« AnkstesnisTęsti »
lieve, called the Place du Trocadéro). There ble, could belong to the beaten and panicwas a dense fog, which circumscribed my sphere stricken army of the Commune. No; that could of vision, and I knew only that I was standing not be. They were, for sure, Versaillist troops on sward in an utter solitude. A few steps coming to take possession of the Trocadéro. brought me into the rear of a battery facing Indeed, had there been no other evidence, westward, from which all the guns had been car- their method of announcing themselves by half ried off except one which had been dismounted, a dozen chassepot bullets fired at the lone man evidently by a hostile shell, and lay among the standing by the battery was conclusive. I took shattered fragments of its carriage. Close by, the hint to quit, and started off abruptly in the no doubt killed by the explosion of the same direction of the Champs Elysées. I came out shell which had wrecked the gun, were two or on the beautiful avenue by the Rue des Chailthree dead Communists. As it became lighter, lots, about midway between the Arc de Triand the fog was slowly dispersing, the slopes omphe and the Rond Point; and lo! round of the Trocadéro disclosed themselves on my the noble pile which commemorates French left, and I realized that I must be standing in valor stood in close order several battalions the Trocadéro battery of which I had heard of soldiers in red breeches. Thus far then, at Dombrowski speak on the previous afternoon. all events, had penetrated the Versaillist invaLooking westward along the Avenue de l’Em- sion of Paris in the young hours of the 22d. péreur (now the Avenue Henri Martin), I saw The French regulars were packed in the Place a battery of artillery advancing up it at a walk, de l'Étoile as densely as were the Bavarians with detachments of sailors abreast of it on each on the day of the German entry three months sidewalk. I had not to ask myself whether these before. No cannon-fire was directed on them troops, advancing with a deliberation so equa- from the great Federal barricade at the Place
de la Concorde end of the Tuileries gardens, and then, tracking them by side streets, I found but national guards were showing about it, they pressed on steadily, firing now and then, and now and then sending a rifle-bullet inef- but not heavily, till they reached the open fectively at the dense masses of the Versail- space at the head of the Boulevard Hausslists. The latter, for their part, seemed to take mann, in front of the Pépinière Barracks. This things very deliberately, and to be making was a singularly commanding position, and quite sure of their ground before advancing thus early one could fathom the tactics of the
FROM PHOTOGRAPHS BY E. APPERT.
TYPES OF THE PÉTROLEUSES.
further. They had a field-battery in action Versaillists. Occupying in strong force, and a little way below the Arc, which swept the with numerous artillery, certain central points, Champs Elysées very thoroughly. I saw sev- from each of which radiated several straight eral shells explode about the Place de la Con- thoroughfares in different directions, their decorde, and was very glad when I had run the sign was to cut Paris up into sections, isolatgantlet safely and reached the further side ing the sections one from another by sweepof the great avenue. I was making toward the ing with fire the bounding streets. From this Parc Monceaux, when a person I met told me position, at the Pépinière, for instance, they that Versaillist troops, marching from the Arc had complete command of the Boulevard along the Avenue de la Reine Hortense (now Haussmann down to its foot at the Rue Taitthe Avenue Hoche), had come upon the Com- bout, and of the Boulevard Malesherbes down munists throwing up a barricade, and had saved to the Madeleine, thus securing access to the them the trouble of completing it by taking it great boulevards and to the Rue Royale, by from them at the point of the bayonet. Here descending which could be taken in reverse I very nearly got shut in, for as we talked there the Communist barricade at its foot, facing the was a shout, and, looking eastward, I saw that Place de la Concorde. Desirous of seeing a strong force of Versaillists, with artillery at anything that might be passing in other parts their head, were marching along the Avenue of the city, I made my way by devious paths Friedland toward the Boulevard Haussmann. in the direction of the Palais-Royal. Shells I was just in time to dodge across their front, seemed to be bursting all over Paris. They
