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The Memoirs of Victor Hugo by Victor Hugo

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November 9.--The net receipts from the reading of _Les
Châtiments_ at the Porte Saint Martin for the gun which
I have named the "Châteaudun" amounted to 7,000 francs,
the balance going to pay the attendants, firemen, and
lighting, the only expenses charged.

At the Cail works mitrailleuses of a new model, called
the Gatling model, are being made.

Little Jeanne is beginning to chatter.

A second reading of _Les Châtiments_ for another cannon
will be given at the "Théâtre Français".

November 11.--Mlle. Periga called today to rehearse
_Pauline Roland_, which she will read at the second reading
of _Les Châtiments_, announced for to-morrow at the Porte
Saint Martin. I took a carriage, dropped Mlle. Périga at
her home, and then went to the rehearsal of to-morrow's
reading at the theatre. Frederick Lemaitre, Berton,
Maubart, Taillade, Lacressonnière, Charly, Mmes. Laurent, Lia
Felix, Rousseil, M. Raphael Felix and the committee of
the Société des Gens de Lettres were there.

After the rehearsal the wounded of the Porte Saint Martin
ambulance asked me, through Mme. Laurent, to go and
see them. I said: "With all my heart," and I went.

They are lying in several rooms, chief of which is the
old green-room of the theatre with its big round mirrors,
where in 1831 I read to the actors "Marion de Lorme". M.
Crosnier was then director. (Mme. Dorval and Bocage
were present at that reading.) On entering I said to the
wounded men: "Behold one who envies you. I desire
nothing more on earth but one of your wounds. I salute
you, children of France, favourite sons of the Republic,
elect who suffer for the Fatherland."

They seemed to be greatly moved. I shook hands with
each of them. One held out his mutilated wrist. Another
had lost his nose. One had that very morning undergone
two painful operations. A very young man had been decorated
with the military medal a few hours before. A convalescent
said to me: "I am a Franc-Comtois." "Like
myself," said I. And I embraced him. The nurses, in
white aprons, who are the actresses of the theatre, burst
into tears.

November 13.--I had M. and Mme. Paul Meurice, Vacquerie
and Louis Blanc to dinner this evening. We dined
at 6 o'clock, as the second reading of _Les Chatiments_ was
fixed to begin at the Porte Saint Martin at 7.30. I offered
a box to Mme. Paul Meurice for the reading.

November 14.--The receipts for _Les Chatiments_ last
night (without counting the collection taken up in the
theatre) amounted to 8,000 francs.

Good news! General d'Aurelle de Paladine has retaken
Orleans and beaten the Prussians. Schoelcher came to
inform me of it.

November 15.--Visit from M. Arsène Houssaye and
Henri Houssaye, his son. He is going to have Stella read
at his house in aid of the wounded.

M. Valois came to tell me that the two readings of _Les
Châtiments_ brought in 14,000 francs. For this sum not
two, but three guns can be purchased. The Société des
Gens de Lettres desires that, the first having been named
by me the "Châteaudun" and the second "Les Châtiments", the
third shall be called the "Victor Hugo." I have consented.

Pierre Veron has sent me Daumier's fine drawing
representing the Empire annihilated by _Les Chatiments_.

November 16.--Baroche, they say, has died at Caen.

M. Edouard Thierry refuses to allow the fifth act of
"Hernani" to be played at the Porte Saint Martin for the
victims of Châteaudun and for the cannon of the 24th
Battalion. A queer obstacle this M. Thierry!

November 17.--Visit from the Gens de Lettres committee.
The committee came to ask me to authorise a reading
of _Les Châtiments_ at the Opera to raise funds for another

I mention here once for all that I authorise whoever
desires to do so, to read or perform whatever he likes that I
have written, if it be for cannon, the wounded, ambulances,
workshops, orphanages, victims of the war, or the poor, and
that I abandon all my royalties on these readings or

I decide that the third reading of _Les Chatiments_ shall
be given at the Opera gratis for the people.

November 19.--Mme. Marie Laurent came to recite to
me _Les Pauvres Gens_, which she will recite at the Porte
Saint Martin to-morrow to raise funds for a cannon.

November 20.--Last evening there was an aurora borealis.

"La Grosse Josephine" is no longer my neighbour. She
has just been transported to Bastion No. 41. It took
twenty-six horses to draw her. I am sorry they have taken
her away. At night I could hear her deep voice, and it
seemed to me that she was speaking to me. I divided my
love between "Grosse Joséphine" and Little Jeanne.

Little Jeanne can now say "papa" and "mamma" very well.

To-day there was a review of the National Guard.

November 21.--Mme. Jules Simon and Mme. Sarah
Bernhardt came to see me.

After dinner many visitors called, and the drawing-room
was crowded. It appears that Veuillot insulted me.

Little Jeanne begins to crawl on her hands and knees
very well indeed.

November 23.--Jules Simon writes me that the Opera
will be given to me for the people (free reading of _Les
Châtiments_) any day I fix upon. I wanted Sunday, but
out of consideration for the concert that the actors and
employés of the Opera give Sunday night for their own
benefit I have selected Monday.

Frédérick Lemaitre called. He kissed my hands and wept.

It has been raining for two or three days. The rain has
soaked the plains, the cannon-wheels would sink into the
ground, and the sortie has therefore had to be deferred.
For two days Paris has been living on salt meat. A rat
costs 8 sous.

November 24.--I authorise the Théâtre Français to play
to-morrow, Friday, the 25th, on behalf of the victims of
the war, the fifth act of "Hernani" by the actors of the
Théâtre Français and the last act of "Lucrece Borgia" by the
actors of the Porte Saint Martin, and in addition the
recitation as an intermede of extracts from _Les Châtiments_,
_Les Contemplations_ and _La Légende des Siècles_.

Mlle. Favart came this morning to rehearse with me
_Booz Endormie_. Then we went together to the Français
for the rehearsal for the performance of to-morrow. She
acted Doña Sol very well indeed. Mme. Laurent (Lucrèce
Borgia) also played well. During the rehearsal M. de
Flavigny dropped in. I said to him: "Good morning, my
dear ex-colleague." He looked at me, then with some
emotion exclaimed: "Hello! is that you?" And he
added: "How well preserved you are!" I replied:
"Banishment preserves one."

I returned the ticket for a box that the Théâtre Français
sent to me for to-morrow's performance, and hired a box,
which I placed at the disposal of Mme. Paul Meurice.

After dinner the new Prefect of Police, M. Cresson, paid
me a visit. M. Cresson was the barrister who twenty years
ago defended the murderers of General Bréa. He spoke
to me about the free reading of _Les Châtiments_ to
be given on Monday the 28th at the Opera. It is feared
that an immense crowd--all the faubourgs--will be attracted.
More than 25,000 men and women. Three thousand will be able
to get in. What is to be done with the rest?
"The Government is uneasy. Many are called but
few will be chosen, and it fears that a crush, fighting and
disorders will result. The Government will refuse me
nothing. It wants to know whether I will accept the
responsibility. It will do whatever I wish done. The
Prefect of Police has been instructed to come to an
understanding with me about it.

