and impulsive. The day came when these qualities, tempered and refined, did good service to France, when he also proved himself one of those great men in history who are capable of supreme self-sacrifice. At present he was untried.

Jules Favre was respected for his unstained reputation and perfect integrity, his disinterestedness and civic virtues, as also for his fluency of speech. In person he was a small, thin man, with a head that was said to resemble the popular portraits of General Jackson.

General Jules Trochu, who was confirmed as military commander of Paris, had written a book, previous to the war, regarding the inefficiency of the French army; he had been therefore no favorite with the emperor. His chief defect, it was said, was that he talked so well that he was fond of talking, and too readily admitted many to his confidence.

The Council of Regency had in the night melted away. A mob was surging round the Tuileries. Where had the empress-regent fled?

When disasters had followed fast upon one another, the empress had in her bewilderment found it hard to realize that the end of the empire was at hand. Bazaine was the man whom she relied on. She had no great liking for Marshal MacMahon, and she does not appear to have been conscious that all was lost till, on the night of September 4, she found M. Conti, the emperor's secretary, busy destroying his private papers. To burn them was impossible; they were torn into small bits and put in a bath-tub, then hot water was poured over them, which reduced them to pulp. Vast quantities, however, remained undestroyed, some of them compromising to their writers.

When the truth of the situation broke upon the empress, she was very much frightened. Her dread was that she might be torn in pieces by a mob that would invade the Tuileries. In a fortnight her fair face had become haggard, and white streaks showed themselves in her beautiful hair.

It is safest in such cases to trust foreigners rather than subjects. Two foreigners occupied themselves with plans for the empress's personal safety. The first idea was that if flight became inevitable, she should take refuge with the Sisters of the Sacre Coeur, in their convent in the Rue Picpus; and arrangements had been made for this contingency.

The life of the empress was strange and piteous during her last days upon the throne. She was up every morning by seven, and heard mass. Her dress was black cashmere, with a white linen collar and cuffs. All day she was the victim of every person who claimed an audience, all talking, protesting, gesticulating, and generally begging. The day the false rumor arrived that the Prussians had been defeated at the Quarries of Jaumont she flew down to the guard-room, where the soldiers off duty were lounging on their beds, waving the telegram over her head.

The news of the capitulation at Sedan and of the decree deposing the emperor, roused the Parisian populace. By one o'clock on September 5 the mob began to threaten the Tuileries. Then the Italian ambassador, Signor Nigra, and the Austrian ambassador, Prince Richard Metternich, insisted that the empress must seek a place of safety. As it was impossible to reach the street from the Tuileries, they made their way through the long galleries of the Louvre, and gained the entrance opposite the parish church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois.[1] The street was blocked with people uttering cries against the emperor. Agamin recognized the fugitives, and shouted, "Here comes the empress!" De Nigra gave him a kick, and asked him how he dared to cry: "Vive l'Empereur?" At this the crowd turned upon the boy, and in the confusion the empress and her lady-in-waiting were put into a cab, driven, it is said, by Gamble, the emperor's faithful English coachman. If this were so, the empress did not recognize him, for after proceeding a little way, she and Madame le Breton, her companion, finding they had but three francs between them, and dreading an altercation with the cabman if this were not enough to pay their fare, got out, and proceeded on foot to the house of the American dentist, Dr. Thomas Evans. There they had to wait till admitted to his operating-room. The doctor's amazement when he saw them was great; he had not been aware of what was passing at the Tuileries, but he took his hat, and went out to collect information. Soon he returned to tell the empress that she had not escaped a moment too soon.

[Footnote 1: Temple Bar, 1883.]

His wife was at Deauville, a fashionable watering-place in Normandy. The doctor placed her wardrobe at the disposal of the empress, who had saved nothing of her own but a few jewels. It is said she owned three hundred dresses, and her collection of fans, laces, etc., was probably unique. Her own servants had begun to pillage her wardrobe before she left the Tuileries. It is said that she would have gone forth on horseback and have put herself at the head of the troops, but that no riding-habit had been left her, except a gay green-and-gold hunting dress worn by her at Fontainebleau. That morning no servant in the Tuileries could be found to bring her breakfast to her chamber.

The next day Dr. Evans, in his own carriage, took her safely out of Paris, in the character of a lady of unsound mind whom he and Madame le Breton were conveying to friends in the country. Two days later they reached Deauville after several narrow escapes, the empress, on one occasion, having nearly betrayed herself by an effort to stop a man who was cruelly beating his horse.

There were two English yachts lying at Deauville. On board of one of these Dr. Evans went. It belonged to Sir John Burgoyne, grandson of the General Burgoyne who surrendered at Saratoga. Sir John, with his wife, was on a pleasure cruise. His yacht, the "Gazelle," was very small, only forty-five tons' burden, and carried a crew of six men.

