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The Memoirs of Victor Hugo by Victor Hugo

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Odilon Barrot ascends the tribune step by step and
slowly; he is solemn before being eloquent. Then he
places his right hand on the table of the tribune, throwing
his left hand behind his back, and thus shows himself
sideways to the Assembly in the attitude of an athlete. He is
always in black, well brushed and well buttoned up.

His delivery, which is slow at first, gradually becomes
animated, as do his thoughts. But in becoming animated
his speech becomes hoarse and his thoughts cloudy. Hence
a certain hesitation among his hearers, some being unable
to catch what he says, the others not understanding. All
at once from the cloud darts a flash of lightning and one
is dazzled. The difference between men of this kind and
Mirabeau is that the former have flashes of lightning,
Mirabeau alone has thunder.


M. Thiers wants to treat men, ideas and revolutionary
events with parliamentary routine. He plays his old game
of constitutional tricks in face of abysms and the dreadful
upheavals of the chimerical and unexpected. He does not
realise that everything has been transformed; he finds a
resemblance between our own times and the time when he
governed, and starts out from this. This resemblance exists
in point of fact, but there is in it a something that is
colossal and monstrous. M. Thiers has no suspicion of this, and
pursues the even tenour of his way. All his life he has
been stroking cats, and coaxing them with all sorts of
cajolling processes and feline ways. To-day he is trying to play
the same game, and does not see that the animals have
grown beyond all measure and that it is wild beasts that
he is keeping about him. A strange sight it is to see this
little man trying to stroke the roaring muzzle of a
revolution with his little hand.

When M. Thiers is interrupted he gets excited, folds and
unfolds his arms, then raises his hands to his mouth, his
nose, his spectacles, shrugs his shoulders, and ends by
clasping the back of his head convulsively with both hands.

I have always entertained towards this celebrated statesman,
this eminent orator, this mediocre writer, this narrow-minded
man, an indefinable sentiment of admiration, aversion
and disdain.


M. Dufaure is a barrister of Saintes, and was the leading
lawyer in his town about 1833. This led him to aspire to
legislative honours. M. Dufaure arrived in the Chamber
with a provincial and cold-in-the-nose accent that was very
queer. But he possessed a mind so clear that occasionally
it was almost luminous, and so accurate that occasionally it
was decisive.

With that his speech was deliberate and cold, but sure,
solid, and calmly pushed difficulties before it.

M. Dufaure succeeded. He was a deputy, then a minister. He
is not a sage. He is a grave and honest man who
has held power without greatness but with probity, and who
speaks from the tribune without brilliancy but with authority.

His person resembles his talent. In appearance he is
dignified, simple and sober. He comes to the Chamber
buttoned up in his dark grey frock-coat, and wearing a
black cravat, and a shirt collar that reaches to his ears.
He has a big nose, thick lips, heavy eyebrows, an intelligent
and severe eye, and grey, ill-combed hair.


Changarnier looks like an old academician, just as Soult
looks like an old archbishop.

Changarnier is sixty-four or sixty-five years old, and tall
and thin. He has a gentle voice, a graceful and formal air,
a chestnut wig like M. Pasquier's, and a lady-killing smile
like M. Brifaut's.

With that he is a curt, bold, expeditious man, resolute,
but cunning and reserved.

At the Chamber he occupies the extreme end of the
fourth bench of the last section on the left, exactly above
M. Ledru-Rollin.

He usually sits with folded arms. The bench on which
Ledru-Rollin and Lamennais sit is perhaps the most habitually
irritated of the Left. While the Assembly shouts,
murmurs, yells, roars, and rages, Changarnier yawns.


Lagrange, it is said, fired the pistol in the Boulevard des
Capucines, fatal spark that heated the passions of the people
and caused the conflagration of February. He is styled:
Political prisoner and Representative of the people.

Lagrange has a grey moustache, a grey beard and long
grey hair. He is overflowing with soured generosity, charitable
violence and a sort of chivalrous demagogy; there is
a love in his heart with which he stirs up hatred; he is
tall, thin, young looking at a distance, old when seen
nearer, wrinkled, bewildered, hoarse, flurried, wan, has a
wild look in his eyes and gesticulates; he is the Don
Quixote of the Mountain. He, also, tilts at windmills; that
is to say, at credit, order, peace, commerce, industry,--all
the machinery that turns out bread. With this, a lack of
ideas; continual jumps from justice to insanity and from
cordiality to threats. He proclaims, acclaims, reclaims and
declaims. He is one of those men who are never taken
seriously, but who sometimes have to be taken tragically.


Prudhon was born in 1803. He has thin fair hair that
is ruffled and ill-combed, with a curl on his fine high brow.
He wears spectacles. His gaze is at once troubled,
penetrating and steady. There is something of the house-dog
in his almost flat nose and of the monkey in his chin-beard.
His mouth, the nether lip of which is thick, has an habitual
expression of ill-humour. He has a Franc-Comtois accent, he
utters the syllables in the middle of words rapidly
and drawls the final syllables; he puts a circumflex accent
on every "a," and like Charles Nodier, pronounces: "~honorable,
remarquable~." He speaks badly and writes well. In
the tribune his gesture consists of little feverish pats
upon his manuscript with the palm of his hand. Sometimes
he becomes irritated, and froths; but it is cold slaver. The
principal characteristic of his countenance and physiognomy
is mingled embarrassment and assurance.

I write this while he is in the tribune.

Anthony Thouret met Prudhon.

"Things are going badly," said Prudhon.

"To what cause do you attribute our embarrassments?"
queried Anthony Thouret.

"The Socialists are at the bottom of the trouble, of

"What! the Socialists? But are you not a Socialist

"I a Socialist! Well, I never!" ejaculated Prudhon.

"Well, what in the name of goodness, are you, then?"

"I am a financier."


Blanqui got so that ho no longer wore a shirt. For
twelve years he had worn the same clothes--his prison
clothes--rags, which he displayed with sombre pride at his
club. He renewed only his boots and his gloves, which
were always black.

At Vincennes during his eight months of captivity for
the affair of the 15th of May, he lived only upon bread and
raw potatoes, refusing all other food. His mother alone
occasionally succeeded in inducing him to take a little

With this, frequent ablutions, cleanliness mingled with
cynicism, small hands and feet, never a shirt, gloves always.

There was in this man an aristocrat crushed and
trampled upon by a demagogue.

Great ability, no hypocrisy; the same in private as in
public. Harsh, stern, serious, never laughing, receiving
respect with irony, admiration with sarcasm, love with
disdain, and inspiring extraordinary devotion.

There was in Blanqui nothing of the people, everything
of the populace.

With this, a man of letters, almost erudite. At certain
moments he was no longer a man, but a sort of lugubrious
apparition in which all degrees of hatred born of all
degrees of misery seemed to be incarnated.


February 23, 1850.

During the session Lamartine came and sat beside me
in the place usually occupied by M. Arbey. While talking,
he interjected in an undertone sarcastic remarks about the
orators in the tribune.

Thiers spoke. "Little scamp," murmured Lamartine.

Then Cavaignac made his appearance. "What do you
think about him?" said Lamartine. "For my part, these
are my sentiments: He is fortunate, he is brave, he is loyal,
he is voluble--and he is stupid."

Cavaignac was followed by Emmanuel Arago. The Assembly was
stormy. "This man," commented Lamartine,
"has arms too small for the affairs he undertakes. He is
given to joining in mêlées and does not know how to get
out of them again. The tempest tempts him, and kills him."

A moment later Jules Favre ascended the tribune. "I
do not know how they can see a serpent in this man," said
Lamartine. "He is a provincial academician."

