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CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.
No. 262. New SERIES.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1849.
taining any employment in Paris, and was seriously ; AN ENGLISH WORKMAN'S RECOLLECTIONS
meditating my return to England, we fortunately enOF PARIS IN 1848.
tered the shop of Messrs Jolly and Blanc, in the Rue | At the close of the year 1847, want of employment, St Martin. coupled with the information that the particular branch Finding one of the partners within, I exhibited my of my trade in which I was mostly employed was un- book of patterns, which seemed to take his eye very known in Paris, induced me to leave my wife and four much. He asked me a few questions, and then gave little ones in our native village near the western suburbs me something to do, by way of obtaining a specimen of London, and set out for the French metropolis. My of my work. I returned with it the next day, and was voyage, which was a stormy one, was marked by no- at once engaged at 30 francs (about 24s.] per week, with ihing of importance besides my forming an acquaint- promises of an advance being made as work became ance with a young sailor named George Bargues, who, more plentiful. The next day I entered into my new being of French extraction on the father's side, had occupation, and found myself an object of no small friends in Paris whom he was now to visit after a sepa curiosity to my fellow-workmen, and no small diversion ration of eighteen years. My conversation with this to a bevy of young girls and workwomen at work in young man in the vessel and in our Boulogne hotel led an adjoining room ; but all were courteous and obliging, me to feel a deep interest in him; and finding that his and I never was subjected to those cruel mockeries finances were low, I offered him the loan of a sovereign, and insults to which we too frequently subject the unwhich with some difficulty he accepted. We arrived in fortunate foreigner whom chance may throw among us. Paris together at six o'clock on New-Year's morning, In the establishment of Messrs Jolly and Blanc there
and drove to the residence of my companion's brother, were employed nearly sixty individuals, the greater ¡ in an upper floor of a large house in the Rue de la number being females, as, from the low wages given in Harpe. I was kindly received by the family, consisting Paris, it would be impossible to maintain a family of James Bargues, a young ouvrier, of handsome figure, without the joint labour of both man and wife, who but a strong dash of melancholy in his countenance; therefore know but few of the comforts of domestic and his wife, a delicate-looking person, who, like him life as compared with us in England. The meal times self, spoke good English. It being a fête day, James in this establishment strangely varied with those in Engdressed himself in his best clothes, and conducted us to land. We commenced work at six in the morning, and some of the gayest scenes in Paris, as the garden of the went to breakfast at eleven. At the expiration of one Luxembourg, and the Champs Elysées, with all of hour, labour was resumed until seven in the evening, at which I was of course much pleased.
which hour work for the day was done, and we all went We returned in the evening to dinner, when I found to dinner, and for my own part with a very good appea party assembled for the purpose of merrymaking. tite. I am not disposed to set this system up as an exMy host introduced me to M. Vachette, his brother-in- ample, as I am convinced, from experience, that nature law, whose wife, I gladly found, could likewise converse requires recruiting more than twice a day, when a in the Eoglish tongue. It was afterwards explained to person's occupation is at all laborious. I am disposed me that the two sisters were the daughters of a de- to come to the conclusion, that the employer loses in ceased gentleman; and that, after vainly endeavouring the end when wages are not sufficient to procure the to support themselves by tuition, they had been fain to necessary food to keep up a man's stamina.
I am avail themselves of offers of marriage from a couple of sure, from actual observation, that ten Englishmen honest workmen. These men, however, found that would perform the work of fifteen Frenchmen in the elegant accomplishments, such as music, painting, and same space of time. Doubtless the reader may think language, but badly compensate for the more homely me rather prejudiced; but I am ready to admit, at the ones of cooking and cleaning.