As soon as Sir John Burgoyne had satisfied himself that it was really the empress who was thus thrown on his protection, he placed himself and his yacht at her disposal, insisting, however, that she must not come on board till nearly midnight, when he would meet her on the quai. It was fortunate that he made this arrangement, for, after dark, a police agent and a Russian spy came on board and searched every corner of the little vessel. When at last they departed, Sir John went on to the quai, and shortly afterwards met two ladies, and a gentleman who carried a hand-bag. One of the ladies stepped up to him and said, "I believe you are the English gentleman who will take me to England. I am the empress." She then burst into tears. On reaching the yacht, her first eager demand was for newspapers. Happily Lady Burgoyne could tell her that the Prince Imperial was safe in England; from the English papers she also learned particulars of the disaster at Sedan, of the proclamation of the Republic in the Corps Legislatif at Paris, and of the treatment of the emperor.

It was an anxious time for all on board the "Gazelle," for the tide would not serve to leave the harbor till seven o'clock the next morning, and Deauville was wildly riotous all night. At last they worked out of the harbor and were at sea; but a tempest was raging in the Channel, and so violent was it that at half-past one the next morning the great English ironclad "Captain," commanded by Sir Hugh Burgoyne, Sir John's cousin, went down, with all on board, not far from where the little "Gazelle" was battling with the gale. The "Gazelle" had a terrible passage, shipping tremendous seas. She danced and rolled like a cork; but the ladies were brave, and were encouraged by Lady Burgoyne's composure. "There was no affectation of courage in Lady Burgoyne," said the empress afterwards; "she simply acted as if nothing were the matter."

After about eighteen hours of this stormy passage the "Gazelle" was safe at anchor off Ryde, in the Isle of Wight. The empress was anxious that no one should know she was in England; but Sir John told her it was his duty to inform the Foreign Office immediately. An answer was at once returned by Lord Granville, assuring the empress of welcome and protection; but he added in a postscript to Sir John: "Don't you think you may have been imposed upon?"

The fact was that the Foreign Office had already received news of the escape of the empress by way of Ostend, under the charge of two English gentlemen, who had been themselves deceived. The ladies they had assisted to leave Paris were Princess Clotilde and an attendant.

After the emperor's release from Wilhelmshoehe he received Sir John Burgoyne at Chiselhurst, and thanked him, with tears in his eyes, for his care of the empress, adding that no sailors but the English could have got across the Channel on such a night in so small a craft.

After peace had been signed between Prussia and France, the emperor landed at Dover, where he was touched by the kindly and respectful reception he met with from the English people. The next day he was visited by Lord Malmesbury, an old friend in the days of his youth, before he entered on his life of adventure. Lord Malmesbury says:

"He came into the room alone to meet me, with that remarkable smile that could light up his dark countenance. I confess I never was more moved. His quiet and calm dignity, and absence of all nervousness or irritability, were grand examples of moral courage. All the past rushed to my memory. He must have seen what I felt, for he said: 'A la guerre comme a la guerre. It is very good of you to come to see me.' In a quiet, natural way he then praised the kindness of the Germans at Wilhelmshoehe, nor did a single plaint escape him during our conversation. He said he had been deceived as to the force and preparation of his armies, but without mentioning names, nor did he abuse anybody, till I mentioned Trochu, who had abandoned the empress, whom he had sworn to defend. During half an hour he conversed with me as in the best days of his life, with dignity and resignation, but when I saw him again he was much more depressed. He was grieving at the destruction of Paris, and at the anarchy prevailing over France, far more than he had done over his own misfortunes. That the Communists should have committed such horrors in the presence of their enemies, the Prussians, seemed to him the very acme of humiliation and national infamy."

On Jan. 9, 1873, he died at Chiselhurst, in the presence of the empress, who never left him, released from the storms of a fitful existence and from intense physical suffering.

Let us return now to Paris and the Committee of Defence, its new Republican Government. Though the people of Paris, in the excitement consequent on the proclamation of a Republic, seemed to have forgotten the Prussians, the prospect of their speedy arrival stared the Government in the face. It was a Government, not of France, but of Paris. France had had no voice in making this new Republic, nor was it at all likely that it would be popular in the Provinces; but meanwhile work of every kind was pressing on its hands. The fortifications of Paris were unmanned, and, indeed, were not even completed, and there were hardly any soldiers in the capital.

The first thing to be done was to bring provisions into the city. Cattle, grain, salt, hay, preserved meats, in short, everything edible that could be imagined, poured in so long as the railroads remained open. All public buildings became storehouses, but affairs were conducted with such recklessness and disorder that the live-stock suffered terribly, and half the hay was wasted. As to troops, General Vinoy arrived with twenty thousand soldiers, who had been stationed between Belgium and Sedan. They had never fought the Pussians, but were impatient of discipline and utterly demoralized. Stragglers and fugitives from Sedan came in also, but these were still less to be depended on. The National Guard had never enjoyed the favor of the emperor, and had been suffered to fall to pieces. It was now reorganized and armed as well as the Government was able. There was a body of Mobiles who had been sent away from the army by Marshal MacMahon because they were so insubordinate that he did not know what to do with them. Ninety thousand Mobiles came up from the Provinces before the gates of Paris closed, - excellent material for soldiers but wholly uninstructed, - and finally about ten thousand sailors arrived from Brest, who were kept in strict line by their officers, and were the most reliable part garrison.

