The Commune cost Paris fourteen thousand lives. Eight thousand persons were executed; six thousand were killed in open fight. Before the siege Paris had contained two million and a quarter of inhabitants: she had not half that number during the Commune, notwithstanding the multitude of small proprietors and peasants who had flocked thither from devastated homes.

Monday, May 29, found the city in the hands of the Versaillais. The Provisional Government and its Parliament were victorious. The army, defeated at Sedan, had conquered its insurgent countrymen. All that remained of the Commune was wreck and devastation. The Tuileries, the Column of the Place Vendome, the Treasury, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and the Hotel-de-Ville, or City Hall, were destroyed, besides two theatres, the Law Courts, or Palais de Justice, the offices of the Council of State and the Court of Accounts, the State Safe Deposit (Caisse des Depots et de Consignations), the Library of the Louvre, the manufactory of Gobelin's tapestry, the Prefecture of Police, eight whole streets, and innumerable scattered private houses. The vengeance of the soldiers as they made their way from street to street, from barricade to barricade, was savage and indiscriminate. Every man arrested whose hands were black with powder was carried to a street corner or a courtyard, and summarily shot. Of course many wholly innocent persons perished, for the troops of the Commune had been of two kinds, - the National Guard and the Volunteers. Most of the latter were devils incarnate. Among them were theVengeurs de Flourens, who were foremost in executions, and bands called by such names as Les Enfants du Pere Duchene and Les Enfants Perdus. The National Guards were of three classes, - genuine Communists, workmen whose pay was their only resource for the support of their families, and pressed men, forced to fight, of whom there were a great many.

I have before me three narratives written by gentlemen who either suffered or participated in the Great Revenge. One was a resident in Paris who had taken no part either for or against the Commune; one had served it on compulsion as a soldier; and one was an officer of the Versailles army, who on May 21 led his troops through a breach into the city, and fought on till May 27, when all was over.

It seems to me that such accounts of personal experience in troubled times give a far more vivid picture of events than a mere formal narration. I therefore quote them in this chapter in preference to telling the story in my own words.

The first is by Count Joseph Orsi,[1] whose visit to Raoul Rigault's office at the Prefecture of Police has already been told. He was left unmolested by the Commune, most probably because in early life he had been a member of those secret societies in Italy to which Louis Napoleon himself belonged. He says, -

[Footnote 1: Published in Fraser's Magazine, 1879.]

"On May 22 Paris was entering the last stage of its death struggle. The army of Versailles had entered it from four different points. The fight was desperate. Barricades were erected in almost every street. Prisoners on both sides were shot in scores at the street-corners. Three of the largest houses in the Rue Royale, where I lived, were on fire. Soldiers of the regular army were beginning to appear in our quarter, and early on Thursday, May 25, I heard the bell of my apartment ring violently. I opened it, and found myself face to face with twelve voltigeurs of the Versailles army; commanded by a lieutenant, who ordered the soldiers to search the house and shoot any one wearing a uniform. He told me that he must occupy my drawing-room, which looked on the Rue Royale, for the purpose of firing on the insurgents, who were holding a barricade where the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore joins the Rue Royale. My wife was seated on her sofa. He ordered her to leave the room. She resisted, and was removed by force. The soldiers then began firing on the insurgents from the windows. The insurgents had possession of the upper floors of some houses facing mine, and fired with such effect that the soldiers were driven from their position. The officer withdrew his men from the drawing-room and asked for a map of Paris, for he did not know exactly where he was. I made a friend of him by pointing to my pictures, everyone of which proved me to be a friend and follower of the emperor. He asked me if I had any wine to give his men, who had had nothing to eat or drink since the previous night. While they were partaking of bread and wine in the kitchen, and I was talking with the officer in the dining-room, a shot fired from across the street struck the officer on the temple. He fell as if struck dead. His soldiers rushed in and seized me. They were about to shoot me on the spot, when luckily my servant, with water and vinegar, brought the officer to his senses, so that he could raise his hand and make a sign to the soldiers, who had me fast by both my arms, to keep quiet. By God's mercy the officer had only been stunned. He had been hit, not by a bullet, but by a piece of brick forced out of the wall by a shot. I was released, but the soldiers were far from satisfied, believing their officer had accepted this explanation only to spare my life. They left my house at nightfall, and afterwards the fire of the insurgents became so hot that the front wall of the house fell in, and everything I had was smashed to pieces.

"The next morning, May 26, as I was searching for some valuable papers among the ruins, two men in plain clothes entered and ordered me to follow them to the Prefecture of Police, temporarily located on the Quai d'Orsay. As Paris was by this time completely under military rule I was examined by an officer. I told him that, not knowing for what purpose I was wanted, I had left my papers at home, and was sent under charge of two men to fetch them. I was also given to understand that I had better make any arrangements I thought necessary for my wife, which led me to think it probable I should be shot or imprisoned. It was a reign of terror of a new kind, of which I could never have expected to be a victim. As we were crossing the Place de la Concorde we saw half a dozen soldiers who had seized four Federals on the barricade close by. A struggle was going on for life or death. The soldiers, having at last the upper hand, strove to drag the Federals to the wall of the Ministry of Marine to be shot. The poor wretches were imploring for mercy, and refused to stand erect. Seeing this, the soldiers shot them one after the other as they lay upon the ground.

