The Division of General Vergee marched direct upon Auteuil. Scarcely had the first column arrived there, when volleys of musketry were opened by the Insurgents concealed in houses. A few of the troops were put hors de combat by this fire, but the artillery of the Division turned their pieces on the ramparts against the enemy, Mitrailleuses were also brought into requisition by the troops, and within an hour the Insurgents had fled to a distance.
The Division of General Douai entered by the gate of St. Cloud, which is at the Point du Jour, and occupied the salient between the ramparts and the viaduct. Here there was a second bastion of considerable solidity. The soldiers entered the half-ruined barracks and casemates, and made prisoners of a number of Insurgents whom they found concealed there.
Immediate preparations were then made for the advance right and left, but as the enemy was still keeping up a fire from 7-pounders and Mitrailleuses, along the bastions between Vaugirard and Montrouge, a regular assault of these positions by the division under General Cissey was determined upon. I have already announced that it has been successful.
The Division began to march in by the Gates of Vaugirard and Montrouge. At 2 o'clock this morning La Muette was occupied without serious resistance.
A Division subsequently advanced to Passy to join that which had taken La Muette.
Such was the suddenness with which the occupation of the Point du Jour had been effected that, as I have stated, the firing from the military batteries continued for a considerable time after the first of the troops were in it. It was not till 4 o'clock that the order to cease firing in that direction left the Head-Quarters. In the meantime, hundreds of people stood on the Avenue and Terrace of Meudon watching the cannonade, and believing that all the posts of the Insurgents were still occupied by the enemy. Even the officers and men in the batteries did not know why the order to cease firing had been sent round.
I have just returned, after having followed in the rear of General Vinoy's last column, going to take up positions in the neighbourhood of the Trocadero. I have wandered all over the Point du Jour, visited Auteuil, and have walked along by the bastions between the Gate of St. Cloud at the Point du Jour and the Gate of Auteuil. Having watched the other side of the Sevres Bridge, I was surprised on passing along the Sevres road to observe that, very little damage had been done to the houses at the end of it near the enceinte. One or two bore the marks of shells, but the fact is that nearly all had escaped, and what I saw at the enceinte and within it, shows that the artillery practice of the Versailles side had been exceedingly good throughout the bombardment. The people on the Sevres road had kept their shops open amid all the terrible firing. Only some two or three houses had been closed. They stood at a dangerous angle to the batteries at Meudon. On one of them was chalked "fermee pour cause du bombardement." Between the last of the houses and the ramparts, and at a distance of not more than 100 yards from the latter, were the newly-cut trenches which the troops had constructed. Good gabions protected them in front, and there was a plentiful supply of fascines lying all about. The doors of the Porte were no longer to be seen, except in little bits on the roadway. The drawbridge had succumbed bodily, and its place was supplied with some planks. The posthouse was in ruins, and the stone walls on either side between the gates and the parapet of the fortifications had been crumbled into rubbish; the glacis from the Point du Jour to Auteuil had been ploughed up in such a manner that not a yard of it was to be seen without a shell hole. To say that the parapet had been riddled would not be correct. It is smashed here and there, and at intervals everywhere, but in no place between the two Gates I am referring to is the earthwork inside the parapet laid bare, nor has a breach, properly so called, been anywhere made. The doors and gate walls of both gates are smashed through, but all along, despite serious disfigurement, the parapet is strong still.
To come back to the Point du Jour—that is as much a ruin as the town of St. Cloud. From the gate to the Railway Station there is not a single habitable house; not three have roofs, and not one has its windows and walls intact. Every lamppost has been scattered about the road in small pieces, and a stranger who had not heard of the bombardment might be pardoned for supposing that the streets had been macadamized with the fragments of shells. Strange to say, the staircase leading from the Booking Office of the Railway Station to the line over head is uninjured, or nearly so, and by its means I was enabled to ascend and walk through that Viaduct which I have been looking at from a distance as shells have been battering it for the last six weeks. It is much knocked about, and so is the bridge underneath it, which in a series of arches spans the river, but both will be serviceable still after some repair. Huge stones, displaced from their settings and broken into small pieces, lie scattered on the bridge and its approaches. From the Viaduct I could see an immense conflagration in the neighbourhood of the Champ de Mars, and a combat between the troops and the Insurgents was going on. In the Place de la Concorde and the Rue de Rivoli, all down to the Trocadero, reserves were in waiting with their chassepots stacked on each side of the road, but there was no fighting along the Quays. General Vinoy had established himself in his new Head-Quarters, and the 70,000 or 80,000 men already in the heart of the city are believed to be quite sufficient to dispose of the last desperadoes of the Commune. The sounds of battle we heard from more than one point, and yet every one spoke of the Insurrection as in its last agonies. Men and women once more held up their heads and snapped their fingers at Delescluze, Dombrowski, and the Commune, but there was sad evidence all around us of what this rebellion had done. There in the little cemetery behind the ramparts lay the unburied and mangled remains of 32 National Guards who had been killed at the batteries just above. The whole place was a picture of ruin and desolation. Passing out of the Point du Jour by the opining where the Porte de St. Cloud had stood, whole and entire, even after the Prussian bombardment, but where there is not a vestige of it bigger than a splinter now, I walked along the glacis in the direction of Auteuil. I was surprised to find that, at a distance of less than an eighth of a mile from the latter place, the military had fixed their gabions, sapped right up the glacis, and to within four or five yards of the fosse. The trenches had been cut across the Bois de Boulogne. Nothing, however, like enough of the parapet and the earthwork above had been thrown down to fill up the fosse. Indeed, no effort whatever had been made in the way of filling up, except at either side of the two Portes, so that an assault at any other than these points would have been a very difficult undertaking. On the glacis I saw the dead and decomposed body of a man not in uniform. He lay on his side, with one hand under his head and the other raised in the air. A gentleman who lives close by stated that the deceased, with two or three other men, had come out to fire stray shots at the soldiers in the trenches. As he lay there to-day I perceived that he had been pierced by several rifle balls. The gates at Auteuil have disappeared as completely as those at Point du Jour, and at the Railway Station behind the iron railway bridge over the road all the habitations are, so to speak, in a heap. The French term "debris" best describes what is left of Auteuil and its surroundings. Stone, mortar, iron bridge metal, lamp posts, trees, are smashed, pounded, and scattered. No one who visited Auteuil in happier times would recognize even the spot on which it stood. As specimens of successful bombardment the Point du Jour and the three barracks behind the enceinte that lie between them may be cited among the most complete that even modern artillery has succeeded in producing.
A great explosion, followed by a conflagration, occurred at half-past 12 at the Staff Quarters near the Esplanade of the Invalides.
Paris is now completely surrounded.
It is asserted that Dombrowski is hemmed in at Ouen.
The Insurgents have established a battery upon the terrace of the Garden of the Tuileries, the fire of which sweeps over the Champs Elysees; but this position has been turned by General Clinchamp, and there is reason to hope that the resistance will not be of long duration.
The Versailles troops have already captured from 8,000 to 10,000 prisoners.
Fighting has been going on all this morning, the cannonade and musketry fire being incessant.
There is a large fire in the neighbourhood of the St. Lazare Railway Station, and a dense cloud of smoke hangs over the heights of Montmartre. Not only have the Germans completely isolated Paris, but all communication between Versailles and St. Denis is also cut off. Trains arriving from the North no longer enter Paris, but stop at St. Denis.
It is rumoured that the Prussians occupy Fort Vincennes.
The strictest orders have been given to the German outposts to drive back all Insurgents, and the advanced corps have been doubled tonight to prevent any from breaking through the circle of investment north of Paris.
A wounded Insurgent General attempted to pass the Prussian outposts, but was forced to retrace his steps.
MAY THE 23d.
It may be desirable that I should add some particulars to the account I have already given of the way in which the troops moved from the enceinte to the different positions they occupied in Paris last night. The first column, proceeding between the railway and the Fortifications, made its way from Auteuil to La Muette; the second, starting from Auteuil, threw down a barricade which had been erected behind the railway arch, and, taking the Rue Raynouard and the Rue Franklin, proceeded by the high ground to the Trocadero. This march was not a rapid one, because at every step precautions had to be taken against snares that might have been laid by the Insurgents. The Artillerymen and the Engineers entered the houses on the terraces and examined the powder stores in the Rue Beethoven in order to ensure the column against an explosion. The third column, setting out from the Point du Jour, marched along the quays to the Bridge of Jena. At this point there was a junction of the three columns, and a line of occupation from Passy to the river side at that bridge was established. The fourth column crossed the river at the Point du Jour, and marched along the quay of Grenelle. Upon entering the Champs de Mars they found that the Insurgents were encamped in considerable force there. Skirmishers were thrown out, and, opening fire, they drove out the enemy without any serious difficulty, although the latter had a park of artillery. The Insurgents showed fight for some time, and a struggle was maintained on the right of the Champs de Mars, where the temporary wooden barracks have been erected. The Insurgents formed in a sort of hollow square at the four sides of the portion of the ground which for some time has been covered with artillery caissons, and responded to the attack upon them by a vigorous fire, but being opposed on two sides by an overwhelming force, they gave way, without any very great loss on either side. The tricolour was planted on the Pavilion d'Ecole.
From the Arc de Triomphe there was no fighting down the Champs Elysees, but there was a struggle at the Palais de l'Industrie before the troops obtained possession of that building. Under the orders of certain members of the Commune, the Insurgents resisted with a musketry fire.
Montmartre kept firing in the direction of the Trocadero throughout the day. Its fire did not kill or wound many men, but it retarded the advance of the troops towards the heart of the city.