I said to M. Cresson: "Let us consult Vacquerie and
Meurice and my two sons." He replied: "Willingly."
The six of us held a council. We decided that three
thousand tickets should be distributed on Sunday, the day
before the lecture, at the mairies of the twenty arrondissements
to the first persons who presented themselves after
noon. Each arrondissement will receive a number of
tickets in proportion to the number of its population. The
next day the 3,000 holders of tickets (to all places) will wait
their turn at the doors of the Opera without causing any
obstruction or trouble. The "Journal Officiel" and special
posters will apprise the public of the measures taken in the
interest of public order.

November 25.--Mlle. Lia Felix came to rehearse _Sacer
Esto_, which she will recite to the people on Monday.

M. Tony Révillon, who is to make a speech, came to see
me with the Gens de Lettres committee.

A deputation of Americans from the United States came
to express their indignation with the Government of the
American Republic and with President Grant for abandoning
France--"To which the American Republic owes so
much!" said I. "Owes everything," declared one of the
Americans present.

A good deal of cannonading has been heard for several
days. To-day it redoubled.

Mme. Meurice wants some fowls and rabbits in order to
provide against the coming famine. She is having a hutch
made for them in my little garden. The carpenter who is
constructing it entered my chamber a little while ago and
said: "I would like to touch your hand." I pressed both
his hands in mine.

November 27.--The Academy has given a sign of life.
I have received official notice that in future it will hold an
extraordinary session every Tuesday.

Pâtés of rat are being made. They are said to be very

An onion costs a sou. A potato costs a sou.

They have given up asking my authorisation to recite
my works which are being recited everywhere without my
permission. They are right. What I write is not my own.
I am a public thing.

November 28.--Noel Parfait came to ask my help for
Châteaudun. Certainly; with all my heart!

_Les Châtiments_ was recited gratis at the Opera. An
immense crowd. A gilt wreath was thrown on the stage.
I gave it to Georges and Jeanne. The collection made in
Prussian helmets by the actresses produced 1,521 francs 35
centimes in coppers.

Emile Allix brought us a leg of antelope from the Jardin
des Plantes. It is excellent.

To-night the sortie is to be made.

November 29.--All night long I heard the cannon.

The fowls were installed in my garden to-day.

The sortie is being delayed. The bridge thrown across
the Marne by Ducros has been carried away, the Prussians
having blown open the locks.

November 30.--All night long the cannon thundered.
The battle continues.

At midnight last night as I was returning home through
the Rue de Richelieu from the Pavilion de Rohan, I saw
just beyond the National Library, the street being deserted
and dark at the time, a window open on the sixth floor of
a very high house and a very bright light, which appeared
to be that of a petroleum lamp, appear and disappear
several times; then the window closed and the street became
dark again. Was it a signal?

The cannon can be heard at three points round Paris,
to the east, west and south. This is because a triple attack
is being made on the ring the Prussians have drawn round
us. The attack is being made at Saint Denis by Laroncière,
at Courbevoie by Vinoy, and on the Marne by Ducros.
Laroncière is said to have swept the peninsula of Gennevilliers
and compelled a Saxon regiment to lay down its
arms, and Vinoy is said to have destroyed the Prussian
works beyond Bougival. As to Ducros, he has crossed the
Marne, taken and retaken Montédy, and almost holds
Villiers-sur-Marne. What one experiences on hearing the
cannon is a great desire to be there.

This evening Pelletan sent his son, Camille Pelletan, to
inform me on behalf of the Government that to-morrow's
operations will be decisive.

December 1.--It appears that Louise Michel has been
arrested. I will do all that is necessary to have her released
immediately. Mme. Meurice is occupying herself about it.
She went out this morning for that purpose.

D'Alton-Shée came to see me.

We ate bear for dinner.

I have written to the Prefect of Police to have Louise
Michel released.

There was no fighting to-day. The positions taken were

December 2.--Louise Michel has been released. She
came to thank me.

Last evening M. Coquelin called to recite several pieces
from _Les Châtiments_.

It is freezing. The basin of the Pigalle fountain is
frozen over.

The cannonade recommenced at daybreak.

11.30 A.M.--The cannonade increases.

Flourens wrote to me yesterday and Rochefort to-day.
They are coming round to me again.

Dorian, Minister of Public Works, and Pelletan came to
dine with me.

Excellent news to-night! The Army of the Loire is at
Montargis. The Army of Paris has driven back the
Prussians from the Avron plateau. The despatches announcing
these successes are read aloud at the doors of the mairies.

Victory! The Second of December has been wiped out!

December 3.--General Renault, who was wounded in the
foot by a splinter from a shell, is dead.

I told Schoelcher that I want to go out with my sons if
the batteries of the National Guard to which they belong
are sent to the front. The batteries drew lots. Four are
to go. One of them is the 10th Battery, of which Victor
is a member. I will go out with that battery. Charles does
not belong to it, which is a good job; he will stay behind,
he has two children. I will order him to stay. Vacquerie
and Meurice are members of the 10th Battery. We shall
be together in the combat. I will have a cape with a hood
made for me. What I fear is the cold at night.

I made some shadows on the wall for Georges and
Jeanne. Jeanne laughed delightedly at the shadow and
the grimaces of the profile; but when she saw that the
shadow was me she cried and screamed. She seemed to
say: "I don't want you to be a phantom!" Poor, sweet
angel! Perhaps she has a presentiment of the coming

Yesterday we ate some stag; the day before we partook
of bear; and the two days previous we fared on antelope.
These were presents from the Jardin des Plantes.

To-night at 11 o'clock, cannonading. Violent and brief.

December 4.--A notice has been posted on my door indicating
the precautions to be taken "in case of bombardment." That
is the title of the notice.

There is a pause in the combat. Our army has recrossed
the Marne.

Little Jeanne crawls very well on her bands and knees
and says "papa" very prettily.

December 5.--I have just seen a magnificent hearse,
draped with black velvet, embroidered with an "H" surrounded
by silver stars, go by to fetch its burden. A Roman
would not disdain to be borne in it.

Gautier came to dine with me. After dinner Banville
and Coppée called.

Bad news. Orleans has been captured from us again.
No matter. Let us persist.

December 7.--I had Gautier, Banville and François
Coppée to dinner. After dinner Asselineau came. I read
_Floréal and L'Egout de Rome_ to them.

December 8.--The "Patrie en Danger" has ceased to appear.
In the absence of readers, says Blanqui.

M. Maurice Lachâtre, publisher, came to make me an
offer for my next book. He has sent me his _Dictionary
and The History of the Revolution_ by Louis Blanc. I shall
present to him Napoleon the Little and _Les Châtiments_.

December 9.--I woke up in the night and wrote some
verses. At the same time I heard the cannon.

M. Bondes came to see me. The correspondent of the
"Times," who is at Versailles, has written him that the guns
for the bombardment of Paris have arrived. They are
Krupp guns. They are awaiting their carriages. They
have been arranged in the Prussian arsenal at Versailles
side by side "like bottles in a cellar," according to this

I copy the following from a newspaper:

M. Victor Hugo had manifested the intention to leave Paris unarmed,
with the artillery battery of the National Guard to which his two sons

The 144th Battalion of the National Guard went in a body to the
poet's residence in the Avenue Frochot. Two delegates waited upon

These honourable citizens went to forbid Victor Hugo to carry out his
plan, which he had announced some time ago in his "Address to the

"Everybody can fight," the deputation told him. "But everybody
cannot write _Les Chatiments_. Stay at home, therefore, and take care
of a life that is so precious to France.