Laughing the while, he took a sheet of paper from my
drawer, asked me for a pen, asked Savatier-Laroche for a
pinch of snuff, and wrote a few lines. This done he
mounted the tribune and addressed grave and haughty
words to M. Thiers, who had been attacking the revolution
of February. Then he returned to our bench, shook hands
with me while the Left applauded and the Right waxed
indignant, and calmly emptied the snuff in
Savatier-Laroche's snuffbox into his own.


M. Boulay de la Meurthe was a stout, kindly man, bald,
pot-bellied, short, enormous, with a short nose and a not very
long wit. He was a friend of Hard, whom he called ~mon
cher~, and of Jerome Bonaparte, whom he addressed as
"your Majesty."

The Assembly, on January 20, made him Vice-President
of the Republic.

It was somewhat sudden, and unexpected by everybody
except himself. This latter fact was evident from the long
speech learned by heart that he delivered after being sworn
in. At its conclusion the Assembly applauded, then a roar
of laughter succeeded the applause. Everybody laughed,
including himself; the Assembly out of irony, he in good

Odilon Barrot, who since the previous evening had been
keenly regretting that he did not allow himself to be made
Vice-President, contemplated the scene with a shrug of the
shoulders and a bitter smile.

The Assembly followed Boulay de la Meurthe, congratulated
and gratified, with its eyes, and in every look could
be read this: "Well, I never! He takes himself seriously!"

When he was taking the oath, in a voice of thunder
which made everybody smile, Boulay de la Meurthe
looked as if he were dazzled by the Republic, and the
Assembly did not look as if it were dazzled by Boulay de
la Meurthe.


Dupin has a style of wit that is peculiar to himself. It
is Gaulish, tinged with the wit of a limb of the law and
with jovial grossness. When the vote upon the bill against
universal suffrage was about to be taken some member of
the majority, whose name I have forgotten, went to him
and said:

"You are our president, and moreover a great legist.
You know more about it than I do. Enlighten me, I am
undecided. Is it true that the bill violates the

Dupin appeared to think for a moment and then replied:

"No, it doesn't violate it, but it lifts its clothes up as
high as possible!"

This reminds me of what he said to me the day I spoke
upon the Education Bill. Baudin had permitted me to
take his turn to speak, and I went up to the presidential
chair to notify Dupin.

"Ah! you are going to speak! So much the better!"
said he; and pointing to M. Barthélemy Saint Hilaire, who
was then occupying the tribune and delivering a long and
minute technical speech against the measure, added:

"He is rendering you a service. He is doing the preparatory
work. He is turning the bill's trousers down. This
done you will be able to at once--"

He completed the phrase with the expressive gesture
which consists of tapping the back of the fingers of the left
hand with the fingers of the right hand.




Upon his arrival in Paris Louis Bonaparte took up his
residence in the Place Vendome. Mlle. Georges went to
see him. They conversed at some length. In the course
of the conversation Louis Bonaparte led Mlle. Georges to
a window from which ,the column with the statue of Napoleon
I. upon it was visible and said:

"I gaze at that all day long."

"It's pretty high!" observed Mlle. George.

September 24, 1848.

Louis Napoleon appeared at the National Assembly today. He
seated himself on the seventh bench of the third
section on the left, between M. Vieillard and M. Havin.

He looks young, has a black moustache and goatee, and
a parting in his hair, a black cravat, a black coat buttoned
up, a turned-down collar, and white gloves. Perrin and
Leon Faucher, seated immediately below him, did not once
turn their heads. In a few minutes the galleries began to
turn their opera-glasses upon the prince, and the prince
gazed at the galleries through his own glass.


September 26.

Louis Bonaparte ascended the tribune (3.15 P.M.). Black
frock-coat, grey trousers. He read from a crumpled paper
in his hand. He was listened to with deep attention. He
pronounced the word "compatriots" with a foreign accent.
When he had finished a few cries of "Long live the Republic!"
were raised.

He returned leisurely to his place. His cousin Napoleon,
son of Jerome, who so greatly resembles the Emperor,
leaned over M. Vieillard to congratulate him.

Louis Bonaparte seated himself without saying a word
to his two neighbours. He is silent, but he seems to be
embarrassed rather than taciturn.


October 9.

While the question of the presidency was being raised
Louis Bonaparte absented himself from the Assembly.
When the Antony Thouret amendment, excluding members
of the royal and imperial families was being debated,
however, he reappeared. He seated himself at the
extremity of his bench, beside his former tutor, M. Vieillard,
and listened in silence, leaning his chin upon his hand, or
twisting his moustache.

All at once he rose and, amid extraordinary agitation,
walked slowly towards the tribune. One half of the
Assembly shouted: "The vote!" The other half shouted:

M. Sarrans was in the tribune. The president said:

"M. Sarrans will allow M. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
to speak."

He made a few insignificant remarks and descended from
the tribune amid a general laugh of stupefaction.


November 1848.

On November 19 I dined at Odilon Barrot's at Bougival.

There were present MM. de Rémusat, de Tocqueville,
Girardin, Leon Faucher, a member of the English Parliament
and his wife, who is ugly but witty and has beautiful
teeth, Mme. Odilon Barrot and her mother.

Towards the middle of the dinner Louis Bonaparte arrived
with his cousin, the son of Jerome, and M. Abbatucci, Representative.

Louis Bonaparte is distinguished, cold, gentle, intelligent,
with a certain measure of deference and dignity, a
German air and black moustache; he bears no resemblance
whatever to the Emperor.

He ate little, spoke little, and laughed little, although
the party was a merry one.

Mme. Odilon Barrot seated him on her left. The Englishman
was on her right.

M. de Rémusat, who was seated between the prince and
myself, remarked to me loud enough for Louis Bonaparte
to hear:

"I give my best wishes to Louis Bonaparte and my vote
to Cavaignac."

Louis Bonaparte at the time was feeding Mme. Odilon
Barrot's greyhound with fried gudgeons.


December 1848.

The proclamation of Louis Bonaparte as President of
the Republic was made on December 20.

The weather, which up to then had been admirable, and
reminded one more of the approach of spring than of the
beginning of winter, suddenly changed. December 20 was
the first cold day of the year. Popular superstition had it
that the sun of Austerlitz was becoming clouded.

This proclamation was made in a somewhat unexpected
manner. It had been announced for Friday. It was made
suddenly on Wednesday.

Towards 3 o'clock the approaches to the Assembly were
occupied by troops. A regiment of infantry was massed
in rear of the Palais d'Orsay; a regiment of dragoons was
echeloned along the quay. The troopers shivered and looked
moody. The population assembled in great uneasiness, not
knowing what it all meant. For some days a Bonapartist
movement had been vaguely spoken of. The faubourgs,
it was said, were to turn out and march to the Assembly
shouting: "Long live the Emperor!" The day before the
Funds had dropped 3 francs. Napoleon Bonaparte, greatly
alarmed, came to see me.

The Assembly resembled a public square. It was a number
of groups rather than a parliament. In the tribune a
very useful bill for regulating the publicity of the sessions
and substituting the State Printing Office, the former
Royal Printing Office, for the printing office of the
"Moniteur," was being discussed, but no one listened. M. Bureau
de Puzy, the questor, was speaking.