"I was finally disposed of, in company with other prisoners, in some large stables and carriage houses. Some of us were in plain clothes, some in uniform. We were all packed together so closely that there was not even the possibility of lying down upon the stones. Bread and water alone were given us. On the approach of night we were shut in like cattle, with the intimation that any attempt to revolt or escape would be followed by instant execution.

"The next morning, May 27, at dawn, ten soldiers, with an officer at their head, began calling by name eight or ten prisoners at a time from one of our places of confinement, and they were dragged away, God knows where. Utter dejection and despair were depicted on the face of every man, especially on those who had been seized on the barricades or in uniform. That afternoon I was called out, being part of a batch of nine prisoners, mostly in plain clothes. On that day rain fell incessantly. We thought as we marched through the mud and drizzle that we were going to be shot en masse without any further trial; but on reaching the Champ de Mars, our escort was ordered to take us to the barracks that are near it. There our names were taken down by an officer, and we were locked up in a room where seven other prisoners had already been confined. It would be too horrible to relate the filth and closeness of that place, which might have held seven or eight people, and we were sixteen! There was a board fitted between two walls where seven people could lie. This was appropriated before we got there. We were forced to stand up or to lie down on the stones, which were damp and inexpressibly dirty. We remained thus for two days. On the 29th the door opened at seven A. M. Eight soldiers were drawn up outside. The sergeant called out one of the prisoners named Lefevre, who wore a National Guard's uniform. The poor fellow stepped out between the two lines of soldiers, and the door closed on him. He was taken before the colonel, who was instructed to examine the prisoners, and had the discretionary power of ordering them to be shot on the spot, or of sending them to Versailles to appear before the superior commission, by whom they were either set at liberty or sentenced to transportation. Poor Lefevre was not heard of again. We thought we heard a brisk volley of musketry in the large courtyard, but we had been so accustomed to such noises that it did not attract general attention. Later in the day another prisoner was called out in the same manner, and he came back no more; this time the noise of the discharge was distinct, and made us alive to the imminence of our fate. On the third prisoner being called out, he refused to go. Two soldiers had to take him by force. He fought desperately for his life. The door was shut. We had not long to wait; the discharge of musketry re-echoed in our cell, and caused within it such a scene of despair as baffles description.

"Next day four men were taken out and executed, which reduced our number to nine. By this time we had recovered from the shots and heeded little what was going to take place, as every one of us had bidden adieu to this world and made his peace with God.

"On May 31 our door was opened again. Twelve soldiers were drawn up before it. We were all ordered out. We thought we were going to be shot en masse, to make quicker work of us. To my amazement, we saw a large column of about four hundred prisoners, four abreast, between two lines of grenadiers. Evidently we were intended to form the last contingent to it. The soldiers having been drawn up in two long lines on both sides of the column, an officer drew his sword, and standing up on a wine-hogshead, shouted: 'Soldiers, load arms.' This being done, he added: 'Fire on any prisoner who attempts to revolt or escape.'

"We then took the road to the Western Railroad, where we were put into cattle vans and goods vans, with scarcely room to breathe, and reached Versailles about six P. M. A detachment of soldiers escorted us to Satory. The column marched in to the artillery depot, and the gates were closed. I happened to be the right-hand man of the four last prisoners in the column, so that I stood only three or four yards from the officer in command of the place, who stood looking at the prisoners, with his arms folded and his officers beside him. I saw him staring at me, which I attributed to my being the best-dressed man of the party. Presently he walked slowly up to me, and measuring me from head to foot with what I took to be a diabolical sneer, cried, 'Ho! Ho! the ribbon of the Legion of Honor! You got it, I suppose, on the barricades!' With that I felt a sharp pull at my coat. Quick as thought, I brought my hand down, and caught his firmly as he was trying to tear the ribbon from my breast. In my agitated state of mind I had not been aware I was wearing a coat that had it on. 'You may shoot me, Captain,' I said, 'but you shall not wrest that ribbon from me.' 'Where did you get it?' 'The prince president of the Republic, Louis Napoleon, gave it me.' 'When?' 'On September 23, 1853.' 'How is it, then, that you were arrested? Was it on a barricade?' 'No, Captain, in my own apartment. It is not likely I should fight for the Commune after having been a devoted friend of the emperor for forty years.' 'Your name?' 'Count Joseph Orsi.' He looked at me again, and having joined his officers, to whom he related what had taken place, he turned round and in a loud voice said to me: 'Come out of the ranks.' Then, seeing a gendarme close by, he said: 'Do not lose sight of this prisoner.'"

For two days the captain kept Count Orsi in his office and encouraged him to write to any friends he might have in Versailles. Count Orsi named M. Grevy (afterwards president) as having been for years his legal adviser, and he wrote a few lines to various other persons. But there were no posts, and in the confusion of Versailles at that moment there seemed little chance that his notes would reach their destination. Two days later an order came to Satory to send all prisoners to Versailles, and the kind-hearted captain was forced to return Count Orsi to the column of his fellow-prisoners.

At Versailles they were shut up in the wine-cellars of the palace, forty-five feet underground. The prisoners confined there were the very dregs and scum of the insurrection. The cellars had only some old straw on the floors, left there by the Prussians. There were six hundred men confined in this place, and the torture they endured from the close air, the filth, and the impossibility of lying down at night was terrible.