I do not remember the number of the battalion. It was
not the 144th. Here are the terms of the address which
was read to me by the major of the battalion:

The National Guard of Paris forbids Victor Hugo to go to the front,
inasmuch as everybody can go to the front, whereas Victor Hugo alone
can do what Victor Hugo does.

"Forbids" is touching and charming.

December 11.--Rostan came to see me. He has his arm
in a sling. He was wounded at Créteil. It was at night.
A German soldier rushed at him and pierced his arm with
a bayonet. Rostan retaliated with a bayonet thrust in the
German's shoulder. Both fell and rolled into a ditch. Then
they became good friends. Rostan speaks a little broken

"Who are you?"

"I am a Wurtembergian. I am twenty-two years old.
My father is a clockmaker of Leipsic."

They remained in the ditch for three hours, bleeding,
numb with cold, helping each other. Rostan, wounded,
brought the man who wounded him back as a prisoner. He
goes to see him at the hospital. These two men adore each
other. They wanted to kill each other, and now they would
die for each other.

Eliminate kings from the dispute!

Visit from M. Rey. The Ledru-Rollin group is completely
disorganized. No more parties; the Republic. It
is well.

I presented some Dutch cheese to Mme. Paul Meurice.
Sleet is falling.

December 12.--I arrived in Brussels nineteen years ago to-day.

December 13.--Since yesterday Paris has been lighted
with petroleum.

Heavy cannonade to-night.

December 14.--Thaw. Cannonade.

To-night we glanced over _Goya's Disasters of War_
(brought by Burty, the art critic). It is fine and hideous.

December 15.--Emmanuel Arago, Minister of Justice,
came to see me and informed me that there would be fresh
meat until February 15, but that in future only brown
bread would be made in Paris. There will be enough of
this to last for five months.

Allix brought me a medal struck to commemorate my
return to France. It bears on one side a winged genius
and the words: "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity," and
on the other side, round the rim: "Appeal to Universal
Democracy," and in the centre: "To Victor Hugo, From
His Grateful Fatherland.' September, 1870."

This medal is sold in the streets and costs 5 centimes.
There is a little ring in it by which it can be suspended
to a chain.

December 16.--Pelleport* came to-night. I requested
him to visit Flourens, in Mazas Prison, on my behalf,
and to take him a copy of _Napoleon the Little_.

* One of the editors of the "Rappel."

December 17.--The "Electeur Libre" calls upon Louis
Blanc and me to enter the Government, and affirms that
it is our duty to do so. My duty is dictated to me by my

I saw the gunboat "Estoc" pass under the Pont des Arts,
going up Seine. She is a fine vessel and her big gun has a
terribly grand appearance.

December 18.--I worked a magic lantern for little
Georges and little Jeanne.

My royalty for Mme. Favart's recitation of _Stella_ at a
performance given by the 14th Battalion amounted to 130
francs. My agent took my royalty in spite of my
instructions. I have ordered him to turn the money over
to the sick fund of the battalion.

M. Hetzel writes: "The closing of the printing office is
imminent, as I can get no more coal to keep the presses

I authorise another issue of 3,000 copies of _Les Châtiments_,
which will bring the total for Paris up to 22,000.

December 20.--Captain Breton, of the Garde Mobile,
who has been cashiered on the charge of being a coward,
brought against him by his lieutenant-colonel, demands a
court-martial, but first of all to be sent to the firing line.
His company leaves to-morrow morning. He begs me to
obtain for him from the Minister of War permission to go
and get himself killed. I have written to General Le Flô
about him. It is likely that he will take part in to-morrow's

December 21.--At 3 o'clock this morning I heard the
bugles of the troops marching to battle. When will my
turn come?

December 22.--Yesterday was a good day. The action
continues. The thunder of cannon can be heard to the east
and west.

Little Jeanne begins to talk at length and very expressively.
But it is impossible to understand a word she says.
She laughs.

Leopold has sent me thirteen fresh eggs, which I will
reserve for little Georges and little Jeanne.

Louis Blanc came to dine with me. He came on behalf
of Edmond Adam, Louis Jourdan, Cernuschi and others
to tell me that he and I must go to Trochu and summon
him to save Paris or resign. I refused. I should be posing
as an arbiter of the situation and at the same time hamper
a battle begun and which may be a successful one. Louis
Blanc was of my way of thinking, as were also Meurice,
Vacquerie and my sons, who dined with us.

December 23.--Henri Rochefort came to dine with
me. I had not seen him since August of last year, when
we were in Brussels. Georges did not recognise his
godfather. I was very cordial. I like him very much. He
has great talent and great courage. The dinner was a very
merry one, although we are all threatened with incarceration
in a Prussian fortress if Paris is captured. After
Guernsey, Spandau. So be it.

I bought for 19 francs at the Magasins du Louvre a soldier's
cape with hood, to wear on the ramparts.

My house continues to be crowded with visitors. To-day
a painter named Le Genissel called. He reminded me that
I saved him from the galleys in 1848. He was one of the
insurgents of June.

Heavy cannonade during the night. A battle is in preparation.

December 24.--It is freezing. Ice floes are floating down
the Seine.

Paris only eats brown bread now.

December 25.--Heavy cannonade all night.

An item of news of present-day Paris: A basket of
oysters has just reached the city. It sold for 750 francs.

At a bazar in aid of the poor at which Alice and Mme.
Meurice acted as vendors, a young turkey fetched 250

The Seine is freezing over.

December 26.--Louis Blanc called, then M. Floquet.
They urge me to summon the Government to do something
or resign. Again I refuse.

M. Louis Koch paid 25 francs for a copy of the _Rappel_
at the bazar in aid of the poor. The copy of _Les Châtiments_
was purchased by M. Cernuschi for 300 francs.

December 27.--Violent cannonade this morning.
The firing of this morning was an attack by the Prussians.
A good sign. Waiting annoys them. Us, too. They
threw nineteen shells, which killed nobody, into the Fort
of Montrouge.

Mme. Ugalde dined with us and sang "Patria." I escorted
Mme. Ugalde to her home in the Rue de Chabanais, then
returned to bed.

The concierge said to me:

"Monsieur, they say that bombs will fall in this neighbourhood

"That is all right," I replied. "I am expecting one."

December 29.--Heavy firing all night. The Prussians
continue their attack.

Théophile Gautier has a horse. This horse was requisitioned.
It was wanted for food. Gautier wrote me begging me save
the animal. I asked the Minister to grant his request.

I saved the horse.

It is unfortunately true that Dumas is dead. This has
been ascertained through the German newspapers. He
died on December 5 at the home of his son at Puys, near

I am being urged more strongly than ever, to enter the
Government. The Minister of Justice, M. Emmanuel
Arago, called and stopped to dinner. We talked. Louis
Blanc dropped in after dinner. I persist in my refusal.