The male population of Paris remained in the city, almost to a man, except those known to the police as thieves or ex-convicts, who were all sent away. Women and children also were removed, if their husbands and fathers could afford places of safety.

Around the city was a wall twelve yards high, forming a polygonal inclosure. At each corner of the polygon was a bastion, in which were stationed the big guns. The wall connecting the bastions is called a curtain. The bastions protected the curtains, and were themselves protected by sixteen detached forts, built on all the eminences around Paris. The most celebrated of these forts lies to the west of Paris, between it and Versailles, and is called Fort Valerien It is erected on a steep hill long called Mont Calvaire, from which is a magnificent view of the city. This and stony hill for several centuries used to be ascended by pilgrims on their knees; the mount, where once stood an altar of the Druids, became a consecrated place before the Revolution.

Louis Philippe, in 1841, had planned the fortifications of Paris, but in his time they had been only partially constructed. Even in 1870, as I have said, they were not complete. When the siege became imminent, the first thing to be done was to put them in good order; but for a week the working-men in Paris were so intoxicated with the idea of having a republic that they could not be made to do steady work upon anything. It was also considered necessary to cut down all trees and to destroy all villages between the forts and the walls of the city, so that they might afford no shelter to the Prussians. The poor inhabitants of these villages flocked into Paris, bringing with them carts piled with their household goods, their wives and children peeping out aghast between the chairs and beds. The beautiful trees in the Bois de Boulogne were cut down; the deer and the swans and other wild fowl on the lakes (long the pets of the Parisian holiday makers) were shot by parties of Mobiles sent out for that purpose.

No military man believed that Paris, defended by uncompleted fortifications, could withstand a direct attack from the Prussians; no one dreamed of a blockade, for it was thought that it would take a million and a quarter of men to invest the city, and the Prussians were known not to have that number for the purpose. The idea was that the enemy would choose some point, would attack it with all his forces, would lose probably thirty thousand men, and would take the city. But Bismarck and King William and Von Moltke had no idea of losing thirty thousand men. They were certain that there would be risings and disturbances in Paris. They believed that their forces might even be called in to save respectable Parisians from the outrages of the Reds. They knew that rural France, having little love for Paris or the Republic, was not likely to accept the Government formed without its own consent, nor march to the assistance of the capital. Even should the provincial population bestir itself, the troops it could send would be only raw levies, and there was no great leader to animate or to direct popular enthusiasm.

It was quite true that the respectable classes in Paris had as much to fear from the Reds as from the Prussians. The mob of Paris was wild for a commune.

It is not always known what is meant by a commune, and I may be pardoned if I pause to define it here.

In feudal times cities all over Europe won for themselves charters. By these charters they acquired the right to govern themselves; that is, the burghers elected their own mayor and their councilor aldermen, and this body governing the community was called the commune. When the feudal system fell in France, and all power was centralized in the king, city governments were established by royal edict only. Paris, for instance, was governed by the Prefect of the Seine, - he had under him the maires of twenty Arrondissements; and thus it was in every French city. All public offices in France were in the gift of the Throne.

To Americans, who have mayors and city councils in every city, municipal taxation, municipal elections, and municipal laws, a commune appears the best mode of city government. But if we can imagine one of our large cities possessing the same power over the United States that Paris wields over France, we shall take a different view of the matter. Paris governed by a commune, that commune being elected by a mob and aspiring to give laws to France, might well indeed have alarmed all Frenchmen. We may judge of its feeling towards the Provinces from the indignation expressed by Parisian Communists when during the Commune, Lyons and some other cities talked of setting up communes of their own.

In olden times, in France, Italy, and Germany (as in Great Britain at the present day), it was not the mob, but the burghers, whose interests depended upon the prosperity of their city, who voted in municipal elections. France had established universal suffrage, and the restless "men of Belleville," - the "white blouses," - were liable in any time of excitement to be joined by roughs from other cities, and by all working-men out of employment. These apprehensions of the respectable citizens of Paris were horribly realized in 1871. The new Republic, meantime, was not Red, not Communistic, not Socialistic, but Republican.

During the Revolution of 1848 there had been little intoxication in Paris; but in the twenty-two years that followed, the French had learned to drink absinthe and to frequent such places as "L'Assommoir." All accounts speak of the drunkenness in France during the Franco-Prussian war.