Count Orsi was ten days in this horrible prison. At last one evening he heard his name called. His release had come. On going to the door he was taken before a superior officer, who expressed surprise and regret at the mistake that had been committed, and at once set him at liberty. A brave little boy, charged with one of his notes, had persevered through all kinds of difficulties in putting it into the hands of the English lady to whom it was addressed. This lady and the Italian ambassador had effected Count Orsi's release. He was ill with low fever for some weeks in consequence of the bad air he had breathed during his confinement. Subsequently he discovered that personal spite had caused his arrest as a friend of the Commune.

My next account of those days is drawn from the experience of the Marquis de Compiegne,[1] one of the Versailles officers. He was travelling in Florida when the Franco-Prussian war broke out, but hastened home at once to join the army. He fought at Sedan and was taken prisoner to Germany, but returned in time to act against the Commune. Afterwards he became an explorer in the Soudan, and in 1877 was killed in a duel.

[Footnote 1: His narrative was published in the "Supplement Litteraire du Figaro."]

On the 20th of May, news having reached Versailles that the first detachment of regular troops had made their way into Paris, M. de Compiegne hastened to join his battalion, which he had that morning quitted on a few hours' leave. As they approached the Bois de Boulogne at midnight, the sky over Paris seemed red with flame. They halted for some hours, the men sleeping, the officers amusing themselves by guessing conundrums; but as day dawned, they entered Paris through a breach in the defences. The young officer says, -

"I shall never forget the sight. The fortifications had been riddled with balls; the casemates were broken in. All over the ground were strewn haversacks, packets of cartridges, fragments of muskets, scraps of uniforms, tin cans that had held preserved meats, ammunition-wagons that had been blown up, mangled horses, men dying and dead, artillerymen cut down at their guns, broken gun-carriages, disabled siege-guns, with their wheels splashed red from pools of blood, but still pointed at our positions, while around were the still smoking walls of ruined private houses. A company of infantry was guarding about six hundred prisoners, who with folded arms and lowering faces were standing among the ruins. They were of all ages, grades, and uniforms, - boys of fifteen and old men, general officers covered with gold lace, and beggars in rags: Avengers of Flourens, Children of Pere Duchene, Chasseurs and Zouaves, Lascars, Turcos, and Hussars. We halted a little farther in the city. We were very hungry, but all the shops were closed. I got some milk, but some of my comrades, who wanted wine, made a raid into the cellar of an abandoned house, and were jumped upon by an immense negro dressed like a Turco, whom they took for the devil. Glad as we all were to be in Paris, the sight as we marched on was most melancholy. Fighting seemed going on in all directions, especially near the Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde. The Arch of Triumph was not seriously injured. On the top of it were two mortars, and the tricolored flag had been replaced by the drapeau rouge. Detachments were all the time passing us with prisoners. They were thrust for safe-keeping wherever space could be found. I am sorry to say that they were cruelly insulted, and, as usual, those who had fought least had the foulest tongues. There was one party of deserters still in uniform, with their coats turned inside out. I saw one of the prettiest girls I have ever seen, among the prisoners. She was about fourteen, dressed as a cantiniere, with a red scarf round her waist. A smile was on her lips, and she carried herself proudly.

"That morning, May 22, I saw nobody shot. I think they wanted to take all the prisoners they could to Versailles as trophies of victory. About one o'clock we received orders to march, and went down the Boulevard Malesherbes. All the inhabitants seemed to be at their windows, and in many places we were loudly welcomed. It was strange to me to be marching with arms in my hands, powder-stained and dirty, along streets I had so often trodden gay, careless, and in search of pleasure.

"On the march we passed the Carmelite Convent, where my sister was at school; and as we halted, I was able to run in a moment and see her. Only an hour or two before; the nuns had had a Communist picket in their yard.

"We marched on to the Parc Monceau [once Louis Philippe's private pleasure-garden]. There our men were shooting prisoners who had been taken with arms in their hands. I saw fifteen men fall, - and then a woman.

"That night volunteers were called for to defend an outlying barricade which had been taren from the insurgents, and of which they were endeavoring to regain possession. Our captain led a party to this place, and in a tall house that overlooked the barricade he stationed three of us. There, lying flat on our faces on a billiard-table, we exchanged many shots with the enemy. A number of National Guards came up and surrendered to us as prisoners. As soon as one presented himself with the butt of his musket in the air, we made him come under the window, where two of us stood ready to fire in case of treachery, while the third took him to the lieutenant. In the course of the night I was slightly wounded in the ear. A surgeon pinned it up with two black pins.

"It was now May 23, - an ever-memorable day. We were pushing on into Paris, and were to attack Montmartre; but first we had to make sure of the houses in our rear. Then began that terrible fighting in the streets, when every man fights hand to hand, when one must jump, revolver in hand, into dark cellars, or rush up narrow staircases with an enemy who knows the ground, lying in wait. Two or three shots, well aimed, come from one house, and each brings down a comrade. Exasperated, we break in the door and rush through the chambers. The crime must be punished, the murderers are still on the spot; but there are ten men in the house. Each swears that he is innocent. Then each soldier has to take upon himself the office of a judge. He looks to see if the gun of each man has been discharged recently, if the blouse and the citizen's trousers have not been hastily drawn over a uniform. Death and life are in his hands; no one will ever call him to account for his decision. Women and children fall at his feet imploring pity; through all the house resound sobs, groans, and the reports of rifles. At the corner of every street lie the bodies of men shot, or stand prisoners about to be executed.

