Yesterday, out of one of the houses from which a shot had been fired, an innocent Englishman, who, being elderly and deaf, knew nothing of what had happened, came downstairs unsuspectingly on to the pavement into the middle of the crowd, and had a very narrow escape for his life. Some ingenious self-constituted detective called out "That's the man," and the crowd, having long waited in vain for somebody, were only too glad to have a victim thus extemporized to their hands, and if a few of the cooler and more humane bystanders had not interfered, the Englishman might have been murdered in cold blood and in broad daylight. As it was, he got off with no more serious injury than torn clothes and a mauling which may keep him to his bed for a fortnight.
What, to those who have witnessed the recent transformation scenes in the great Parisian melodrama, is newest and strangest is the crowd of well-dressed holyday-making loungers streaming so thickly over the broad pavement that it is no easy matter to get through them, and occupying every available chair outside the adjoining cafe. Where in the world do they all come from? Many of them have stories of their recent experiences to tell which, well arranged, might make the fortune of a theatrical manager—stories so sensational that one would feel bound to refuse them credence if they were not in perfect harmony with the sensational scenes of which every third man's personal experience has supplied him with a specimen. One man has been close prisoner in a cellar two days and nights while fighting has been going on all around him and over his head. Another has had to fly amid bullets from the suffocating smoke of burning buildings, his ears still ringing with the cries of poor wretches who could not muster up their courage for the rush, and who risked a lingering death under the fallen ruins.
Numerous corpses have been dug out of cellars over which had fallen masses of burning houses, and many probably still remain, at which it is impossible to get. In the Rue Royale and its immediate neighbourhood last night the air was tainted with the unmistakable smell of putrefying bodies, which, it was supposed, were lying under the huge masses of smouldering woodwork and masonry still heaped upon them. The fire, though the engines have been at work at it six days and nights, has not yet been completely extinguished, and last night I and a friend, although he had his wife to protect him, were compelled to take our turn at the pumps. We in vain pleaded that we would not leave the lady alone. The head of the pressgang who had kidnapped us would be delighted to take care of her while we worked, and as soon as it appeared that we were only to work a short time—not to be kept on indefinitely into the small hours of the night—we were not sorry to lend a helping hand. A fresh batch of captives, condemned to hard labour, shortly came up and replaced us. One of our objections to being kept long at work was that it was getting late, and that after dark it is no very easy or safe matter to go about the streets.
JUNE 4th AND 5th.
Large crowds took advantage of the free permission accorded yesterday to pass through the gates of Paris, and to-day the streets are filled to overflowing with sightseers examining the ruins and other traces of the siege. Many foreigners have already arrived, some for pleasure, some to recommence business operations.
Arrests are still numerous of men and women, many of the arrested apparently belonging to the respectable classes.
It has been proposed to set on foot throughout Europe a subscription to restore the public buildings destroyed in Paris.
It is hoped that in two days the telegraphs will again be open to the public. The post is already working well, thanks to the exertions of M. Rampont.
All impediments in the way of entering and leaving Paris have been removed, as I said; persons are only required to show their passports when demanded by the police.
The military authorities have entertained favourably the requests of theatrical managers for permission to re-open the theatres, but the re-opening of the cafes chantants has not yet been authorized.
Aubry, agent of the International Society and treasurer of the Commune, was arrested yesterday.
It is said that, until further orders, no one is to be allowed to pass the gates of Paris after 9 p.m. Patrols of cavalry traverse Paris and the environs all night.
The Figaro calculates the number of insurgents still at large in Paris who have escaped military justice at 50,000 men. These persons will, it thinks, always constitute a source of danger, and will only await a favourable opportunity for exciting disturbances.