Besides Emmanuel Arago and the friends who usually
dine with me on Thursdays, Rochefort and Blum came. I
invited them to come every Thursday if we have many
more Thursdays to live. At desert I drank Rochefort's

The cannonade is increasing. The plateau of Avron had
to be evacuated.

December 31.--D'Alton-Shée paid a visit to me this
morning. It appears that General Ducros wants to see me.

Within three days the Prussians have sent us 12,000

Yesterday I ate some rat, and then hiccoughed the
following quatrain:

~O mesdames les hétaires
Dans vos greniers, je me nourris:
Moi qui mourais de vos sourires,
Je vais vivre de vos souris~.

After next week there will be no more washing done in
Paris, because there is no more coal.

Lieutenant Farcy, commander of the gunboat, dined
with me.

It is bitterly cold. For three days I have worn my cloak
and hood whenever I have had to go out.

A doll for little Jeanne. A basketful of toys for Georges.

Shells have begun to demolish the Fort of Rosny. The
first shell has fallen in the city itself. The Prussians
to-day fired 6,000 shells at us.

In the Fort of Rosny a sailor working at the gabions was
carrying a sack of earth. A shell knocked it off his
shoulder. "Much obliged," commented the sailor, "but I
wasn't tired."

Alexandre Dumas died on December 5. On looking
over my notebook I see that it was on December 5 that a
large hearse with an "H" on it passed before me in the Rue

We have no longer even horse to eat. *Perhaps* it is dog?
*Maybe* it is rat? I am beginning to suffer from pains in
the stomach. We are eating the unknown!

M. Valois, representing the Société des Gens de Lettres,
came to ask me what was to be done with the 3,000
francs remaining from the proceeds of the three readings
of Les Châtiments, the guns having been delivered and
paid for. I told him that I wanted the whole amount
turned over to Mme. Jules Simon for the fund for the
victims of the war.

January 1, 1871.--Louis Blanc has addressed to me
through the newspapers a letter upon the situation.

Stupor and amazement of little Georges and little
Jeanne at their basketful of New Year presents. The toys,
when unpacked from the basket, covered a large table.
The children touched all of them and did not know which
to take. Georges was nearly furious with joy. Charles
remarked: "It is the despair of joy!"

I am hungry. I am cold. So much the better. I suffer
what the people are suffering.

Decidedly horse is not good for me. Yet I ate some. It
gives me the gripes. I avenged myself at dessert with the
following distich:

~Mon diner m'inquiete et même me harcêle,
J'ai mange du cheval et je songe a la selle~.

The Prussians are bombarding Saint Denis.

January 2.--Daumier and Louis Blanc lunched with us.

Louis Koch gave to his aunt as a New Year gift a couple
of cabbages and a brace of living partridges!

This morning we lunched on wine soup. The elephant
at the Jardin des Plantes has been slaughtered. He wept.
He will be eaten..

The Prussians continue to send us 6,000 bombs a day.

January 3.--The heating of two rooms at the Pavillon
de Rohan now costs 10 francs a day.

The Mountaineers' club again demands that Louis Blanc
and I be added to the Government in order to direct it.
I continue to refuse.

There are at present twelve members of the French
Academy in Paris, among them Ségur, Mignet, Dufaure,
d'Haussonville, Legouvé, Cuvillier-Fleury, Barbier and

Moon. Intense cold. The Prussians bombarded Saint
Denis all night.

From Tuesday to Sunday the Prussians hurled 25,000
projectiles at us. It required 220 railway trucks to
transport them. Each shot costs 60 francs; total, 1,500,000
francs. The damage to the forts is estimated at 1,400
francs. About ten men have been killed. Each of our
dead cost the Prussians 150,000 francs.

January 5.--The bombardment is becoming heavier.
Issy and Vanves are being shelled.

There is no coal. Clothes cannot be washed because
they cannot be dried. My washerwoman sent this message
to me through Mariette:

"If M. Victor Hugo, who is so powerful, would ask the
Government to give me a little coal-dust, I could wash his

Besides my usual Thursday guests I had Louis Blanc,
Rochefort and Paul de Saint Victor to dinner. Mme. Jules
Simon sent me a Gruyère cheese. An extraordinary luxury,
this. We were thirteen at table.

January 6.--At dessert yesterday I offered some bonbons
to the ladies, saying as I did so:

~Grace a Boissier, chêre colombes,
Heureux, a vos pieds nous tombons.
Car on prend les forts par les bombes
Et les faibles par les bonbons~.

The Parisians out of curiosity visit the bombarded districts.
They go to see the shells fall as they would go to
a fireworks display. National Guards have to keep the
people back. The Prussians are firing on the hospitals.
They are bombarding Val-de-Grâce. Their shells set fire
to the wooden booths in the Luxembourg, which were full
of sick and wounded men, who had to be transported,
undressed and wrapped up as well as they could be, to the
Charité Hospital. Barbieux saw them arrive there about
1 o'clock in the morning.

Sixteen streets have already been hit by shells.

January 7.--The Rue des Feuillantines, which runs
through the place where the garden of my boyhood used to
be, is heavily bombarded. I was nearly struck by a shell

My washerwoman having nothing to make a fire with,
and being obliged to refuse work in consequence, addressed
a demand to M. Clémenceau, Mayor of the Ninth
Arrondissement, for some coal, which she said she was prepared
to pay for. I endorsed it thus:

"I am resigned to everything for the defence of Paris,
to die of hunger and cold, and even to forego a change of
shirt. However, I commend my laundress to the Mayor
of the Ninth Arrondissement."

And I signed my name. The Mayor gave her the coal.

January 8.--Camille Pelletan brought us good news
from the Government. Rouen and Dijon retaken, Garibaldi
victorious at Nuits, and Fraidherbe at Bapaume. All
goes well.

We had brown bread, now we have black bread. Everybody
fares alike. It is well.

The news of yesterday was brought by two pigeons.

A shell killed five children in a school in the Rue de

The performances and readings of _Les Châtiments_ have
had to be stopped, the theatres being without gas or coal,
therefore without light or heat.

Prim is dead. He was shot and killed at Madrid the day
the king after his own heart, Amedeus, Duke of Genoa,
entered Spain.

The bombardment was a furious one to-day. A shell
crashed through the chapel of the Virgin at Saint Sulpice,
where my mother's funeral took place and where I was

January 10.--Bombs on the Odéon Theatre.

Chifflard sent me a piece of a shell. This shell, which
fell at Auteuil, is marked with an "H." I will have an
inkstand made out of it.

January 12.--The Pavilion de Rohan demands of me from to-day
on 8 francs a head for dinner, which with
wine, coffee, fire, etc., brings the cost of dinner up to 13
francs for each person.

We had elephant steak for luncheon to-day.

Schoelcher, Rochefort, Blum and all the usual Thursday
guests dined with us. After dinner Louis Blanc and Pelletan
dropped in.

January 13.--An egg costs 2 francs 75 centimes. Elephant
meat costs 40 francs a pound. A sack of onions costs
800 francs.

The Société des Gens de Lettres asked me to attend the
presentation of the cannon to the city at the Hotel de Ville.
I begged to be excused. I will not go.

