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the hostile feeling of the people, whose menaces the empire, which tended to render the soldiery began to be formidable.
a caste, severed in interest and feeling from their The 17th of August deserves especial notice as civilian countrymen.
He maintained that its the day on which General Trochu, who afterwards manæuvres were antiquated, its organization very played so important a part in the defence of the imperfect, and “that the main secret of success capital, was appointed governor of Paris. Nothing in every war was to be more completely prepared could have shown more clearly the precarious for action than the enemy;" a theory strikingly condition of the empire than this appointment. exemplified in the Prusso-Austrian war of 1866, General Trochu had displayed the qualities of an and still further verified by the French reverses able soldier and a high-minded gentleman; but his during the late conflict. sympathies were professedly Orleanist, and little in General Trochu's appointment as governor of accord with the regency of the empress. He had Paris was mainly owing to the acknowledged likewise requested of the emperor a command in merits of this treatise ; and so highly were his the army of the Rhine, which was refused. He qualifications valued by the community, that it had, however, been sent to the camp at Toulouse was only by promptly installing him in the office to organize the troops, and was subsequently ap- the government prevented a proposition in the pointed to the command of the twelfth army corps Corps Législatif to place him in it.
Count de stationed at the camp at Châlons, whence he was Palikao, however, in announcing the appointrecalled for the defence of the capital.
ment, was careful to state that it had no political This general, Louis Jules Trochu, was born in signification. On the morning following his 1815, and educated at the military school of St. appointment the general issued the subjoined proCyr. He was appointed lieutenant in 1840, cap- clamation : tain in 1843, and subsequently served in Algeria, where he became the favourite aide-de-camp of “ Inhabitants of Paris - In the present peril of Marshal Bugeaud, who had remarked his great the country I am appointed governor of Paris and bravery at the battle of Isly. He became major commander-in-chief of the forces charged with in 1846, and colonel in 1853. During the Russian defending the capital in a state of siege. Paris war he served in the Crimea as aide-de-camp to assumes the rôle which belongs to her, and desires Marshal St. Arnaud, gaining by his gallant conduct to be the centre of great efforts, of great sacrifices, at the siege of Sebastopol the commander's cross of great examples. I associate myself with it with of the Legion of Honour. After the Marshal's all my heart. It will be the pride of my life and death he was promoted to the rank of general, and the brilliant crowning of a career till now unknown commanded a brigade of infantry until the end of to the most of you. I have the most implicit faith the war. During the Italian campaign of 1859, in the success of our glorious enterprise, but it is which ended with the victory of Solferino, he on one condition, the nature of which is absolute, served with distinction in command of a division. imperative, and without which our united efforts In 1861 he was promoted to the rank of grand will be powerless. I mean good order; and I officer of the Legion of Honour, having then been understand by that not only calmness in the in the army twenty-five years, and served in street, but in-doors, calmness of mind, deference eighteen campaigns, in one of which he was for the orders of the responsible authority, resigwounded. General Trochu was also elected a nation under those experiences which are insepmember of the consulting committee of the Etat arable from the situation, and, finally, that grave Major, and chosen in the place of his father a and collected serenity of a great military nation member of the Conseil Général of Morbihan, in which takes in hand, with a firm resolution, under the canton of Belle Isle. In 1866 he helped solemn circumstances, the conduct of its destinies. greatly in the reorganization of the army, and in I will not refer, in order to secure to the situation the following year published anonymously a book that equilibrium which is so desirable, to the state entitled “The French Army in 1867," which of siege and of the law. I will demand it from passed through ten editions in six months. In it your patriotism, I shall obtain it from your confihe severely criticized the organization of the army, dence, while I myself repose unbounded confidence and especially the changes introduced into it under | in you. I appeal to men of all parties, belonging myself, as is known in the army, to no other party front, the government fell into the error of their than that of the country. I appeal to their devo- predecessors. The truth respecting the battles tion; I entreat them to restrain by moral authority around Metz on the 14th, 16th, and 18th of those ardent spirits who cannot restrain themselves, August, which led to the investment of Marshal and to do justice by their own hands on those men Bazaine and his entire army within the lines of who are of no party, and who perceive in our public the “maiden ” fortress, was uniformly withheld misfortunes only the opportunity of satisfying from the people. The minister of War spoke of detestable desires (appétits). And in order to the affair of the 14th as a brilliant combat, in accomplish my work—after which, I assure you, I which the enemy had sustained severe losses ; shall retire into the obscurity from which I emerge but refused to give any details of the engage-I adopt one of the old mottoes of my native ment. A despatch subsequently published intiprovince of Brittany, With God's help, for the mated that the French had been able to carry country' (' Avec l'aide de Dieu, pour la patrie'). their wounded into Metz; that the Prussians “ GENERAL TROCHU."