Meantime, during the two weeks that preceded the arrival of the Prussians, the streets of Paris were crowded with men in every variety of uniform, - francs-tireurs in their Opera Comique costume, cuirassiers, artillerymen, lancers, regulars, National Guards, and Mobiles. Carriages were mixed up with heavy wagons loaded sometimes with worthless household goods, sometimes with supplies. Peasants' carts were seen in the midst of frightened flocks of sheep driven by bewildered shepherds. Everybody was in some one's way. All was confusion, excitement, - and exhilaration.

Till September 19 the railways continued to run. Then the fifty-one gates of Paris were closed, the railroad entrances were walled up, and the following notice appeared upon the walls: -

"Citizens! The last lines which connected Paris with France and Europe were cut yesterday evening. Paris is left to herself. She has now only her own courage and her own resources to rely on. Europe, which has received so much enlightenment from this great city, and has always felt a certain jealousy of her glory, now abandons her. But Paris, we are persuaded, will prove that she has not ceased to be the most solid rampart of French independence."

To hold out was the determination of all classes; but the very next day the Reds put forth a manifesto demanding a commune, the dismissal of the police, the sequestration of the property of all rich or influential men, and a public declaration that the king of Prussia would not be treated with so long as his armies occupied one foot of French soil. "Nothing less than these things," said the document, "will satisfy the people."

Here we see the usual assumption of the Parisian Communists that they are "the people." They have always assumed that thirty-two millions of Frenchmen outside the walls of Paris counted for nothing.

As the Prussian armies passed to the southward of Paris to take possession of Versailles, an attack, authorized by General Trochu and by General Ducrot (who had escaped from Sedan), was made upon the German columns. The Zouaves, who had come back to Paris under General Vinoy, demoralized by the disasters of their comrades, were the first to break and run. The poor little Mobiles stood firm and did their duty.

The official report said: "Some of our soldiers took to flight with regrettable haste," - a phrase which became a great joke among the Parisians.

That night the Reds breathed fire and fury against the Government, "and the respectable part of Paris," says M. de Sarcey, the great dramatic critic, "saw themselves between two dangers. It would be hard to say which of them they dreaded most. They hated the Prussians very much, but they feared the men of Belleville more."

Meantime Jules Favre, who had been appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, had procured a safe-conduct from the Prussians, and had gone out to see Count Bismarck and King William, who had their headquarters at Baron Rothschild's beautiful country seat of Ferrieres. His object was to obtain an armistice, that a National Assembly might be convoked which would consider the terms of peace with the Prussians.

The Chancellor of North Germany declared that he did not recognize the Committee of Defence, represented by Julus Favre, as a legitimate government of France competent to offer or to consider terms of peace. He treated M. Favre with the greatest haughtiness, utterly refusing any armistice, but at the close of their first interview he consented to see him again the next day.

"I was," says Jules Favre, "at the Chateau de Ferrieres by eleven A. M., but Count Bismarck did not leave the king's apartments before twelve. I then gathered from him the conditions that he demanded for an armistice. They were written in German, and he read them over to me. He desired to occupy, as a guarantee, Strasburg, Toul, and Phalsbourg;[1] and as I had the day before named Paris as the place for the meeting of the Assembly, he wished in that case to have possession of some fort commanding the city. He named Fort Valerien. Here I interrupted him. 'You had better ask for Paris at once,' I said. 'How can a French Assembly be expected to deliberate when covered by your guns? I hardly know whether I dare to inform my Government that you have made such a proposal.' Tours was then named as a place for the Assembly. 'But,' said Bismarck, 'Strasburg must be surrendered. It is about to fall into our hands. All I ask is that the garrison shall constitute themselves prisoners of war.' At this I could restrain myself no longer. I sprang to my feet and said: 'Count Bismarck, you forget you are speaking to a Frenchman! To sacrifice an heroic garrison which has won our admiration and that of the whole world, would be an act of cowardice. Nor will I even promise to mention that you ever made such a demand.' He answered that he had not meant to wound my feelings, he was acting in conformity with the laws of war; but he would see what the king said about the matter. He returned in a quarter of an hour, and said that his master accepted my proposal as to Tours, but insisted on the surrender of the garrison of Strasburg."

[Footnote 1: Places still holding out against the Germans.]

At this, the negotiation was broken off, Jules Favre concluding by saying that "the inhabitants of Paris were resolved on making any sacrifices, and that their heroism might change the current of events."

The publication of this account of the interview with Bismarck produced through Paris a shiver of indignation. For a moment all parties were united, the very Reds crying out that there must be no more parties, only Frenchmen; and a slight success in a skirmish in one of the suburbs of Paris roused enthusiasm to its height in a few hours.

The National Guard now did duty as police, and was also placed on guard on the ramparts. Each man received thirty sous a day. The Guard was divided into the Old Battalions and the New. The Old Battalions were composed almost entirely of gentlemen and bourgeois, who returned their pay to the Government; the New Battalions, which were fresh levies of working-men, preferred in general a franc and a half a day for doing nothing, to higher wages for making shoes, guns, and uniforms. In vain the Government put forth proclamations assuring the people that the man who made a chassepot rifle was more of a patriot than he who carried one.