We spent the day looking for another hotel. Could not
find one suitable. All are closed. Expenses for the week
at the Pavilion de Rohan (including the cost of a broken
window-pane), 701 francs 50 centimes.

Remark by a poor woman anent some newly felled wood:

"This hapless green wood is under fire; it didn't expect
that it would have to face it, and weeps all the time!"

January 15.--A furious bombardment is in progress.

I have written a piece of poetry entitled "Dans le Cirque."
After dinner I read it to my Sunday guests. They want
me to publish it. I will give it to the newspapers.

January 17.--The bombardment has been going on for
three nights and three days without cessation.

Little Jeanne was cross with me because I would not let
her play with the works of my watch.

All the newspapers publish my verses "Dans le Cirque."
They may be useful.

Louis Blanc called this morning. He urged me to join
with Quinet and himself in bringing pressure to bear upon
the Government. I replied: "I see more danger in overturning
the Government than in supporting it."

January 18.--M. Krupp is making cannon for use
specially against balloons.

There is a cock in my little garden. Yesterday Louis
Blanc lunched with us. The cock crowed. Louis Blanc
paused and said:


"What is it?"

"A cock is crowing."

"Well, what of it?"

"Don't you hear what it says?"

"It is calling: 'Victor Hugo!'"

We listened and laughed. Louis Blanc was right It
did sound as if the cock were crowing my name.

I gave some of my bread-crumbs to the fowls. They
would not eat them.

This morning a sortie against Montretout was made.
Montretout was taken. This evening the Prussians
captured it from us again.

January 20.--The attack on Montretout has interrupted
the bombardment.

A child of fourteen years was suffocated in a crowd
outside a baker's shop.

January 21.--Louis Blanc came to see me. We held a
council. The situation is becoming extreme and supreme.
The Mairie of Paris asks my advice.

Louis Blanc dined with us. After dinner we held a sort
of council at which Colonel Laussedat was present.

January 22.--The Prussians are bombarding Saint Denis.

Tumultuous demonstrations at the Hotel de Ville.
Trochu is withdrawing. Rostan comes to tell me that the
Breton mobiles are firing on the people. I doubt it. I will
go myself, if necessary.

I have just returned. There was a simultaneous attack
by both sides. To the combatants who consulted me I said:
"I recognise in the hands of Frenchmen only those rifles
which are turned towards the Prussians."

Rostan said to me:

"I have come to place my battalion at your service.
We are five hundred men. Where do you want us to go?"

"Where are you now?" I asked.

"We have been massed towards Saint Denis, which is
being bombarded," he replied. "We are at La Villette."

"Then stay there," said I. "It is there where I should
have sent you. Do not march against the Hotel de Ville,
march against Prussia."

January 23.--Last night there was a conference at my
quarters. In addition to my Sunday guests Rochefort and
his secretary, Mourot, had dined with us. Rey and Gambon
came in the evening. They brought me, the former
with a request that I would subscribe to it, Ledru-Rollin's
poster-programme (group of 200 members), and the latter,
the programme of the Republican Union (50 members). I
declared that I approved of neither the one nor the other.

Chanzy has been beaten. Bourbaki has succeeded. But
he is not marching on Paris. Enigma, of which I fancy I
can half guess the secret.

There appears to be an interruption to the bombardment.

January 24.--Flourens called this morning. He asked
for my advice. I responded: "No violent pressure on the

January 25.--Flourens is reported to have been arrested
as he was leaving the house after his visit to me.

I had a couple of fresh eggs cooked for Georges and

M. Dorian came to the Pavilion de Rohan this morning
to see my sons. He announced that capitulation is
imminent. Frightful news from outside. Chanzy defeated,
Faidherbe defeated, Bourbaki driven back.

January 27.--Schoelcher came to tell me that he has
resigned as colonel of the artillery legion.

Again they came to ask me to head a demonstration
against the Hotel de Ville. All sorts of rumours are in
circulation. To everybody I counsel calmness and unity.

January 28.--Bismarck in the course of the pourparlers
at Versailles said to Jules Favre: "What do you think
of that goose of an Empress proposing peace to me!"

It has become cold again.

Ledru-Rollin (through Brives) says he wants to come to
an understanding with me.

Little Jeanne is unwell. Sweet little thing!

Leopold told me this evening that I was the subject of
a dialogue between Pope Pius IX. and Jules Hugo, my
nephew, brother of Leopold, who died a camerico of the
Pope. The Pope, on seeing Jules, said to him:

"You name is Hugo, is it not?"

"Yes, Holy Father."

"Are you a relative of Victor Hugo?"

"His nephew, Holy Father."

"How old is he?" (It was in 1857.)

"Fifty-five years."

"Alas! he is too old to return to the Church!"

Charles tells me that Jules Simon and his two sons passed
the night drawing up lists of possible candidates for the
National Assembly.

Cernuschi is having himself naturalized a French citizen!

January 29.--The armistice was signed yesterday. It
was published this morning. The National Assembly will
be elected between February 5 and 18. Will meet on the
12th at Bordeaux.

Little Jeanne is a trifle better. She almost smiled at me.

No more balloons. The post. But unsealed letters. It
snows. It freezes.

January 30.--Little Jeanne is still poorly and does not

Mlle. Périga brought me a fresh egg for Jeanne.

January 31.--Little Jeanne is still ill. She is suffering
from a slight attack of catarrh of the stomach. Doctor
Allix says it will last for another four or five days.

My nephew Leopold came to dine with us. He brought
us some pickled oysters.

February 1.--Little Jeanne is better. She smiled at me.

February 2.--The Paris elections have been postponed
to February 8.

Horsemeat continues to disagree with me. Pains in the
stomach. Yesterday I said to Mme. Ernest Lefèvre, who
was dining beside me:

~De ces bons animaux la viande me fait mal.
J'aime tant les chevaux que je hais le cheval~.

February 4.--The weather is becoming milder.

A crowd of visitors this evening. Proclamation by Gambetta.

February 5.--The list of candidates of the Republican
journals appeared this morning. I am at the head of the

Bancal is dead.

Little Jeanne this evening has recovered from her cold.

I entertained my usual Sunday guests. We had fish,
butter and white bread for dinner.

February 6.--Bourbaki, defeated, has killed himself. A
grand death.

Ledru-Rollin is drawing back from the Assembly. Louis
Blanc came and read this news to me to-night.

February 7.--We had three or four cans of preserves
which we ate to-day.

February 8.--To-day, elections for the National Assembly.
Paul Meurice and I went to vote together in the Rue

After the capitulation had been signed, Bismarck, on
leaving Jules Favre, entered the room where his two
secretaries were awaiting him and said: "The beast is dead."

I have put my papers in order in anticipation of
my departure.

Little Jeanne is very merry.

February 11.--The counting of the votes progresses very

Our departure for Bordeaux has been put off to Monday
the 13th.

February 12.--Yesterday, for the first time, I saw my
boulevard. It is a rather large section of the old Boulevard
Haussmann. "Boulevard Victor Hugo" is placarded on the
Boulevard Haussmann at four or five street corners giving
on to this boulevard.

The National Assembly opens to-day at Bordeaux. The
result of the elections in Paris has not yet been determined
and proclaimed.