The fire which I mentioned yesterday as having been seen by me from the Viaduct of the Point du Jour was caused by the blowing up of the riding school of the Ecole d'Etat Major, which was filled with cartridges.
Dombrowski has not been taken. He escaped from La Muette when the troops entered, leaving behind him the silver service which was in the room where he had been about to sit down to dinner.
Assy, was taken on the Quai de Billy.
Montmartre has been carried after a rather sharp struggle. The tricolour now waves over the Buttes.
For some hours I witnessed the fighting to day. I found that early this morning all the important positions of Montmartre had been taken by the two Corps d'Armee of Generals Douai and Ladmirault. The latter General had occupied the station of St. Ouen and the Place of Clichy, and he had advanced to Montmartre by an external movement, keeping for some distance outside the ramparts. At the same time General Douai made a direct movement from inside the city by the Parc de Monceaux. In this manner Montmartre had been almost entirely surrounded. There was a hard contest, but the troops succeeded in entering the Buttes. A large number of the Insurgents were killed in the action, and about 4,000 were made prisoners. The number of cannon and mitrailleuses taken was very considerable, amounting to some hundreds. Belleville is still in the hands of the Insurgents, as are also the Hotel de Ville and the Tuileries. The Red flag was floating on them at half-past 5 o'clock. Severe fighting was going on across the Place de la Concorde between the Insurgents occupying the mansion of the Ministry of Marine, at the corner of the Rue Royale, and the troops on the other side of the river in the Palace of the Corps Legislatif. A gunboat which the Insurgents had under the Pont Royal, close to the Tuileries, was firing constantly. The Insurgents in the Rue de Rivoli and the garden of the Tuileries were using mitrailleuses and rifles, and the troops along the Boulevard at the edge of the Place des Invalides, close to the river, were attacking them with four-pounder guns. Fort Vanves was firing on the Insurgent positions in the neighbourhood of Montrouge and the Faubourg St. Germain, and the Federalists were shelling Vanves from Forts Montrouge and Bicetre. There was musketry skirmishing at various points in the Faubourg St. Germain. The Insurgents occupy houses, from which they keep up a rapid fire to impede the march of General Cissey's troops. Among the prisoners taken to-day many have been recognized as old Reds who were actively engaged in the insurrection of June, 1848. A movement has been ordered which will result in completely shutting in the Insurgents within a circle formed by the whole Army of Paris. The Madeleine is in the hands of the military. Several fires have broken out in the city. Colonel Piquemalle, Chief of the Staff of General Verge, was killed to-day.
The following circular despatch was yesterday forwarded to the Prefects of the several Departments.
"The tricolour flag waves over the Buttes-Montmartre and the Northern Railway station. These decisive points were carried by the troops of Generals Ladmirault and Clinchant, who captured between 2,000 and 3,000 prisoners. General Douai has taken the Church of the Trinity, and is marching upon the Mairie in the Rue Drouot.
"Generals Cissey and Vinoy are advancing towards the Hotel-de-Ville and the Tuileries.
"The Generals, desiring to treat the city with lenity, withheld any attack upon public monuments in which the insurgents had taken up positions. This morning they carried the Place de la Concorde. The Ministry of Finances, the Hotel of the Conseil d'Etat, the Palace of the Legion of Honour, and the Palace of the Tuileries were burnt by the insurgents. When the troops gained possession of the Tuileries, it was but a mass of smouldering ashes. The Louvre will be saved. The Hotel de Ville is in flames. I am convinced that the insurrection will be completely conquered by this evening at the latest. No one could have prevented the crime of these wicked wretches. They have made use of petroleum for their incendiary purposes, and have sent petroleum bombs against the soldiers. What remedy can be applied? The best of the Generals of the army have shown an amount of talent and valour which has excited the admiration of foreigners.
I have just returned from witnessing one of the saddest sights that has occurred in the world's history.
I announced that the insurgents had set fire to several of the public buildings of Paris, the Royal and historical Tuileries included. Flames and bombshells are fast reducing the magnificent city to a huge and shapeless ruin. Its architectural glories are rapidly passing away in smoke and flame, such as have never been witnessed since the burning of Moscow, and amid a roar of cannon, a screaming of mitrailleuses, a bursting of projectiles, and a horrid rattle of musketry from different quarters which are appalling. A more lovely day it would be impossible to imagine, a sky of unusual brightness, blue as the clearest ever seen, a sun of surpassing brilliancy even for Paris, scarcely a breath of wind to ruffle the Seine. Such of the great buildings as the spreading conflagration has not reached stand in the clearest relief as they are seen for probably the last time; but in a dozen spots, at both sides of the bridges, sheets of flame and awful volumes of smoke rise to the sky and positively obscure the light of the sun. I am making these notes on the Trocadero. Close and immediately opposite to me is the Invalides, with its gilded dome shining brightly as ever. The wide esplanade of the Ecole Militaire, almost immediately underneath it, is nearly covered with armed men, cannon, and horses. Shells from the positions of General Cissey, at Montrouge, are every minute falling close to the lofty dome of the Pantheon. It and the fine building of Val de Grace, near it, seem certain to be destroyed by missiles before the incendiary fire reaches them. There is a dense smoke close to St. Sulpice, and now flame rises amid the smoke, and the two towers of the church are illuminated as no electric light could illuminate them. Some large building is on fire there. Every one asks which it is; but no one can approach that Quarter to put the matter beyond doubt. Burnt leaves of books are flying towards us, and the prevailing opinion is that the Sorbonne and its Library are being consumed. There are a dozen other fires between that and the river. No one doubts that the Palais de Justice is sharing the fate of the Tuileries and the Louvres. The Chateau of the Tuileries has all but disappeared. The centre cupola has fallen in, and so has the roof along the entire length of the building. Some of the lower stories yet burn, for fire and smoke are rushing fiercely from the openings where up to this morning there were window-frames and windows.
The Louvre is not yet wholly gone, and perhaps the fire will not reach all its Courts. As well as we can make out through the flame and smoke rushing across the gardens of the Tuileries, the fire has reached the Palais Royal. Every one is now crying out, "The Palais Royal burns!" and we ascertain that it does. We cannot see Notre Dame or the Hotel Dieu. It is probable that both are fast becoming ashes. Not an instant passes without an explosion. Stones and timber and iron are flying high into the air, and falling to the earth with horrible crashes. The very trees are on fire. They are crackling, and their leaves and branches are like tinder. The buildings in the Place de la Concorde reflect the flames, and every stone in them is like bright gold. Montmartre is still outside the circle of the flames; but the little wind that is blowing carries the smoke up to it, and in the clear heavens it rises black as Milton's Pandemonium. The New Opera House is as yet uninjured; but the smoke encircles it, and it will be next to a miracle if it escapes. We see clearly now that the Palais de Justice, the Ste. Chapelle, the Prefecture of Police, and the Hotel de Ville are all blazing without a possibility existing of any portion of any one of them being saved from the general wreck and ruin.
The military are as far as the Pont Neuf on the left bank of the river, and just beyond the Hotel de Ville on the right. Now, at 6 o'clock, it is all but certain that when this fire is extinguished scarcely one of the great monuments of Paris will have escaped entire destruction.
The barricade of the Insurgents at the end of the Rue Royale was taken last night by a movement in which the troops made their way from house to house, starting from the Rue Boissy d'Anglas, to the Rue Faubourg St. Honore. The fighting in the Rue Faubourg St. Honore and the Avenue Marigny was very severe. Six shells fell and exploded in the grounds of the British Embassy. The two houses which formed the angles at the corners of the Rue Royale and the Rue Faubourg St. Honore were burnt to the ground. The Place Vendome was taken by the troops. In the Faubourg St. Germain during the whole night an energetic combat was raging between the Insurgents and the men of General Cissey's division.
The Versailles batteries are firing furiously against the Quarters which still hold out. By the aid of the telescope the horrible fact is disclosed of numerous dead and wounded left lying about the streets without any succour whatever.
I have been over a large portion of the city to-day and I am happy to say that, though large fires are still raging, the conflagration is not spreading to the extent that had been apprehended. The destruction done by the street fighting and the desolation which prevails in the principal Boulevards and other leading thoroughfares exceed all I could have imagined from a more distant view.
I went to the Porte de la Muette, and, getting round to the left, approached the Arc de Triomphe from the Avenue de L'Imperatrice. All along I found trees, lamp-posts, and the facades of houses smashed by shells. Turning off by the Rue de Morny, I worked my way round to the Boulevard Haussmann. It was impossible to proceed along by the pavement, as on either side at intervals of a few feet felled trees and thick branches had been laid down by the insurgents to obstruct the passage of the troops. On Monday last the Federals had occupied the houses, and fired from the corridors. All the fronts of the houses were disfigured by rifle balls, the corridors were broken, and the handsome stone cornices very much battered. The beautiful columns of the Madeleine are sadly injured, the fluted edges having been in many places shot away. The two houses in the Rue Royale, at the corner of the Rue Faubourg St. Honore, were blazing still, and the smoke and ashes that flew from them were stifling the pompiers, who were working energetically there and at other points; some of their corps were shot. It had been discovered that they, instead of throwing water on the fires they were called upon to extinguish, were actually pumping petroleum into the flames, and so adding to their fury. When this was detected the guilty firemen were surrounded by a body of cavalry, conducted into the Parc de Monceaux, and there shot. I could count the number of people I met along the Boulevards, so few were those who ventured to walk about. The fears of petroleum and explosions are universal. The inhabitants had either stopped up, or were engaged in stopping up, every chink through which petroleum might be thrown into their houses. Their cellar lights, their ventilators, and their gratings were being made impervious by sand, mortar, and other materials. This precaution was taken because women and children partisans of the Commune, have in numerous instances been detected throwing petroleum into houses. Not a shop was entirely open, and those that opened only doors were inferior restaurants and wine houses. Around the railing in the Place Vendome troopers' horses were tied. The bronze figure of the Emperor was on its back, the shattered and prostrate Column lay about in fragments. On visiting the neighbourhood of Montmartre, and ascending an Observatory there I found there was a cannon and musketry fire going on in the district of Belleville and the Buttes de Chaumont. The Insurgents had not been dislodged, and as the troops have undergone much fatigue since Monday a regular attack on Belleville will not be made till to-morrow morning. General Clinchant will bring his forces against it in the rear, and General Vinoy's soldiers will advance upon it from the Boulevards. On coming round by the quay to the Place de la Concorde I found that all the statues of the French cities are injured, and some very considerably. Of several the arms and heads are off. The splendid fountains in the centre of the Place are dreadfully smashed. The stone balustrade is badly broken in a hundred places. The lamp posts are all down, and this once charming spot presents a most melancholy appearance. I found a crowd looking over the wall of the wharf beside the bridge. I looked over and found a number of labourers digging a huge square grave in which to bury some 25 Insurgents, who lay mangled and dead along the wall.