were time-fuse shells; and I could see many of up across the Boulevard de la Madeleine a them explode in white puffs high in air. Sev- barricade of trees and casks. The Commueral fell on and about the Bourse as I was pass- nists, on their side, had a barricade composed ing it, and the boulevards and their vicinity chiefly of provision-wagons across the boulewere silent and deserted save for small detach- vard at the head of the Rue de la Paix. For ments of national guards hurrying backward the moment no firing was going on, and as it and forward. It was difficult to tell whether was getting toward noon I determined to try the Communists meant to stand or fall back, to reach my hotel in the Cité d'Antin and to but certainly everywhere barricades were be obtain some breakfast. ing hastily thrown up. All these I evaded un- Leaving the boulevard by the Rue Taitbout, til I reached the Place du Palais-Royal. Here I found my progress hampered by a crowd two barricades were being constructed, one of people as I approached the bottom of the across the throat of the Rue St. Honoré, the Boulevard Haussmann. By a strenuous pushother across the Rue de Rivoli between the ing and shoving I got to the front of this throng, Louvre and the hotel of the same name. For to witness a curious spectacle. There was a the latter material was chiefly furnished by a crowd behind me. Opposite to me, on the great number of mattresses of Sommier-Tuck- further side of the Boulevard Haussmann, er manufacture, which were being hurriedly another crowd faced me. Between the two pitched out of the windows of the warehouse, crowds was the broad boulevard, actually alive and by mattresses from the barracks of the Place with the rifle-bullets sped by the Versaillists du Carrousel. The Rue St. Honoré barricade from their position about 1000 yards higher was formed of furniture, omnibuses, and cabs, up. On the iron shutters of the shops closing it and in the construction of it I was compelled at the bottom — shops in the Rue Taitbout to assist. I had been placidly standing in the bullets were pattering like hailstones, some front of the Palais-Royal when a soldier ap- dropping back flattened, others penetrating. proached me, and ordered me to lend a hand. I This obstacle of rifle-fire it was which had declined, and turned to walk away, whereupon massed the crowds on each side. Nor were he brought his bayonet down to the charge in the wayfarers thus given pause without reason, close proximity to my person. That was an for in the space dividing the one crowd from argument which, in the circumstances, I could the other lay not a few dead and wounded not resist, and I accompanied him to where who had dared and suffered. My hunger overa red-sashed member of the Committee of the came my prudence, and I ran across without Commune was strutting to and fro superin- damage except to a coat-tail, through which tending the operations. To him I addressed a bullet had passed, making a hole in my strong remonstrances, explaining that I was a tobacco-pouch. A lad who followed me was neutral, and exhibiting to him the pass I had not so fortunate; he got across indeed, but received from the War Department the day with a bullet-wound in the thigh. before. He bluntly refused to recognize the Having ordered breakfast at my hotel in pass, and offered me the alternative of being the Cité d'Antin, a recessed space close to shot or going to work. I was fain to accept the foot of the Rue de Lafayette, I ran to the the latter. Even if you are forced to do a thing, junction of that street with the Boulevard it is pleasant to try to do it in a satisfactory Haussmann just in time to witness a fierce manner; and observing that an embrasure fight for the barricade across the latter about had been neglected in the construction of the the intersection of the Rue Tronchet. The barricade, notwithstanding that there was a gun Communists stood their ground resolutely, alin its rear, I devoted my energies to remedy- though falling fast under the overwhelming ing this defect. The committeeman was good fire, until a battalion of Versaillist marines enough to express such approbation of this made a rush and carried the barricade. It amendment that when the embrasure was com- was with all the old French élan that they pleted he allowed me to go away. Looking up leaped on and over the obstacle and lunged the Rue Rivoli, I noticed that the Commu- with their sword-bayonets at the few defenders nists had erected a great battery across its junc- who would not give ground. Those who had tion with the Place de la Concorde, armed with not waited for the end fell back toward me, cannon which were in action, firing apparently dodging behind lamp-posts and in doorways, up the Champs Elysées. Leaving the vicinity and firing wildly as they retreated. They were of the Palais-Royal, I went in the direction pursued by a brisk fusillade from the captured of the new opera-house. Reaching the boule- barricade, which was fatal to a large proporvard, I discovered that the Versaillists must tion of them. Two lads standing near me have gained the Madeleine, between which were shot down. A bullet struck the lampand their position at the Pépinière Barracks post which constituted my shelter, and fell no obstacle intervened; for they had thrown Aattened on the asphalt. A woman ran out
from the corner of the Rue Chaussée d'Antin, his boot and departed, having promised to picked up the bullet, and walked coolly back, come to my hotel at 8 P. M., and to report his clapping her hands with glee !