"I was thankful when the moment came to attack the heights of Montmartre, and to engage in open warfare. General Pradie, our brigadier-general, marched at our head, greatly exposed, because of the gold lace on his uniform. An insurgent, whom we had taken prisoner, suddenly sprang from his guards, seized the general's horse, and presented at him a revolver that he had hidden in his belt. The general, furious, cried, 'Shoot him! shoot him!' But we dared not, they were too close together. Suddenly the man sprang back, gained the street, and though twenty of us fired in haste at once, every ball missed him. Leaping like a goat, he made his escape. The general was very angry. Step by step we made our way, slowly, it is true, but never losing ground. About two hundred yards from Montmartre were tall houses and wood-yards where many insurgents had taken refuge. These sent among us a shower of balls. We had sharp fighting in this place, but succeeded in gaining the position. Then we halted for about two hours, to make preparations for an attack upon the heights. Some of us while we halted, fired at the enemy, some raided houses and made prisoners; some went in search of something to eat, but seldom found it. I was fortunate, however, while taking some prisoners to the provost-marshal, to be able to buy a dozen salt herrings, four pints of milk, nine loaves of bread, some prunes, some barley-sugar, and a pound of bacon. I took all I could get, and from the colonel downward, all my comrades were glad to get a share of my provisions. The heights of Montmartre had been riddled by the fire from Mont Valerien. Sometimes a shell from our mortars would burst in the enemy's trenches, when a swarm of human beings would rush out of their holes and run like rabbits in a warren."

The punishment of the unfortunate, as well as of the guilty, was very severe. Their imprisonment in the Great Orangery at Versailles, where thousands of orange-trees are stored during the winter, involved frightful suffering. A commission was appointed to try the prisoners, but its work was necessarily slow. It was more than a year before some of the captured leaders of the Commune met their fate. Those condemned were shot at the Buttes of Satory, - an immense amphitheatre holding twenty thousand people, where the emperor on one of his fetes, in the early days of his marriage, gave a great free hippodrome performance, to the intense gratification of his lieges.

Some prisoners were transported to New Caledonia; Cayenne had been given up as too unhealthy, and this lonely island in the far Pacific Ocean had been fixed upon as the Botany Bay for political offenders. Some of the leaders in the Council of the Commune were shot in the streets. Raoul Rigault was of this number. Some were executed at Satory; some escaped to England, Switzerland, and America; some were sent to New Caledonia, but were amnestied, and returned to France to be thorns in the side of every Government up to the present hour; some are now legislators in the French Chamber, some editors and proprietors of newspapers. Among those shot in the heat of vengeance at Satory was Valin, who had vainly tried to save the hostages. Deleschuze, in despair at the cowardice of his associates, quietly sought a barricade when affairs grew desperate, and standing on it with his arms folded, was shot down. Cluseret, who had real talent as an artist, had an exhibition a few years since of his pictures in Paris, and writing to a friend concerning it, speaks thus of himself:[1]

[Footnote 1: Le Figaro.]

"You can tell me the worst. When a man has passed through a life full of vicissitudes as I have done, during seventeen years of which I have seen many campaigns, fighting sometimes three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, or marching and counter-marching, without tents or anything; when one has been three times outlawed and under sentence of death; when one has known much of imprisonment and exile; when one has suffered from ingratitude, calumny, and poverty, - one is pretty well seasoned, and can bear to hear the truth."

One thousand and thirty-one women were among the prisoners at Versailles and Satory. Many of them were women of the worst character. Eight hundred and fifty were set at liberty; four were sent to an insane asylum; but doctors declared that nearly every woman who fought in the streets for the Commune was more or less insane.

The most important of all captures was that of Rochefort. He had been a leading man in the Council of the Commune, but was so great a favorite with men of literature, besides having strong friends and an old schoolfellow in Thiers' cabinet, that he escaped with transportation to the Southern Seas. On May 20, when he saw that the end of the Commune was at hand, he procured from the Delegate for Foreign Affairs passports for himself and his secretary. It is thought that the delegate, enraged at Rochefort's purpose of deserting his colleagues, betrayed him to the Prussians who held the fort of Vincennes. The Prussians sent word to the frontier, and there the fugitives were arrested. Rochefort had no luggage, but in his pocket was a great deal of miscellaneous jewelry, a copy of "Monte Cristo," and some fine cigars. Escorted by Uhlans, he was brought to St. Germains, and delivered over to the Versailles Government. For a long time his fate hung in the balance, and it seemed improbable that even the exertions of M. Thiers, the President, and Jules Favre, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, could save him.

Having told of the last days of the Commune as seen by Count Orsi and the Marquis de Compiegne, there remains one more narrative, - the experiences of a man still more intimately connected with the events of that terrible period, though, like a soldier in battle, he seems to have been able to see only what was around him, and could take no general view of what went on in other parts of the field.