The Hotel de Ville is still smoking. So are the ashes of the Tuileries. Happily not very much of the Louvre is destroyed, and at the Palais Royal the fire was extinguished when only a portion of that building had been consumed. The Prefecture of Police is consumed, but the Palais de Justice is not, and the Sainte Chapelle has suffered but little injury. The greatest conflagration of to-day was that at the Grenier d'Abondance. The flames and smoke from it rose high over the city. There were other fires, but, happily, not in the centre of the city. I could not learn in what particular buildings they were rising, but I believe that a frightful fire is raging at the Entrepot des Vins, on the Quai St. Bernard.
M. Thiers has addressed the following Circular to the Departements:—
"We are masters of Paris, with the exception of a very small portion, which will be occupied this morning. The Tuileries are in ashes, the Louvre is saved. A portion of the Ministry of Finance along the Rue de Rivoli, the Palais d'Orsay, where the Council of State holds its sittings, and the Court of Accounts have been burnt. Such is the condition in which Paris is delivered to us by the wretches who oppressed it. We have already in our hands 12,000 prisoners, and shall certainly have from 18,000 to 20,000. The soil of Paris is strewn with corpses of the Insurgents. The frightful spectacle will, it is hoped, serve as a lesson to those insensate men who dared to declare themselves partisans of the Commune. Justice will soon be satisfied. The human conscience is indignant at the monstrous acts which France and the world have now witnessed. The Army has behaved admirably. We are happy in the midst of our misfortune to be able to announce that, thanks to the wisdom of our Generals, it has suffered very small losses."
The troops have captured the Hotel de Ville, and have occupied Fort Montrouge.
The military operations are being actively and energetically carried on by the three Corps which are now in Paris. It is hoped that they will be in possession of the whole of the capital by this evening.
It is asserted that General Vinoy has been appointed Governor of Paris.
The newspapers state that Delescluze, Cluseret, Felix Pyat, and Ranvier have been made prisoners, but the news is not officially confirmed.
Firemen have been summoned by telegraph from all the districts around Paris.
Fort Bicetre has been occupied by the troops.
It is stated that Raoul Rigault was shot this morning.
A dense cloud of smoke still hangs over Paris, which gives rise to fears of fresh conflagrations.
Since noon to-day a south-easterly wind has arisen, causing the conflagration to extend in the direction of the Bastille, and threatening the city with destruction.
The Versailles batteries are firing vigorously upon Belleville.
The fires are apparently slackening. The wind fortunately veered round to the west at 5 o'clock this evening, and this change was followed by a calm, which has since continued. The sky is still lurid from the reflection of the flames, and the debris from the burning buildings fall at distances of 20 kilometres.
It is said that the Mazas prison is burnt to ashes, and fears are entertained for the safety of the Archbishop, who was incarcerated there.
It is reported that considerable bodies of Insurgents attempted to escape from Paris in the direction of Aubervilliers and Romainville, but they were driven back.
The cannonading from the Versailles batteries at Montmartre against Belleville and Chaumont continues.
The attack on Belleville was made this morning soon after daybreak. General Clinchant approached it from the ramparts, and General Bruat's Division marched on it in front from the direction of the Rue de Paris. The troops had to attack seven barricades successively. When they had made a partial progress the Insurgents, seeing defeat inevitable, offered to surrender on condition that their lives should be spared. This was refused, and the struggle continued till the military succeeded. A large number of the Insurgents were shot. Many cannon and 22 red flags were captured.
Last night a large group of the Insurgents imprisoned in the docks of Satory, attempted a rising. The battalion in charge fired, and a number of the prisoners were shot dead. The portion of the Palais Royal consumed by the fire on Wednesday is the block of buildings in which Prince Napoleon resided. The library of the Louvre has been destroyed. The fire was arrested at the portion of the building occupied by the Gendarmerie. Between the Louvre and the Hotel de Ville several shops and private houses have been reduced to ashes. The Theatre Lyrique is burnt down. Of the Hotel de Ville nothing remains but some walls. The Hotel of the Ministry of Finance and that of the Cour des Comptes are both destroyed. One of the towers of the Conciergerie, the Prefecture of Police, and a portion of the Palais de Justice are burnt. The Grenier d'Abonbance has disappeared, after being in flames for many hours yesterday. A shell charged with petroleum struck and set on fire the turret of the Church of St. Eustache. This part of the building crumbled away; but the church itself was saved. In the Rue Royale eight houses have been entirely, and two partially, consumed by the fire which broke out at the corners of the Rue Faubourg St. Honore. In the latter street four houses have been consumed. The upper story of the British Embassy has been much injured by shells. Several women have been arrested while in the act of firing on the troops, and it is said that one cantiniere caused the death of ten soldiers by putting poison in their wine. Some of the women whom I have seen marched from Paris as prisoners are dressed in the uniform of National Guards. Not a few of the female prisoners are very furious-looking. Several attempts at escape and assassination have been made by prisoners. They are marched between a double line of Cavalry, each of the latter holding a revolver in his hand, with his finger on the trigger. Women found throwing petroleum into houses have been shot on the spot. Since Monday there has been a very large number of summary executions in the streets of Paris. At No. 27, Rue Oudinot, where Les Ambulances de la Presse have their Head-Quarters, the bodies of 52 persons thus despatched are now deposited. On one, which is dressed in the uniform of a National Guard, bank notes to the amount of 150,000f. were found.
Viard, a member of the Commune, was arrested in the Rue de l'Universite yesterday. Gustave Courbet, an artist of celebrity, and also a member of the Commune, has died at Satory of poison, supposed to have been administered by himself. He expired in great agony. He it was who promoted the idea of destroying the Column in the Place Vendome. Raoul Rigault, Procureur de la Commune, has been shot. Napoleon Gaillard, Director of the Barricades, was insubordinate at Satory, and was shot by the side of the fosse there. It is reported that Cluseret, Amouroux, and Clement, all members of the Commune, have been arrested.
Fort d'Ivry has been evacuated by the Insurgents. They blew it up on leaving, and the troops have taken possession of it. Six thousand insurgents surrendered at discretion this morning at the Barriere d'Italie.
The affair of Belleville is not yet concluded. There is fighting still. A great fire is raging in the direction Buttes de Chaumont.