Suddenly there was a stir in the Assembly, which was
being invaded by a crowd of Deputies who entered by the
door on the left. It was the committee appointed to count
the votes and was returning to announce the result of the
election to the Presidency. It was 4 o'clock, the chandeliers
were lighted, there was an immense crowd in the public
galleries, all the ministers were present. Cavaignac,
calm, attired in a black frock-coat, and not wearing any
decoration, was in his place. He kept his right hand thrust
in the breast of his buttoned frock-coat, and made no reply
to M. Bastide, who now and then whispered in his ear.
M. Fayet, Bishop of Orleans, occupied a chair in front of
the General. Which prompted the Bishop of Langres, the
Abbé Parisis, to remark: "That is the place of a dog, not
a bishop."

Lamartine was absent.

The ~rapporteur~ of the committee, M. Waldeck-Rousseau,
read a cold discourse that was coldly listened to.
When he reached the enumeration of the votes cast, and
came to Lamartine's total, 17,910 votes, the Right burst
into a laugh. A mean vengeance, sarcasm of the unpopular
men of yesterday for the unpopular man of to-day.

Cavaignac took leave in a few brief and dignified words,
which were applauded by the whole Assembly. He announced
that the Ministry had resigned in a body, and that
he, Cavaignac, laid down the power. He thanked the
Assembly with emotion. A few Representatives wept.

Then President Marrast proclaimed "the citizen Louis
Bonaparte" President of the Republic.

A few Representatives about the bench where Louis
Bonaparte sat applauded. The remainder of the Assembly
preserved a glacial silence. They were leaving the lover
for the husband.

Armand Marrast called upon the elect of the nation to
take the oath of office. There was a stir.

Louis Bonaparte, buttoned up in a black frock-coat, the
decoration of Representative of the people and the star of
the Legion of Honour on his breast, entered by the door
on the right, ascended the tribune, repeated in a calm voice
the words of the oath that President Marrast dictated to
him, called upon God and men to bear witness, then read,
with a foreign accent which was displeasing, a speech that
was interrupted at rare intervals by murmurs of approval.
He eulogized Cavaignac, and the eulogy was noted and

After a few minutes he descended from the tribune, not
like Cavaignac, amid the acclamations of the Chamber, but
amid an immense shout of "Long live the Republic!"
Somebody shouted "Hurrah for the Constitution!"

Before leaving Louis Bonaparte went over to his former
tutor, M. Vieillard, who was seated in the eighth section
on the left, and shook hands with him. Then the President
of the Assembly invited the committee to accompany
the President of the Republic to his palace and have
rendered to him the honours due to his rank. The word
caused the Mountain to murmur. I shouted from my
bench: "To his functions!"

The President of the Assembly announced that the
President of the Republic had charged M. Odilon Barrot
with the formation of a Cabinet, and that the names of the
new Ministers would be announced to the Assembly in a
Message; that, in fact, a supplement to the Moniteur would
be distributed to the Representatives that very evening.

It was remarked, for everything was remarked on that
day which began a decisive phase in the history of the
country, that President Marrast called Louis Bonaparte
"citizen" and Odilon Barrot "monsieur."

Meanwhile the ushers, their chief Deponceau at their
head, the officers of the Chamber, the questors, and among
them General Lebreton in full uniform, had grouped
themselves below the tribune; several Representatives had joined
them; there was a stir indicating that Louis Bonaparte
was about to leave the enclosure. A few Deputies rose.
There were shouts of "Sit down! Sit down!"

Louis Bonaparte went out. The malcontents, to manifest
their indifference, wanted to continue the debate on
the Printing Office Bill. But the Assembly was too
agitated even to remain seated. It rose in a tumult and
the Chamber was soon empty. It was half past 4. The
proceedings had lasted half an hour.

As I left the Assembly, alone, and avoided as a man
who had disdained the opportunity to be a Minister,
I passed in the outer hall, at the foot of the stairs, a group
in which I noticed Montalembert, and also Changarnier in
the uniform of a lieutenant-general of the National Guard.
Changarnier had just been escorting Louis Bonaparte to the
Elysee. I heard him say: "All passed off well."

When I found myself in the Place de la Revolution,
there were no longer either troops or crowd; all had
disappeared. A few passers-by came from the
Champs-Elysees. The night was dark and cold. A bitter wind
blew from the river, and at the same time a heavy storm-cloud
breaking in the west covered the horizon with silent
flashes of lightning. A December wind with August
lightning--such were the omens of that day.


December 24, 1848.

Louis Bonaparte gave his first dinner last evening, Saturday
the 23rd, two days after his elevation to the Presidency
of the Republic.

The Chamber had adjourned for the Christmas holidays.
I was at home in my new lodging in the Rue de la Tour
d'Auvergne, occupied with I know not what bagatelles,
~totus in illis~, when a letter addressed to me and brought
by a dragoon was handed to me. I opened the envelope,
and this is what I read:

The orderly officer on duty has the honour to inform Monsieur the
General Changarnier that he is invited to dinner at the Elysee-National
on Saturday, at 7 o'clock.

I wrote below it: "Delivered by mistake to M. Victor
Hugo," and sent the letter back by the dragoon who had
brought it. An hour later came another letter from M.
de Persigny, Prince Louis's former companion in plots,
to-day his private secretary. This letter contained profuse
apologies for the error committed and advised me that I
was among those invited. My letter had been addressed by
mistake to M. Conti, the Representative from Corsica.

At the head of M. de Persigny's letter, written with a
pen, were the words: "Household of the President."

I remarked that the form of these invitations was exactly
similar to the form employed by King Louis Philippe. As
I did not wish to do anything that might resemble
intentional coldness, I dressed; it was half past 6, and
I set out immediately for the Elysee.

Half past 7 struck as I arrived there.

As I passed I glanced at the sinister portal of the Praslin
mansion adjoining the Elysee. The large green carriage
entrance, enframed between two Doric pillars of the time
of the Empire, was closed, gloomy, and vaguely outlined
by the light of a street lamp. One of the double doors of
the entrance to the Elysee was closed; two soldiers of the
line were on guard. The court-yard was scarcely lighted,
and a mason in his working clothes with a ladder on his
shoulder was crossing it; nearly all the windows of the
outhouses on the right had been broken, and were mended
with paper. I entered by the door on the perron. Three
servants in black coats received me; one opened the door,
another took my mantle, the third said: "Monsieur, on
the first floor!" I ascended the grand staircase. There
were a carpet and flowers on it, but that chilly and
unsettled air about it peculiar to places into which one is

On the first floor an usher asked:

"Monsieur has come to dinner?"

"Yes," I said. "Are they at table?"

"Yes, Monsieur."

"In that case, I am off."

"But, Monsieur," exclaimed the usher, "nearly everybody
arrived after the dinner had begun; go in. Monsieur
is expected."

I remarked this military and imperial punctuality, which
used to be customary with Napoleon. With the Emperor
7 o'clock meant 7 o'clock.

I crossed the ante-chamber, then a salon, and entered
the dining-room. It was a square room wainscotted in the
Empire style with white wood. On the walls were engravings
and pictures of very poor selection, among them
"Mary Stuart listening to Rizzio," by the painter Ducis.
Around the room was a sideboard. In the middle was a
long table with rounded ends at which about fifteen guests
were seated. One end of the table, that furthest from the
entrance, was raised, and here the President of the Republic
was seated between two women, the Marquise de Hallays-Coëtquen,
née Princess de Chimay (Tallien) being
on his right, and Mme. Conti, mother of the Representative,
on his left.

The President rose when I entered. I went up to him.
We grasped each other's hand.

"I have improvised this dinner," he said. "I invited
only a few dear friends, and I hoped that I could comprise
you among them. I thank you for coming. You
have come to me, as I went to you, simply. I thank you."