success or failure. I never saw him or heard After eating and writing for a couple of of him any more. hours, I determined to go to the North of On my way back from the Gare du Nord, France railway terminus, and attempt to get a I met with an experience which was near beletter to my paper sent out. One saw strange ing tragical. Hearing firing in the direction of things on the way. What, for instance, was this the Church of Notre Dame de Lorette, I left curious fetish-like ceremony going on in the the Rue Lafayette for the Rue Chateaudun. Rue Lafayette at the corner of the Rue Lafitte? When I reached the Place, in the center of There was a wagon, a mounted Spahi as black which the church stands, I found myself inside as night, and an officer with his sword drawn. an extraordinary triangle of barricades. There A crowd stood around, and the center of the was a barricade across the end of the Rue St. strange scene was a blazing fire of papers. Lazare, another across the end of the Rue Were they burning the ledgers of the adjacent Lorette, and a third between the church and bank, or the title-deeds of the surrounding in front of the Place, looking into the Rue property? No. The papers of a Communist Chateaudun. The peculiarity of the arrangebattalion it was which were being thus for- ment consisted in this, that each of these barmally destroyed, no doubt that they should not ricades could be either enfiladed or taken in bear witness against its members. The episode reverse by fire directed against the others, so was a significant indication of the beginning that the defenders were exposing themselves to of the end; nor were other tokens wanting, fire from flank and rear, as well as from front. for English passports were being anxiously I took a protected position in the church porch, sought. At the terminus the unpleasant report to watch the outcome of this curious state of was current that the Prussians had shunted at things. But the officer in command happened St. Denis all the trains leaving Paris, and were to notice me, approached, and ordered me to preventing everybody from passing their lines. pick up the musket of a man who had just been There was one chance. I suborned a railway bowled over, and to take a hand in the defense employee of acute aspect to get out of Paris of the position. I refused, urging that I was by walking through the railway tunnel, and a foreigner and a neutral. He would by no should he reach St. Denis, to give my letter to means accept the excuse, and gave me the a person there whom I could trust to forward choice of the cheerful alternative of comply
missary put the missive cheerfully in ing or being forth with shot. I did not believe
him serious, and laughed at him; whereupon part, were also moving deliberately in the he called to four of his men to come and stick Montmartre direction, and before dusk had me up against the church wall, and then con- reached the Place de l'Europe at the back of stitute themselves a firing-party. They had the St. Lazare terminus. From this point duly posted me, and were proceeding to carry on the north they held with their advanced out the program, when suddenly a rush of Ver- forces a definite line down the Rue Tronchet saillists came upon and over the Rue St. Lazare to the Madeleine. They were maintaining barricade, whereupon the defenders precipi- their fire along the Boulevard Haussmann, tately evacuated the triangle, the firing-party and from their battery at the Madeleine they accompanying their comrades. I remained, had shattered the Communist barricade on not caring for the society I should accompany the Boulevard des Capucines at the head of if I fed; but I presently came to regard my the Rue de la Paix. The Communists were fastidiousness as folly. For several shots from undoubtedly partly demoralized, yet they were Versaillist rifles came too near to be pleasant, working hard everywhere at the construction and in a twinkling I was in Versaillist grips, of barricades. and instantly charged with being a Commu- About 8 P. M. the firing died out everywhere, nard. The people in the red breeches set about and for an interval there was a dead calm. sticking me up against the church wall again, What strange people were those Parisians! It when fortunately I saw a superior officer, and was a lovely evening, and the scene in the narappealed to him. I was bidden to hold up my row streets off the Rue Lafayette reminded hands. They were not particularly clean, but me of the aspect of the down-town residential there were no gunpowder stains on the thumb streets of New York on a summer Sunday evenand forefinger. Those stains were, it seemed, ing. Men and women were placidly sitting by the brand marking the militant Communard, their street doors, gossiping easily about the and my freedom from them just pulled me events and the rumors of the day. The chilthrough. It was a “close call,” but then a dren played around the barricades; their momiss is as good as a mile.
thers scarcely looked up at the far-off sound Late in the afternoon the drift of the retreat- of the générale, or when the distant report of ing Communists seemed to be in the direction the bursting of a shell came on the soft night of Montmartre, whence their guns were firing wind. Yet on that light wind was borne the over the city at the Versaillist artillery, now smell of blood, and corpses were littering the on the Trocadéro. The Versaillists, for their pavements not three hundred yards away.
HEY play whist, the beaus of-pearl; the sand in the hour-glass fiows si
in their powdered wigs and lently; the pungent smell of the box comes in
the Aower-beds are bor- The fountain plashes in the garden; the dered with box, and the scent of the box comes pungent smell of the box comes in at the open in at the open windows.
windows; the sand in the hour-glass flows as They play whist. A beau shakes back the silently as the lives of the players. lace frill from his hand as he deals. A red jewel They play whist. A beau leads an ace; his gleams on his finger. The ladies' brocades partner trumps. A trick is lost, but he looks rustle; they frown softly at their cards. An at her, and smiles. A trick is lost — but love hour.glass stands on a table inlaid with mother- is immortal.
Mary E. Wilkins. Vol. XLIV.- 107-108.