The writer was all English gentleman who published his narrative immediately after he returned to England in September and October, 1871, in "Macmillan's Magazine." "The writer," says the editor, "is a young gentleman of good family and position. His name, though suppressed for good reasons, is known to us, and we have satisfied ourselves of the trustworthiness of the narrative." He says:

"I left England very hurriedly for France on March 29, 1871. I had neglected to procure a passport, and had no papers to prove my identity. I travelled from Havre to Paris without trouble, and on the train met two men whom I saw afterwards as members of the Council of the Commune. The first thing that struck me on my arrival in Paris was the extreme quietness of the streets. During the first week of my stay I was absorbed in my own business, and saw nothing; but on Monday, April 10, my own part in the concerns of the Commune began. I was returning home from breakfast about one o'clock in the day, when I met a sergeant and four men in the street, who stopped me, and the sergeant said: 'Pardon, Citizen, but what is your battalion?' I answered that, being an Englishman, I did not belong to any battalion. 'And your passport, Citizen?' On my replying that I had none, he requested me to go with him to a neighboring mairie, and I was accordingly escorted thither by the four men. On my arrival I was shown into a cell, comfortable enough, though it might have been cleaner. Having no evidence of my nationality, I felt it was useless to apply to the Embassy; all the friends I had in Paris who could have identified me as all Englishman had left the city some days before, and as I reflected, it appeared to me that if required to serve the Commune, no other course would be left to me. One thing, however, I resolved, - to keep myself as much in the background as possible. In three or four hours I was conducted before the members of the Commune for that arrondissement. They received me civilly, asked my name, age, profession, etc., and then one of them, taking up a paper, proceeded to say that I must be placed in a battalion for active service, as I was under forty years of age. 'Gentlemen,' I replied, 'your political affairs are of no interest to me, and it is my misfortune to be placed in this unpleasant predicament. But I tell you plainly, you may shoot me if you will, but I absolutely refuse to leave Paris to fight the Versaillais, who are no enemies of mine in particular, and I therefore demand to be set at liberty.' Upon this they all laughed, and told me to leave the room. After a little time I was recalled, and told I should be placed in acompagnie sedentaire. I again remonstrated, and demanded to be set at liberty, when they said I was drunk, and ordered me to be locked into my cell, whence I was transferred to my battalion the next morning. I found my captain a remarkably pleasant man, as indeed were all my comrades in my company, and I can never forget the kindness I met with from them. My only regret is my utter ignorance of their fate. I can scarcely hope they all escaped the miserable fate that overtook so many; but I should rejoice to know that some were spared. On entering the captain's office and taking off my hat, I was told to put it on again, 'as we are all equal here, Citizen;' and after the captain had said a few words to me, I was regaled with bread, sardines, and wine, - the rations for the day. The captain was a young man of six-and-twenty, with a particularly quiet, gentlemanly manner (he was, I believe, a carpet-weaver). He had been a soldier, and had served in Africa with distinction.

"The account of my daily duties as a member of this company from April 10 to May 23 may be here omitted. I became orderly to one of the members of the Commune, and being supplied with a good horse (for as an Englishman I was supposed to be able to ride), I spent much of my time in carrying messages. On the morning of Tuesday, May 23, our colonel told us of the death of Dombrowski, who had been shot during the night, though particulars were not known. I was sorry to hear of his end, for he had been disposed to be kind to me, and I knew then that the cause of the Commune was utterly lost, as he was the only able man among them. The night before, we had seen such a fire as I never saw before, streaming up to the sky in two pillars of flame. I was told it was the Tuileries. The Versaillais were already within the walls of Paris, but this we in the centre of the city did not know. The news spread during the day, however, and there was a great panic in the evening. Everybody began to make preparations for flight, the soldiers being anxious to get home and change their uniforms for plain clothes. No one knew with any degree of certainty where the enemy really was, nor how far he had advanced; only one thing was certain, that the game was played out, and that sauve qui peut must be the order of the day. Men, women, and children were rushing frantically about the streets, demanding news, and repeating it with a hundred variations. The whole scene was lit up by fires which blazed in all directions. At last the night gave place to dawn, and the scene was one to be remembered for a lifetime. The faces of the crowd wore different expressions of horror, amazement, and abject terror.... Early in the morning of Wednesday 24th, I, with some others, was ordered to the barricade of La Roquette.[1] My companions were very good fellows, with one exception, - a grumpy old wretch who had served in Africa, and could talk about nothing but the heat of Algeria and the chances for plunder he had let slip there. Finding nothing to do at the barricade, I tied my horse and fell asleep upon the pavement. I dreamed I was at a great dinner-party in my father's house, and could get nothing to eat, though dishes were handed to me in due course. Many times afterwards my sleeping thoughts took that direction. I really believe that there were times when I and many others would willingly have been shot, if we could have secured one good meal, When I awoke, about mid-day, in the Rue de la Roquette, I found my companions gone to the mairie of the Eleventh Arrondissement, and I followed them. Our uniform was not unlike that of the troops of the line in the French army, so we were taken by the crowd for deserters, and hailed with 'Ah, les bon garcons! Ah, les bons patriotes!' and we shouted back in turn with all our might, 'Vive la Commune! Vive la Republique!' Those words were in my mouth the whole of the next three days. The people never saw a horseman without shrieking to him, 'How is all going on at present?' To which the answer was invariably, 'All goes well! Vive la Commune! Vive la Republique! ' though the enemy might at that moment be within five hundred yards. Indeed, the infatuation and credulity displayed by the French, not only during the insurrection, but the whole war, was absurd. Tell them on good authority that they had lost a battle or been driven back, they would answer that you were joking, and you might think yourself lucky to escape with a whole skin; but say nothing but 'All goes well! We have won!' and without stopping to inquire, they would at once cheer and shout as if for a decisive victory."

[Footnote 1: At that time the execution of the hostages was taking place within the prison.]

The next duty of our Englishman was to act as mounted orderly to captains who were ordered to visit and report on the state of the barricades, also to command all citizens to go into their houses and close the doors and windows. There was little enthusiasm at the barricades, and everywhere need of reinforcements. The army of the Commune was melting away. The most energetic officer they saw was a stalwart negro lieutenant, - possibly the man who, as De Compiegne tells us, had scared some Versaillais in a cellar on the 22d of May.