He again grasped my hand. Prince de la Moskowa, who
was next to General Changarnier, made room for me beside
him, and I seated myself at the table. I ate quickly, for
the President had interrupted the dinner to enable me to
catch up with the company. The second course had been

Opposite to me was General Rulhières, an ex-peer, the
Representative Conti and Lucien Murat. The other guests
were unknown to me. Among them was a young major
of cavalry, decorated with the Legion of Honour. This
major alone was in uniform; the others wore evening
dress. The Prince had a rosette of the Legion of Honour
in his buttonhole.

Everybody conversed with his neighbour. Louis Bonaparte
appeared to prefer his neighbour on the right to his
neighbour on the left. The Marquise de Hallays is
thirty-six years old, and looks her age. Fine eyes, not much hair,
an ugly mouth, white skin, a shapely neck, charming arms,
the prettiest little hands in the world, admirable shoulders.
At present she is separated from M. de Hallays. She has
had eight children, the first seven by her husband. She
was married fifteen years ago. During the early period of
their marriage she used to fetch her husband from the
drawing-room, even in the daytime, and take him off to bed.
Sometimes a servant would enter and say: "Madame the
Marquise is asking for Monsieur the Marquis." The Marquis
would obey the summons. This made the company
who happened to be present laugh. To-day the Marquis
and Marquise have fallen out.

"She was the mistress of Napoleon, son of Jerome, you
know," said Prince de la Moskowa to me, sotto voce, "now
she is Louis's mistress."

"Well," I answered, "changing a Napoleon for a Louis
is an everyday occurrence."

These bad puns did not prevent me from eating and observing.

The two women seated beside the President had square-topped
chairs. The President's chair was surmounted with
a little round top. As I was about to draw some inference
from this I looked at the other chairs and saw that four
or five guests, myself among them, had chairs similar to
that of the President. The chairs were covered with red
velvet with gilt headed nails. A more serious thing I
noticed was that everybody addressed the President of the
Republic as "Monseigneur" and "your Highness." I
who had called him "Prince," had the air of a demagogue.

When we rose from table the Prince asked after my
wife, and then apologized profusely for the rusticity of the

"I am not yet installed," he said. "The day before
yesterday, when I arrived here, there was hardly a mattress
for me to sleep upon."

The dinner was a very ordinary one, and the Prince did
well to excuse himself. The service was of common white
china and the silverware bourgeois, worn, and gross. In
the middle of the table was a rather fine vase of craquelé,
ornamented with ormolu in the bad taste of the time of
Louis XVI.

However, we heard music in an adjoining hall.

"It is a surprise," said the President to us, "they are the
musicians from the Opera."

A minute afterwards programmes written with a pen
were handed round. They indicated that the following five
selections were being played:

1. Priere de la "Muette."
2. Fantaisie sur des airs favoris de la "Reine Hortense."
3. Final de "Robert Bruce".
4. "Marche Republicaine."
5. "La Victoire," pas redoublé.

In the rather uneasy state of mind I, like the whole of
France, was in at that moment, I could not help remarking
this "Victory" piece coming after the "Republican March."

I rose from table still hungry.

We went into the grand salon, which was separated
from the dining-room by the smaller salon that I had passed
through on entering.

This grand salon was extremely ugly. It was white, with
figures on panels, after the fashion of those of Pompeii, the
whole of the furniture being in the Empire style with the
exception of the armchairs, which were in tapestry and
gold and in fairly good taste. There were three arched
windows to which three large mirrors of the same shape
at the other end of the salon formed pendants and one of
which, the middle one, was a door. The window curtains
were of fine white satin richly flowered.

While the Prince de la Moskowa and I were talking
Socialism, the Mountain, Communism, etc., Louis Bonaparte
came up and took me aside.

He asked me what I thought of the situation. I was reserved.
I told him that a good beginning had been made;
that the task was a difficult but a grand one; that what he
had to do was to reassure the bourgeoisie and satisfy the
people, to give tranquillity to the former, work to the latter,
and life to all; that after the little governments, those of
the elder Bourbons, Louis Philippe, and the Republic of
February, a great one was required; that the Emperor had
made a great government through war, and that he himself
ought to make a great one through peace; that the French
people having been illustrious for three centuries did not
propose to become ignoble; that it was his failure to
appreciate this high-mindedness of the people and the national
pride that was the chief cause of Louis Philippe's downfall;
that, in a word, he must decorate peace.

"How?" asked Louis Napoleon.

"By all the greatness of art, literature and science, by
the victories of industry and progress. Popular labour can
accomplish miracles. And then, France is a conquering
nation; when she does not make conquests with the sword,
she wants to make them with the mind. Know this and
act accordingly. Ignore it and you will be lost."

He looked thoughtful and went away. Then he returned,
thanked me warmly, and we continued to converse.

We spoke about the press. I advised him to respect it
profoundly and at the same time to establish a State press.
"The State without a newspaper, in the midst of newspapers,"
I observed, "restricting itself to governing while
publicity and polemics are the rule, reminds one of the
knights of the fifteenth century who obstinately persisted
in fighting against cannon with swords; they were always
beaten. I grant that it was noble; you will grant that it
was foolish."

He spoke of the Emperor. "It is here," he said, "that
I saw him for the last time. I could not re-enter this
palace without emotion. The Emperor had me brought to
him and laid his hand on my head. I was seven years old.
It was in the grand salon downstairs."

Then Louis Bonaparte talked about La Malmaison. He said:

"They have respected it. I visited the place in detail
about six weeks ago. This is how I came to do so. I had
gone to see M. Odilon Barrot at Bougival.

"'Dine with me,' he said.

"' I will with pleasure.' It was 3 o'clock. 'What shall
we do until dinner time?'

"'Let us go and see La Malmaison,' suggested M. Barrot.

"We went. Nobody else was with us. Arrived at La
Malmaison we rang the bell. A porter opened the gate,
M. Barrot spoke:

"'We want to see La Malmaison.'

"'Impossible!' replied the porter.

"'What do you mean, impossible?'

"'I have orders.'

"'From whom?'

"'From her Majesty Queen Christine, to whom the
château belongs at present.'

"'But monsieur here is a stranger who has come expressly
to visit the place.'


"'Well,' exclaimed M. Odilon Barrot, 'it's funny that
this door should be closed to the Emperor's nephew!'

"The porter started and threw his cap on the ground.
He was an old soldier, to whom the post had been granted
as a pension.

"'The Emperor's nephew!' he cried. 'Oh! Sire,

"He wanted to kiss my clothes.

"We visited the château. Everything is still about in
its place. I recognised nearly everything, the First
Consul's study, the chamber of his mother, my own. The
furniture in several rooms has not been changed. I found
a little armchair I had when I was a child."

I said to the Prince: "You see, thrones disappear,
arm-chairs remain.

While we were talking a few persons came, among others
M. Duclerc, the ex-Minister of Finance of the Executive
Committee, an old woman in black velvet whom I did not
know, and Lord Normanby, the English Ambassador,
whom the President quickly took into an adjoining salon.
I saw Lord Normanby taken aside in the same way by Louis

The President in his salon had an air of timidity and did
not appear at home. He came and went from group to
group more like an embarrassed stranger than the master
of the house. However, his remarks are ~a propos~ and
sometimes witty.

He endeavoured to get my opinion anent his Ministry,
but in vain. I would say nothing either good or bad about

Besides, the Ministry is only a mask, or, more properly
speaking, a screen that hides a baboon. Thiers is behind it.
This is beginning to bother Louis Bonaparte. He has to
contend against eight Ministers, all of whom seek to
belittle him. Each is pulling his own way. Among these
Ministers some are his avowed enemies. Nominations,
promotions, and lists arrive all made out from the Place Saint
Georges. They have to be accepted, signed and endorsed.