All through September the weather was delightful, and mounting guard upon the ramparts was like taking a pleasant stroll. The Mobiles occupied the forts outside of Paris, and were forbidden to come into the city in uniform. Of course there was much hunting for Prussian spies, and many people were arrested and maltreated, though only one genuine spy seems to have been found. The French in any popular excitement seem to have treachery upon the brain. One phase of their mania was the belief that any light seen moving in the upper stories of a house was a signal to the Prussians; and sometimes a whole district was disturbed because some quiet student had sat reading late at night with a green shade over his lamp, or a mother had been nursing a sick child.

As October went on, it became a sore trial to the Parisians to be cut off from all outside news. Not a letter nor a newspaper crossed the lines. Even the agents of Foreign Governments, and Mr. Washburne, the only foreign ambassador in Paris, were prohibited from hearing from their Governments, unless all communications were read by Bismarck before being forwarded to them. One great source of suffering to the men in Paris who had sent away their families was the knowledge that they must be in want of money. No one had anticipated a prolonged blockade.

Before the gates had been closed, two elderly members of the Committee of Defence - Cremieux and Garnier-Pages - had been sent out to govern the Provinces. M. Thiers was visiting all the capitals of Europe, as a sort of ambassador-at-large, to enlist foreign diplomatic sympathy, and in October it was resolved to send out M. Gambetta, in the hope that he might organize a National Assembly, or perhaps induce the Southern Provinces (where he had great influence) to make a demonstration for the relief of the capital. Provincial France had long chafed under the idea that its government was made and unmade by the Parisians, and there was no great sympathy in the Provinces for Paris in her struggle with the Prussians, until it was shown how nobly the city and its inhabitants bore the hardships of the siege.

Small sorties continued to be made during October, chiefly with a view of accustoming raw troops to stand fire. On October 28, came news of the surrender of Bazaine at Metz to the Prussians with his army (including officers) of nearly one hundred and ninety thousand men. The universal cry was "Treachery!" The same day that the Prussians forwarded this news into Paris, a small body of German troops was worsted in a sortie beyond St. Denis. These two events roused the turbulent part of the population of Paris almost to frenzy, and resulted in a rising called the emeute of October 31.

The disorderly classes living in the suburbs of Belleville and Montmartre (which have taken the place of the old Faubourg Saint-Antoine), assuming "The Commune" for their war-cry, were led on by such men as Ledru-Rollin, Blanqui, and Felix Pyat.

"The party of the Commune," says M. de Sarcey, "was composed partly of charlatans, partly of dupes, - that is, the real members of the Commune as a party. The rank and file were simply roughs, ready for any mischief, and, we may add, for any plunder."

On the morning of October 31, a great crowd of these men assembled before the Hotel-de-Ville, then the seat of government. General Trochu, Jules Favre, the Maire of Paris, and even Rochefort, who was a member of the Committee of Defence, harangued them for hours without producing any impression. The days were passed when the mob of Paris could be controlled by a harangue. Finally, the crowd made its way into the Hotel-de-Ville, and endeavored to force the Committee of Defence to issue a proclamation which would convene the citizens to vote for a commune. The windows of the Hotel-de-Ville were flung open, in spite of the efforts of the members of the Government, and lists of the proposed Communistic rulers were flung out to the mob.

Meantime the members of the existing Government were imprisoned in their council chamber, and threatened by armed men. Jules Favre sat quietly in his chair; Jules Simon sketched upon his blotting-paper; rifles were pointed at General Trochu. "Escape, General!" cried some one in the crowd. "I am a soldier, Citizen," he answered, "and my duty is to die at my post." One member of the Committee managed, however to escape, and summoned the National Guard to the assistance of his colleagues.

It was eight o'clock in the evening when the troops arrived. At sight of their guns and bayonets the populace, grown weary of its day's excitement, melted away. Before daylight, order was restored. "Thus," says an American then in Paris, "in twelve hours Paris had one Republican Government taken prisoner, another set up, and the first restored."

So peace, after a fashion, returned; but Count Bismarck, learning of these events, was strengthened in his determination to keep Paris shut up within her gates till the factions in the city, in the coming days of famine and distress, should destroy one another.

M. Thiers had almost concluded an agreement for an armistice of thirty days, during which Paris was to be fed, while an election should be held all over France for a National Assembly; but after the disorders of October 31, Count Bismarck refused to hear of any food being supplied to Paris, negotiations were broken off, and the war went on.

Up to this time bread in Paris had been sufficient for its needs, and not too dear. Wine was plenty, but meat was growing scarce. Horses were requisitioned for food. It was the upper classes who ate horse-flesh and queer animals out of the Jardin des Plantes; the working-classes would not touch such things till driven to eat them by absolute famine.