A gang of prisoners passing down the Boulevard is a never ending source of interest, and with some reason, for the prisoners now are not the scum of Belleville and La Villette, swept at haphazard out of their lanes and alleys, but the more prominent men, who have been lying hid ever since, and are being discovered or denounced singly, so that there are seldom more than two or three in a batch, and these are generally persons of note. I saw two parties yesterday, one containing three men and two women, all of quite a different type from the ragged hangdog squads that used to be driven past between lines of cavalry. These were well-dressed, gentlemanlike men and modest, respectable-looking women who seemed by no means either afraid or ashamed of the position in which they found themselves. On another occasion I observed two men, also of the bourgeoisie class, both of them very superior to usual prisoners. One of them had his hands tied firmly behind his back. They both boldly looked the crowd that followed them in the face; but the arrest which caused the greatest interest was that of M. Paschal Grousset, who was caught hidden and disguised as a woman at 39 Rue Condorcet, and who was honoured with a conveyance and a cavalry escort to protect him from the crowd. M. Pyat still succeeds in evading the authorities, and there is even some doubt whether the numerous persons who went to see the body of M. Deslescluze when it was exposed in the church of St. Elizabeth, and who declared that they recognized it, were not the victims of a delusion, and whether that gentleman may not still turn up like Sir Roger Tichborne to discomfit the minds of his old friends, who now seem uncertain whether they know him or not.
Monday being the first day when the gates of Paris, as well as the railway stations, were open to the public, there was an influx and efflux on a large scale, the people who swarmed in were people from a distance who had taken refuge in the country, and were returning with their baggage to their homes. Those who swarmed out were for the most part sightseers whom events have kept close prisoners in Paris for the last two months, and who are now flocking to the outside of the enceinte to visit their former haunts of pleasure in the immediate vicinity, which are now desolate wastes, and to compare the condition of the suburbs as damaged by the Germans with their present condition as destroyed by themselves. An examination for arms and weapons to be extended to every room in Paris is now being made, and the military authorities continue their active perquisitions for men and documents with tolerable success. Upon two successive occasions, however, shots have been fired within the last few days from a window in a house in the Place Beauveau upon officers, fortunately without injury, but the would-be murderer has not been found.
Ten thousand incendiary bombs have been discovered in the catacombs. As 23,000 were manufactured by the Commune according to documents found on prisoners, and of these not many were used, a large number are believed to be still somewhere concealed.
Nearly all the missing pieces of the Colonne Vendome have been recovered. It is thought the Column can be exactly restored.
A strange proposal is made to preserve untouched the ruins of the Hotel de Ville. It is seriously discussed, and finds many advocates.
On the extradition question the more moderate journals suggest that Government should content itself with demanding the surrender of those Insurgents against whom it can make out some case of ordinary non-political crime.
Crowds still flock from all parts into Paris.
Perfect tranquility prevails, though numerous arrests continue to be made.
It is believed that the prisoners will be classified in three categories, the first consisting of persons against whom only minor charges are preferred, the second of those charged with offences which entail transportation, the third of criminals of the worst class, some of them being accused of offences which may be punished by death.
The funeral of the Archbishop of Paris and the other distinguished hostages assassinated by the Commune is expected to be a very imposing ceremony. A Commission of 50 Deputies will officially represent the Assembly on the occasion, but a very much larger number of Deputies will attend. The chief of the Executive power and the other members of the Government will be present at Notre-Dame, where the funeral service will be celebrated to morrow morning at 11 o'clock.
The body of the Archbishop will be removed from the Archiepiscopal Palace, in the Rue de Grenelle, at 10 o'clock. It will be carried on a bed of state by seven Deacons. The seven Suffragan Bishops of the Archdiocese of Paris will act as pall bearers.
Monseigneur Darboy will be interred in the tomb of the Archbishops of Paris in the vaults of the Cathedral See.
The Abbe Duguerry will be burried in the vaults of the Madeleine, and the other hostages in the Cemetery of Pere-Lachaise.
The cause of the delay in opening the courts-martial at Versailles to try the Communist prisoners is that a supplementary act of indictment has been rendered necessary by the discovery of important documents on several of the recently-arrested members of the Commune.
JUNE 8th AND 9th.
The inhabitants of the second Arrondissement have been warned that everybody who does not give up his firearms may be tried before a court martial.
An Anglo-Indian ex-officer is said to be gravely compromised in the Insurrection, but the number of British subjects engaged in it appears to have been ludicrously exaggerated:—not 20 have had cases made out against them.
The number of Communists belonging to the International and similar societies is estimated at 120,000. Arrests are still numerous. One of the men who shot the Archbishop, and for whom the police had long looked in vain, was yesterday arrested at his funeral.