If it is difficult to realize the present condition of Paris, it is still more difficult to describe it. We creep timidly about the streets, haunted by the constant dread, either of being arrested as belonging to the Commune, pressed into a chaine, or struck by the fragment of some chance shell, and oppressed ever by the scenes of destruction and desolation that surround us; the whole forming a combination which produces a sensation more nearly allied to nightmare than to any psychological experience with which I am familiar, but yet requiring some new word to define it. The angry ring of the volleys of execution; the strings of men and women hurried off to their doom; the curses of an infuriated populace; the brutal violence of an exasperated soldiery, are sights and sounds calculated to produce a strange and powerful effect on the mind. Yesterday afternoon I drove over as much of the city already in the occupation of the Versaillists as was consistent with safety. Following the Boulevard Clichy in order to avoid the chaines in the neighbourhood of the Madeleine, I passed the scenes of terrible fighting. The Place Clichy was a mass of barricades and shattered houses, the facades marked with bullets as if pitted with the smallpox, the windows smashed, and the evidences of a fearful struggle visible everywhere. It seemed as if the ground had been disputed here house by house; but from all I can learn of the resistance, the actual defenders of the barricades, though resolute men, were few in number. One of the most marked characteristics of this fighting has been the cowardice of the many as compared with the courage and resolution of the few; some of the barricades were abandoned by their defenders by hundreds, only ten or a dozen remaining to the last, and holding their ground until they were all killed or wounded. Passing up the Rue Lafayette, I reached the Head Quarters of the Fifth Corps, where, happening to know an officer, I was present at the examination of some prisoners who were brought in, as every soldier who thinks he has good ground for suspicion can arrest men or women, and drag them to the divisional tribunal. They are captured in shoals. One lame man with a villanous countenance, who was brought in while I was there, was accused of being a chef de barricade, and having been taken in the act. He was put through a short sharp fire of cross-examination, his pockets emptied and his clothes felt, and he was then hurried off to take his place in the ranks of the condemned ones that are forwarded to Versailles. Instant execution is only ordered in the more extreme cases, excepting where the fighting is actually going on, and then the troops give very little quarter. The bitterness of the belligerents against each other is of a far more intense and sanguinary kind than that which ordinarily exists between combatants. The soldiery, looking at the pedestal on the Place Vendome and at the numerous public buildings which in some form or other are associated with their military history, now all smoking ruins, can scarcely contain their rage, and not unnaturally vent it with ferocity on an enemy which deliberately planned the destruction of Paris as the price of victory to the conquerors, and who are even yet endeavouring to carry out their diabolical design of destroying the houses still uninjured by secretly introducing petroleum balls and fusees into the cellars. I saw a soldier suddenly seize a man as he was apparently harmlessly walking along the street; his pockets were emptied and found to contain cartridges and combustible balls of various sizes. Another soldier and a sailor rushed to the spot; the latter drew his revolver, and I expected would have shot the man then and there, but he was satisfied on seeing his comrade prick him sharply with his bayonet. The two soldiers then hurried the culprit off in front of them cuffing him occasionally on the head, and accelerating his progress with the points of their bayonets while they cursed him heartily. A small crowd eagerly followed to see his fate, which they loudly hoped would be instant execution; and, looking at the detestable nature of the contents of his pockets and of his intentions, one could scarcely blame either his captors or their sympathizers if they called for vengeance, and long ere this, he has probably ceased to exist. One woman was caught with these fire balls on two occasions, having succeeded once in escaping. As a general rule, the hand-dog look of the prisoners is their most striking characteristic. I passed one gang of about 50 yesterday, and tried in vain, as I walked by their side, to catch a man's eye, or even to see a face turned fairly up to the light of day. With heads bare, and eyes steadily fixed on the ground, they passed between rows of people, who howled and hooted at them, and it was not till I reached the head of the short column that I observed a slender figure walking alone in the costume of the National Guard, with long, fair hair floating over the shoulders, a bright blue eye, and a handsome, bold, young face that seemed to know neither shame nor fear. When the female spectators detected at a glance that this seeming young National Guardsman was a woman, their indignation found vent in strong language, for the torrent of execration seems to flow more freely from feminine lips when the object is a woman than if it be one of the opposite sex; but the only response of the victim was to glare right and left with heightened colour and flashing eyes, in marked contrast to the cowardly crew that followed her. If the French nation were composed only of French women what a terrible nation it would be!
The aspect of the Boulevards is the strangest sight imaginable. I followed them from the Porte St. Martin to the Rue de la Paix. There was fighting at the Chateau d'Eau, and without either a pass or an ambulance brassard a nearer approach to the scene of action was undesirable; indeed, until recently, the shells had been bursting here in every direction, and their holes might be seen in the centre of those pavements heretofore sacred to the flaneurs of Paris. Strewn over the streets were branches of trees; and fragments of masonry that had been knocked from the houses, bricks and mortar, torn proclamations, shreds of clothings half concealing bloodstains, were now the interesting and leading features of that fashionable resort; foot passengers were few and far between, the shops and cafes hermetically sealed, excepting where bullets had made air holes, and during my whole afternoon's promenade I only met three other carriages besides my own. The Place de l'Opera was a camping ground of artillery, the Place Vendome a confusion of barricades, guarded by sentries and the Rue Royale a mass of debris. Looked at from the Madeleine the desolation and ruin of that handsome street were lamentable to behold. The Place de la Concorde was a desert, and in the midst of it lay the statue of Lille with the head off. The last time I had looked on that face it was covered with crape, in mourning for the entry of the Prussians. Near the bridge were 24 corpses of Insurgents, laid out in a row, waiting to be buried under the neighbouring paving stones. To the right the skeleton of the Tuileries reared its gaunt shell, the framework of the lofty wing next the Seine still standing; but the whole of the roof of the central building was gone, and daylight visible through all the windows right into the Place de Carrousel. General Mac-Mahon's head-quarters were at the Affaires Etrangeres, which were intact. After a visit there, I passed the Corps Legislatif, also uninjured by fire, but much marked by shot and shell, and so along the Quais the whole way to the Mint, at which point General Vinoy had established his head-quarters. At the corner of the Rue du Bac the destruction was something appalling. The Rue du Bac is an impassable mound of ruins, 15 or 20 feet high, completely across the street as far as I could see. The Legion d'Honneur, the Cour des Comptes, and Conseil d'Etat were still smoking, but there was nothing left of them but the blackened shells of their noble facades to show how handsome they had once been. At this point, in whichever direction one looked, the same awful devastation met the eye—to the left the smouldering Tuileries, to the right, the long line of ruin where the fire had swept through the magnificent palaces on the Quai, and overhead again to-day a cloud of smoke, more black and abundant even than yesterday, incessantly rolling its dense volumes from behind Notre-Dame, whose two towers were happily standing uninjured. This fire issued from the Grenier d'Abondance and other buildings in the neighbourhood of the Jardin des Plantes. In another direction the Arsenal was also burning. One marked result of a high state of civilization is, that it has furnished improved facilities for incendiarism, which seem to have been developed even more completely than the means of counteracting them. Along the Quais under the trees, cavalry horses were picketed, and a force was about to leave General Vinoy's head-quarters just as I reached it, to support an attack which was even then being made upon the Place de la Bastille, where the Insurgents were still holding out. On the opposite side of the river were the smoking ruins of the Theatre Chatelet and the Hotel de Ville. Passing through the Place du Carrousel into the Rue de Rivoli, I had a more complete view of the entire destruction which has overtaken the Tuileries and some of the adjoining buildings. The lower end of the Rue de Rivoli towards the Faubourg St. Antoine was densely crowded with troops, and passage in that direction was interdicted, while at the other end, near the Place de la Concorde, there was a chaine; so I struck once more across to the Boulevards, past the Palais Royal, a large part of which is burnt, wearied and sickened with the waste of ruins through which I had passed, and meeting with only one incident, when I found myself in the midst of a panic-stricken throng all running away from a series of cracker-like explosions, which turned out to be cartridges that from some unexplained cause had begun to go off spontaneously under our feet. To-day the firing is more distant and less audible. The insurgents are still holding the heights of Belleville and Pere-Lachaise. In the Jardin des Plantes the loss of the troops was heavy, but up to this time they have won their ground with a less loss than could have been anticipated, and the fearful mortality of Generals which characterized the last "Campagne Parisienne" has happily not been repeated upon this occasion. So far, no General has been either killed or wounded.
The affair of Belleville is not yet concluded. There is fighting still. A great fire is raging in the direction of the Buttes de Chaumont.
Loud reports have been heard within the walls of Mazas, and it is supposed that the hostages have been massacred.
Courbet, Amouroux, Gambon, and Valles have been executed.
The night is quiet.
Shells have fallen on the Boulevard Menilmontant. Great hopes are entertained that the rains will check the conflagration. A few shells have fallen in the Rue de la Paix. Constant arrests or executions are being made of women who throw incendiary matter down the cellar gratings. Many bodies have been exhumed from under shattered houses, some with large sums of money on them. News reaches us that troops of the Line have occupied Menilmontant and the Cemetery of Pere-Lachaise. The Federals had declared Pere-Lachaise to be their last stronghold, and that they were prepared to defend it tomb by tomb. The National Guard will be dissolved to-morrow. Upwards of 1,000 prisoners were marched up the Boulevard this morning, escorted by mounted Hussars. Delescluze has been taken at Villiers le Bel. General Eudes and Ranvier have also been taken. The public buildings destroyed up to the present time are the Tuileries, the Palais Royal, the Ministry of Finance, the Cour des Comptes, the Prefecture of Police, the Palace of the Legion of Honour, the Caisse des Depots, Graineterie, and the Garde Meuble. The Pantheon was saved by a rush of Marines, who cut a slow match before it reached the powder barrels in the crypt. The Chatelet, Lyrique, and Porte St. Martin Theatres have been burnt, also the great barracks of the Rue des Celestins. Part of the roof of St. Eustache has fallen in.
The fighting still continues round the Chateau d'Eau. There will be no difficulty, however, in disarming the National Guard. Valles fought for his life, and received a sabre cut across the face and several bullets before he finally fell close to the Tour St. Jacques. Rows of bodies line the quays awaiting burial where they fell. The individuals arrested will be tried by Court-Martial at Versailles. The Court-Martial will commence its sittings on Monday. Many women and children have been executed around the Luxembourg, having been convicted of firing on soldiers. Fort Bicetre is still in Federal hands, but the garrison is said to have exhausted its ammunition. Bergeret gave the order for burning the Tuileries. General Douai, by promptness of action, prevented the fire spreading to the Louvre. Humour has it that Delescluze and Pyat, disguised as beggars, were recognized in the Rue du Petit Carreau, and shot. Thirteen women have just been executed after being publicly disgraced in the Place Vendome. They were caught in the act of spreading petroleum. Such papers as have appeared announce the execution of the Archbishop of Paris and the cure of the Madeleine.
The Column Vendome is to be rebuilt.