Yesterday Louis Bonaparte complained about it to the
Prince de la Moskowa, remarking wittily: "They want to
make of me a Prince Albert of the Republic."

Odilon Barrot appeared mournful and discouraged. To-day
he left the council with a crushed air. M. de la Moskowa
encountered him.

"Hello!" said he, "how goes it?"

"Pray for us!" replied Odilon Barrot.

"Whew!" said Moskowa, "this is tragical!"

"What are we to do?" went on Odilon Barrot. "How
are we to rebuild this old society in which everything is
collapsing? Efforts to prop it up only help to bring it
down. If you touch it, it topples over. Ah! pray for

And he raised his eyes skywards.

I quitted the Elysee about 10 o'clock. As I was going
the President said to me: "Wait a minute." Then he
went into an adjoining room and came out again a moment
later with some papers which he placed in my hand, saying:
"For Madame Victor Hugo."

They were tickets of admission to the gallery of the
Garde-Meuble for the review that is to be held to-day.

And as I went home I thought a good deal. I thought
about this abrupt moving in, this trial of etiquette, this
bourgeois-republican-imperial mixture, this surface of a
deep, unfathomed quantity that to-day is called the
President of the Republic, his entourage, the whole
circumstances of his position. This man who can be, and is,
addressed at one and the same time and from all sides at once
as: prince, highness, monsieur, monseigneur and citizen,
is not one of the least curious and characteristic factors of
the situation.

Everything that is happening at this moment stamps its
mark upon this personage who sticks at nothing to attain
his ends.


January. 1849.

The first month of Louis Bonaparte's presidency is drawing
to a close. This is how we stand at present:

Old-time Bonapartists are cropping up. MM. Jules
Favre, Billault and Carteret are paying court--politically
Speaking--to the Princess Mathilde Demidoff. The
Duchess d'Orleans is residing with her two children in a
little house at Ems, where she lives modestly yet royally.
All the ideas of February are brought up one after the
other; 1849, disappointed, is turning its back on 1848.
The generals want amnesty, the wise want disarmament.
The Constituent Assembly's term is expiring and the Assembly
is in savage mood in consequence. M. Guizot is
publishing his book _On Democracy in France_. Louis
Philippe is in London, Pius IX. is at Gaete, M. Barrot is
in power; the bourgeoisie has lost Paris, Catholicism has
lost Rome. The sky is rainy and gloomy, with a ray of
sunshine now and then. Mlle. Ozy shows herself quite
naked in the role of Eve at the Porte Saint Martin;
Fréderick Lemaitre is playing "L'Auberge des Adrets" there.
Five per cents are at 74, potatoes cost 8 cents the bushel,
at the market a pike can be bought for 20 sous. M.
Ledru-Rollin is trying to force the country into war, M. Prudhon
is trying to force it into bankruptcy. General Cavaignac
takes part in the sessions of the Assembly in a grey
waist-coat, and passes his time gazing at the women in the
galleries through big ivory opera-glasses. M. de Lamartine
gets 25,000 francs for his "Toussaint L'Ouverture." Louis
Bonaparte gives grand dinners to M. Thiers, who had him
captured, and to M. Mole, who had him condemned.
Vienna, Milan, and Berlin are becoming calmer. Revolutionary
fires are paling and seem to be dying out everywhere on
the surface, but the peoples are still deeply stirred.
The King of Prussia is getting ready to seize his sceptre
again and the Emperor of Russia to draw his sword. There
has been an earthquake at Havre, the cholera is at Fécamp;
Arnal is leaving the Gymnase, and the Academy is nominating
the Duke de Noailles as Chateaubriand's successor.


January, 1849.

At Odilon Barrot's ball on January 28 M. Thiers went
up to M. Leon Faucher and said: "Make So-and-So a prefect."
M. Leon Faucher made a grimace, which is an easy
thing for him to do, and said: "Monsieur Thiers, there
are objections." "That's funny!" retorted Thiers, "it is
precisely the answer the President of the Republic gave
to me the day I said: 'Make M. Faucher a Minister!'"

At this ball it was remarked that Louis Bonaparte sought
Berryer's company, attached himself to him and led him
into quiet corners. The Prince looked as though he were
following Berryer, and Berryer as though he were trying
to avoid the Prince.

At 11 o'clock the President said to Berryer: "Come
with me to the Opera."

Berryer excused himself. "Prince," said he, "it would
give rise to gossip. People would believe I am engaged in
a love affair!"

"Pish!" replied Louis Bonaparte laughingly,
"Representatives are inviolable!"

The Prince went away alone, and the following quatrain
was circulated:

~En vain l'empire met du fard,
On baisse ses yeux et sa robe.
Et Berryer-Joseph so derobe
A Napoléon-Putiphar~.


February, 1849.

Although he is animated with the best intentions in the
world and has a very visible quantity of intelligence and
aptitude, I fear that Louis Bonaparte will find his task too
much for him. To him, France, the century, the new
spirit, the instincts peculiar to the soil and the period are
so many closed books. He looks without understanding
them at minds that are working, Paris, events, men,
things and ideas. He belongs to that class of ignorant persons
who are called princes and to that category of foreigners
who are called ~êmigrês~. To those who examine him
closely he has the air of a patient rather than of a
governing man.

There is nothing of the Bonapartes about him, either in
his face or manner. He probably is not a Bonaparte. The
free and easy ways of Queen Hortense are remembered.
"He is a memento of Holland!" said Alexis de Saint
Priest to me yesterday. Louis Bonaparte certainly possesses
the cold manner of the Dutch.

Louis Bonaparte knows so little about Paris that the first
time I saw him he said to me:

"I have been hunting for you. I went to your former
residence. What is this Place des Vosges?"

"It is the Place Royale," I said.

"Ah!" he continued, "is it an old place?"

He wanted to see Beranger. He went to Passy twice
without being able to find him at home. His cousin
Napoleon timed his visit more happily and found Béranger by
his fireside. He asked him:

"What do you advise my cousin to do?"

"To observe the Constitution."

"And what ought he to avoid?"

"Violating the Constitution."

Béranger could not be induced to say anything else.


Yesterday, December 5, 1850, I was at the Français.
Rachel played "Adrienne Lecouvreur." Jerome Bonaparte
occupied a box next to mine. During an entr'acte I paid
him a visit. We chatted. He said to me:

"Louis is mad. He is suspicious of his friends and delivers
himself into the hands of his enemies. He is suspicious of
his family and allows himself to be bound hand
and foot by the old Royalist parties. On my return to
France I was better received by Louis Philippe at the
Tuileries than I am at the Elysee by my nephew. I said
to him the other day before one of his ministers (Fould):
'Just remember a little! When you were a candidate for
the presidency, Monsieur here (I pointed to Fould) called
upon me in the Rue d'Alger, where I lived, and begged
me in the name of MM. Thiers, Mole, Duvergier de Hauranne,
Berryer, and Bugeaud to enter the lists for the presidency.
He told me that never would you get the
"Constitutionnel;" that in Mole's opinion you were an idiot,
and that Thiers looked upon you as a blockhead; that I
alone could rally everybody to me and win against
Cavaignac. I refused. I told them that you represented
youth and the future, that you had a quarter of a century
before you, whereas I could hardly count upon eight or ten
years; that I was an invalid and wanted to be let alone.
That is what these people were doing and that is what I
did. And you forget all this! And you make these gentlemen
the masters! And you show the door to your cousin,
my son, who defended you in the Assembly and devoted
himself to furthering your candidacy! And you are
strangling universal suffrage, which made you what you
are! I' faith I shall say like Mole that you are an idiot,
and like Thiers that you are a blockhead!'"