The Journal officiel publishes a circular note of M. Jules Favre, dated the 6th inst., in reference to the causes of the Parisian Insurrection. The principal of these is the collecting together of 300,000 workmen who were brought to Paris by the works executed under the Empire, and who were led away by Jacobin agitators, and who were vanquished on the 31st of October.
After that came the action of the International Society composed of working men, the doctrines and dangers of which are explained in the circular.
It is calculated that 70,000 travellers entered Paris between Saturday and Tuesday by the Northern line alone. Many had to travel in luggage vans. Paris, notwithstanding, does not appear full. Most of the visitors make a very short stay. The dull condition of trade is loudly complained of.
The idea of burning the corpses which have not been properly buried has been abandoned; it is proposed to exhume all those buried in the Parc des Monceaux, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and other temporary burial places, and to transfer them to a new cemetery beyond Fort Vanves.
One hundred and fifty pretended firemen were executed yesterday at Versailles.
The Commander of the 9th Army Corps of Paris has issued a notice, stating that the surrender of arms has been slow, and the last delay has expired. The military authorities will, therefore, treat the offenders with severity. Active searches have been made in the Rue St. Honore to-day.
The Courts-martial at Versailles will try the prisoners exclusively for offences against the common law, and will not consider them as political offenders.
The close inspection which has been made of the sewers in Paris has already led to the discovery of large quantities of weapons and ammunition, and also of many ex-Federalist combatants, who, despairing of escape from the regular troops, sought refuge in the subterranean passages with whatever provisions they could secure. The greater part of these miserable creatures are in a most deplorable condition from hunger and the poisonous atmosphere of their hiding places. On Friday, at the angle of the Rue Vavin and the outer Boulevard, the scavengers found five bodies in the sewer, one that of an officer, and all mutilated by rats. The bodies were brought out by means of ropes, and after search for papers and documents, were interred in the Mont Parnasse Cemetery.
On Wednesday the Commissary of Police for the Quartier Saint Victor received information that the ex-General of the Commune, Rossel, was in concealment at the Hotel Montebello, upon the Boulevard St. Germain. The Commissary proceeded to the hotel, and upon searching the place found in a room on the third floor a person dressed in the uniform of the Eastern Railway service. Upon being questioned this person stated that his name was Tirobois, that he was an engineer living at Metz, but had been summoned to Paris by the railway managers on account of the pressure of traffic on the line. 'Are you sure of that?' asked the Commissary. 'Parbleu.' 'Well, in the name of the law I arrest you. You are Rossel.' 'I? not at all.' The prisoner was taken to the Prefecture de Police established at the Barracks of the Cite, and thence in a boat to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the head-quarters of the municipal police are established. During the whole of the journey thither, being closely pressed with questions by the Commissary, the pretended Tirobois continued his denials. Upon being further interrogated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he replied, 'I have told you all I know about myself. Do not ask me any more.' Tirobois was then conveyed to the Ministry of War, where he was confronted with a number of persons who were detained in custody. Some of these declared that he was Rossel, but others, the majority, denied that he was the Communist ex-General. About 10 o'clock at night the prisoner was formally questioned as to his history. When the customary question, 'What is the name of your mother?' was put, he became confused, turned red, and, suddenly springing up, exclaimed, 'Why carry on this pretence any longer. Of what good is this acting and these lies. Yes, I am Colonel Rossel.' After this avowal the prisoner was removed under escort to the depot of the Prefecture. Upon being searched there was found 225f. in notes, a political article, and a longitudinal section of the different public monuments in Paris. The next day he was taken to Versailles and lodged at the Grandes Ecuries. His real description is Louis Nathaniel Rossel, born at St. Brieuc (Cotes du Nord), September 9, 1844, of Louis and of Sarah Campbell. The Figaro states that the artist Courbet was captured at the house of one of his friends, a pianoforte maker in the Rue St. Gilles. He was concealed behind a bedstead, and, upon being threatened with a revolver, gave himself up without attempting resistance.
The destruction at the Gobelins has not been so extensive as had been apprehended. Only a small portion of the buildings has been burnt, and work has already been resumed in the parts which have been spared. Even in those rooms which have been destroyed not all the works of art have been lost, and especially the "Dead Christ" after Philippes de Champagne, and the portrait of Louis XIV, after Rigault, have been saved. The collection of ancient patterns has also been preserved.