With an English friend I this morning made my way along the line of Boulevards running east of the Madeleine. A marvellous change had come over them since yesterday; they were crowded with troops of the Line and civilians fraternizing with them, and wandering about to look for the traces of the recent conflict without danger of being shot from windows or being pressed into the service of the Communists to build or fight behind a barricade. It was our plan to make for the Hotel de Ville, and we took the Bourse in our way. Everything was so quiet that we half hoped the fighting in that part of Paris at any rate was over, and we were in consequence greatly astonished to hear near us the furious beating of the rappel, as regulars were all about. We thought for a moment a hot conflict was at hand, but we had forgotten, not unnaturally, considering how long it is since we had seen or heard of them, the Party of Order. It was they who were rallying valiantly at the Bourse round the new tricolour banner and a few gentlemen who wore tricolour brassards or pretty bunches of tricolour riband, and whose general tidiness and freshness contrasted strikingly with the grimy, business-like look of the real soldiers close by. These were streaming into the Place des Victoires, close by, receiving cheers and congratulations from the people about in the square or at the windows, who seemed delighted to see them. The men were in capital spirits, and told us they were carrying everything before them, that the Insurgents fought often well enough so far as mere pluck went, but were everywhere outmanoeuvred, and at nearly every barricade found themselves taken at once in front, flank, and rear. This exactly tallied with what we had already heard and seen. An officer told his men to keep a sharp look out on the windows of the houses about, lest they should be surprised by a fusillade. "No fear of that," said a bourgeois; "not a gun will be fired at you in this Quarter." This looked peaceful enough, and we were considerably astonished therefore as we went up a street a little further on, the Rue d'Aboukir, I think, to find ourselves facing a barricade about 150 yards off, manned, and with a flag floating over it that looked very red. We stared hard and long, but the flag was unmistakably red, and therefore, supposing any Regulars to advance, we were directly between two fires. We accordingly turned into a side street and waited patiently, as it seemed impossible that Regulars and Reds so near each other should escape collision. The Regulars were sure to come on; the only question was whether the Reds would run. As I looked up another parallel street, the Rue de Clery, I think, I found the question answered in an odd way. There, within thirty yards, were two officers of Reds lounging leisurely about and stopping now and then to talk to people at doors. I suppose they were told of the near approach of the Regulars, for they turned back in the direction of their barricade. But meantime the Regulars had advanced, and, therefore, the enemies were at one moment within 40 paces of each other, though, being in different streets, they were unconscious of each other's near vicinity. Both parties seemed, as they well might, thoroughly at home, the people, whatever might be their secret sympathies, showing a decent appearance, at least, of impartiality to all men with arms in their hands, and yet in a few minutes or seconds—for there was now no doubt that they were about to fight—everybody was on the qui vive, getting ready to escape if necessary. The extraordinary feature of these Paris street fights is that many of them go on with a crowd of non-combatants, men, women, and children, as close to them on both sides as if the whole affair were a theatrical representation of a sensational melodramatic kind, where a good deal of powder and blue lights would be burnt, but no bullets or lives would be spent. In streets in which fighting actually occurs no one of course shows except combatants, and these show as little as possible, lying down or sheltering behind extempore barricades and windows. The people indoors, as may be supposed, do not keep near them, as the bullets fired down the sides of the streets under cover of doorways or corner houses glance and ricochet about in the wildest way. Scarcely a window escapes if the fight lasts long, but adjoining streets running at right angles to the fighting ground are for the moment comparatively safe, and the people crowd about the doorways in these, the more venturesome getting close to street corners, and every now and then cautiously craning their necks round to see, if possible, whether shots tell.
Perhaps the strangest thing about a Paris street fight is that up to the very last moment one sees people running quietly along, utterly unconscious of danger, right between two lines of fire, with loaded mitrailleuses within a hundred yards of them. One minute before the fight I am describing began this morning, an old lady, with a large market basket on her arm, was leisurely walking down the Rue d'Aboukir between the barricades and soldiers mustering quietly at the corner of the Rue Montmartre. She was probably making way to the Halles Centrales close by to get something for breakfast, in happy ignorance of the fact that at that very moment soldiers were firing, as far as we could see, right into it. I found afterwards that the Reds were then in occupation of it, and had loop-holed the Church of St. Eustache, which they held in great force. Shouts of warning from the crowd standing near me at the corner of the Rue Montmartre made her at last quicken her pace, though I doubt whether she quite understood them or knew her danger. I scarcely know whether Paris combatants at this period are considerate enough to wait till the ground is clear of non-combatants, or whether out of politeness each side was waiting for the other to fire first. In any case the regulars did not wait long. A colonel of the Staff, with cane in one hand and in the other a map of Paris, studying, stood at the corner of a side street, gave his men the order to commence instantly. A soldier on each side took a step forward, and exposing himself as little as possible fired up at the barricade. After he had fired he fell back to reload, and another all ready took his place, so that, though there were at first very few men—not more than 20 perhaps—firing was pretty hot. Quick came back the response of the Reds, and whizzing went their bullets down the street, or crashing against projecting corners of the houses, so near one's ears that it was at first hard to keep from dodging, despite one's convictions that only Irish guns shoot round corners. Ricochet balls were not only not more dangerous, but probably were less dangerous, at the corner than farther off. Some stood as near as they could to the soldiers. It would be impossible to do this with the Reds, as they would insist one's taking up a rifle and shooting or being shot; but the Regulars, so far from forcing, would not even allow an amateur to indulge in fancy shooting. But taking hurried shots round a corner at men crouched hundreds of yards off behind well-built barricades is too slow work to be satisfactory, and the officials came and began to show signs of impatience. The leader, from a safe post of observation, was able to take a cool searching view of the situation, and ordered some of his men, whose numbers were gradually increasing as they hurried up the street below, ducking heads and hugging walls, to mount some of the corner houses, while others extemporized a barricade in the street. To mount the houses was easy enough, though the door of one had to be broken in, and presently we heard glass tumbling down as muzzles of rifles were poked through the upper panes, and soon sharp cracks and thick puffs of smoke leaping out showed that the men had settled down to their work. The barricade was a more difficult matter, as it had to be made full in front of the enemy's fire; but it was contrived with wonderful coolness and rapidity, the civilians about eagerly bringing stones. Two or three barrels appeared as if by magic. By pushing the barricade cautiously across the street, by lying down under cover of one bit as they built another, the Regulars soon had cover enough to fire comparatively at ease straight up at the barricade, while their comrades at the windows took it from above in flank. I was sometimes within a few feet of them, and was much struck by their coolness and military common sense, if I may use the expression. They did the work before them in a quiet, business-like way, in what, during the late war, was considered by some the best feature of Prussian fighting, not shirking risk when it was necessary, but, on the other hand, not needlessly exposing themselves for the sake of swagger, especially of the officers. This morning, the officers not being wanted, had the sense to keep quietly out of harm's way and smoke their cigarettes like unconcerned civilians when not giving orders to their men. The Reds, on the other hand, fought capitally, keeping up a brisk and well-directed fire. Yet, strange to say, nobody was wounded; I mean on our side.
A week has elapsed to-day since the Versailles troops established themselves inside the enceinte, and the fighting has been incessant ever since; this is hard work enough for the assailants, who number nearly 150,000 men; but for the soldiers—if soldiers they can be called—of the Commune, the effort has already been almost superhuman. Gradually diminishing in numbers, constantly finding themselves forced upon a smaller area, and, therefore, the target of a more concentrated fire, hemmed in upon all sides, with ammunition and provisions falling short, exposed to a heavy rain, which has been falling incessantly for 48 hours, unable to seek repose in any spot sheltered from the shells of the enemy, which are pouring in unremitting showers upon every corner of their position, the situation of the Insurgents is desperate in the extreme, and it cannot be denied that they are fighting with an energy and a heroism worthy of a better cause. Reports are so varied and contradictory as to the fate of their leaders that even the Generals of the French army do not know positively who is commanding them; but if the prisoners are to be believed, the irrepressible Cluseret has again risen to the surface, and is the heart and soul of the defence. As the position of the Insurgents becomes desperate, it seems to produce a greater ferocity on both sides. The rebels neither ask nor give quarter; they have made up their minds that death, whether as combatants or as prisoners, is their only alternative, and men and women seem to be lashed up to a frenzy which has converted them into a set of wild beasts caught in a trap, and rendering their extermination a necessity. I went yesterday to the Jardin des Plantes, as the entire left bank of the Seine is now in the hands of the Government troops, and found M. Decaisne, the celebrated botanical professor, still safe and sound, after having passed through three days of unparalleled suspense. On Wednesday the rappel had been beaten by the Insurgents, and notice was publicly given that the Pantheon was to be blown up at 2 o'clock. The result was a general "stampede" of the inhabitants in an agony of terror and dismay. For two or three hours women and children came pouring out of the doomed quarter, unable to save any of their property, and not even yet assured that they had escaped the limits of the explosion. At 5 o'clock no explosion had occurred, and the rumour spread that the attempt had failed for want of a sufficient quantity of powder. I told you how the Pantheon was saved; the people went back to their houses, only to witness severe street fighting, the result of which was to drive the Insurgents slowly across the river, where they made a fierce stand at a tete du pont erected at the end of the bridge of Austerlitz. This had only been carried the evening before my visit to it, and bore all the marks of an actual battlefield. Here were eight or ten bodies strewn behind the barricade, with groups of women and young children gathered round inspecting them, and lifting, with a morbid curiosity, the cloths which had been thrown over them to conceal their distorted countenances. These men had been killed in hard fighting, men and accoutrements were strewn thickly around, the houses were smashed and riddled with shot. The barricade, a formidable earthwork and battery, was pounded into a mere heap—everything betokened a bitter struggle; and, indeed, I had already heard from a Staff officer that the Line had lost more heavily at this point than elsewhere. Passing along the side of the canal, we endeavoured to reach the Bastille, but were stopped by a battery which was firing at Pere-Lachaise, and which was receiving shells in reply from the cemetery. We therefore retraced our steps past the long gaunt skeleton of the Prefecture of the Police, which was still smoking, and which had contained a body of political prisoners incarcerated by the Insurgents, but released by them in order to work at barricades. This proved their salvation, as they were enabled to effect their escape on the approach of the troops. It is reported, nevertheless, that some still lie buried beneath these smouldering ruins. To the right of the Bastille we could see a heavy volume of smoke rising apparently from a point corresponding to the position of the prison of Mazas. We are still in utter darkness as to the fate of the Archbishop and the clergy in confinement with him, but the tragedy of the Dominicans leaves us little hope. About 20 of these priests were imprisoned on Friday, the 19th, at Fort Bicetre. On Thursday, when this had to be abandoned, they were hurried away to the Gobelins on the promise of being set at liberty. Instead of this they were driven to work on the barricades, then dragged to a prison in the Avenue d'Italie. At half-past 4 in the afternoon they were visited by a certain M. Cerisier with a company of the 101st battalion of the National Guards, who deliberately loaded in their presence. The outside door of the prison was then thrown open, and they were ordered to leave it one by one. As they marched out singly they were shot successively by order of Cerisier, with the exception of the narrator of the occurrence, and one or two others who were either missed or slightly wounded and escaped. Twelve bodies of these unhappy men have already been recovered.