same time, that my countrymen, with the same quanThe evening passed very cheerfully away, and the tity and description of food, would perform even less kind-hearted James insisted upon my spending a few work than the Frenchmen. days with him, while a lodging was prepared for me It was my custom to take my déjeuner, or eleven at his brother-in-law's, M. Vachette, who resided in o'clock breakfast, at a cuisine bourgeois in the Rue the Battignolles. In the course of a few days I re- Royal, close by the Rue St Martin, where I had ample moved to my lodgings, and then set out, in company opportunity of making observations on the mode of with George, in quest of what had brought me to Paris living usually adopted by the Parisian workpeople, as -employment. The first few days we met with no the house was much frequented by that class, being the saccess, it being difficult to convince the French dyers cheapest in the quarter. The déjeûner usually consisted that the English way of finishing was superior to their of a basin of very poor soup, with a spoonful of any OW. At length, when I had almost despaired of ob- vegetable that you might choose to have put into it,
doubtless to impart a richness to the appearance, if it by observing a perfumer who lived nearly opposite re-
It is worth remarking that all the wine people, and great excitement. The shops were closed and spirituous liquors are very cheap in Paris; the chief the whole length of the Boulevards, from the Porte St drink of the poorer classes is water to both breakfast Martin to the Madeleine, and thousands of heads proand dinner, some few mixing with it a little wine. The truded from the windows, all very evidently expecting dinner consists of nearly the same, with little variety, a something to confirm or ease their apprehension. I unless you choose roast meat instead of boiled. At both proceeded down Rue Royal to the Place de Concorde. meals it is customary to eat a large quantity of bread. Here I found a strong military force of horse and foot.
The Parisian workmen take much more pride in I next visited the Rue St Honoré. Here things wore their appearance than the English. It has been the a more serious aspect. Some omnibuses and cabriolets subject of notice with many that few untidy or ragged had been overturned in several places, the stones had persons are to be met with in the streets; and I ob- been removed, and an attempt made to form a barricade. served that most of my fellow-workmen kept a work- A troop of dragoons were employed to keep the ing suit at the factory, which they changed night and mob from assembling together. They used the flat of morning.
their swords, with no very great delicacy of touch, on I soon became accustomed to manners and habits all who chose to disobey their commands. Much' illwhich had been at first rather strange to me. I found feeling here exhibited itself between the soldiery and my master very kind and affable with all his work the people. The noise of drums now struck my ear: it people, treating them more as his equals than his de- was the rappel beating for the Garde Nationale, strongly pendents; and I think in return he enjoyed the respect guarded both in front and rear. A number of young and esteem of all who had the happiness to serve men and boys followed, singing the ‘Marseillaise' and under him. The whole of the people in his establish-Mourir pour la Patrie.' Finding the angry feeling far ment seemed to live on the best of terms with each from subsiding, I deemed it most prudent to return other, and all were kind and obliging to me. The homewards ; so made the best of my way to the Battiglaughter of light hearts, and the merry song, sounded polles. loud and often through the factory.
The next morning I found but few shops open. The The first few weeks passed pleasantly enough. Mon- guardhouses along the line of the Boulevards, and sieur and Madame Vachette did all that lay in their especially by Portes St Martin and St Denis, were ocpower to render my situation at their home comfort- cupied by strong detachments of troops. On reaching able ; and from the kindness of Madame Vachette, who my workshop, I found but few of the hands assembled had once been a teacher of the English language, I soon for work. The shop, however, was opened, and I began made considerable progress in my French studies. My my daily occupation. It was between nine and ten evenings were chiefly spent in company with my friend in the morning that my attention was attracted by a George, at the lodgings of his brother, who always re- strange hubbub and confusion in the courtyard, immeceived me with the greatest of hospitality-sometimes, diately under my window. Several person's rushed in I was even fearful, with more than their limited means from the street, evidently in a state of great terror and justified. The frost at this time was very intense, the alarm. The porter of the house immediately closed Seine being in some places completely blocked up with the outer gates of the courtyard. Doors were opened ice. Towards the middle of February the weather be- and slammed with great violence; the sound of many came mild and genial. Trade, which had received some footsteps hurrying to and fro, the quick shutting of check from the frost, began to revive. I found full em- windows, and the hum and confusion of many voices, ployment for both time and money, as it was necessary produced a strange din. that part of my wages should go towards the support Presently a young girl, who was usually occupied of my little ones at home.