Butter rose to five dollars a pound, cabbages were sold by the leaf. Early in the siege, eggs were three dollars a dozen, and milk soon became unattainable. "Poor little babies died like flies," says an eye-witness. Fuel, too, was growing very scarce and very dear. The women supported their privations bravely, but it is terrible to think what must have been the sufferings of mothers deprived of wholesome food for their little children. The firmness and self-sacrifice of the bourgeoisie were above all praise.

All kinds of meats were eaten. Mule was said to be delicious, - far superior to beef. Antelope cost eighteen francs a pound, but was not as good as stewed rabbit; elephant's trunk was eight dollars a pound, it being esteemed a delicacy. Bear, kangaroo, ostrich, yak, etc., varied the bill of fare for those who could afford to eat them.

Men of wealth who had lost everything, took their misfortunes cheerfully. While the worst qualities of the Parisians came out in some classes, the best traits of the French character shone forth in others. A great deal of charity was dispensed, both public and private and on the whole, the very poorest class was but little the worse for the privations of the siege.

The houses left empty by their owners were made over to the refugees from the villages, and many amusing stories are told of their embarrassment when surrounded by objects of art, and articles of furniture whose use was unknown to them.

At first the theatres were closed, and some of them were turned into military hospitals; but by the beginning of November it was thought better to reopen them. At one theatre, Victor Hugo's "Les Chatiments" was recited, - that bitterest arraignment of Napoleon III. and the Second Empire; at another, Beethoven and Mendelssohn were played, with apologies for their being Germans.

The hospital parts of the theatres were railed off, and in the corridors ballet-girls, actors, and sisters of charity mingled together.

Victor Hugo was in Paris during the siege, but he lent his name to no party or demonstration. The recitation of his verses at the theatre afforded him great delight, but the triumph was short-lived. The attraction of "Les Chatiments" soon died away.

The most popular places of resort for idle men were the clubs. On November 21, one of these was visited by our American observer. He says, -

"The hall was filled to suffocation. Every man present had a pipe or cigar in his mouth. It was a sulphurous place, a Pandemonium, a Zoological Garden, a Pantomime, a Comedy, a Backwoods Fourth of July, and a Donnybrook Fair, all combined. Women too were there, the fiercest in the place. Orators roared, and fingers were shaken. One speech was on the infringement of the liberties of the citizen because soldiers were made to march left or right according to the will of their officers. Another considered that the sluggards who went on hospital service with red crosses on their caps were no better than cowards. Then they discovered a spy (as they supposed) in their midst, and time was consumed in hustling him out. Lastly an orator concluded his speech with awful blasphemy, wishing that he were a Titan, and could drive a dagger into the Christian's God."

The most terrible suffering in Paris during the siege was probably mental, suffering from the want of news; but by the middle of November the balloon and pigeon postal service was organized. Balloons were manufactured in Paris, and sent out whenever the wind was favorable. It was found necessary, however, to send them off by night, lest they should be fired into by the Germans. A balloon generally carried one or two passengers, and was sent up from one of the now empty railroad stations. It also generally took five small cages, each containing thirty-six pigeons. These pigeons were of various colors, and all named. They were expected to return soon to their homes, unless cold, fog, a hawk, or a Prnssian bullet should stop them on the way. Each would bring back a small quill fastened by threads to one of its tail-feathers and containing a minute square of flexible, waterproof paper, on which had been photographed messages in characters so small as to be deciphered only by a microscope. Some of these would be official despatches, some private messages. One pigeon would carry as much as, printed in ordinary type, would fill one sheet of a newspaper. The Parisians looked upon the pigeons with a kind of veneration; when one, drooping and weary, alighted on some roof, a crowd would collect and watch it anxiously. Sometimes they were caught by the Germans, and sent back into Paris with false news.

On November 15 a pigeon brought a despatch saying that the South of France had raised an army for the relief of Paris, and that it was in motion under an old general with the romantic name of Aurelles des Paladines, that it had driven the Prussians out of Orleans, and was coming on with all speed to the capital. The Parisians were eager to make a sortie and to join this relieving army. General Trochu was not so eager, having no great confidence in his francs-tireurs, his National Guard, and his Mobiles. They numbered in all four hundred thousand men; but eighty thousand serviceable soldiers would have been worth far more.

On November 28, however, the sortie was made; and had the expected army been at hand, it might have been successful. The Parisians crossed the Marne, and fought the Prussians so desperately that in two days they had lost more men than in the battles at Gravelotte. But on the third day an order was given to return to Paris; the Government had received reliable information that the Army of the Loire (under Aurelles des Paladines) had met with a reverse, and would form no junction with the Parisian forces.

By the end of November cannon had been cast in the beleaguered city, paid for, not by the Government, but by individual subscription. These guns were subsequently to playa tragic part in the history of the city. Some carried farther than the Prussian guns. All of them had names. The favorite was called Josephine, and was a great pet with the people.