There is also no doubt that M. Gustave Chaudey, one of the principal editors of the Siecle, and a literary man of some eminence and high character, who had incurred the displeasure of the Communists, has been shot by them. On the other side the executions are wholesale. It is estimated that upwards of 2,000 persons have been shot already on the left bank of the Seine alone, evidently a small proportion of the total number. Wherever women and children are to be observed leaning over the parapet of the Seine intently regarding some object below, one may be sure that the attraction is a group of hideously mutilated corpses of men who have been brought down to the river side, and then with their backs to the wall have met their doom. On the sloping roads leading down from the quai to the river may also be seen inequalities where the road has been recently disturbed and where the freshly-turned earth indicates burial-places. Not far from these bodies were lying several dead horses, from which the people were cutting steaks. The inside of the Hotel de Ville presents a curious scene, the solid masses of stone and lime of which the rubbish is composed having fallen in in the form of a crater, which fills up the whole central place. Under this mound are said to be buried from 200 to 300 Insurgents who were unable to escape at the last moment, and thus fell the victims of the conflagration they had themselves originated. The mutilation of the ornamental work of this magnificent specimen of architecture is simply hideous; there is scarcely a square inch of the facade untouched by shot or shell. Anxious, if possible, to judge of the progress of the attack which was being made on the Insurgent position at Pere-Lachaise, I reached the Place Chateau d'Eau, which had been taken the day before from the Insurgents. I found it, however, impossible to go beyond the angle of the Wall near the Ambigu. Here a small crowd was collected which was dispersed by a shot just as I approached, and the place itself was a solitary desert, for it was swept from the heights of Belleville down the Faubourg du Temple. Passing along the Boulevard Magenta, we obtained from the point where the Rue du Faubourg St. Denis traverses the Rue Lafayette, a view of an Insurgent barricade, on which a red flag was still flying, and which was turned by the troops while we were there. We were looking down the long, straight line of street totally deserted, and in the far distance watching the barricade, beyond which rose the occasional puffs of smoke from a musketry fire, when we suddenly saw the red trousers scampering across in twos and threes, and then in larger numbers, and knew that the barricade had been taken, and that it was safe to come out of our cover and walk on the opposite side of the street. All this time the whistling and bursting of the shell overhead was as incessant and loud as I have ever heard on the field of battle. We were directly in the line of fire between Montmartre and Pere la Chaise, although completely protected from it, as everything passed overhead. But the terrific rushing through the air of the projectiles, and the cracking and bursting at each end when they reached their destination, made a music which it requires a Parisian education thoroughly to appreciate. Heavy volumes of smoke rose from the besieged quarter, and the destruction of life and property upon the doomed area which the Insurgents have chosen as their final stronghold must be something appalling. Near the angle of the street at which we stood lay the dead body of a man, covered with a cloth, who had been shot not many hours before in an adjoining Court. It was evident from the looks and tone of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood that their sympathies were strongly with the Communists. They muttered gloomily and savagely to each other, scarcely daring to raise their suspicious glances from the ground, for they knew not which of their neighbours might not have denounced them, and that the day of danger was by no means past. Probably two-thirds of the men now gathered at their shopdoors had fought actively for the Commune. At the Prevote of the 5th corps I had an interesting instance of the effect of denunciations. While there some men who had been intrusted with the arrest of General Henry returned from their expedition. General Henry, it will be remembered, was one of the earliest leaders of the movement, and I went down to see where he had openly established himself as Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard in the Vaugirard quarter. About the 16th of March, or two days before the Revolution several attempts were made to arrest him but the task was so dangerous that they all failed. Throughout the movement this man has exhibited daring and intelligence, and his capture is much desired. In consequence of the information received his haunt was visited, and the result I saw in the shape of a blue Prussian overcoat stained with blood and perforated with a bullet-hole, a tunic still more bloody and torn, a very jaunty braided jacket quite clean and new, a Prussian undress cap, and a very handsome sword. The proprietor had evidently been wounded, and had succeeded in evading his captors, if still alive, by some secret contrivance, which, however, the honour of the denouncer was pledged to discover; it was evident that he had provided himself with a Prussian uniform, in the hope of passing through the German lines, and the blood on his coat would seem to indicate that he had made the attempt and failed. From this barrack, just prior to my visit, had been removed several wounded children, most of them under eight years old. One of the most horrible features of the war in a thickly-peopled city is to be found in the sufferings which it entails upon the innocent who are thus early familiarized with scenes of blood and violence, and who too often, unfortunately, are themselves the victims of them. The gamins of Paris love to dabble in petroleum and play with lucifer matches, and revel in destruction and conflagration. More daring than their elders, they stick with their mothers to barricades after the father of the family has deemed it prudent to retire, and numerous are the stories of their heroism and courage. Unfortunately, their propensities for arson render them liable to be shot, and it is sad to see how many children are often comprised in a band of prisoners. I went underground to the cells in which the prisoners were confined at the Prevote, and wandered along narrow, subterranean passages, where the noisome exhalations were almost stifling, into dark cells, where the eye got at last sufficiently accustomed to the light to distinguish the relics left by the prisoners: here a pair of stays of which some female prisoner had divested herself, there a red cockade, all kinds of articles of clothing steeped in slime of indescribable foulness; and cowering at one end of the corridor a dozen prisoners waiting to know their fate. They were more respectable than usual, and not apparently of a very sanguinary type. They were all men. To-day no less than a hundred women were marched down the streets in one gang. The papers are so full of false reports that it is scarcely safe to give news which has not been verified. Thus, unless I had seen the Genius of Liberty on the top of the column in the Place de la Bastille, and visited the Jardin des Plantes, I might have reported the accounts, of which the papers are full, of the destruction of the figure on the Column and of the animals and rare plants in the gardens, which you will be happy to hear are all in a state of perfect health and preservation. I am afraid, however, it is only too true that half the Gobelins are destroyed, and that 67 of the "Freres de la Doctrine Chretienne" have been shot by their fellow-Christians of the Commune. A friend of mine saw Madame Milliere in a prisoners' gang, and we have authentic intelligence to-day that her husband, one of the most pestilent of the apostles of Fraternity and wholesale slaughter, has been executed.
The streets are full of the National Guards of Order, carrying their rifles to the different depots to be given up, for the disarmament of the entire National Guard has been determined on, and it is to be hoped that this most useless body in time of foreign invasion and most dangerous one in moments of internal trouble will be extinguished and abolished for ever throughout all the towns of France. Meantime the Boulevards and streets from which the fighting has receded are slowly waking into life, the tricolor waves from the windows in token of loyalty and sympathy with the Government, and at least two cafes are open on the Boulevards, but as yet only here and there the shutters of a shop are lowered.
The roar of the batteries from Montmartre is still continuous, but it is hardly possible that the Insurgents can continue the struggle for 24 hours longer.
Fighting was going on at Belleville about an hour ago, but still there is every reason the believe that the insurrection is virtually over. A great number of prisoners, escorted by cavalry, have just been marched down the Boulevards. They were said to be 5,000, but this is probably an exaggeration. They came from the Buttes Chaumont, where many of them have been kept two days and a half without food. A more villainous collection of faces I never beheld. There were many women, among them some in men's clothes, some as cantinieres or ambulancieres, and very young boys and old men. Nearly 1,500 were Regular soldiers, or at least wore their uniform. Their coats were turned inside out, as a mark of disgrace. As they passed through the crowd lining each side of the Boulevards they were met with cries of "A mort, crapule, fusillez-les!" Four women in the Amazon uniform and the Regulars excited special indignation. One prisoner, near the New Opera, refused to march, and was twice stabbed with bayonets. He was then tied to a horse's tail, and afterwards placed on the horse, but he threw himself off, and again refused to march. He was put into a cart and carried off to the nearest place of execution to be shot. Another prisoner, who also refused to march, was dragged by the hands and hair of the head along the road. The crowd called out to the soldiers to shoot him, and declared that but for the presence of the soldiers they would themselves execute summary justice on him. The troops, headed by the Marquis de Galifet, were loudly cheered as they passed.