in the front shop, entered my room, and with hurried It was about this time that I first heard of the pro- accents begged that I would assist in shutting up the posed banquet, the forbidding of which ultimately cost | shop, as most of the men were absent. On descending Louis Philippe his throne, and led to much bloodshed and into the street for that purpose, I found the people rundisorder. On the ever-memorable morning of Tuesday ning in all directions, pursued by a troop of mounted the 22d of February, I was proceeding as usual to my municipal guards, who laid about them with their employment, when on reaching the Boulevards, I found swords without mercy. I had scarcely closed the last groups of workmen and others reading the official pro- shutter when the municipals reached the spot opposite clamation prohibiting the meeting. The crowds seemed our shop, and I was glad to make a hasty retreat. very much excited, and gave vent to their feelings in loud When the shop was secure, I went to work again, the and angry exclamations. At the guard-house, instead noise still increasing : drums beating, men shouting, of the one solitary sentinel, the whole front was occu- women screaming, with crashing of timber, and breakpied by the military, all armed and ready to act at a ing of glass. But presently I heard the sharp crack of moment's warning. On reaching my place of work, I carbines, with louder cries and screams, mingled with found those who had arrived before me clustered in yells of defiance and savage imprecations. Gradually groups, discussing the probable events of the day. the noise became fainter, and soon all was pretty quiet.
Nothing of any note attracted my attention during Finding all my fellow-workmen were gone, I was the morning, beyond vague and contradictory reports reluctant to continue alone; and my curiosity being of conflicts between the troops and the people. At somewhat excited by the occurrences of the morning, I cleven, I went as usual to breakfast, when I was some struck work, and descended into the street, which I what startled by observing a large tumultuous assem- found now completely deserted, except by the military; blage enter Rue St Martin from the Boulevards. The strong detachments of which held it at both ends. foremost, who was an ouvrier en blouse, bore a piece of They allowed me to pass through them into Rue red cloth on a staff, as a substitute for the terrible Royal, where I found the mob had constructed a bardrapeau rouge, and for the first time I heard the French ricade, which the soldiers were now busily employed in vive — Vive la Réforme !' The progress of this mob, destroying. A vast crowd occupied this street, and all although unmarked by any species of wanton outrage the streets adjoining. Many of them were armed with that I could obscrve, spread consternation and alarm such weapons as most readily came to hand—as thick through all the neighbourliood. I was somewhat amused | bludgeons, pitchforks, hatchets, and sledge-hammers.
Bars of iron wrenched from railings were general; but ing the Quai de l'Ecole, an officer, dressed in a general's I observed several with muskets and pistols.
uniform, mounted on a superb horse, halted before a A few paces farther on I saw a crowd surrounding crowd who had assembled there; taking off his hat, he some object on the ground, and singing the eternal bowed to the populace, and then cried in a loud voice, Mourir pour la Patrie.' On looking through the . The ministers are changed !' This was received with throug, a melancholy spectacle presented itself: ex acclamations, and seemed to give universal satisfaction ; tended on its back lay the corpse of a young man at least so far as my own observations went. covered with mud and gore.
On reaching my home in Rue de l'Ecluse in the The people seemed very much excited, and I mo- Battignolles, everybody seemed anxious for information meatarily expected to see a renewal of hostilities. respecting things in Paris ; and all now fondly hoped, The turmoil, however, had not taken away my as the Guizot ministry were fallen, that the disorders appetite ; and I knew, from certain inward signs, that would quiet down. the breakfast-hour was either at hand or past. So, After dinner, it being rather late, for we had waited after some hard knocking, I induced Monsieur Macqurle, the coming of M. Vachette, I was engaged in writing a mine host, to open his door, and prevailed on him to letter to my friends, when George entered and informed allow me to breakfast. On attempting to return up the us that the people were storming and destroying the Rue St Martin, I was repulsed by point of bayonet, so Barrier Clichy, an office in the wall of Paris, where the I passed through a short passage which connects octroi, or duties on provisions, are collected on their with the Rue St Denis. This I found also occupied by passing into Paris. I ran down into the street, when I troops. I gained the Boulevards by another route. On heard tremendous firing in the direction of the Boulearriving at the guardhouse of the Boulevard des Bonnes vard des Capucines. Three distinct volleys followed Nouvelles, I saw a mob advancing with drums beating each other in rapid succession. The people in the streets in front and flags flying.