On the night of Thursday, May 25, the Column of July was a remarkable sight. It had been hung with wreaths of immortelles, and those caught fire from an explosive. Elsewhere, except for burning buildings, there was total darkness. There was no gas in Paris, of course. And here our Englishman goes on to say that so far as his experience went, he saw no petroleuses nor fighting women, nor did he believe in their existence.

By Friday, May 26, provisions and fodder were exhausted, and it was hard for the soldiers of the Commune to get anything to eat. Our Englishman, in the general disorganization, became separated from his comrades, and joined himself to a small troop of horsemen wearing the red shirt of Garibaldi, who swept past him at a furious gallop. They were making for the cemetery of Pere la Chaise. "All is lost!" they cried. "To get there is our only chance of safety." Yet they still shouted to the men and women whom they passed, "All goes well! Vive la Commune! Vive la Republique!" By help of an order to visit all the posts, which the Englishman had in his pocket, they obtained admittance into Pere la Chaise. There were five Poles in the party, one Englishman, and one Frenchman; "and certainly," adds the narrator, "they were no credit to their respective nations. It was on their faces that I remarked for the first time that peculiar hunted-down look which was afterwards to be seen on every countenance, and I presume upon my own."

Our Englishman rode up to a battery in Pere la Chaise, planted on the spot made famous by a celebrated passage in "Le Pere Goriot," in which Balzac describes Rastignac, on the eve of finally selling himself to Satan, as standing and gazing down on Paris, to conquer a high place in which is to be his reward. The observer who saw the city from the same spot on the 26th of May, 1871, says, -

"Beneath me lay stretched out like a map the once great and beautiful city, now, alas! given over a prey to fire and sword. I could see smoke rising from many a heap of ruins that but a few short hours before had been a palace or a monument of art. It was impossible, however, to decide what buildings were actually burning, for a thick, misty rain had set in, which prevented my seeing distinctly. In my descent I passed the place where the body of Dombrowski was lying. He had been shot from behind, and the ball had passed through his body. At the gate of the cemetery I found a man waiting for me with news that Belleville was to be our rendezvous. Words cannot paint the spectacle that Belleville presented. It was the last place left, the only refuge remaining; and such an assemblage as was collected there it would be difficult to find again. There were National Guards of every battalion, Chasseurs Federes in their wonderful uniform, - a sort of cross between Zouave, linesman, and rifleman, - Enfants Perdus in their green coats and feathers (very few of these were to be seen, as they had no claim to quarter, nor did they expect any), Chasseurs a Cheval of the Commune, in their blue jackets and red trousers, leaning idly against the gates of their stables, Eclaireurs de la Commune in blue, Garibaldians in red, hussars, cantinieres, sailors, civilians, women, and children, all mixed up together in the crowded streets, and looking the picture of anxiety. In the afternoon about four o'clock we were ordered to mount and to escort 'ces coquins,' - as the officer called a party of prisoners. They were forty-five gendarmes and six cures, who were to be shot in the courtyard of a neighboring building. We obeyed our orders and accompanied them to their destination. I was told off to keep back the crowd. The men about to die, fifty-one in all, were placed together, and the word was given to fire. Some few, happier than the rest, fell at once, others died but slowly. One gendarme made an effort to escape but was shot through the stomach, and fell, a hideous object, to the ground. One old cure, with long hair white as snow, had the whole of one side of his head shot away, and still remained standing. After I had seen this, I could bear it no longer, but, reckless of consequences, moved away and left the ground, feeling very sick. As I was in the act of leaving, I observed a lad, a mere boy of fourteen or fifteen, draw a heavy horseman's pistol from his belt and fire in the direction of the dead and dying. He was immediately applauded by the mob, and embraced by those who stood near as 'a good patriot.' And here let me remark that those who have thought it cruel and inhuman on the part of the conquerors to arrest and detain as prisoners gamins of from twelve to sixteen, are quite mistaken. Those who remained at the barricades to the last, and were most obstinate in their defence, were the boys of Paris. They were fierce and uncontrollable, and appeared to be veritably possessed of devils. The difference between the irregular corps and the National Guard was that the latter had, with very few exceptions, been forced to serve, like myself, under compulsion, or by the stern necessity of providing bread for their wives and children, while the Irregulars were all volunteers, and had few married men in their ranks."

Later in the day two mounted officers in plain clothes, one of them a captain, whom our friend had served as orderly, called him and an artilleryman out of the ranks, and ordered them to accompany them. After a devious course through obscure streets of Paris, the officers gave them some money, and ordered them to go into the next street and see if they could procure plain clothes. Having done so, they returned to the place where their officers had promised to wait for them; but they had disappeared. This was, in truth, a good-natured ruse to save the lives of the two privates, though at the time it was not so understood. Not knowing what to do, they attempted to return to their regiments, but at the first outpost they were challenged by the sentry. They had been away five hours, and the countersign had been changed. They were arrested, and carried to the nearest mairie. They were led upstairs and taken before a member of the Commune who was sitting at a table covered with papers, busily writing, surrounded by men of all ranks and uniforms. On hearing their story, he turned round, and said, in excellent English, "What are you doing here, an Englishman and in plain clothes?" The Englishman had grown angry. He answered recklessly: "Yes, I am English, and I have been compelled to serve your Commune. I don't know what your name is, or who you are, but I request that you give me a paper to allow me to quit Paris without further molestation." The member of the Commune smiled, and answered: "There is only one thing to be done with you. Here, sergeant!" And the Englishman and the artilleryman were escorted to the guard-room. There everything of value was taken from them. The Englishman lost his watch, his money, and what he valued more, his note-book and papers. He wore a gold ring, the gift of his mother; and as it was difficult to get off, some of the soldiers proposed amputating the finger.