were compelled to retire to their former lines;
that they had been repeatedly repulsed in an This proclamation was greatly approved by the unsuccessful attempt to carry the French posiinhabitants of Paris, and favourably commented on tion; and that Bazaine had rejoined MacMahon, by journals of nearly every shade, especially for with the prospect of a decisive victory. its patriotic spirit, firmness, and modesty. In rela- In published despatches it was also announced tion to that part of it which speaks of summary that in the battle of the 16th Marshal Bazaine had justice being done by the people, the general sub- repulsed the German army, had everywhere mainsequently explained as follows:—"A time may tained his ground, and that his troops had passed come when Paris, threatened at all points, and the night in the position they had conquered. subjected to all the hardships of a siege, will be, The place, however, whence the latter announceso to speak, given over to that particular class of ment had been issued was not mentioned; and rascals (gredins) who in public misfortunes only although the despatch had been sent on the night see an opportunity for satisfying their detestable of the 16th, it was not published in Paris till the appetites. These are the men, as you know, who 18th. The actual state of affairs was subsequently run through the affrighted town, crying out, .We learned from German despatches published in the are betrayed !' who break into houses and plunder English newspapers. No information was comthem. These are the men whom I told all honest municated respecting the hard-fought battle of folk to lay hold of in the absence of the public Gravelotte on the 18th, but the Parisians were force, which will be required on the ramparts. firmly persuaded that a great victory had been That was what I meant.” It is noticeable that obtained; and on Friday (19th) the Boulevards General Trochu simply announced his appoint- were crowded with enthusiastic multitudes singing ment, without indicating the authority whence it the Marseillaise and shouting “Vive la France!” emanated.
« Vive Bazaine !" « Vive l'Armée!” These proceedings, coupled with declarations In the Chamber, on Saturday, August 20, alby M. Thiers as to the capacity of the fortifica- though no despatch was produced from Bazaine, tions of the capital to withstand a siege, somewhat Count Palikao made the following communicacheered the spirits of the Parisians. At the sitting of tion:-“ The Prussians have circulated the report the Corps Législatif he (M. Thiers) also expressed that they gained advantages over our troops on a hope that, in case of necessity, Paris would be the 18th. I wish formally to state the contrary. able to offer an invincible resistance to the Ger- I have shown to several deputies a despatch, from mans. With a view to this, and in order to secure which it appears that three Prussian corps united abundance in the capital, he suggested that a made an attack upon Marshal Bazaine, but that waste should be made around it, and that the they were repulsed and overthrown into the inhabitants of the surrounding country, with all quarries of Jaumont (culbutés dans les carrières their produce, should take refuge in it.
de Jaumont).” The minister likewise intimated As regards the communication of news from the that Bismarck's cuirassiers had been cut to * See note at the end of Chapter.
pieces, and the Prussian troops had sustained
great loss, while Bazaine's position secured to other hand, the most alarming rumours him entire freedom of action. These statements current that the French army had been utterly were at the time loudly cheered; but subse- beaten and destroyed. The following extract from quently, pressed by the Left, Count Palikao the Centre Gauche (subsequently suppressed) shows failed to substantiate them. Assailed by M. the feeling of the extreme opponents of the governGambetta, he said that a premature communica- ment at this time:" How absurd are the organs tion of good news from the seat of war would which boast of a 'victory.' Is it victory because the imperil the success of the commander's plans; but emperor just escaped being made prisoner? Is the Opposition contended that if there was only it victory because our army was not cut in two bad news it could not come too soon, since, until on the Moselle? Is it victory because, after four the country was made aware of the worst, it would days' fighting, we at length shook off an enemy not nerve itself for the sacrifices to which it would which all that time had harassed our retreat? If have to submit.
it is victory, where are the prisoners, the guns, It was, however, well understood in Paris that and the flags to show for it? If the Prussians the success of Bazaine was absolutely necessary to should take the emperor prisoner, let them keep meet the circumstances. When on the 15th Count him. Not a particle of our national genius or Palikao announced in the Chamber that on the honour will go with him. Let his wife and son 13th the marshal had shaken off the Germans, and share with him the carefully prepared luxuries of rejoined MacMahon, there appeared in the Paris an opulent exile. At all events, may the hand journals on the same day long articles showing which traced the proclamation abandoning Metz the critical character of the dangers which had to its fate draw up no more bulletins of the grande been surmounted, and congratulating Bazaine on armée on the banks of the Meuse. May such sad his safety. Little did the writers know that the comedies be spared us in future. He is already information they had received was utterly opposed called by his former flatterers in the Corps Légisto the facts; and it was but indifferent consolation latif, His Majesty Invasion III., and it is notorious they subsequently professed to find in believing that only to avoid difficulties while the enemy is that their favourite general had failed to shake at our gates his deposition is postponed for a short off the hold of the German strategists, only be time by a tacit compromise." cause he had resolved to engage
with Added to the restlessness engendered by uncerthe best troops of France, while the raw levies tainty, the heart of Paris was further saddened by were being drilled into efficiency in the camp at the arrival of the battered remnants of cavalry Châlons !