stood still amazed. All inquired, but none could tell There was a strong body of the municipal guards at the cause that led to the firing. I ran through Barrier this spot, with a regiment of the line. The soldiers Clichy, which I found in the possession of the people, formed right across the Boulevard, and seemed deter- and then down Rue d'Amsterdam towards the Mademined to resist the approaching multitude, who, by leine, and on reaching the Boulevard des Capucines, I their glittering bayonets, appeared well armed. The found all in uproar and confusion; people were hurryhead of the column halted; a short consultation was ing to and fro uttering cries of vengeance. The soldiers held, and then the column wheeled off, crying “Vive had fired on the mob before the Hotel of the Minister la Réforme,' and singing the never-dying ‘Mourir pour of Foreign Affairs, and great numbers were killed and la Patrie.'
wounded. Two men were carrying the body of a female I had promised on the Sunday evening previous to in their arms; her long hair bung down wet with blood; visit my friend George at the apartments of his brother, some others placed the dead in a cart, following it with M. Bargues, in the Rue de la Harpe; and as I had a torches and iron bars, which they had torn up in their wish to know how matters stood in that quarter, I fury. They formed a sort of procession, their numbers determined to keep my appointment. Accordingly I augmenting every moment. A wild frenzy seemed to proceeded thither by the way of the Rue Poissonniere, animate them. As they proceeded onward, numbers crossing the Seine at the Pont Neuf. I observed a sung, in a low mournful strain, “Mourir pour la sharp fusillade going on at Pont au Change, the next Patrie;' but soon the song of death was chanted to a bridge, while troops were crowding to that point from wild cry for vengeance, Mort à Guizot!' Vive la every direction. The firing soon ceased, and the people République!' gave way. At this moment a fresh body of military, Leaving this column to pursue their mournful march, who, by their appearance, had just entered Paris from I returned to the Barrier Clichy by the Rue de la some distance, passed along the quais. They consisted Chaussée d'Antin, and in the Rue Clichy every lamp of lancers, dragoons, and horse artillery, with riflemen, was broken and extinguished ; all the shops closed; and and several regiments of the line. Both men and horses it presented a singular contrast, by its loneliness, to the seemed dreadfully fatigued, being covered with mud, scene that was now going on in the Boulevard. I had looking wet and miserable.
just reached the Barrier. A mob, composed chiefly of All the bridges and quais were swarming with troops young men and boys, armed with clubs and axes, came -light horse, dragoons, and cuirassiers—who were in through: they halted opposite a gunsmith's named cessantly employed in dispersing the numerous groups, Rozvy, in the Rue Clichy: in a few minutes the door who took every opportunity of assembling together, and shutters were dashed in, and all the arms plundered. and venting their displeasure in loud outeries against They were engaged in distributing the guns, swords, the ministry, mingled with Vive la Ligne ! — Vive la &c. among themselves, when the sound of horses' feet Réforme!'- A bas Guizot!'
at a sharp trot came from outside the Barrier, and I On reaching the apartments of M. Bargues, in the Rue could distinguish through the gloom the form of an de la Harpe, I found my landlady, Madame Vachette, officer, followed by two dragoons, gallopping down the there, in great anxiety respecting her husband, from street. Crack-bang-bang went several guns at their whose well- known republican principles she dreaded heads; with what effect I did not observe, as the night some harm would befall him.
was very dark. The sound of a bullet whistling through James, who was a thorough Communist, spoke in the air at no great distance from my head made me raptures of the approaching struggle, but lamented the think it most prudent to beat a retreat; so I returned blood that must necessarily be spilt before France could to my lodgings, where I found my landlord had arrived break the chains that bound her liberties. Like the before me, and thus allaying his wife's fears for his best part of those misguided men, he thought the wild safety. theories of Socialism and Communism capable of afford- I retired to bed, and, strange to say, slept soundly, ing lasting happiness and prosperity to all the human I awoke about my usual time, dressed, and descended family, and worthy of any sacrifice for their promotion; | into the streets, more with the intention of gratifying although I am sure no one possessed a better heart, my curiosity than the idea of being able to get to my por more of the milk of human kindness, than James work. Bargues ; showing how fearfully a false philosophy may At the Barrier I found a regiment of the line on distort the best of natures.
