We hope to offer Péguy's oeuvre in various formats (e.g., html like this page, pdf, docx, ePub) in the original French as well translations in English. We are beginning with the early prose works because they are under-represented. The translations are swift and general so take them generally.
This selection comes from the first Cahiers de la Quinzaine.
The “Triumph of the Republic”
The Republic had triumphed on November 11 by the decision of the High Court: 157 judges against 91 had that day rejected the conclusions of the defense, presented and defended the day before by Mr. Devin, tending to have jurisdiction declared. Then the Republic had triumphed on Thursday, November 16 by the vote of the House: 317 deputies against 212 had voted the agenda, presented by the Left, "approving the republican acts of defense of the Government"; the words of republican defense had been proposed by Mr. Vaillant and several socialists, and accepted from them by the President of the Council. Finally, the Republic triumphed in the street by the procession of the Parisian people on Sunday, November 19, the great Sunday.
As the Catholic priests reconcile or purify by expiatory ceremonies churches polluted by bloodshed or by shameful crime, as they recently made a repair for the church Saint-Joseph, thus three hundred thousand republicans went in procession to reconcile the Place de la Nation.
La Petite République and Gérault-Richard had the initiative of this demonstration, as they had the initiative in more difficult times, with all public opinion to go to Longchamp. We will do this justice to the adversaries of the Republic to see that this time still they did everything they could to make the demonstration grand. Mr. Paulin Méry had large red posters stuck on the walls, emanating from a Socialist and Patriotic Action Committee, of which he was, of course, the general delegate. The office of the Municipal Council therefore had unofficial proclamations affixed. The Executive Committee of the Paris Agglomeration of the French Workers' Party had put up much more modest posters, a quarter or a half-quarter of a colombier, because officially the Guesdists have no money; these modest red posters, in the name of I no longer know how many Parisian groups, warned the reader that, the government and Mr. Bellan having banned the red flag, the true socialists and the true revolutionaries were thereby excluded from the demonstration. The Guesdists apparently gave themselves the glorious task of saving the red flag from the bribes of Mr. Waldeck-Rousseau. The Guesdists never put their flag in their pocket: rather ask Mr. Alexandre Zévaès about news of his election. The Guesdists did not much defend the red flag against the brutality of Mr. Dupuy nor against the underhanded ferocity of Mr. Méline. It was more difficult. Finally, they defended the Parisian population from going to celebrate the Triumph of the Republic, since this Republic of Dalou1 was not the Social Republic, but, note it, the capitalist. The Guesdists banned the demonstration. Immediately this Parisian population swelled like a beautiful river and by all routes headed for the Place de la Nation.
La Petite République had announced, in large, strong, well-placed italics, that its editorial staff and administration would leave at noon. The Thirteenth, as it is friendly called, that is to say the groups so powerful and so cordial in the thirteenth arrondissement, socialists and revolutionaries, the group Les Etudiants Collectivistes de Paris (not a member of the French Workers Party), the trade union organizations and the five cooperatives of the thirteenth, reinforced by the citizen Coulant and the demonstrators of his electoral district, were to meet at the place d'Italie from half past ten in the morning. All the thirteenth, as we said, reinforced with all Ivry, had to leave in good time, follow avenue des Gobelins, rue Plonge, rue Montmartre, and take la Petite République in passing.
Noon was striking when we arrived at the corner of rue Réaumur. Two or three hundred people were happily waiting in the bright sun on the sidewalks. Their very disposition invincibly reminiscent of the memory of the same disposition of the militants who had stood on the edge of the sidewalks a little empty on a serious day in the previous year. It was the day when the Chambers returned to school. In the second half of the day, we were waiting in the same place, equally disposed, a little less numerous, probably a little bit because we could fight seriously, but especially and a lot because it was during the week and that the workers were working, because it was not a holiday, because it was not making this wonderful sun, and because at that time the people did not yet know. The red wild roses then did not flower the buttonholes of the jackets, overcoats, and hoods, but with a discreet mark each mysteriously recognized its own.