While I have not yet been appointed, time presses, and
I expect to leave for Bordeaux to-morrow. There will be
nine of us, five masters and four servants, plus the two
children. Louis Blanc wants to leave with us. We shall
make the journey together.

In my hand-bag I shall take various important manuscripts
and works that I have begun, among others, _Paris
Besieged_ and the poem "Grand Père."

February 13.--Yesterday, before dinner, I read to my
guests, M. and Mme. Paul Meurice, Vacquerie, Lockroy,
M. and Mme. Ernest Lefevre, Louis Koch and Vilain
(Rochefort and Victor did not arrive until the dinner hour),
two pieces of poetry which will form part of Paris Besieged
("To Little Jeanne," and "No, You will not Take
Alsace and Lorraine").

Pelleport brought me our nine passes. Not having yet
been proclaimed a Representative, I wrote on mine: "Victor
Hugo, proprietor," as the Prussians require that the
quality or profession of the holder of the pass be stated.

It was with a heavy heart that I quitted this morning the
Avenue Frochot and the sweet hospitality that Paul
Meurice had extended to me since my arrival in Paris on
September 5.




February 14.--Left yesterday at 12.10 P.M. Arrived at
Etampes at 3.15. Wait of two hours, and luncheon.

After lunch we returned to our drawing-room car. A
crowd surrounded it, kept back by a squad of Prussian
soldiers. The crowd recognised me and shouted "Long live
Victor Hugo!" I waved my hand out of window, and
doffing my cap, shouted: "Long live France!" Whereupon
a man with a white moustache, who somebody said
was the Prussian commandant of Etampes, advanced towards
me with a threatening air and said something to me
in German that he no doubt intended to be terrible. Gazing
steadily in turn at this Prussian and the crowd, I repeated
in a louder voice: "Long live France'!" Thereat
all the people shouted enthusiastically: "Long live
France!" The fellow looked angry but said nothing. The
Prussian soldiers did not move.

The journey was a rough, long and weary one. The
drawing-room car was badly lighted and not heated. One
feels the dilapidation of France in this wretched railway
accommodation. At Vierzon we bought a pheasant, a
chicken, and two bottles of wine for supper. Then we
wrapped ourselves up in our rugs and cloaks and slept on
the seats.

We arrived at Bordeaux at 1.30 this afternoon. We
went in search of lodgings. We took a cab and drove from
hotel to hotel. No room anywhere. I went to the Hotel
de Ville and asked for information. I was told that there
was an apartment to let at M. A. Porte's, 13, Rue Saint
Maur, near the public garden. We went there. Charles
hired the apartment for 600 francs a month and paid half
a month's rent in advance. Then we started out in search
of a lodging for us, but could not get one. At 7 o'clock
we returned to the station to fetch our trunks, and not
knowing where we should pass the night. We went back
to the Rue Saint Maur, where Charles is, negotiated with
the landlord and his brother, who had a couple of rooms at
37, Rue de la Course, hard by, and came to an arrangement
at last.

Alice made this remark:

"The number 13 clings to us. We were thirteen at
table every Thursday in January. We left Paris on
February 13. There were thirteen of us in the railway
carriage, counting Louis Blanc, M. Béchet and the two
children. We are lodging at 13, Rue Saint Maur!"

February 15.--At 2 o'clock I went to the Assembly.
When I came out again I found an immense crowd awaiting
me in the great square. The people, and the National
Guards who lined the approaches to the building, shouted:
"Long live Victor Hugo!" I replied: "Long live the
Republic! Long live France!" They repeated this
double cry. Then the enthusiasm became delirium. It was
a repetition of the ovation I met with on my arrival in
Paris. I was moved to tears. I took refuge in a café at
the corner of the square. I explained in a speech why I
did not address the people, then I escaped--that is the
word--in a carriage.

While the enthusiastic people shouted "Long live the
Republic!" the members of the Assembly issued and filed
past impassible, almost furious, and with their hats on, in
the midst of the bare heads and the waving caps about me.

Visit from Representatives Le Flo, Rochefort, Locroy,
Alfred Naquet, Emmanuel Arago, Rességuier, Floquot,
Eugene Pelletan, and Noel Parfait.

I slept in my new lodging at 37, Rue de la Course.

February 16.--At the Assembly today the result of the
Paris elections was proclaimed. Louis Blanc was first with
216,000 votes; then came myself with 214,000 votes, then
Garibaldi with 200,000.

The ovation extended to me by the people yesterday is
regarded by the Majority as an insult to it. Hence a great
display of troops on the square outside (army, National
Guard and cavalry). There was an incident in this
connection before my arrival. The men of the Right demanded
that the Assembly be protected. (Against whom?
Against me?) The Left replied with the shout of: "Long
live the Republic!"

When I was leaving I was notified that the crowd was
waiting for me in the square. To escape the ovation I went
out by a side door, but the people caught sight of me, and
I was immediately surrounded by an immense crowd shouting:
"Long live Victor Hugo!" I replied: "Long live
the Republic!" Everybody, including the National Guards
and soldiers of the line, took up the shout. I drove away
in a carriage, which the people followed.

The Assembly to-day elected its committees. Dufaure
proposes Thiers as chief of the executive power.

We dined at home for the first time. I had invited Louis
Blanc, Schoelcher, Rochefort and Lockroy. Rochefort was
unable to come. After dinner we went to Gent's, Quay des
Chartrons, to attend a meeting of the Left. My sons
accompanied me. The question of the chief executive was
discussed. I had the following added to the definition:
appointed by the Assembly and revokable by that body."

General Cremer came this morning to enlighten us concerning
the disposition of the army.

February 17.--At the Assembly Gambetta came up to
me and said: "Master, when can I see you? I have a good
many things to explain to you."

Thiers has been named chief of the executive power.
He is to leave to-night for Versailles, the headquarters of
the Prussians.

February 18.--To-night there was a meeting of the
Left, in the Rue Lafaurie-Monbadon. The meeting chose
me as president. The speakers were Louis Blanc, Schoelcher,
Colonel Langlois, Brisson, Lockroy, Millière,
Clémenceau, Martin Bernard, and Joigneaux. I spoke
last and summed up the debate. Weighty questions were
brought up--the Bismarck-Thiers treaty, peace, war, the
intolerance of the Assembly, and the case in which it would
be advisable to resign in a body.

February 19.--The president of the National Club of
Bordeaux came to place his salons at my disposal.

My hostess, Mme. Porte, a very pretty woman, has sent
me a bouquet.

Thiers has appointed his Ministers. He has assumed the
equivocal and suspicious title of "head president of the
executive power." The Assembly is to adjourn. We are
to be notified at our residences when it is to be convened

February 20.--To-day the people again acclaimed me
when I came out of the Assembly. The crowd in an instant
became enormous. I was compelled to take refuge
in the lodging of Martin Bernard, who lives in a street
adjacent to the Assembly.

I spoke in the Eleventh Committee. The question of
the magistracy (which has petitioned us not to act against
it) came up unexpectedly. I spoke well. I rather terrified
the committee.

Little Jeanne is more than ever adorable. She does not
want to leave me at all now.