Christmas Day of that sad year arrived at last, and New Year's Day, the great and joyful fete-day in all French families. A few confectioners kept their stores open, and a few boxes of bonbons were sold; but presents of potatoes, or small packages of coffee, were by this time more acceptable gifts. Nothing was plenty in Paris but champagne and Colman's mustard. The rows upon rows of the last-named article in the otherwise empty windows of the grocers reminded Englishmen and Americans of Grumio's cruel offer to poor Katherine of the mustard without the beef, since she could not have the beef with the mustard.

Here is the bill-of-fare of a dinner given at a French restaurant upon that Christmas Day: -

  Soup from horse meat. 
  Mince of cat. 
  Shoulder of dog with tomato sauce. 
  Jugged cat with mushrooms. 
  Roast donkey and potatoes. 
  Rat, peas, and celery. 
  Mice on toast. 
  Plum pudding.

One remarkable feature of the siege was that everybody's appetite increased enormously. Thinking about food stimulated the craving for it, and by New Year's Day there were serious apprehensions of famine. The reckless waste of bread and breadstuffs in the earlier days of the siege was now repented of. Flour had to be eked out with all sorts of things, and the bread eaten during the last weeks of the siege was a black and sticky mixture made up of almost anything but flour. All Paris was rationed. Poor mothers, leaving sick children at home, stood for hours in the streets, in the bitter cold, to obtain a ration of horseflesh, or a few ounces of this unnutritious bread.

After news came of the retreat of the Army of the Loire, great discouragement crept over the garrison. The Mobiles from the country, who had never expected to be shut up in Paris for months, began to pine for their families and villages. What might not be happening to them? and they far away!

Every day there was a panic of some kind in the beleaguered city, - some rumor, true or false, to stir men's souls. Besides this, the garrison had for months been idle, and was consumed with ennui. Among the prevailing complaints was one that General Trochu was too pious! They might have said of him with truth, that, though brave and determined when once in action, he was wanting in decision. The garrison in Paris had no general who could stir their hearts, - no leader of men. General Trochu, and the rulers under him, waited to be moved by public opinion. They were ready to do what the masses would dictate, but seemed not to be able to lead them. In a besieged city the population generally bends to the will of one man; in this case it was one man, or a small body of men, who bent to the will of the people.

The winter of 1871 was the coldest that had been known for twenty years. Fuel and warm clothing grew scarce. The Rothschilds distributed $20,000 worth of winter garments among the suffering; and others followed their example, till there was no warm clothing left to buy; but the suffering in every home was intense, and at last soldiers were brought in frozen from the ramparts. There was of course no gas, and the city was dimly lighted by petroleum. Very great zeal was shown throughout Paris for hospital service. French military hospitals and the service connected with them are called "ambulances." "We were all full of recollections," says M. de Sarcey, "of the exertions made on both sides in the American Civil War. Our model hospital was formed on the American Plan."

The American Sanitary Commission had sent out specimens of hospital appliances to the Exposition Universelle of 1867. These had remained in Paris, and the hospital under canvas, when set up, excited great admiration. Everything was for use; nothing for show. "The four great medicines that we recognize," said the American surgeon in charge, "are fresh air, hot and cold water, opium, and quinine."

Among the bravest and most active litter-bearers were the Christian Brothers, - men not priests, but vowed to poverty, celibacy, and the work of education. "They advanced wherever bullets fell," says M. de Sarcey, "to pick up the dead or wounded; recoiling from no task, however laborious or distasteful; never complaining of their food, drinking only water; and after their stretcher-work was done, returning to their humble vocation of teachers, without dreaming that they had played the part of heroes."

Before Bazaine surrendered at Metz, eager hopes had been entertained that the army raised in the South by Chanzy and Gambetta might unite with his one hundred and seventy-two thousand soldiers in Metz, and march to the relief of Paris; but to this day no one knows precisely why Bazaine took no steps in furtherance of this plan, but, instead, surrendered ignominiously to the Germans. It is supposed that being attached to the emperor, and dreading a Republic, he declined to fight for France if it was to benefit "the rabble Government of Paris," as he called the Committee of Public Defence. He seems to have thought that the Germans, after taking Paris, would make peace, exacting Alsace and Lorraine, and then restore the emperor.

Nothing could have been braver or more brilliant than the efforts of Chanzy and Gambetta on the Loire. At one time they were actually near compelling the Prussians to raise the siege of Paris; for two hundred and fifty thousand men was a small army to invest so large a city. But the one hundred and fifty thousand German soldiers who were besieging Metz were enabled by Bazaine's surrender to reinforce the troops beleaguering the capital.

Gambetta seems to have been at that time the only man in France who showed himself to be a true leader of men, and amidst numerous disadvantages he did nobly. He and Chanzy died twelve years later, within a week of each other.