The image of this day which had become so distant by the number and importance of the intervening events, of this day which had already become a stranger because the situation had turned around in the meantime, had every opportunity to frequent our memory, because the procession did not leave at noon. Obviously the staff service was quite badly organized. So we were quoting between friends and comrades. We were going to admire in the newspaper window a beautiful standard, a red flag, but with the flagpole in the middle, and these words embroidered in three transverse lines: La - Petite République - socialiste, and the two blue cartridges with golden inscriptions: Neither God nor master; Workers of all countries, unite. The wait continued. It was noted that the word country on the second frame was overloaded. We bought red wild roses at the newspaper office, at the store rather. These wild roses have been perfected since Longchamp. So they were given, now they are sold: a penny a copy, three francs a hundred, twenty-seven francs a thousand; now it is called double red wild rose. It is bigger, larger; it has indeed two rows of petals, one on the outside, larger and wide, one on the inside, smaller. Formerly. the simple petals were fixed under a small yellow ball, sometimes surmounted by two or three small yellow threads, which appeared, roughly and naively, the stamens and the pistil. Today, the central ball is larger and all red. In the past, most of them had a single buttonhole, like a brand. Today, because of the need of expansion, exuberance and flowering, we put whole bouquets in all brands. The wild rose is more red, all red, more symbolic, but it is a less wild rose, less flower. It is a pollen-free flower: which is better? We are wisely discussing this. Advocates of progress prefer the new wild rose; the horticulturalists - so we call the men who cultivate their garden - liked the little flower more.
Still waiting we saw several delegations pass by who were not late: a few men at a time, with or without badges, one of whom carried some banner, or proudly brandished one familiarly under his arm; some were walking in the middle of the road, and it was an amusing parade of four men, however serious; some went more civilly on the sidewalks. Already, on our way we had met, in the neighborhood of the Hôtel de Ville, several Freemasons, freely wearing their astonished insignia to take the air.
Still waiting we learned that Jaurès would not be there, detained in Ain and Jura by the care of propaganda. His absence was regretted, not only because his comrades liked him familiarly, but also because he really missed this party, which resembled him, enormously powerful and overflowing.
It was around half-past twelve when Gérault arrived, still cordial, and cheerful like the good weather. He had just left the thirteenth, which was late, and which returned directly by the Pont d'Austerlitz. In the thirteenth, it was said, there are at least ten thousand. - Let's go.
It was half past noon when the procession was formed. A few twenty-two-year-old soldiers, who had recently escaped from the barracks, sang the cal with a laugh: the flag! when we left the store the red standard. The idea that we were going to march in rows, in the middle of the street, awoke in many assistants pleasant military memories, because invincibly a crowd which marches in rows with tendency tends to become an army, as an army in the field tends to march like a crowd. And what is bad in military service is service, servitude, passive obedience, physical overwork, and not the long walks under the great road sun. We trained. Some of them commanded, laughing: Forward! The first row was made up of carriers from la Petite Républic. They had their braided cap, the inscription in silver letters. Three of them carried the standard and the two frames. When we have even socialized the socialist holidays, the activists will carry their flag themselves. I do not despair of seeing Jaurès carry a red flag with his powerful hands.
We left five hundred by rue Réaumur, but we were a quick reinforcement for l'Avenir de Plaisance, the powerful cooperative consumer society, with which we merged at the corner of rue Turbigo, and which had music, which increased the impression of a military march. Place de la République was already a celebration. Some Republican guards on horseback did no harm to law enforcement. Off the square, rows of banners glowed and shone. A huge and cheerful people. We went in a line up Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, I believe. There were so many people that we no longer recognized the streets, the wide avenues of these districts. We were near the statue of Sergeant Bobillot. A porter from la Petite Républic explains to his neighbor why he prefers a man like Bobillot to a man like Marchand. We are waiting there for a long time, inserted in the workers' groups in work suits. It's new. Close to us is the vast and changeable flutter of flour hats with wide brims.These are the forts of the covered market,2 2 non-stupid coltineurs, who park heavily, powerfully. We are directly under the protection of Lépine, who is there nearby, at Sergeant Bobillot, some say. Thanks to Lépine's protection, they continue laughing, we will parade prominently in the procession. All of this does not prevent that if one remakes the Commune one will shoot it all the same, an old communard universally known as a good man says close to me. I believe he is joking and want to continue the joke. What will we shoot them with? - With bullets, like the others, he replied seriously. I look him right in the eye, to see, because his word rings false on this holiday. He still has the same calm blue eyes and the same calm speech. These old communards are extraordinary. You never know if they are talking seriously or as a joke. They have cold mystifications with us like the old soldiers of the second Empire had with recruits. They are from the same generation. Like them, they went to war. And that must mark a man. Two men, leaning against the wall of an adjacent house, to rest from the long station, say gravely: It is all the same beauty, a party like that, it is all the same beauty. And they repeat deeply on a weary rhythm: It's beautiful. It's beautiful. It passes children, little boys and girls, delegations of schools or secular patronages. We make room for them with sincere and universal deference. Young cheers are pushed in their honor. They respond to it. They pass by, shouting with their childish voices, like men: Conspire Rochefort, conspire. This is a little lively, a little violent, a little bad.