guard : I passed through them to the Rue Boulogne, His brother George not being within, I offered my when I beheld two men beating the rappel on their protection to Madame Vachette in our way to the drums, followed by about twenty others en blouse, with Battignolles, as we should have to pass through the guns. As I proceeded farther into Paris, I heard drums thickest of the tumult; the Battignolles being about beating in all directions, bells tolling, and the sound of four miles distant from the Rue de la Harpe. On reach the pickaxe and crowbar. At the church of our Lady
de Lorrette, the people were dragging down the iron At this work I was kept, as nigh as I can guess, about railing in front, and removing the stones in the street. four hours, lifting great stones above my head. At
Proceeding onwards, I saw barricades forming about length I sank down upon a heap of stones, perfectly every hundred yards right and left of me. A captain overpowered by fatigue, although my fellow-labourers of the National Guards endeavoured to persuade them worked on with undiminished zeal. Perhaps I did not to desist; but they refused. The rappel was beating in enter into the spirit of the thing so much as they did, all quarters : everywhere National Guards, singly or for I never shall forget the activity displayed by all in parties, were hastening to their places of ren- classes. The man of evident wealth, in inorning-gown dezvous, clambering on the best way they could, for and slippers, worked side by side with the labourer in march they could not, the road was now so dreadfully blouse and sabots. All seemed actuated by the same cut up. I would beg my reader to imagine Cheapside indomitable zeal, and perfect order and good-will seemed in London strewn with broken glass, bottles, pots, and to exist among them. iron railings, diligences, omnibuses, carts, wagons, A respectably-attired individual came up to me and wheelbarrows, and watering-carts, planks and scaffold- inquired in a compassionate tone if I was not fatigued. poles, with ladders, barrels, buckets, and articles of I showed him my hands, torn and bleeding, my heated household furniture, in fact everything a mob can lay brow dripping with perspiration, and my soiled and their hands on; and they then may form some notion muddy dress. He entered a wine-shop, and gave me a of the scene which all the principal thoroughfares in bottle of wine and a small loaf, which I very thankfully Paris presented on that day.
received, and quickly devoured. On reaching the bottom of the Rue du Faubourg Presently I heard a great beating of drums, and on Montmartre, I was stopped by the people, who were looking over the barricade, saw a body of military ap. constructing a very strong barricade, and desired to proaching from the Faubourg, their glittering bayonets assist. This I had no particular wish to do, as I knew extending as far up the Faubourg as I could well see. not how long before it might be the scene of a san- The barricades were manned in a moment, and my guinary struggle. The method pursued in constructing heart beat furiously within my bosom. I thought of these street defences was nearly in all cases the same. England, of home, my pretty cottage, my wife and four Where any street vehicles could readily be obtained, little ones. I cast a despairing look around, but no they were used in preference to other materials; but as chance of escape this time. Still the drums advanced, these things were now nearly used up, the mob had no beating thunders, and then the troops halted; the noise resource but that of paving-stones.
of the drums ceased, and then came a monient of intense A band of labourers formed line across the street, excitement. A parley took place between the troops with crowbars, pickaxes, or bars of iron, with which and the people. One orator spoke at great length, and they loosened the stones. These were rapidly taken up evidently very much to the purpose, although I could by another line, who passed them on to a third, and so not understand half of what he said; but it ended by on to the barricade. "By these means a barricade was the soldiers giving up their arms to the people. This formed in an incredibly short space of time. My station was scarcely finished, when another body of National being nearest to the barricade-for they had selected Guards came up. A National Guard, who was with me, on account of my being taller than most of them, the people, stood on a broken pillar, and waved his hat to place the stones on the top-I took the opportunity on the point of his bayonet. The men came rushing of passing over to the other side, and finally gave them over the barricade, and boldly fraternised with the the slip
people. On reaching the Boulevards, I found all the fine The mob, now mingled with the National Guards, trees cut down, and placed across the road. Every- formed line on the Boulevard between Porte St Denis where were traces of the destructive activity of the and Porte St Martin. Nearly all now had muskets, preceding night. Advancing towards Porte St Denis, although many were armed with every species of weaI passed a very large body of troops. Dragoons dis- pon. Some had evidently furnished themselves from mounted, standing by their horses ; troops of the line, the theatres and old curiosity shops ; some were armed with their scarlet trousers covered with mud; riflemen cap-a-pie, like the knights of old; some with Indian war in their dark-green uniforms; and artillery standing by clubs and tomahawks. Among other things, I recogtheir guns. With the exception of the military, I was nised a very large sword which I remembered seeing exalone on the Boulevard, and the sound of my own foot- posed for sale as the sword of the executioner of Paris. steps sounded painfully on my ear; for the silence of A cry now burst from many lips of • Aux Tuileries! death reigned amidst thousands, all standing still and Aux Tuileries!' They formed column, with drums at motionless as statues. A long line of watch - fires their head, and began a scrambling march over the were smouldering, round which they had evidently numerous barricades down Rue St Denis. bivouacked; and the men looked pale and spiritless I had read, when a boy, of the awful and sanguinary with excessive fatigue. At the farther extremity of struggle attending the taking of that abode of royalty ; this body of soldiery were placed several pieces of and so, suffering my curiosity to get the better of prucannon, pointed towards Porte St Denis. My heart dent ars, I followed the throng, who advanced beating sunk within me, and tears started in my eyes, as I their drums, and roaring in chorus the · Marseillaise,' thought how soon they might be used in the destruc particularly the words, ' Aux armes, citoyens !' varying tion of my fellow-creatures. I never shall forget the it, however, with the eternal • Mourir pour la Patrie.' sensations those murderous engines of war occasioned They took the direction of the Tuileries, by the way within me.