The King of Westphalia paused for a moment, then continued:

"And do you know, Monsieur Victor Hugo, what he replied to
me? 'You will see!' No one knows what is at
the bottom of that man!"




BRUSSELS, September 1.--Charles* leaves this morning
with MM. Claretie, Proust, and Frédérix for Virton.
Fighting is going on near there, at Carignan. They will
see what they can of the battle. They will return tomorrow.

* Victor Hugo's son.

September 2.--Charles and his friends did not return to-day.

September 3.--Yesterday, after the decisive battle had
been lost, Louis Napoleon, who was taken prisoner at
Sedan, surrendered his sword to the King of Prussia. Just
a month ago, on August 2, at Sarrebrück, he was playing
at war.

To save France now would be to save Europe.

Shouting newsboys pass, with enormous posters on which
are the words: "Napoleon III. a Prisoner."

5 o'clock.--Charles and our friends have returned.

9 o'clock.--Meeting of exiles at which Charles and I are

Query: Tricolour flag or red flag?

September 4.--The deposition of the Emperor is proclaimed
in Paris.

At 1 o'clock a meeting of exiles is held at my house.

At 3 o'clock I receive a telegram from Paris couched
in the following terms: "Bring the children with you."
Which means "Come."

MM. Claretie and Proust dined with us.

During the dinner a telegram signed "François Hugo"
arrived, announcing that a provisional government had
been formed: Jules Favre, Gambetta, Thiers.

September 5.--At 6 o'clock in the morning a telegram
signed "Barbieux," and asking the hour of my arrival in
Paris, is brought to me. I instruct Charles to answer that
I shall arrive at 9 o'clock at night. We shall take the
children with us. We shall leave by the 2.35 o'clock train.

The Provisional Government (according to the newspapers)
is made up of all the Deputies of Paris, with the
exception of Thiers.

At noon, as I was about to leave Brussels for Paris, a
young man, a Frenchman, accosted me in the Place de la
Monnaie and said:

Monsieur, they tell me that you are Victor Hugo."


"Be so kind as to enlighten me. I would like to know
whether it is prudent to go to Paris at present."

"Monsieur, it is very imprudent, but you should go,"
was my reply.

We entered France at 4 o'clock.

At Tergnier, at 6.30, we dined upon a piece of bread, a
little cheese, a pear and a glass of wine. Claretie insisted
upon paying, and said: "I want particularly to give you
a dinner on the day of your return to France."

En route I saw in the woods a camp of French soldiers,
men and horses mingled. I shouted to them: "Long live
the army!" and I wept.

At frequent intervals we came across train-loads of soldiers
on their way to Paris. Twenty-five of these passed
during the day. As one of them went by we gave to the
soldiers all the provisions we had, some bread, fruit and
wine. The sun shone brightly and was succeeded by a
bright moon.

We arrived in Paris at 9.35 o'clock. An immense crowd
awaited me. It was an indescribable welcome. I spoke
four times, once from the balcony of a café and thrice from
my carriage.

When I took leave of this ever-growing crowd, which
escorted me to Paul Meurice's, in the Avenue Frochot, I
said to the people: "In one hour you repay me for twenty
years of exile."

They sang the "Marseillaise" and the "Chant du Depart."

They shouted: "Long live Victor Hugo!"

The journey from the Northern Railway station to the
Rue Laval took two hours.

We arrived at Meurice's, where I am to stay, at mid-night.
I dined with my travelling companions and Victor.
I went to bed at 2 o'clock.

At daybreak I was awakened by a terrible storm. Thunder
and lightning.

I shall take breakfast with Paul Meurice, and we shall
dine together at the Hotel Navarin, in the Rue Navarin,
where my family is staying.

PARIS, September 6.--Innumerable visits, innumerable

Rey came to ask me whether I would consent to join a
triumvirate composed as follows: Victor Hugo, Ledru-Rollin,
and Schoelcher. I refused. I said: "It is almost
impossible to amalgamate me."

I recalled several things to his mind. He said: "Do
you remember that it was I who received you when you
arrived at the Baudin barricade?"* I replied: "I remember
the fact so well that--. And I recited the lines at the
beginning of the piece (unpublished) upon the Baudin

~La barricade était livide dans l'aurore,
Et comme j'arrivais elle fumait encore.
Rey me serra la main et dit: Baudin est mort...~

* Representative Baudin was killed on the barricade in the
Faubourg Saint Antoine on December 2, 1852, during Louis Bonaparte's
coup d'Etat.

He burst into tears.

September 7.--Louis Blanc, d'Alton-Shée, Banville and
others came to see me.

The women of the Markets brought me a bouquet.

September 8.--I am warned that it is proposed to assassinate
me. I shrug my shoulders.

This morning I wrote my "Letter to the Germans." It will
be sent tomorrow.

Visit from General Cluseret.

At 10 o'clock I went to the office of the Rappel to correct
the proofs of my "Letter to the Germans."

September 9.--Received a visit from General Montfort.
The generals are asking me for commands, I am being
asked to grant audiences, office-seekers are asking me for
places. I reply: "I am nobody."

I saw Captain Feval, husband of Fanny, the sister of
Alice.* He was a prisoner of war, and was released on

* Wife of Charles Hugo.

All the newspapers publish my "Appeal to the Germans."

September 10.--D'Alton-Shée and Louis Ulbach lunched
with us. Afterwards we went to the Place de la Concorde.
At the foot of the flower-crowned statue of Strasburg is a
register. Everybody comes to sign the resolution of public
thanks. I inscribed my name. The crowd at once surrounded
me. The ovation of the other night was about to
recommence. I hurried to my carriage.

Among the persons who called upon me was Cernuschi.

September 11.--Received a visit from Mr. Wickham
Hoffman, Secretary of the United States Legation. Mr.
Washburne, the American Minister, had requested him to
ask me whether I did not think that some good might
result were he to intervene *officiously* and see the King of
Prussia. I sent him to Jules Favre.

September 12.--Among other callers was Frédérick Lemaître.

September 13.--To-day there is a review of the army of
Paris. I am alone in my chamber. The battalions march
through the streets singing the "Marseillaise" and the "Chant
du Depart." I hear this immense shout:

For France a Frenchman should live,
For France a Frenchman should die.*

* The "Chant du Depart."

I listen and I weep. On, valiant ones! I will go where
you go.

Receive a visit from the United States Consul-General
and Mr. Wickham Hoffman.

Julie* writes me from Guernsey that the acorn I planted
on July 14 has sprouted. The oak of the United States
of Europe issued from the ground on September 5, the day
of my return to Paris.

* Victor Hugo's sister-in-law.

September 14.--I received a visit from the committee
of the Société des Gens de Lettres, which wants me to be
its president; from M. Jules Simon, Minister of Public
Instruction; from Colonel Piré, who commands a corps of
volunteers, etc.

September 16.--One year ago to-day I opened the Peace
Congress at Lausanne. This morning I wrote the "Appeal to
Frenchmen" for a war to the bitter end against the invasion.

On going out I perceived hovering over Montmartre the
captive balloon from which a watch is to be kept upon the

September 17.--All the forests around Paris are burning.
Charles made a trip to the fortifications and is perfectly
satisfied with them. I deposited at the office of the
Rappel 2,088 francs 30 centimes, subscribed in Guernsey
for the wounded and sent by M. H. Tupper, the French

At the same time I deposited at the "Rappel" office a
bracelet and earrings of gold, sent anonymously for the wounded
by a woman. Accompanying the trinkets was a little
golden neck medal for Jeanne.*

* Victor Hugo's little granddaughter.