But above all conversations, over all eyes, over all rumors, the songs of the people rose. From the beginning, and all of the journey, and during the station, and then throughout the procession, the people sang. I did not know the revolutionary songs, except the Carmagnole, whose refrain is so well made to please any good gunner, and that everyone sings. I only knew the immense and serious International by name. Now I know enough to accompany the chorus, purring like everyone else. But the purr of a people is formidable. Those who know the verses of the International are already specialists. So when we want to launch the International, as generally whoever wants to launch it does not know it, we always start by singing the refrain. Then the specialist wakes up and begins the first verse.
The revolutionary songs, sung in closed rooms, certainly have no less unpleasant words than comforting words. Singed in the street against the police and against the armed force, they must be singularly and feverishly, fiercely fiery. Sung for the first time in the street with the assent of a republican bourgeois government, they looked young and good-natured, in no way provocative. These burning songs became fresh. But more willingly than the traditional songs, more frequent still, the acclaimed and rhythmic reprobations traditional, half song, half verb and half drum, conspire and lively chanted the march of the people. We tirelessly rewrite the old rhythms, and, as we were in a day of expansion, we improvised new lyrics. If the enemies of M. le Marquis de Rochefort - I am assured that he has kept some - imagined that his popularity had diminished, they would be wrong. She only turned around. I do not think that the people of Paris have ever so meticulously shouted the name Rochefort. It was much more about a certain Boubou than a certain Barbapoux. The inexpiable war of rhyme and reason continued among these people on the march. The rhymes in on were particularly sought after, because, in a shortened form, they introduce the popular refrain ton ton ton taine ton ton. The rhymes in one had the advantage of being particularly numerous. But they had the disadvantage of not being at all suitable. As we were in the street, and as there were many women and children in the procession, and in the double hedge of the spectators, the people often chose those rhymes in one which were suitable. So the people sang that Rochefort is an old barbon, that the older he gets, the better he gets. The better comparison was thus neglected. These people had no anger or pity against Déroulède, whom they simply and frequently sent to Charenton. He even had no reservations, no false shame, nothing of that feeling which kept us against our will towards a prisoner and a condemned man from the previous day. We would have been embarrassed to refer to Déroulède's little conviction. The people, more bluntly, and perhaps more wisely, were not content to send Déroulède to Charenton. The clever ones imagined variants and launched them: Ah! Déroulède three months in prison; Ah! Déroulède is on the violin. A new spoken song began to spread, more voluntary, more precise, more formidable, invented on the spot: to the prisons, Mercier, to the prisons(au bagne, Mercier). The word prison, sung so with rage, resounds extraordinarily in the jaw and in the temples. A brave man, short and thin, with bad hearing, shouted fiercely: au bal Mercier(to the ball, Mercier). When he saw his mistake, he explained to me that, in his mind, he was giving the word ball that particular meaning that it is given to the regiment, where, by way of bitter joke, the punishment platoon is thus designated .
While the serious International, widely, immensely sung, spread out like a formidable flow, while the Mercier, to the prisons, punctuated angrily, chanted the very crowd and disconcerted them, the long, slow, indefinite procession took place at the along Boulevard Voltaire, with breaks and restarts. When we got to the middle, we couldn't see the beginning or the end. Above the procession a long, immense file of red flags, blue signs, triangular and varied insignia and ornaments, paraded forward and one turned to see it parade back. With us were our good comrades, the Democratic League of Schools, carried their blue signs with golden letters. You couldn't read the more distant signs that were lost in the distance. So I prefer to borrow from la Petite République the beautiful trade names of the workers who had promised their assistance to the demonstration. I read in la Petite République of the same morning, dated Monday, the following convocations, in line: Union of gargoyles; - Union of goats, sheep and morocco; - Union of stonemasons and stonemasons of the Seine department; —Professional union chamber of passement makers at the helm; - Federation of Boulogne-sur-Seine unions; - Union chamber of the united bodies of Lorient, Morbihan; - Maids' unions, liners, room girls, laundresses; - Union of nurses; - Union chamber of balance workers in the Seine department; - Union of workers of painters of letters and attributes. How beautiful these trade names are, how they have a meaning, a reality, a solidity, compared to the names of political groups, all more or less republican, socialist, revolutionary, friendly, independent, radical-socialist, in unions, in associations , and to circles, and to social studies circles, and to parties. Far be it from me to slander political groupings. They are for the most part much more active, hard-working, energetic, efficient than their names are specific. But all the same, how beautiful is a name which designates men and groups without challenge, without hesitation, through daily work. We know what it is, at least, as a blacksmith, or a carpenter. I would like to list them all because I do not know how to choose. I find in the same Petite République the gas workers, the cartwrights, the Culinary Federation of France and the colonies, the employees of workers' cooperatives, the Union of ceramic workers. accountants, construction workers, locksmiths, locksmiths, watchmakers on pendulums, wood turners, Imprimerie nouvelle, bench stretchers, sawyers, cutters, moulders mechanics, correctors, sculpture, feeder boys, garden workers in the Seine department, garden workers and similar parts of the City of Paris, bronze imitation. All the activity, all the work, all the food and all the ornamentation of Paris. I give up giving the names I see in la Petite République of the day before, dated Sunday. My list would be as long as the procession was.