February 21.--Mme. Porte, my hostess of the Rue de
la Course, sends me a bouquet every morning by her little

I take little Georges and little Jeanne out whenever I
have a minute to spare. I might very well be dubbed:
"Victor Hugo, Representative of the People and dry

To-night I presided at the meeting of the Radical Left.

February 25.--To-night there was a meeting of the two
fractions of the Left, the Radical Left and Political Left,
in the hall of the Academy, in the Rue Jacques Bell. The
speakers were Louis Blanc, Emmanuel Arago, Vacherot,
Jean Brunet, Bethmont, Peyrat, Brisson, Gambetta, and
myself. I doubt whether my plan for fusion or even for
an ~entente cordiale~ will succeed. Schoelcher and Edmond
Adam walked home with me.

February 26.--I am 69 years old to-day.

I presided at a meeting of the Left.

February 27.--I have resigned the presidency of the
Radical Left in order to afford full independence to the

February 28.--Thiers read the treaty (of peace) from
the tribune to-day. It is hideous. I shall speak to-morrow.
My name is the seventh on the list, but Grévy, the president
of the Assembly, said to me: "Rise and ask to be
heard when you want to. The Assembly will hear you."

To-night there was a meeting of the Assembly committees. I
belong to the eleventh. I spoke.

March 1.--There was a tragical session to-day. The
Empire was executed, also France, alas! The Shylock-Bismarck
treaty was adopted. I spoke.

Louis Blanc spoke after me, and spoke grandly.

I had Louis Blanc and Charles Blanc to dinner.

This evening I went to the meeting in the Rue Lafaurie-Monbadon
over which I have ceased to preside. Schoelcher
presided. I spoke. I am satisfied with myself.

March 2.--Charles has returned. No session to-day.
The adoption of peace has opened the Prussian net. I
have received a packet of letters and newspapers from
Paris. Two copies of the _Rappel_.

We dined ~en famille~, all five of us. Then I went to the

Seeing that France has been mutilated, the Assembly
ought to withdraw. It has caused the wound and is powerless
to cure it. Let another Assembly replace it. I would
like to resign. Louis Blanc does not want to. Gambetta
and Rochefort are of my way of thinking. Debate.

March 3.--This morning the Mayor of Strasburg, who
died of grief, was buried.

Louis Blanc called in company with three Representatives,
Brisson, Floquet and Cournet. They came to consult me
as to what ought to be done about the resignation
question. Rochefort and Pyat, with three others, are
resigning. I am in favour of resigning. Louis Blanc resists.
The remainder of the Left do not appear to favour resignation
~en masse~.


As I ascended the stairs I heard a fellow belonging to
the Right, whose back only I could see, say to another:
"Louis Blanc is execrable, but Victor Hugo is worse."

We all dined with Charles, who had invited Louis Blanc
and MM. Lavertujon and Alexis Bouvier.

Afterwards we went to the meeting in the Rue
Lafaurie-Monbadon. The President of the Assembly having, on
behalf of the Assembly, delivered a farewell address to the
retiring members for Alsace and Lorraine, my motion to
maintain their seats indefinitely, which was approved by
the meeting, is without object, inasmuch as the question is
settled. The meeting, however, appears to hold to it. We
will consider the matter.

March 4.--Meeting of the Left. M. Millière proposed,
as did also M. Delescluze, a motion of impeachment against
the Government of the National Defence. He concluded
by saying that whoever failed to join him in pressing the
motion was a "dupe or an accomplice."

Schoelcher rose and said:

"Neither dupe nor accomplice. You lie!"

March 5.--Session of the Assembly.

Meeting in the evening. Louis Blanc, instead of a
formal impeachment of the ex-Government of Paris, demands
an inquiry. I subscribe to this. We sign.

Meeting of the Left. They say there is great agitation
in Paris. The Government which usually never receives
less than fifteen dispatches a day from Paris has not
received a single one up to 10 o'clock to-night. Six
telegrams sent to Jules Favre have not been answered. We
decide that either Louis Blanc or I will interpellate the
Government as to the situation in Paris, if the present
anxiety continues and no light is thrown upon the situation.

A deputation of natives of Alsace and Lorraine came to
thank us.

March 6.--At noon we lunched ~en famille~ at Charles's.
I took the two ladies to the Assembly. There is talk of
transferring the Assembly to Versailles or Fontainebleau.
They are afraid of Paris. I spoke at the meeting of the
Eleventh Committee. I was nearly elected commissioner.
I got 18 votes, but a M. Lucien Brun got 19.

Meeting in the Rue Lafaurie. I proposed that we all refuse
to discuss the situation in Paris, and that a manifesto
be drawn up, to be signed by all of us, declaring our
intention to resign if the Assembly goes anywhere else than
to Paris. The meeting did not adopt my plan, and urged
me to speak to-morrow. I refused. Louis Blanc will

March 8.--I have handed in my resignation as a Representative.

There was a discussion about Garibaldi. He had been
elected in Algeria. It was proposed that the election be
annulled. I demanded to be heard. I spoke. Uproar on
the Right. They shouted: "Order! Order!" It all
reads very curiously in the "Moniteur." In face of this
explosion of wrath I made a gesture with my hand and said:

"Three weeks ago you refused to hear Garibaldi. Now
you refuse to hear me. That is enough. I will resign."

I went to the meeting of the Left for the last time.

March 9.--This morning three members of the Moderate
Left, which meets in the hall of the Academy, came as
delegates from that body, the 220 members of which
unanimously requested me to withdraw my resignation. M.
Paul Bethmon acted as spokesman. I thanked them, but

Then delegates from another meeting came with the
same object. The meeting of the Central Left, to which
MM. d'Haussonville and de Rémusat belong, unanimously
requested me to withdraw my resignation. M. Target acted
as spokesman. I thanked them, but declined.

Louis Blanc ascended the tribune (in the Assembly) and
bade me farewell with grandeur and nobleness.

March 10.--Louis Blanc spoke yesterday and
to-day--yesterday about my resignation, to-day about the
question of Paris. Grandly and nobly on each occasion.

March 11.--We are preparing for our departure.

March 12.--Many visits. My apartment was crowded.
M. Michel Levy came to ask me for a book. M. Duquesnel,
associate director of the Odéon Theatre, came to ask me
for _Ruy Blas_.

We shall probably leave to-morrow.

Charles, Alice and Victor went to Arcachon. They
returned to dinner.

Little Georges, who has been unwell, is better.

Louis Blanc dined with me. He is going to Paris.

March 13.--Last night I could not sleep. Like Pythagoras,
I was thinking of numbers. I thought of all these
13's so queerly associated with our movements and actions
since the first of January, and upon the fact that I was
to leave this house on a 13th. Just then there was the
same nocturnal knocking (three taps, as though made by a
hammer on a board) that I had heard twice before in this

We lunched at Charles's, with Louis Blanc.

I then went to see Rochefort. He lives at 80, Rue Judaique.
He is convalescent from an attack of erysipelas
that at one time assumed a dangerous character. With him
I found MM. Alexis Bouvier and Mourot, whom I invited to
dinner to-day, at the same time asking them to
transmit my invitation to MM. Claretie, Guillemot and
Germain Casse, with whom I want to shake hands before
I go.