Some disquieting rumours about the condition of La Villette have caused the troops quartered there to be strongly reinforced; nevertheless, perfect tranquility so far prevails.
Business is greatly improving, orders for articles de Paris coming in pretty freely, and the fine weather bringing increasing crowds of visitors.
Some further important arrests have been made, including Urbain, alleged to have been the principal instigator of the massacre of the hostages.
Paris is rapidly resuming its old appearance. The Cafes and Concerts in the Champs Elysees recommence to-morrow, and various theatres are re-opening.
People, in France, are discussing the causes of the late insurrection, and measuring the consideration to which the Insurgents, whether as rebels or refugees, are justly entitled. That the tendency of opinion should be strongly against the Communists is natural, for the justification of their revolt appears difficult, while their last acts have excited universal abhorrence. It is, indeed, perfectly true that they had no grievance against the Government which they defied, for though, perhaps, the National Assembly might not have voted for a Republic, no Republic which could have been voted by any Assembly of Frenchmen would have satisfied the Insurgents of Paris. The political leanings of the Assembly may be put out of the question in searching for the origin of the Civil War. That war was hatched in the brooding minds of Parisian workmen, intent on one single object, and it became practicable when the Revolution of September last put arms in their hands and the capitulation of February left them there still.
The one fixed idea of the workmen of Paris was that work entitled them to something more than wages. They had so long and so intently contemplated the relations between labour and capital that they knew nothing of any other elements of human society, or of any other classes beyond employers and employed. They saw that a hundred workmen got their five francs a day each, and that the single person who hired them got his thousands a year. We are not aware that, as a rule, they were ill-paid or overworked, or in any way oppressed. We should infer rather that they were in the receipt of good wages, that they possessed education as well as skill, and that they had leisure enough and to spare for discussion and thought. The misfortune was that they thought of one subject only, until at last their conceptions grew actually monstrous. It was not all at once that they reached the doctrines recently declared. There is a wide difference between the ideas of 1871 and those of 1848. At the latter period the labourer was held simply to be worthy of his hire, and nothing was proposed beyond such an organization of labour as would insure a constant supply of work for all who wanted it, at wages determined rather by considerate adjustment than unrestricted competition. But the men of the Commune had advanced far ahead of such old Tories of Socialism and Democracy as LEDRU ROLLIN and LOUIS BLANC. Still occupied with the one single prospect of their daily life, and regarding the relations between capital and labour as the be-all and end-all of existence, they had reached the conclusion that all capital should be transferred bodily to themselves; that they alone ought to constitute society, that all other classes should be dispossessed as worthless, and all established institutions abolished as effete. They began their demolition with the nation itself. They would have no nation, no France, no French Government. They renounced not only all Kings and Emperors, but all Presidents, all Conventions, and all Parliaments, the latter especially. In the place of such authorities they proposed to substitute Committees of working men, and to cut up the country into such areas as Trade Unions might conveniently govern. For their own particular Union they thought Paris might serve well enough, and so they stipulated for their own sovereignty within these limits under the title of the Commune. On those terms—every other species of authority and power being excluded—they believed they could put into practice their one idea of turning their own little world upside down and making the working class everything and other classes nothing. As they never looked beyond their own workshops, they considered that none but working people had ever done any duties or suffered any wrongs, and that no others, therefore, were entitled to any rights. The one object of their hatred, envy, and antagonism was capital, and they resolved to take capital into their own hands. For the future they would lead easy lives, and be the lords instead of the slaves of their old and detested enemy.