regiments, reduced to mere handfuls by the vicisThe reticence of the government, combined situdes of the campaign. Weary, footsore, and with the flagrant distortion of the actual facts, had wounded, the chargers passed along the thoroughthe usual damaging effects. The inhabitants of fares ; while the troopers, thin and haggard, looked the capital, in their feverish discontent, encouraged like men who had fought hard and fared badly the fabrication of false news. Thus, according Not even the march of troops still in course of to the Liberté, on the 18th the Prussians were being forwarded to the front could now awaken totally defeated, leaving 40,000 wounded on the the enthusiasm of the Parisians, and regiment after battle-field, and had to demand leave to send them regiment passed through the streets in silence. to Germany through Belgium and Luxemburg. Meantime, many of the rioters at La Villette were Imaginative writers also described “the terrific condemned; “spies" were executed; reports were drama of the Quarries of Jaumont, near Metz, in circulation implicating even the ladies of the where 20,000 Prussians were represented to have palace, and the mind of the capital was agitated been precipitated into an abyss with vertical sides by news of outrages in the provinces. An outrage and a depth of 100 feet, and afterwards buried en of a specially frightful character was perpetrated masse with sand by Belgian peasants employed at on the deputy mayor of Beaussac. Misinterpreting ten francs a day, while groans yet issued from the a remark made by the unfortunate gentleman as mass on the fourth day after the catastrophe, a favourable to the Prussians, a mob of some 200 catastrophe which caused many French soldiers ruffians attacked him with barbarous ferocity, and who witnessed it to burst into tears." On the having wounded and battered his
fire in the market-place of Hautelaye, and literally commander-in-chief of the forces assembled for its burnt him alive.
defence. The honour is great, but for me equally The serious turn which the course of events had so is the danger. Upon you, however, I 'rely to taken was evidenced by the following decree, pub- restore by energetic efforts of patriotism the forlished in the Journal Officiel of the 21st August, tunes of our army, should Paris be exposed to the signed by the empress and countersigned by the trials of a siege. Never was a more magnificent Count de Palikao:
opportunity presented to you, to prove to the world “Napoleon, by the grace of God and the national has in no degree enervated public feeling nor the
that a long course of prosperity and good fortune will, emperor of the French. To all
manhood of the country. You have before you to come, salutation.
We have decreed and do the glorious example of the army of the Rhine. decree as follows:-1. The Defence Committee of They have fought one against three in heroic the fortifications of Paris is composed of general struggles, which have earned the admiration of the of division Trochu, president; Marshal Vaillant, Admiral Rigault de Genouilly, Baron Jerome country, and have inspired it with gratitude. It David, minister of Public Works, general of divi
wears now mourning for those who have died. sion Baron de Chabaud la Tour, Generals Guiod, has been spent among you in a close intimacy,
“Soldiers of the Army of Paris. My whole life d'Autemarre, d'Erville, and Soumain. 2. The Defence Committee is invested under the authority make no appeal to your courage and your con
from which I now derive hope and strength. I of the minister of War with the powers necessary
which are well known to me. But show for carrying out the decisions at which it may by your obedience, by a firm discipline, by the arrive. 3. For the execution of such decisions our minister of War will attach to the Defence Com- have a profound sense of the responsibilities which
conduct and behaviour, that you mittee such generals, military intendants, and other devolve upon you. Be at once an example and an officers as may be required. 4. The Defence
encouragement to all. The governor of Paris, Committee will meet every day at the War Office. It will receive a daily report of the progress of the
" TROCHU.” works and armaments, the stores of ammunition
From these proceedings on the part of the and provisions. 5. The Committee will report its proceedings every day to the minister of War, who governing authorities, the people saw clearly the
dangers of the position. Notwithstanding the in turn will report to the Council of Ministers. " glorious example” and “heroic struggles” of 6. Our minister of War is charged with the execu
the army of the Rhine, the facts came out that tion of this decree. Done at the Palace of the
Bazaine was shut up in Metz ; that the camp at Tuileries, 19th of August, 1870, for the emperor, Châlons had been broken up and evacuated; and by virtue of the powers intrusted to her.
that the Crown Prince of Prussia, with a powerful " EUGENIE."
army, was pursuing the southern route in order
to attack Paris. The attention of the capital was To the names given in this proclamation, the
thus centred upon the fortifications which thirty Chambers, contrary to the wishes of the executive, subsequently persisted in adding others; and three years before had been constructed by the ministry
of M. Thiers—now a member of that Committee deputies, MM. Thiers, De Talhouët, Dupuy de
of Defence whose duty it was to place those Lôme, and two senators, General Mellinet and M.