Next, a species of court-martial was held, which in a few minutes passed sentence that they were to be shot at nine the next morning, for "refusing to serve the Commune!" They had been asked no questions, no evidence had been heard, and no defence had been allowed them. Says the Englishman, -

"We were conducted to the Black Hole. There we found nine others who were to suffer the same fate in the morning. I was too tired to do anything but throw myself on a filthy mattress, and in a few minutes I was sleeping what I thought was my last sleep on earth. I was roused at daybreak by a tremendous hammering of my companions on the door of our cell. I was irritated, and asked angrily why they could not allow those who wished to be quiet to remain so. They answered by telling me to climb up to the window and look into the courtyard. I found it strewn with corpses. The mairie had been evacuated during the night, and it was evident we should not be executed. In vain we tried to force the door of our cell; all we could do was to make as much noise as possible to attract attention. At last a sergeant of the National Guard procured the keys, the heavy door was opened, and we were free. I avoided a distribution of rifles and ammunition, and passed out into the street, hoping that my troubles were over. Alas! they were only just begun; for the first sight that met my eyes as I stepped into the street was a soldier of the Government, calling on all those in sight to surrender and to lay down their arms. I gave myself up as a prisoner of war. It was Whit-Sunday, May 28. Happily my name was written down as one of those taken without arms.

"I was placed in a party of prisoners, and we were marched to the Buttes de Chaumont, passing in our way many a barricade, or rather the remains of them. Here, the body of a man shot through the head was lying stiff and cold upon the pavement; there, was a pool of coagulated blood; there, the corpse of a gentleman in plain clothes, apparently sleeping, with his head buried in his arms; but a small red stream issuing from his body told that he slept the sleep of death. Some, as we marched on, kept silence, some congratulated themselves that all was over, while some predicted our immediate execution. All had the same hunted-down, wearied look upon their faces that I have before alluded to. At last we were halted and given over to the charge of a regiment of the line. The first order given was, 'Fling down your hats!' Luckily I had a little silk cap, which I contrived to slip into my pocket, and which was afterwards of great comfort to me. We stood bare-headed in the blazing sun some time, till our attention was called to a sound of shooting, and a whisper went round: 'We are all to be shot.' The agonized look on the faces of some, I can never forget; but these were men of the better sort, and few in number: the greater part looked sullen and stolid, shrugged their shoulders, and said, 'It won't take long; a shot, and all is over.'

"A boy about four files behind me was a pitiable object; his cries and his frantic endeavors to attract notice to a document of some sort he held in his hand, were silenced at last by a kick from an officer and a 'Tais-toi, crapaud!' Very different was it with a poor child of nine, who stood next to me. He never cried nor uttered a word of complaint, but stood quietly by my side for some time, looking furtively into my face. At last he ventured to slip his little hand into mine, and from that time till the close of that terrible day we marched hand in hand. Meantime the executions went on. I counted up to twenty, and afterwards I believe some six or seven more took place. Those put to death were nearly all officers of the National Guard. One who was standing near me, a paymaster, had his little bag containing the pay of his men, which he had received the day before, but had not been able to distribute among them. He now gave it away to those standing round him (I among them getting a few francs), saying, 'I shall be shot; but this money may be of use to you, my children, in your sad captivity.' He was led out and shot a few minutes afterwards. They all, without exception, met their fate bravely and like men. There was no shrinking from death, or entreaties to be spared, among those I saw killed.

"After an hour we resumed our march, the mob saluting us with the choicest selection of curses and abusive epithets I ever heard. We passed down the Rue Royale, the bystanders calling on us to look upon the ruin we had caused, through the Champs Elysees to the Arch of Triumph, marching bare-headed, under a burning sun. At length, in the Avenue de l'Imperatrice, an order to halt was given. There, weary and footsore, many dropped down on the ground, waiting for death, which we were now convinced was near at hand. For myself, I felt utterly numbed and contented to die, and I think I should have received with equal indifference the news of my release. I remember plotting in my mind how I could possibly get news of my fate conveyed to my parents in England. Could I ask one of the soldiers to convey a message for me? And would he understand what to do? With such thoughts, and mechanically repeating the Lord's Prayer to myself at intervals, I whiled away more than an hour, until an order, 'Get up, all of you,' broke the thread of my meditations. Presently General the Marquis de Gallifet (he who had served the emperor in Mexico) passed slowly down the line, attended by several officers. He stopped here and there, selecting several of our number, chiefly the old or the wounded, and ordered them to step out of the ranks. His commands were usually couched in abusive language. A young man near me called out, 'I am an American. Here is my passport. I am innocent.' 'Silence! We have foreigners and riff-raff more than enough. We have got to get rid of them,' was the general's reply. All chance was over now, we thought; we should be shot in a few minutes. Our idea was that those who had been placed aside were to be spared, and those about me said: 'It is just. They would not shoot the aged and the wounded!' Alas! we were soon to be undeceived. Again we started, and were ordered to march arm in arm to the Bois de Boulogne. There those picked out of our ranks by General de Gallifet - over eighty in number - were all shot before our eyes; yet so great was our thirst that many, while the shooting was going on, were struggling for water, of which there was only a scant supply. I was not fortunate enough to get any.