I went early this morning to Pere-Lachaise. Shells were still falling so thickly near the Boulevard du Temple that no one was allowed to pass. I had to go a very roundabout way to get to the Place Bastille, as at numerous barricades everybody who passed was compelled to assist in pulling them down. The barricades were of astonishing strength. Behind the barricade on the Boulevard Mazas lay three bodies of National Guards—apparently shot in its defence. A little lower down on the Boulevard Voltaire lay seven men dead, as if they had there made their last desperate stand. There were some old gray-headed men among them. We were told that their bodies were left there for recognition, and women occasionally came up and claimed them. The Regulars had also suffered severely there, but their dead had been immediately removed. Further on, the stone barricades had been protected by a second line of large sacks stuffed with rags and papers, and piled upon each other. At the corner of Rue Roquette lay over 70 corpses of men, executed for being found with arms in their hands. They lay piled over each other, and the pavement and gutters streamed with blood. The crowd were not allowed to approach them. We entered Pere-Lachaise and found it full of troops, chiefly of the Marine Brigade. There is no truth in the stories that the cemetery was defended tomb by tomb. There had been no bayonet or even fusillade fighting there, but the shells had shattered many of the tombs, here and there laying bare the coffins below. The position was so strong that the Marines could account for its abandonment only by the fact that the Insurgents were utterly disorganized for want of leaders. The shelling, however, had been sufficiently vigorous to compel the troops to retire after they took it last night, and to return for reinforcements. They retook the position early this morning. The Insurgents had abandoned a battery of seven guns which commanded the whole position. We could see from it that sharp fighting was still going on at Belleville, probably the last stronghold. As we passed the prison of La Roquette, we heard about ninety rifle-shots and then a mitrailleuse, and were told by the troops that prisoners were being executed. We had great difficulty in passing through the Faubourg St. Antoine, and were stopped by at least five cordons of sentries. They told us that the Insurgents were en fuite, that the Quartier was suspect, and that, therefore, nobody was allowed to pass. When we got through, many people asked us to put their letters into the post for them, as they were close prisoners. The streets were filled with arms and equipments.
Only a few houses in Belleville still hold out. The Insurgents are surrendering by thousands. The insurrection is considered over.
Most of those who founded the Comite du Salut Public have been taken. The Insurgents are being shot by hundreds. In the Faubourg St. Antoine great numbers of men and women were found carrying petroleum, and at once shot.
The Moniteur says that Felix Pyat and Paschal Grousset left Paris yesterday in a balloon, which passed over Niort towards the sea.
By Saturday evening the various Corps of the Versailles troops, steadily converging on the Insurgents from the North, South, and West, had forced them into their last strongholds of Pere-Lachaise, and at the Buttes Chaumont, in Belleville; and M. THIERS on Saturday announced that the final attack would be made on Sunday morning. But the troops waited no longer to finish their terrible work. On Saturday Pere-Lachaise was taken by General VINOY; in the evening the Buttes Chaumont were carried by General LADMIRAULT. The two corps united, and the remaining Insurgents were forced into narrow space at the edge of the enceinte, where they are hemmed in between the Versailles troops and the Prussians, and must surrender or be killed. They have also been driven out of all the Forts except Vincennes, and those who hold that Fort have asked the Bavarian troops outside to permit their escape. At five o'clock yesterday all fighting had ceased.
"The Revolution is crushed;" but at what a cost, and amid what horrors! "Peace," says M. THIERS, "is about to be restored, but it will not succeed in relieving all honest and patriotic hearts of the profound sorrow with which they are afflicted." We know not, indeed, how or when such relief is to come; for ruin has been wrought and crimes have been perpetrated which will leave on Paris and on Frenchmen an ineffaceable brand. After the first appalling news of the great conflagrations, a faint hope had arisen that the ultimate result might prove less disastrous than had been apprehended, and it is true that a few of the noble buildings which were thought doomed have escaped. But the almost universal wreck would of itself almost obliterate for the moment the sense of relief, and the material ruin now constitutes the least horror in the scene. It is sufficiently distressing to picture every Quarter of the great Capital, which but the other day was the beauty of the world, scarred by conflagrations, torn by shells, pitted with musketry, and stained with blood. It is terrible to think that in a city "like Paris" fire and sword, and instruments of destruction still more hellish, have swept from West to East, and from South to North; that most of its noble palaces are but gaunt and blackened walls, and its finest streets laid in heaps of as utter ruin as the mounds of Nineveh. The mind is overwhelmed by the mere physical spectacle of this whirlwind of blazing destruction suddenly bursting over a noble city so near us, which we knew so well, and the inhabitants of which were but yesterday our neighbours and our friends. But even this is overpowered by the awful human ruin which it expresses and reflects. On both sides alike we hear of incredible acts of assassination and slaughter. The Insurgents have fulfilled, so far as they were able, their threats against the lives of their hostages as mercilessly as their other menaces. The Archbishop of PARIS, the Cure of the Madeleine, President BONJEAN, with priests, gendarmes, soldiers, and other victims to the number of 64, have been shot, and 168 others were only saved by the arrival of the troops. This massacre of distinguished and inoffensive men is one of those crimes which never die, and which blacken for ever the memory of their authors. But in the spirit of murder and hatred it displays the Communists seem not very much worse than their antagonists. It sounds like trifling for M. THIERS to be denouncing the Insurgents for having shot a captive officer "without respect for the laws of war." The laws of war! They are mild and Christian compared with the inhuman laws of revenge under which the Versailles troops have been shooting, bayoneting, ripping up prisoners, women and children, during the last six days. We have not a word to say for the black ruffians who, it is clear, deliberately planned the utter destruction of Paris, the burning of its inhabitants, and the obliteration of its treasures; but if soldiers will convert themselves into fiends in attacking fiends, is it any wonder if they redouble the fiendishness of the struggle? Fury has inflamed fury, and hate has embittered hate, until all the wild passions of the human heart have been fused into one vast and indistinguishable conflagration.
So far as we can recollect there has been nothing like it in history. The siege of Jerusalem may afford some parallel, but Roman soldiers never so utterly lost their self-control as the Versailles troops appear to have done. We are beggared for words to describe the scene, and exclaim that it is hell upon earth. It is nothing less. There are all the physical and all the moral accessories. Fire and brimstone, storm and tempest, torture, insult, hatred, despair, all forms of malice, murder, and destruction, have been raging in Paris during the last few days. Women forgetting their sex and their gentleness to commit assassination, to poison soldiers, to burn and to slay; little children converted into demons of destruction, and dropping petroleum into the areas of houses; soldiers in turn forgetting all distinctions of sex and age, and shooting down prisoners like vermin, now by scores and now by hundreds,—all combine to enact on civilized ground, and within the sight and hearing of their fellow-men, scenes which find a parallel only in the infernal regions imagined by prophets and poets. This is what human nature is capable of; for Frenchmen are men, and we shudder for our race. But, at all events, what hope is to be seen for France in this seething abyss? This tragedy is the end of eighty years of revolutions, of an eighty years' struggle after Liberty and Fraternity, eighty years of attempts again and again renewed to rebuild French Society on a new and harmonious basis. The end is a fiercer hatred, deeper divisions, wilder passions, and more eternal distrust. Will these six days of savage devastation tend to heal the existing breach between the lower and the middle classes of France? Will the mutual slaughter of soldiers and citizens tend towards that essential condition of a happy State; mutual confidence between the Army and the People? Will the blood of another butchered Archbishop sow the seeds of peace between the Priests and their Socialist foes? That which we seem at present to see in this outbreak of hell is the permanent creation of yawning abysses between classes, institutions, memories, and men. Paris may, perhaps, be rebuilt; but what is to wipe out the blood with which every street of Paris is now stained, and when will women cease to hand down to their children the envenomed hatreds of May, 1871? Where, above all, are the signs of that combined generosity, firmness and foresight in statesmen or soldiers which alone could lay the first stone of reconciliation? The prospect is too black for France and for Europe for us to dare look forward. We have no heart at present to balance the faults and crimes of the two sides, or to assign the relative blame. We only see the worst outburst ever yet displayed of human passions; we see it at the close of fifteen centuries of Christian civilization; we see it in one of the most gifted races of the world, and we know not where to look for hope or consolation.
Paris is perfectly tranquil. Shops are opening. The streets are crowded with people examining the amount of damage done. Prisoners in groups of a hundred are being marched under escort down the Boulevards. Fighting ceased about 3 yesterday afternoon. A few shots were fired from the windows at Belleville, where frightful scenes are said to have been enacted. The more desperate characters, felons and escaped forcats of the worst description, turned at the last moment on their own comrades because they refused to continue the fight. Some women murdered with knives two young men for the same reason. In consequence of the firing from the windows, an immense number of executions occurred. The park of the Buttes Chaumont was strewn with corpses. The soldiers were so furious that the officers found it necessary to warn strangers of the danger of incurring suspicion. A few of the inhabitants of Belleville were declaring openly to passers by that the affair was not yet over, and that terrible reprisals would be wreaked upon the soldiers. These boasts have not yet been fulfilled, but general apprehensions are, nevertheless, entertained that those of the insurgents who have escaped justice will try to inaugurate a secret system of arson and assassination. Constant discoveries of petroleum are still being made. The danger is increased by the fact that women, who, on account of their sex, are more likely lo escape notice, are really the most desperate. Great precautions are taken at night. The streets are full of sentries and all circulation is strictly forbidden. Any one who ventures out without the password runs the risk of being locked up all night. There are diversities of opinion relative to the Archbishop's fate even now. Some people affirm that he has escaped; but the evidence is in favour of his having been murdered at La Roquette.
Fears are entertained of an epidemic consequent upon the hurried burial of so many dead under the pavement of the streets.
MAY 31st AND JUNE 1st.
The search for Insurgents from house to house is still going on vigorously. It is still very hard either to leave or even to enter Paris, Gourde, the Communist Minister of Finance, has been found. It is said by Insurgents that Cluseret ought to be among the last batch of prisoners taken at Fort Vincennes. This being their last place of refuge it is expected that many other ringleaders will be discovered.