structures on a war footing. Béhic, were placed on the Committee of Defence. General Trochu also issued the following pro
Before proceeding further with our narrative,
we think it cannot fail to be interesting if we here clamation, which was published in the same
give a very brief sketch of the sieges of Paris number of the Official Journal :
prior to that of 1870–71, and a short historical “To the national guard, the national garde and general description of the fortifications which mobile, to the land and sea troops in Paris, and to proved so effective during its investment on the all the defenders of the capital in a state of siege. present occasion, and of which a plan is annexed. In the midst of events of the utmost gravity, I It is worthy of note that the first mention we have been appointed the governor of Paris and have of Paris in history is connected with the
record of an investment. Fifty years before Christ the Bastille, and constructed a fort on the Isle of it was a stronghold of the Gauls, when Labienus, St. Louis. Notwithstanding these new defences, the most able of Cæsar's generals, marched an army the English, after the battle of Agincourt, 1420, against it, and after crossing the Seine forced the took Paris. The Maid of Orleans, attempting to insurgents to evacuate it, after Vercingetorix, the recapture it in 1429, was repulsed; but seven chief of the Gauls, had burned what there was of years later, through the gallantry of Dunois, the a city. Paris was originally confined to an island, Bâtard Royal, the English were obliged to evaformed by a river and surrounded by inaccessible cuate it. swamps. After the Germans conquered France, King Henry IV. was the next to assail the Chlodwig, the leader of the invading tribe, recon- devoted capital. As he was a Protestant, it would structed ancient Lutetia, and made it the centre not recognize his authority. Having defeated the of the new empire. When the authority of his Catholic League at Ivry, 17th March, 1590, he descendants began to decline, the defence of Paris approached the city by forced marches; and occuagainst a foreign enemy gave a prestige to one of pying Corbeil, Lagny, and Creil, cut off the supply their generals that enabled him to usurp the throne of provisions, then chiefly received by the river. of the decaying dynasty. Nearly 900 years after He next planted his guns on Montmartre, and Christ, Charles le Gros, a degenerate scion of from this commanding position left the Parisians Charlemagne, was attacked by the Normans. A to choose between starvation and bombardment: helpless imbecile, he had no choice but to make 15,000 of the inhabitants died of hunger before his peace with the predatory bands. On the negotiations were opened with the king. At that occasion of a second raid, however, Paris gallantly very moment, however, the Spaniards, who assisted held out for a whole year under the command of the Catholic League, sent General Prince Farnese Count Otto, one of the king's nobles. By this with a large army from Belgium to the rescue. feat of arms Otto acquired such renown, that Henry was thus compelled to raise the siege, and on Charles' death, in 888, the Frankish nobility only entered Paris four years later, when, having elected him king. A nephew of his, Hugh Capet, embraced Catholicism, he was welcomed with the was the ancestor of the Bourbons.
greatest enthusiasm. Meantime, the German conquerors of France, The power of France rapidly increasing, Paris absorbed by the subject of nationality, had quar- remained more than 200 years unvisited by an relled with the old country whence they had invading army. In the reign of Louis XIV. the proceeded. In 978, when the German emperor mere idea of the foreigner venturing into the heart Otto II. was celebrating the festival of St. John at of the country had come to appear so preposterAix-la-Chapelle, he was surprised by King Lothaire ous, as to lead to the razing of the fortifications. of France at the head of an army of 30,000 men. Louis XV., in 1726, again encircled the city with Otto, however, crossed the frontier on the 1st of a wall, which, however, was not intended for October, and marched straight upon Paris, over- military purposes; and as an open town Paris coming all resistance in his way. Before winter passed through the storms of the Revolution. set in he stood at the foot of Montmartre, and In 1814 the allied armies appeared in front of invested the city. But to ward off the hosts
But to ward off the hosts Paris to avenge the deeds of Napoleon I. At that attempting its rescue he had to detail a portion of time Joseph Bonaparte acted as regent, and a few his army, which was eventually decimated by the redoubts, hastily thrown up, were all the impedicold of winter and disease. He was ultimately ments in the way of the enemy; 25,000 regulars obliged to withdraw without effecting his object, under Marmont and Mortier, and 15,000 national and returned the way by which he came. guards, with 150 guns, formed the city garrison.
The strength of the place having thus been The allied sovereigns arrived on the evening of proved by experience, King Philip Augustus, at the 29th of March at the château of Bondy, and the beginning of the thirteenth century, extended resolved to attack Paris by the right bank of the its fortifications, adding several hundred towers to Seine. They planned three simultaneous attacks. the walls. In the latter part of the fourteenth That on the east, under Barclay de Tolly, with century King Charles V. surrounded the new 50,000 men, was to carry, by Passy and Pantin, suburbs with a fresh enceinte, built a citadel called | the plateau of Romainville; that on the south,