September 20.--Charles and his little family left the
Hotel Navarin yesterday and installed themselves at 174,
Rue de Rivoli. Charles and his wife, as well as Victor,
will continue to dine with me every day.

The attack upon Paris began yesterday.

Louis Blanc, Gambetta and Jules Ferry came to see me
this morning.

I went to the Institute to sign the Declaration that it
proposes to issue encouraging the capital to resist to the last.

I will not accept any limited candidacy. I would accept
with devotedness the candidacy of the city of Paris. I want
the voting to be not by districts, with local candidates, but
by the whole city with one list to select from.

I went to the Ministry of Public Instruction to see Mme.
Jules Simon, who is in mourning for her old friend Victor
Bois. Georges and Jeanne were in the garden. I played
with them.

Nadar came to see me this evening to ask me for some
letters to put in a balloon which he will send up the day
after tomorrow. It will carry with it my three addresses:
"To the Germans," "To Frenchmen," "To Parisians."

October 6.--Nadar's balloon, which has been named the
"Barbes," and which is taking my letters, etc., started this
morning, but had to come down again, as there was not
enough wind. It will leave to-morrow. It is said that
Jules Favre and Gambetta will go in it.

Last night General John Meredith Read, United States
Consul-General, called upon me. He had seen the American
General Burnside, who is in the Prussian camp. The
Prussians, it appears, have respected Versailles. They are
afraid to attack Paris. This we are aware of, for we can
see it for ourselves.

October 7.--This morning, while strolling on the Boulevard
de Clichy, I perceived a balloon at the end of a street
leading to Montmartre. I went up to it. A small crowd
bordered a large square space that was walled in by the
perpendicular bluffs of Montmartre. In this space three
balloons were being inflated, a large one, a medium-sized
one, and a small one. The large one was yellow, the medium
one white, and the small one striped yellow and red.

In the crowd it was whispered that Gambetta was going.
Sure enough I saw him in a group near the yellow balloon,
wearing a heavy overcoat and a sealskin cap. He seated
himself upon a paving-stone and put on a pair of high
fur-lined boots. A leather bag was slung over his shoulder.
He took it off, entered the balloon, and a young man, the
aeronaut, tied the bag to the cordage above Gambetta's

It was half past 10. The weather was fine and sunshiny,
with a light southerly breeze. All at once the yellow
balloon rose, with three men in it, one of whom was Gambetta.
Then the white balloon went up with three men,
one of whom waved a tricolour flag. Beneath Gambetta's
balloon hung a long tricolour streamer. "Long live the
Republic!" shouted the crowd.

The two balloons went up for some distance, the white
one going higher than the yellow one, then they began to
descend. Ballast was thrown out, but they continued their
downward flight. They disappeared behind Montmartre
hill. They must have landed on the Saint Denis plain.
They were too heavily weighted, or else the wind was not
strong enough.

* * * * *

The departure took place after all, for the balloons went
up again.

We paid a visit to Notre Dame, which has been admirably

We also went to see the Tour Saint Jacques. While our
carriage was standing there one of the delegates of the
other day (from the Eleventh Arrondissement) came up
and told me that the Eleventh Arrondissement had come
round to my views, concluded that I was right in insisting
upon a vote of the whole city upon a single list of
candidates, begged me to accept the nomination upon the
conditions I had imposed, and wanted to know what ought to be
done should the Government refuse to permit an election.
Ought force be resorted to? I replied that a civil war
would help the foreign war that was being waged against
us and deliver Paris to the Prussians.

On the way home I bought some toys for my little ones--a
zouave in a sentry-box for Georges, and for Jeanne a
doll that opens and shuts its eyes.

October 8.--I have received a letter from M. L. Colet,
of Vienna (Austria), by way of Normandy. It is the first
letter that has reached me from the outside since Paris has
been invested.

There has been no sugar in Paris for six days. The
rationing of meat began to-day. We shall get three quarters
of a pound per person and per day.

Incidents of the postponed Commune. Feverish unrest
in Paris. Nothing to cause uneasiness, however. The
deep-toned Prussian cannon thunder continuously. They
recommend unity among us.

The Minister of Finance, M. Ernest Picard, through his
secretary, asks me to "grant him an audience;" these are
the terms he uses. I answer that I will see him on Monday
morning, October 10.

October 9.--Five delegates from the Ninth Arrondissement
came in the name of the arrondissement to *forbid me
to get myself killed*.

October 10.--M. Ernest Picard came to see me. I asked
him to issue immediately a decree liberating all articles
pawned at the Mont de Piété for less than 15 francs (the
present decree making absurd exceptions, linen, for
instance). I told him that the poor could not wait. He
promised to issue the decree to-morrow.

There is no news of Gambetta. We are beginning to
get uneasy. The wind carried him to the north-east, which
is occupied by the Prussians.

October 11.--Good news of Gambetta. He descended at
Epineuse, near Amiens.

Last night, after the demonstrations in Paris, while passing
a group that had assembled under a street lamp, I heard
these words: "It appears that Victor Hugo and the
others--." I continued on my way, and did not listen to
the rest, as I did not wish to be recognised.

After dinner I read to my friends the verses with which
the French edition of _Les Châtiments_ begins ("When
about to return to France," Brussels, August 31, 1870).

October 12.--It is beginning to get cold. Barbieux, who
commands a battalion, brought us the helmet of a Prussian
soldier who was killed by his men. This helmet greatly
astonished little Jeanne. These angels do not yet know
anything about earth.

The decree I demanded for the indigent was published
this morning in the "Journal Officiel."

M. Pallain, the Minister's secretary, whom I met as I
came out of the Carrousel, told me that the decree would
cost 800,000 francs.

I replied: "Eight hundred thousand francs, all right.
Take from the rich. Give to the poor."

October 13.--I met to-day Théophile Gautier, whom I
I had not seen for many years. I embraced him. He was
rather nervous. I told him to come and dine with me.

October 14.--The Château of Saint Cloud was burned

I went to Claye's to correct last proofs of the French edition
of _Les Chatiments_ which will appear on Tuesday. Dr.
Emile Allix brought me a Prussian cannon-ball which he
had picked up behind a barricade, near Montrouge, where
it had just killed two horses. The cannon-ball weighs 25
pounds. Georges, in playing with it, pinched his fingers
under it, which made him cry a good deal.

To-day is the anniversary of Jena!

October 16.--There is no more butter. There is no more
cheese. Very little milk is left, and eggs are nearly all

The report that my name has been given to the Boulevard
Haussmann is confirmed. I have not been to see it
for myself.

October 17.--To-morrow a postal balloon named the
"Victor Hugo" is to be sent up in the Place de la Concorde.
I am sending a letter to London by this balloon.

October 18.--I have paid a visit to Les Feuillantines.
The house and garden of my boyhood have disappeared.

A street now passes over the site.

October 19.--Louis Blanc came to dine with me. He
brought a declaration by ex-Representatives for me to sign.
I said that I would not sign it unless it were drawn up in
a different manner.

October 20.--Visit from the Gens de Lettres committee.
To-day the first postage stamps of the Republic of 1870
were put in circulation.

_Les Châtiments_ (French edition) appeared in Paris this

The papers announce that the balloon "Victor Hugo"
descended in Belgium. It is the first postal balloon to cross
the frontier.