The Communist commander of that Fort sent to the Bavarian General a list of his officers and men, requesting for the former passes into Switzerland, for the latter passes into France. After various negotiations, the affair was left in the hands of General Vinoy, and it was agreed that all the garrison of Vincennes, having never fired a shot, should be detained prisoners only temporarily; but that all fugitives who had taken refuge there should be surrendered unconditionally. The garrison eagerly consented to the terms, and at once put their chiefs in prison. Orders were found on many of them, signed Ulysse Parent, for the burning of the Hotel de Ville, the Bourse, and other places.
The Luxembourg is to replace temporarily the Hotel de Ville, and the Staff has already moved there. Everything is going on quietly enough in most parts of Paris, but in the Belleville Quarter life is still unsafe. Not only shots are fired from windows, but occasionally Insurgents fire off revolvers upon officers at a few yards' distance. Many fear that, notwithstanding the large numbers of the Insurgents caught, and the terrible example made, enough have escaped to give further trouble, if not by open resistance, at least by arson and secret assassination. The severities, moreover, exercised by the military authorities have produced a pretty strong feeling of reaction against them, and in some of even the least revolutionary Quarters the troops are scarcely popular, certainly not so popular as when they entered Paris. The Insurgents find many sympathizers to hide them, and assist their escape from Paris.
The policy of England with reference to those who have escaped is watched with great anxiety.
Active measures are being taken to cleanse the streets and rid them of the dead bodies, some of which had been buried where they fell under the barricades, with a foot or two of soil over them. Passers-by are pressed into the service as burying parties, and the English Embassy has received complaints from Englishmen of having been seized for this purpose. The smell of corpses in some places is offensively strong, and it is feared this hot weather following upon the heavy rain may breed a pestilence.
Traffic in the streets at night is getting easier, though the cafes have to be closed at 11. The unpopularity of the troops is no doubt, in part due to the deeply-rooted Parisian dislike of military rule and the abolition of the National Guard—a measure which, however necessary, under no circumstances is likely to be welcome.
The firemen of Havre who came to Paris to aid in extinguishing the recent conflagrations have returned home to-day.
One of the most important of the "hostages" who suffered death at the hands of the Commune—the most important person of their lay victims—M. Bonjean, was President of the Court of Cassation, and it was only the fact of his holding a high position, and being respected by all persons whose respect was worth having, that can have rendered him odious. He was a very old man, as old at least as the Abbe Deguerry. It was chiefly as a Judge and not as a politician that his name was known to the world, yet, all that was known of him as a politician was in his favour. Indeed, he enjoyed the rare distinction of being, perhaps, the one Liberal member of an Assembly so bigoted and so subservient as was the Senate under the Empire. Notwithstanding his advanced age, he remained firm at his post during the siege and during the far more perilous period of the conflict between M. Thiers and the Comite Central. His arrest was, so to speak, an accident, as he happened to be paying, or expected to pay, a visit, by appointment, to the house of his friend, the Procureur-general, when the police of the Communists were taking possession of the house of the latter officer. He bore his imprisonment, old as he was, with patience and resignation, remarking that for the last 40 years he had been self-condemned to upwards of 12 hours' hard labour a day over his books and papers, and that he could work as well at these in a prison cell as in a palace.
JUNE 2d, AND 3rd.
Two days ago I was so fortunate as to meet Mons. Petit, the Secretary of the late Archbishop, who had only escaped from the prison in which he had been confined with the unfortunate Prelate the day before. M. Petit did not himself see M. Darboy executed, though he saw the procession pass and heard the firing. Out of 16 priests and 38 gendarmes confined in the prison, 26 were shot, and the fate of the remainder had been decided upon when an attempt to escape made by the criminal prisoners, who were the original occupants of the gaol, succeeded, and with the help of one of the gaolers the whole body made an attack upon the Insurgent guard, who, in fact, did not wait for it, but abandoned their post as soon as they perceived that all their prisoners were at liberty. The priests succeeded in changing their clerical costume, but not in sufficiently disguising themselves, for M. Petit saw four of his companions shot at the first barricade they reached; he therefore fled back to his prison, and, finding a common prison shirt, he reduced his costume to that garments and took refuge in a bed in the hospital ward. The prison was not again guarded, but those who casually passed through it supposed him to be a sick prisoner not worth notice; and here he remained until Sunday evening, when his suspense was put an end to by the arrival of the soldiery. In the Chapelle Ardente of the Madeleine lies the body of the cure of that church, who was shot by the side of the Archbishop, and a stream of persons, mostly women, with saddened, awe-struck faces passed through it all yesterday afternoon. The body of the Archbishop has been recovered, and is at the Palace.
I have now explored Paris in every direction to judge with some degree of accuracy of the extent of the damage done, but I will spare you any detailed account of those scenes of havoc and ruin, that I have partly described already which differ in their character according to the agent of destruction, and which consist of ruins caused by shells and ruins caused by fire. Houses which have been destroyed by shells present a far more ghastly appearance than those which have been burnt, and the aspect of the street at Point du Jour is calculated to strike the imagination of those who are now entering Paris for the first time from Versailles by that gate. The same may be said of the houses on both sides of the Avenue de la Grande Armee, and in the neighbourhood of the Porte Maillot; but nothing that I have seen equals the Auteuil Railway Station, where the building, the line, and the railway bridge have all been crumpled up together, as if some giant hand had squeezed them into a shapeless mass. The iron bridge still spans the road, but with rails and girders so contorted and covered with debris that we were afraid to drive under it for fear the slight concussion caused by a carriage passing beneath might bring the tottering mass down on our heads. A little beyond, a sentry is placed to prevent people passing beneath a house which is on the verge of crumbling to the ground. It is a lofty, handsome building, elegantly furnished, and quite new, which has been completely cut in two, and the furniture of each successive story is thus exposed. One room on the fourth floor was apparently a boudoir, for the rich crimson-covered furniture stands trembling at the edge of the "parquet," and a heavy armchair threatens with the least jar to come down with a crash into the middle of the road. It was reserved for French artillery to complete the work which the German artillery began. I drove round this same road some days after the first siege, and, compared to their present condition, these suburbs might then have been considered well preserved and habitable. Looking at the long enceinte of fortifications with its battered breaches and crumbling embrasures, one is puzzled whether M. Thiers deserves more credit for the skill with which he put it up or for that with which he has knocked it down.
Anxious to see to what condition the conquerors have reduced the Insurgent stronghold at Belleville, I have returned from penetrating its disagreeable recesses. As usual, even in peaceful times, the lower part of the Faubourg du Temple was densely crowded with an agitated, restless throng, composed principally of women. Most of the shops were shut, probably because their owners were either shot or in prison. Those who lounged in their doorways looked surly and suspicious; nor is this much to be wondered at, for during the last two days every domicile has been searched in this Quarter from attic to cellar, and every street swarms with denouncers and soldiers. As we approached Menilmontant the crowd became thinner, and the soldiers more numerous, until they almost lined the street on either side. Here and there were piles of broken arms and heaps of National Guard coats and trousers. The road was literary strewn with caps, which had been torn from the heads of prisoners and flung in the mud. Old women were rummaging in the heaps for something worth taking away which was not of a military character, as their operations were closely watched by the soldiery, who were by no means of an amiable type. Here were no signs of fraternization or amicable intercourse. At one place at least a dozen omnibuses were collected and crammed with arms and military stores, a magazine of which I saw in the process of being emptied. Three thousand Orsini bombs were also found. I have specimens of two kinds in my possession; one is circular, flat, and hollow, about six inches in diameter and an inch and a half thick, and fitted all round its edge with little hammers, which play upon a glass case inside filled with nitro-glycerine. Whichever way the bomb falls it is sure to strike one of these hammers, which explodes the nitro-glycerine. The other is a zinc ball, rather smaller than a cricket ball, filled with powder and covered with nipples, upon which are percussion caps. It cannot fall without striking a cap and exploding. It is natural that the discovery of such objects should exasperate the soldiery, for whom they were intended, and who cannot yet walk with any feeling of security along streets filled with a population who employ such diabolical engines of destruction. Hitherto, in most of the instances in which they have been used, the culprit has been a woman; more reckless and vindictive than the men, they have, in many instances, literally courted death, forcing their fate by acts of violence when escape was evidently impossible. Near the top of the steep hill which leads to the Mairie of Menilmontant were several cordons of sentries, through which we had some difficulty in passing, owing to a commotion which had scarcely yet subsided, and which showed how combustible were the materials of which the population here is composed. There had been an altercation between a sergeant of the Line and a citizen, in which the latter had offered some violence and had been shot on the spot; his body was still palpitating on the pavement as I came suddenly and unexpectedly upon it, and we were warned, by an angry cry of "au large" from a sentry, that it would be a very simple matter in the then temper of the soldiery to meet the same fate. It is easy to imagine the scowling looks and stifled curses of the men and women glaring from doorways and windows at the execution of a friend before their eyes, and we began to feel that we were objects of equal suspicion and dislike on either side. At every step we were challenged, and the fact that we had a military pass made it clear to the Bellevilleites that we were their enemies. We had now reached the crown of the hill—the very heart of Belleville, and the last stronghold of the Insurgents. It was crowded with soldiery: an hour in Belleville under existing circumstances is enough to satisfy the morbid appetite for excitement which may tempt people to go there. Notwithstanding the crowds on the Boulevards, many of the shops are still shut, in consequence of the absence of their owners from Paris. The difficulties of entering and leaving the city are still so great that many days must elapse before the ordinary population can return. Meantime, the want of gas makes the streets as they were in the darkest moments of the siege, and the gloom after dark, combined with the dangers of arrest, does not tempt people to remain abroad much later than 10 o'clock.