of Rue Thevenot, crossing Rue Petite Carreau, to the After passing these troops, and arriving at Porte St Place des Victoires. At this place they halted, in order Denis, I found an enormous barricade. I climbed over, to induce a body of National Guards assembled there to and was made prisoner in an instant. Again I was set join them. to work, as they were forming four massive barricades There was here a general inspection of the revoluat this point-one across Rue St Denis, one in the tionary irregulars. Those who had no ammunition Faubourg, and the two others across the Boulevard. My were supplied by those who had : a captain of the condition at this moment was not to be envied : sur- National Guard took the command ; the revolutionary rounded by savage-looking men, armed to the teeth, in forces formed line, and marched and countermarched the midst of four stone walls; while opposite the one round the place. They were now a formidable-looking on which I was employed several pieces of cannon body -- truly picturesque in their blouses and capswere planted. Their murderous - looking muzzles, their beards and savage - looking moustaches adding crammed with grape, ready in a moment to pour de- much to the effect, with their now half-military cosstruction on all opposed to them, made me feel any- tume, for several wore dragoons' helmets, or the steel thing but comfortable.
cap of days long past. The masquerade rooms had evidently supplied much to the adornment of many of fixed in his under lip, and his eyes distorted by a fearful this motley assembly.
squint. In a moment the blood came bubbling through Now again thundered the drums, and again a thou- a small purple spot in his forehead, and his features sand voices roared the · Marseillaise,' commencing with were soon covered with the sanguine dye. His white * Allons enfans de la patrie ;' but many preferred be shirt was also soaked with blood, which ran in a puddle ginning with the finish, and shouting at the top of their among the broken stones. He was soon picked up and voices Aux armes, citoyens !' and by way of variety, carried away, and I could not refrain my tears at the gave a few lines of the 'Chor des Girondistes'
sight. Mourir pour la patrie,
In a few moments another, fell, shot through the C'est le sort le plus beau, le plus digne d'envie !!
shoulder. His gun fell from his hands : and then what
possessed me I do not know, for my excitement was for they seldom got over those lines.
more than can be well imagined, but I had taken the 'Aux armes ! Aux armes ! Aux Tuileries!' shouted gun of the wounded man before I had given myself a a thousand voices; and so to the Tuileries they went, moment's time to consider, and immediately bang went and I followed.