October 21.-They say that Alexandre Dumas died on
October 13 at the home of his son at Havre. He was a
large-hearted man of great talent. His death grieves me

Louis Blanc and Brives came to speak to me again about
the Declaration of Representatives. My opinion is that it
would be better to postpone it.

Nothing is more charming than the sounding of the reveille
in Paris. It is dawn. One hears first, nearby, a roll of
drums, followed by the blast of a bugle, exquisite melody,
winged and warlike. Then all is still. In twenty seconds
the drums roll again, then the bugle rings out, but further
off. Then silence once more. An instant later, further
off still, the same song of bugle and drum falls more faintly
but still distinctly upon the ear. Then after a pause the
roll and blast are repeated, very far away. Then they are
heard again, at the extremity of the horizon, but indistinctly
and like an echo. Day breaks and the shout "To arms!"
is heard. The sun rises and Paris awakes.

October 22.--The edition of 5,000 copies of _Les Châtiments_
has been sold in two days. I have authorised the
printing of another 3,000.

Little Jeanne has imagined a way of puffing out her
cheeks and raising her arms in the air that is adorable.

The first 5,000 copies of the Parisian edition of _Les Chatiments_
has brought me in 500 francs, which I am sending
to the "Siècle" as a subscription to the national fund for the
cannon that Paris needs.

Mathe and Gambon, the ex-Representatives, called to
ask me to take part in a meeting of which former
representatives are to form the nucleus. The meeting would be
impossible without me, they said. But I see more
disadvantages than advantages in such a meeting. I thought I
ought to refuse.

We are eating horsemeat in every style. I saw the following
in the window of a cook-shop: "Saucisson chevaleresque."

October 23.--The 17th Battalion asked me to be the
first subscriber of "one sou" to a fund for purchasing a
cannon. They will collect 300,000 sous. This will make
15,000 francs, which will purchase a 24-centimetre gun.
carrying 8,500 metres--equal to the Krupp guns.

Lieutenant Maréchal brought to collect my sou an
Egyptian cup of onyx dating from the Pharaohs, engraved
with the moon and the sun, the Great Bear and the Southern
Cross (?) and having for handles two cynocephalus
demons. The engraving of this cup required the life-work
of a man. I gave my sou. D'Alton-Shée, who was present,
gave his, as did also M. and Mme. Meurice, and the two
servants, Mariette and Clémence. The 17th Battalion
wanted to call the gun the "Victor Hugo." I told them to
call it the "Strasburg." In this way the Prussians will still
receive shots from Strasburg.

We chatted and laughed with the officers of the 17th
Battalion. It was the duty of the two cynocephalus genie
of the cup to bear souls to hell. I remarked: "Very well,
I confide William and Bismarck to them."

Visit from M. Edouard Thierry. He came to request
me to allow "Stella" to be read in aid of the wounded at the
Théâtre Français. I gave him his choice of all the "Châtiments."
That startled him. And I demanded that the reading be for
a cannon.

Visit from M. Charles Floquet. He has a post at the
Hotel de Ville. I commissioned him to tell the Government
to call the Mont Valérien "Mont Strasbourg."

October 24.--Visit from General Le Flo. Various
deputations received.

October 25.--There is to be a public reading of _Les
Châtiments_ for a cannon to be called "Le Châtiment." We
are preparing for it.

Brave Rostan,* whom I treated harshly one day, and who
likes me because I did right, has been arrested for
indiscipline in the National Guard. He has a little motherless
boy six years old who has nobody else to take care of him.
What was to be done, the father being in prison? I told
him to send the youngster to me at the Pavilion de Rohan.
He sent him to-day.

* A workingman, friend of Victor Hugo.

October 26.-At 6.30 o'clock Rostan, released from
prison, came to fetch his little Henri. Great joy of father
and son.

October 28.--Edgar Quinet came to see me.

Schoelcher and Commander Farcy, who gave his name
to his gunboat, dined with me. After dinner, at half past
8 I went with Schoelcher to his home at 16, Rue de la
Chaise. We found there Quinet, Ledru-Rollin, Mathé,
Gambon, Lamarque, and Brives. This was my first meeting
with Ledru-Rollin. We engaged in a very courteous
argument over the question of founding a club, he being
for and I against it. We shook hands. I returned home at

October 29.--Visits from the Gens de Lettres committee,
Frédérick Lemaitre, MM. Berton and Lafontaine and
Mlle. Favart for a third cannon to be called the "Victor
Hugo." I oppose the name.

I have authorised the fourth edition of 3,000 copies of
_Les Châtiments_, which will make to date 11,000 copies for
Paris alone.

October 30.--I received the letter of the Société des
Gens de Lettres asking me to authorise a public reading
of Les Chatiments, the proceeds of which will give to Paris
another cannon to be called the "Victor Hugo." I gave the
authorisation. In my reply written this morning I demanded
that instead of "Victor Hugo" the gun be called the
"Châteaudun." The reading will take place at the Porte
Saint Martin.

M. Berton came. I read to him _L'Expiation_, which he
is to read. M. and Mme. Meurice and d'Alton-Shée were
present at the reading.

News has arrived that Metz has capitulated and that
Bazaine's army has surrendered.

Bills announcing the reading of _Les Châtiments_ have
been posted. M. Raphael Felix came to tell me the
time at which the rehearsal is to take place tomorrow. I
hired a seven-seat box for this reading, which I placed at
the disposal of the ladies.

On returning home this evening I met in front of the
Mairie, M. Chaudey, who was at the Lausanne Peace
Conference and who is Mayor of the Sixth Arrondissement.
He was with M. Philibert Audebrand. We talked sorrowfully
about the taking of Metz.

October 31.--Skirmish at the Hotel de Ville. Blanqui,
Flourens and Delescluze want to overthrow the provisional
power, Trochu and Jules Favre. I refuse to associate
myself with them.

An immense crowd. My name is on the lists of members
for the proposed Government. I persist in my refusal.

Flourens and Blanqui held some of the members of the
Government prisoners at the Hotel de Ville all day.

At midnight some National Guards came from the Hotel
de Ville to fetch me "to preside," they said, "over the
new Government." I replied that I was most emphatically
opposed to this attempt to seize the power and refused to
go to the Hotel de Ville.

At 3 o'clock in the morning Flourens and Blanqui quitted
the Hotel de Ville and Trochu entered it.

The Commune of Paris is to be elected.

November 1.--We have postponed for a few days the
reading of _Les Châtiments_, which was to have been given
at the Porte Saint Martin to-day, Tuesday.

Louis Blanc came this morning to consult me as to what
ought to be the conduct of the Commune.

The newspapers unanimously praise the attitude I took
yesterday in rejecting the advances made to me.

November 2.--The Government demands a "yes" or a "no."

Louis Blanc and my sons came to talk to me about it.

The report that Alexandre Dumas is dead is denied.

November 4.--I have been requested to be Mayor of the
Third, also of the Eleventh, Arrondissement. I refused.

I went to the rehearsal of _Les Châtiments_ at the Porte
Saint Martin. Frédérick Lemaitre and Mmes. Laurent,
Lia Felix and Duguéret were present.

November 5.--To-day the public reading of _Les Châtiments_,
the proceeds of which are to purchase a cannon for
the defence of Paris, was given.

The Third, Eleventh and Fifteenth Arrondissements
want me to stand for Mayor. I refuse.

Mérimée has died at Cannes. Dumas is not dead, but
he is paralyzed.

November 7.--The 24th Battalion waited upon me and
wanted me to give them a cannon.

November 8.--Last night, on returning from a visit to
General Le Flo, I for the first time crossed the Pont des
Tuileries, which has been built since my departure from

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