In those pretensions and those desires originated the Revolution just suppressed. The war thus undertaken was a Civil War, conducted without the least respect to any laws of war at all. The flight of the Government left the entire Capital not only with all its resources, but with all its treasures and all its inhabitants, in the hands of the insurgents. With these advantages they preferred their demands. They asked for the Capital of France to be delivered over to them as an estate or province within which they might proscribe the worship of GOD, appropriate every form of capital, and depose all authority and all ranks in favour of their own. Failing this, and in the event of their being defeated in the actual war, they asked for amnesty and liberty to depart. At first they reckoned on victory, for the Assembly appeared disorganized and its armies wavering; the support of other great towns was anticipated, and the outlaws of every country in Europe—the veterans of the universal Revolution—had carried their swords to the service of its latest and ripest expression—the Parisian Commune. Moreover, they had tremendous means of extortion in their hands. They held possession of all that was precious and admirable in the Capital of France, and they declared that, if they were neither allowed to prevail nor permitted to escape, they would spare nothing in their vengeance. In preparation for the worst they stored combustibles in the noblest edifices of the city, and then, laying their hands on some of the most eminent and venerated of its inhabitants, they penned them in a body for the contingency of prospective slaughter. They had no more personal animosity against Monseigneur DARBOY than against any statue in the Tuileries or the Louvre. Animate and inanimate objects were marked for destruction on precisely the same grounds—the necessity of putting stress upon the enemy; and the threat was actually executed because its execution might improve the effect of terrorism another day. Of laws or of rules of war these men took not the slightest account. The military leaders of the insurrection had been trained in combats where every imaginable expedient had been held lawful, and the Committee of the International thought no price too high for the realization of their fixed idea. Soldiers and workmen alike were prepared for any extremity of outrage either in pursuit of victory or prosecution of revenge.
Such was the cause and such the conduct of this two months' war; but a war, nevertheless, it was, waged by a political insurrection on behalf of a political object. It is very true that the Insurgents aimed at no form of polity known to the world, and that it would have been impossible to content them by any measure of civil freedom or political rights. Their chief and most peremptory demand was, not for any rights of their own, but for the suppression of the rights of others. They denounced the extension of the suffrage to the rural population, and, as they were in a very small minority themselves, they protested against the right of any majority to outvote them, though they were preparing all the while to impose their own will on a constituency of ten times their number.
Such are my summary reflections concerning that gigantic insurrection.
Now, my Dear, that I have brought my daily correspondence to an end, happy shall I be, if such as may happen to read my small volume can find the perusal of it as interesting as you told it was to you.
I don't expect to stay much longer abroad: I shall soon return to England but quite heart-rent at what my eyes have witnessed, and notwithstanding my admiration for the noble qualities of the french nation, more than once, I fear, I shall not be able to refrain exclaiming: Poor France!
HISTORICAL INFORMATIONS ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS BURNT
The Palais Royal, built on the site of Cardinal Richelieu's Palace, faces the Louvre, and adjoins the Place des Victoires. Given by Louis XIV, to his brother the Duke of Orleans, it passed from him to the Regent Duke. Here, but not in the existing edifice, the Regent and his daughter held their incredible orgies; here lived his grandson Egalite, who rebuilt the palace after a fire, and relieved his embarrassments by erecting the ranges of shops. The Palais Royal Gardens were the nursery of the First Revolution; they were the favourite resort of Camille Desmoulins and the other mob orators not yet sitting in Convention; and in them was unfurled, on the 13th of July, 1789, that tricolour flag which was to prove even a deadlier symbol than the red and white roses plucked once for England's woe in our own Temple-gardens. At the Palais Royal Egalite hatched the plots which ended in his execution, when it was disposed of by lottery, to be bought back, repaired, and beautified by the Orleans family after the Restoration, and inhabited by them till the second death of the Monarchy, in 1830, removed them to the Tuileries. In 1848 the palace was plundered and the interior destroyed by the mob, who at the same time burnt Louis Philippe's fine library. The Palais was turned into a barrack, but when the new Republic developed into an Empire, it naturally changed back again into a palace. The Emperor made it over to his uncle Jerome, who left it to Prince Napoleon, by whom it was fitted up in sumptuous style. The great staircase and its balustrades and the Galerie des Fetes were fine in art and in general effect, but nothing that may have been destroyed can be half so great a loss as the Library which went in 1848, or as the Hotel de Ville, a magnificent structure, dating in part from 1628. The additions of 1842 to this municipal palace cost 640,000l., and some of the saloons were the most gorgeous in Paris, perhaps in the world. Here in the days gone by, the Prefect of the Seine was wont to entertain his 7,000 guests in the great gallery, with its gilt Corinthian columns and 3,000 wax lights, the whole suite of rooms measuring more than 1,000 yards in length. In and about the building were some 500 statues of French celebrities, from Charlemagne to Louis XIV, in a full-bottomed wig. Painting, gilding, carving, glass, and velvet here had done their utmost, and as a specimen of magnificence in the modern French taste the furniture and decorations of the Hotel de Ville were unrivalled. The building, however, was far from depending altogether on its sumptuous upholstery. Not only was the architecture worthy of all praise and the art of much of the decoration as intrinsic as its gold, but here had been enacted many famous and infamous scenes in the history of Paris. Here the first Commune held its bloody sittings; here Robespierre took refuge with his partisans, and was found by the soldiers with his broken jaw; the "Citizen King" was presented here to the people by Lafayette from a central window; here the soldiers were quartered in 1848; and here in 1871 was the stronghold of the last Commune, less bloody in its life but more desperate in its death than the first.