my piece over the barricade! A Garde Nationale supOn reaching the back of the Palais Royal, a short plied me with some cartridges, and from that moment street separated me from the main body of the insur- I took my place among the defenders of the barricade. gents, when suddenly I heard the discharge of a single Although I could never boast of a great share of gun, and then another, and another. This was suc- courage, yet at this moment all thoughts of danger, of ceeded by a dead silence; and the few persons who home, wife, children, were all forgotten in the fierce were in the street stopped short, and turned pale, as I delight of battle. It was like skating on very doubt. daresay I did myself. This lull of a few short moments ful ice: we all know it is dangerous, but yet all was succeeded by a deafening roar, produced by the think they will escape the drowning. discharge of some hundreds of muskets, with a proxi- The battle began about twelve o'clock, and it was mity so close, that the smoke whirled in white wreaths now nearly one. The people had now possession of the over my head, At this moment a youth, who could not Palais Royal, and the houses on the other corner of the screw his courage to the shooting point, proffered me street, froin which they fired on the troops below. his gun. I politely declined the offer. Then suc- Some fought very bravely, standing on the top of the ceeded an irregular firing, which gradually increased barricade, loading now, firing then. Others, almost on in strength every moment. Then another, and another their hands and knees when under the barricade, would heavy discharge, fully convinced me that the people rise up and fire, retiring to load. Some indeed stood were engaged in regular battle with the military. at the corner of a street some distance up, and fired off
Gradually the excitement overcame my fears, and their pieces there, which greatly added to the danger my pulse, though quick, beat more regularly. Wish of those who held the barricade. ing to obtain a view of the action, I passed into the Every time the soldiers fired very heavily, a panic Rue de Valois, formed on one side by the Palais would seize some of the combatants, and these would Royal. At the end of this street the people were make off, to take up a safer position high up the street. firing over a barricade, at wbat or whom, the volumes A little man, who was armed only with a sword, behaved of smoke prevented me seeing. One party, with very bravely. He rallied the faint-hearted, stamped sledge - hammers and crowbars, were busily engaged and swore, and, followed by a few as desperate as himin forcing the iron gates of the Palais Royal, while self, leaped over the barricade. They were received others amused themselves by breaking the plate-glass with a deadly discharge, and many a poor fellow rolled windows with stones and oyster-shells. The lower win over in the mudi The few who were left standing dows, which were defended by strong iron bars, were came rushing over the barricade. A panic seized the battered in, bars, stonework, and all, and the mob en- rest, and some ran out of the street altogether. tered. This part of the building, I imagined, must have But although foiled in their first attempt, again they been used as a store, from the immense quantity of rushed over the barricade, again to meet with the same wearing apparel that was thrown out and burned in the repulse, and many with their deaths. It was now in. street. From one window was thrown an immense deed a hideous scene. The dying and the dead lay quantity of bedding, which was likewise heaped on the heaped together in pools of blood. Their shrieks and flames, until the heat became insupportable, and the groans rose into the air, mixed with the frantic yells smoke all but blinding. Some, indeed, set fire to the and horrid imprecations of the mob; the muskets kept building itself, which others extinguished, much, how-up a deafening roar, and their red flashes streamed inever, to their own personal risk.
cessantly through the stifling sulphurous smoke. The As the fighting continued, I lost all sense of danger, faces of the combatants were distorted with rage, and and soon found myself close to the barricade which ran many fought on, mangled and bleeding, till they could across the Rue de Valois, from the Palais Royal to a no longer stand to load and fire. wine-shop opposite.
About this time an officer, whom I afterwards learned On looking across the square in which stands the to be General Lamoriciere, rode into the square : both facade of the Palais Royal, I found that the firing on horse and rider rolled instantly into the mud. The the part of the military proceeded from a guardhouse general rose wounded, I believe, and made his escape. called the Château d'Eau. On a terrace that ran across A captain of the Garde Nationale, the same I think the front of this building were stationed three ranks of who first led the insurgents, now stood on the barricade municipal guards, while immediately below them stood waving his sword, and inciting the mob to charge. He a body of the troops of the line, the whole joining in was shot through the body, and fell on the other side. keeping up a constant fire.
But the mob rushed from three barricades at the same The scene at this moment was one of great excite- time, two being across Rue St Honoré, and engaged in ment. The flash! flash! of the musketry through the deadly combat, hand in hand, with the soldiers. A white smoke from the terrace and every window of the deadly discharge came from every window of the post, guardhouse, the beating of drums, waving of flags, and while louder yells, and cries of agony and rage, mixed brandishing of swords and pikes, all conspired to deaden in wild and savage din with the unceasing roar of the the sense of danger, although the sound of the balls guns. striking the barricade, or whistling over my head, bade As I did not choose to pass over the icade myself, me remember that I was witnessing a real battle. I could not well distinguish what was doing at this
As yet I had seen no one hit on our side of the bar- moment, from the mingled forms of the combatants, ricade, but suddenly a young man who stood rather and the blinding smoke from a quantity of straw, which, above me on the barricade fell backwards among the plundered from the royal stable, was on fire in front of stones and rubbish at my feet. His tecth were firmly the guardhouse. Several men passed me with trusses