"The execution being over, we proceeded, now knowing that our destination was Versailles. Oh, the misery and wretchedness of that weary march! The sun poured fiercely down on our uncovered heads, our throats were parched with thirst, our blistered feet and tired legs could hardly support our aching bodies. Now and again a man utterly worn out would drop by the wayside. One of our guard would then dismount, and try by kicks and blows to make him resume his place in the line. In all cases those measures proved unavailing, and a shot in the rear told us that one of our number had ceased to exist. The executioner would then fall into his place, laughing and chatting gayly with his comrades.

"Towards eight o'clock in the evening we entered Versailles. If the curses we had endured in Paris were frightful and numerous, here they were multiplied tenfold. We toiled up the hill leading to Satory, through mud ankle deep. 'There stand the mitrailleuses, ready for us,' said one of my companions. Then, indeed, for the first time I felt afraid, and wished I had been among those who had been executed in the daytime, rather than be horribly wounded and linger in my misery; for no sure aim is taken by a mitrailleuse.

"The order came to halt, and I waited for the whirring sound; but, thank God! I waited in vain. We set ourselves in motion once more, and soon were in an immense courtyard surrounded by walls, having on one side large sheds in which we were to pass the night. With what eagerness did we throw ourselves on our faces in the mud, and lap up the filthy water in the pools! There was another Englishman, as well as several Americans, among our number, also some Dutch, Belgians, and Italians. The Englishman had arrived in Paris from Brest on May 14 to 'better himself,' and had been immediately arrested and put in prison by the Commune. Being released on the 21st of May, he was captured the next day by the Versaillais. I remained all the time with him till my release.

"On Wednesday, May 31, we were despatched to Versailles to be examined at the orangerie. The orangerie is about seven hundred feet long and forty broad, including two wings at either end. It is flagged with stone, on which the dust accumulates in great quantities. According to my experience, it is bitterly cold at night, and very hot in the daytime. Within its walls, instead of fragrant orange-trees, were four to five thousand human beings, now herded together in a condition too miserable to imagine, a prey to vermin, disease, and starvation.

"The general appearance of the crowd of captives was, I must confess, far from prepossessing. They were very dirty, very dusty and worn out, as I myself was probably, and no wonder; the floor was several inches thick in dust, no straw was attainable, and washing was impossible. I gained some comparative comfort by gathering up dust in a handkerchief and making a cushion of it. Thursday, June 1, dragged on as miserably as its predecessor, the only event being the visit of a deputy, which gave rise to great anticipations, as he said, in my hearing, that our condition was disgraceful, and that straw and a small portion of soup ought to be allowed us.

"The terrible scenes and sufferings we had gone through had deprived many of our number of their reason. Some of the madmen were dangerous, and made attempts to take the lives of their companions; others did nothing but shout and scream day and night. The second night we passed in the orangerie the Englishman and I thought we had secured a place where we might lie down and sleep in the side gallery; but at midnight we were attacked by one of the most dangerous of the madmen. It was useless to hope to find any other place to lie down in, and we had no more rest that night, for several maniacs persisted in following us wherever we went, and would allow us no repose. I counted that night forty-four men bereft of reason wandering about and attacking others, as they had done ourselves.

"The next day we found ourselves at last in the ranks of those who were to leave the orangerie. Our names were inscribed at eleven o'clock, and we stood in rank till seven in the evening, afraid to lose our places if we stirred. What our destination might be, was to us unknown; but there was not a man who was not glad to quit the place where we had suffered such misery."

Their destination proved to be Brest, which they reached at midnight of the next day, after travelling in cattle-cars for about thirty hours. They were transferred at once to a hulk lying in the harbor, clean shirts and water to wash with were given them, which seemed positive luxuries. Their treatment was not bad; they had hammocks to sleep in, and permission to smoke on deck every other day. But the sufferings they had gone through, and the terribly foul air of the orangerie, had so broken them down that most of them were stricken by a kind of jail-fever. Many, without warning, would drop down as if in a fit, and be carried to a hospital ship moored near them, to be seen no more.

Our Englishman remained three weeks on board this hulk, and then escaped; but by what means he did not, in October, 1871, venture to say.

He concludes his narrative with these words: -

"When I think of those who were with me who still remain in the same condition, and apparently with no chance of release, my heart grows sick within me, and I can only be thankful to Almighty God for my miraculous and providential escape. In conclusion let me say, as one who lived and suffered among them, that so far from speaking hardly of the miserable creatures who have been led astray, one ought rather to pity them. The greater part of those who served the Commune (for all in Paris, with but few exceptions, did serve) were 'pressed men' like myself. But those who had wives and children to support and were without work - nay, even without means of obtaining a crust of bread (for the siege had exhausted all their little savings) - were forced by necessity to enroll themselves in the National Guard for the sake of their daily pay.

"In the regular army of the Commune (if I may so style the National Guard) there were but few volunteers, and these were in general orderly and respectable men; but the irregular regiments, such as theEnfants Perdus, Chasseurs Federes, Defenseurs de la Colonne de Juillet, etc., were nothing but troops of blackguards and ruffians, who made their uniforms an excuse for robbery and pillage. Such men deserved the vengeance which overtook the majority of them."