From September 19, when the siege began, up to December 27, the Parisian soldiers, four hundred thousand in number (such as they were) had never, except in occasional sorties, encountered the Prussians, nor had any shot from Prussian guns entered their city. On the night of December 27 the bombardment began. It commenced by clearing what was called the Plateau d'Avron, to the east of Paris. The weather was intensely cold, the earth as hard as iron and as slippery as glass. The French do not rough their horses even in ordinary times, and slipperiness is a public calamity in a French city. The troops, stationed with little shelter on the Plateau d'Avron, had no notion that the Germans had been preparing masked batteries. The first shells that fell among them produced indescribable confusion. The men rushed to their own guns to reply, but their balls fell short about five hundred yards. It became evident that the Plateau d'Avron must be abandoned, and that night, in the cold and the darkness, together with the slippery condition of the ground, which was worst of all, General Trochu superintended the removal of all the cannon. The Prussian batteries were admirably placed and admirably served.

But tremendous as the bombardment was (sometimes a shell every two minutes), it is astonishing how little real damage it did to the city. The streets were wide, the open spaces numerous, the houses solidly built, with large courtyards. In the middle of January, when the extreme cold moderated, hundreds of people would assemble in the Place de la Concorde, looking skyward. A black object would appear, with a small bright spot in it, and making a graceful curve in the air, with a whizzing, humming sound, would drop suddenly, with a resounding boom, in some distant quarter in the city. Then the spectators, greatly interested in the sight, waited for another. The shells, which the Parisians called "obus," were like an old-fashioned sugar-loaf, and weighed sometimes one hundred and fifty pounds. But though, by reason of the great distance of the Prussian batteries, the damage was by no means in proportion to the number of shells sent into the city, many of them struck public buildings, hospitals, and orphan asylums, in spite of the Red Cross flags displayed above them.

By January 19, when the siege had lasted four months, and the bombardment three weeks, the end seemed to be drawing near. Another sortie was attempted; but there was a dense fog, the usual accompaniment of a January thaw, and its only result was the loss of some very valuable lives.

Then General Trochu asked for an armistice of two days to bury the dead; but his real object was that Jules Favre might enter the Prussian lines and endeavor to negotiate. Before this took place, however, Trochu himself resigned his post as military governor. He had sworn that under him Paris should never capitulate. General Vinoy took his command.

The moment the Government of Defence was known to be in extreme difficulty, the Communists issued proclamations and provoked risings. The Hotel-de-Ville was again attacked. In this rising famished women took a prominent part. Twenty-six people were killed in the emeute, and only twenty-eight by that day's bombardment.

On January 23 Jules Favre went out to Versailles. Paris was hushed. It was not known that negotiations were going on, but all felt that the end was near at hand. No one, dared to say the word "capitulate," though some of the papers admitted that by February 3 there would not be a mouthful of bread in the city.

On January 27 the Parisians learned their fate. The following announcement appeared in the official journal:

"So long as the Government could count on an army of relief, it was their duty to neglect nothing that could conduce to the prolongation of the defence of Paris. At present our armies, though still in existence, have been driven back by the fortune of war.... Under these circumstances the Government has been absolutely compelled to negotiate. We have reason to believe that the principle of national sovereignty will be kept intact by the speedy calling of an Assembly; that during the armistice the German army will occupy our forts; that we shall preserve intact our National Guards and one division of our army; and that none of our soldiers will be conveyed beyond our frontier as prisoners of war."

The result was so inevitable that it did not spread the grief and consternation we have known in many modern cases of surrender. Those who suffered most from the sorrow of defeat were not the Red brawlers of Belleville, who cried loudest that they had been betrayed, but the honest, steady-going bourgeoisie, who for love of their country had for four months borne the burden and distress of resistance.

During the four months of siege sixty-five thousand persons perished in Paris: ten thousand died in hospitals, three thousand were killed in battle, sixty-six hundred were destroyed by small-pox, and as many by bronchitis and pneumonia. The babies, who died chiefly for want of proper food, numbered three thousand, - just as many as the soldiers who fell in battle.

Two sad weeks passed, the Parisians meanwhile waiting for the meeting of a National Assembly. During those weeks the blockade of Paris continued, and the arrival of provisions was frequently retarded at the Prussian outposts; nor were provision-carts safe when they had passed beyond the Prussian lines, for there were many turbulent Parisians lying in wait to rob them. All Paris was eager for fresh fish and for white bread. The moment the gates were opened, twenty-five thousand persons poured out of the city, most of whom were in a state of anxiety and uncertainty where to find their families.

At last peace was made. One of its conditions was that the Germans were to occupy two of the forts that commanded Paris until that city paid two hundred millions of francs ($40,000,000) as its ransom. It was also stipulated that the Prussian army was to make a triumphal entry into the city, not going farther, however, than the Place de la Concorde.

This took place March I, 1871, but was witnessed by none of the respectable Parisians, although the German soldiers were surrounded by a hooting crowd, whom they seemed to regard with little attention.

Thus ended the siege of Paris, and the day afterwards the homeward march of the Germans was begun.