On leaving Rochefort's I wandered a little about Bordeaux.
Fine church, partly Roman. Pretty Gothic flowered
tower. Superb Roman ruin (Rue du Colysée) which
they call the Palais Gallien.

Victor came to embrace me. He left for Paris at 6
o'clock with Louis Blanc.

At half past 6 I went to Lanta's restaurant. MM. Bouvier,
Mourot and Casse arrived. Then Alice. We waited
for Charles.

Charles died at 7 o'clock.

The waiter who waits upon me at Lanta's restaurant entered
and told me that somebody wanted to see me. In
the ante-chamber I found M. Porte, who lets the apartment
at 13, Rue Saint Maur, that Charles occupied. M.
Porte whispered to me to get Alice, who had followed me,
out of the way. Alice returned to the salon. M. Porte
said to me:

"Monsieur be brave. Monsieur Charles--"


"He is dead!"

Dead! I could not believe it. Charles! I leaned
against the wall for support.

M. Porte told me that Charles had taken a cab to go to
Lanta's, but had told the cabman to drive first to the Café
de Bordeaux. Arrived at the Café de Bordeaux, the driver
on opening the door of the cab, found Charles dead. He
had been stricken with apoplexy. A number of blood vessels
had burst. He was covered with blood, which issued
from his nose and mouth. The doctor summoned pronounced
him dead.

I would not believe it. I said: "It is a lethargy." I
still hoped. I returned to the salon, told Alice that I was
going out, but would soon be back, and ran to the Rue
Saint Maur. I had hardly reached there when they brought

Alas! my beloved Charles! He was dead.

I went to fetch Alice. What despair!

The two children were asleep.

March 14.--I have read again what I wrote on the morning
of the 13th about the knocking I heard during the

Charles has been laid out in the salon on the ground
floor of the house in the Rue Saint Maur. He lies on
a bed covered with a sheet which the women of the house
have strewn with flowers. Two neighbours, workingmen
who love me, asked permission to watch by the body
all night. The coroner's physician, on uncovering the dear
dead, wept.

I sent to Meurice a telegram couched in the following

Meurice, 18 Rue Valois-

Appalling misfortune. Charles died this evening, 13th. Sudden
stroke of apoplexy. Tell Victor to come back at once.

The Prefect sent this telegram over the official wire.

We shall take Charles with us. Meanwhile he will be
placed in the depository.

MM. Alexis Bouvier and Germain Casse are helping me
in these heart-rending preparations.

At 4 o'clock Charles was placed in the coffin. I prevented
them from fetching Alice. I kissed the brow of
my beloved, then the sheet of lead was soldered. Next
they put the oaken lid of the coffin on and screwed it down;
thus I shall never see him more. But the soul remains.
If I did not believe in the soul I would not live another

I dined with my grandchildren, little Georges and little

I consoled Alice. I wept with her. I said "thou" to her
for the first time.

March 15.--For two nights I have not slept. I could
not sleep last night.

Edgar Quinet came to see me last evening. On viewing
Charles's coffin in the parlor, he said:

"I bid thee adieu, great mind, great talent, great soul,
beautiful of face, more beautiful of thought, son of Victor

We talked together of this great mind that is no more.
We were calm. The night watcher wept as he listened to

The Prefect of the Gironde called. I could not receive

This morning at 10 o'clock I went to No. 13, Rue Saint
Maur. The hearse was there. MM. Bouvier and Mourot
awaited me. I entered the salon. I kissed the coffin. Then
he was taken away. There was one carriage. These gentlemen
and I entered it. Arrived at the cemetery the coffin
was taken from the hearse. Six men carried it. MM.
Alexis Bouvier, Mourot and I followed, bareheaded. It
was raining in torrents. We walked behind the coffin.

At the end of a long alley of plane trees we found the
depository, a vault lighted only by the door. You descend
five or six steps to it. Several coffins were waiting there,
as Charles's will wait. The bearers entered with the coffin.
As I was about to follow, the keeper of the depository said
to me: "No one is allowed to go in." I understood, and
I respected this solitude of the dead. MM. Alexis Bouvier
and Mourot took me back to No. 13, Rue Saint Maur.

Alice was in a swoon. I gave her some vinegar to smell
and beat her hands. She came to, and said: "Charles,
where art thou?"

I am overcome with grief.

March 16.--At noon Victor arrived with Barbieux and
Louis Mie. We embraced in silence and wept. He handed
me a letter from Meurice and Vacquerie.

We decide that Charles shall be buried in the tomb of
my father in Père Lachaise, in the place that I had
reserved for myself. I write a letter to Meurice and
Vacquerie in which I announce that I shall leave with the
coffin tomorrow and that we shall arrive in Paris the
following day. Barbieux will leave to-night and take the
letter to them.

March 17.--We expect to leave Bordeaux with my
Charles at 6 o'clock this evening.

Victor and I, with Louis Mie, fetched Charles from the
Depository, and took him to the railway station.

March 18.--We left Bordeaux at 6.30 in the evening
and arrived in Paris at 10.30 this morning.

At the railway station we were received in a salon where
the newspapers, which had announced our arrival for noon,
were handed to me. We waited. Crowd; friends.

At noon we set out for Père Lachaise. I followed the
hearse bareheaded. Victor was beside me. All our friends
followed, the people too. As the procession passed there
were cries of: "Hats off!"

In the Place de la Bastille a spontaneous guard of honour
was formed about the hearse by National Guards, who
passed with arms reversed. All along the line of route to
the cemetery battalions of the National Guard were drawn
up. They presented arms and gave the salute to the flag.
Drums rolled and bugles sounded. The people waited till
I had passed, then shouted: "Long live the Republic!"

There were barricades everywhere, which compelled us
to make a long detour. Crowd at the cemetery. In the
crowd I recognised Rostan and Millière, who was pale and
greatly moved, and who saluted me. Between a couple
of tombs a big hand was stretched towards me and a voice
exclaimed: "I am Courbet." At the same time I saw an
energetical and cordial face which was smiling at me with
tear-dimmed eyes. I shook the hand warmly. It was the
first time that I had seen Courbet.

The coffin was taken from the hearse. Before it was
lowered into the vault I knelt and kissed it. The vault
was yawning. A stone had been raised. I gazed at the
tomb of my father which I had not seen since I was exiled.
The cippus has become blackened. The opening was too
narrow, and the stone had to be filed. This work occupied
half an hour. During that time I gazed at the tomb of
my father and the coffin of my son. At last they were
able to lower the coffin. Charles will be there with my
father, my mother, and my brother.

Mme. Meurice brought a bunch of white lilac which she
placed on Charles's coffin. Vacquerie delivered an oration
that was beautiful and grand. Louis Mie also bade Charles
an eloquent and touching farewell. Flowers were thrown
on the tomb. The crowd surrounded me. They grasped
my hands. How the people love me, and how I love them!
An ardent address of sympathy from the Belleville Club,
signed "Millière, president," and "Avril, secretary," was
handed to me.

We went home in a carriage with Meurice and Vacquerie. I
am broken with grief and weariness. Blessings on
thee, my Charles!

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