The Palais de Justice is a vast pile, which includes the Sainte Chapelle, numerous courts of law, and the Prison of the Conciergerie. Anciently the site of palaces inhabited by the Kings down to Francis I., afterwards the meeting place of the Parliaments of Paris, it has been repaired and rebuilt since 1831 at a cost of nearly 1,000,000l. The courts of law open from the vast but inelegant Salle des Pas Perdus, which answers to our Westminster-hall. One of these courts was the Chamber of the Tribunal Revolutionnaire, and communicated by a small door with the Conciergerie Prison. In the precincts of the Palais stands, or stood, the Sainte Chapelle, an exquisite specimen on a small scale of the best style of Gothic architecture. The Chapelle was finished in 1248, having been built by Pierre de Montereau to enshrine the thorns of our Lord's crown and the wood of the Cross, relics bought for an immense sum from the Emperor Baldwin by St. Louis, and carried through the streets of Paris by the King barefoot. In 1791 the Sainte Chapelle became a club, then a corn store, then a record office; Louis Philippe commenced its restoration, and up to the fall of the Empire about 2,000,000f. had been spent upon it. It is in two stories, corresponding with the floors of the ancient palace; the lower chapel, or crypt, was intended for the servants, the upper, on a level with the Royal apartments, for the Royal family. The glass is exquisite, and the statues of the twelve Apostles date from the 13th century, and are admirable specimens of the art of their age. A small square hole to the south of the nave communicates with a room in which Louis XI was wont to sit and hear mass without fear of assassination.
12, Boulevard des Capucines, 12.
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After entire restoration.
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The new direction of the Grand-Hotel has greatly reduced the prices.
The price for service will be no more charged to travellers.
700 rooms and drawing-rooms
very comfortably furnished, from 5 francs a day, service included.
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BREAKFASTS—at 4 francs, wine included, every day from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m.
DINNERS—at 6 francs, wine included, every day at 6 p.m. precisely.
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MEALS BY THE CARD.
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SPECIAL SERVICE AT MED PRICE.
Including the lodging, fuel, light, service and food, with choice to take the meals in the apartments, in the restaurant, or at the table d'hote:
1st class—30 frs. 24 sh. 6 d. 2d d deg. —25 " 20 " 5 " 3d d deg. —20 " 16 " 4 "
OPPOSITE THE NEW OPERA GRANDE BRASSERIE.—GRAND BREWERY
ENGLISH ALES,—DUTCH BEER
Breakfasts at 2 Fr. 50 (2 shil.).—Dinners at 4 Fr. 50 and a la carte (bill of fare)
31, BOULEVARD HAUSSMAN The most comfortable in Paris
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GRAND HOTEL DE LA PLAGE
Establishment for bathing situated in the most luxuriant and salubrious country in Normandy
SPLENDID CASINO.—ROOMS FOR THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES
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HOTEL ROYAL ON THE PLAGE
THE MOST COMFORTABLE
Kept by Mme LAFOSSE
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HOTEL DE LA VICTOIRE
NEAR THE CATHEDRAL
Kept by Mr BEUZELIN
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WINE AND SPIRITS
J. CHAIGNEAU AND CO
31 and 33, rue Doidy
Appointed to supply H.M. the king of sweden and norway
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CAEN. TYP. F. LE BLAC-HARDEL.