Enveloping in their heavy folds or their deployments the placards, banners and red flags were parading. The police ordinance of February 1, 1894, is as follows in its first article:
Are prohibited, within the jurisdiction of the Police Prefecture, the exhibition and the carrying of flags, either on the public highway, or in the buildings, places and premises freely open to the public.
But fortunately it is thus conceived in its second article:
Flags in French or foreign national colors and those used as badges for authorized or approved companies are exempt from this measure.
This ordinance, promulgated in the days of anarchist terror, was liberally interpreted for the triumph of the Republic. It was enough that the flags had an inscription to pass. Thus flamboyant flags which would not have passed alone passed because they bore in black letters inscriptions like these: Vive la Commune! - Long live the Social Revolution! - 1871. The Honorable Mr. Alicot saw this as a transaction which would be a veritable hypocrisy. Undoubtedly if there had been a formal market between the government and the people, this market would have been, on both sides, only a hypocritical bargaining. But the government certainly did not mean his kindness. And the people paid little attention to this procedural detail only to have fun. It was not at all a question of selling the people's support to the government for shameful tolerance. The explosion of the party was superior and even rebellious to any calculation. No. It was simply gratifying that an order of the bourgeois police, made against the red flag as far as we know, thus presented a seal through which the commented red flag freely passed, now that the republican bourgeois recognized the value and use of republican socialism. It appealed to these kids from Paris who became the men of Paris who, in the vast majority, made up the procession. As the celebration enormously grew, the thought of the robust Jaurès returned among us. When we sang: Long live Jaurès! the crowd and the people of the spectators accompanied us with an immediate and warm sympathy. Jaurès has a loyal, natural and respectful popularity of admiration, esteem, solidarity. The workers love him as a simple and great worker of eloquence, thought, action. The acclamation in the name of Jaurès was almost on a level with the assistants' dispositions. Continuing in the same direction, several began to sing: Long live Zola! This cry had an immediate and powerful echo in the procession, composed of professionals long accustomed to rally around the protagonist name. But the crowd hesitated slightly. That is why we must keep Zola with consideration, a special friendship. This man must have plowed very deeply for the foul press to carry against him such an effort to slander that even on a day of glory the crowd, however benevolent, had as a reluctance to greet the name they had cursed during long months. This is an infallible mark. Undoubtedly wanting to push the experience to the depths, some began to sing: Long live Dreyfus! a cry which did not sound often even in the purely Dreyfusard demonstrations. It was extraordinary. Really the crowd received a sudden blow, had a start. She did not flinch, having reasoned that we were right, that this was it. Even she nodded, but it took an intermediate reasoning, a reasoned ratification. In the procession itself there was a slight hesitation. Even those who had launched this cry felt obscurely that they had launched as a challenge, as a provocation. Then we continued furiously, wanting to react, demonstrate, suddenly feeling like the acclamation in the name of Dreyfus, the public acclamation, violent, provocative was the biggest news of the day, the biggest revolution of this crisis, perhaps the biggest break, the biggest break-in of seals of this century. No cry, no song, no music was charged with revolt finally free like this lively Dreyfus! "Must this Dreyfus be powerful for having thus gathered in the same place and in the same embrace ..." said the Intransigent of the same day, under the signature of Mr. Henri Rochefort.3 Mr. Henri Rochefort was right. Captain Alfred Dreyfus has become, by the law of suffering, a singularly powerful man. Those who chased him knew what they were doing. They marked this man. They marked his person and his name with a physical mark, so to speak, in the consciousness of the crowd, to the point that his very supporters were a little surprised at themselves when they cheered his name. This is why we guard Mr. Dreyfus, in the family retreat where he is rebuilding, his own friendship, personal piety. We ourselves have a permanent duty of discreet reparation towards him. We ourselves have suffered the impression that the filthy press wanted to give of the one in whom we defended justice and the truth. Those who have done this have done well what they have done. But those who wanted it did not plan beyond what they wanted. They did not foresee the desperate resistance of a few, the loyalty of a family gradually widening until becoming the fidelity in pilgrimage of three hundred thousand Republicans. - The Vive Dreyfus lasts only a few minutes. We use it little, like a too concentrated cordial.
As we approach the Place de la Nation stations become more frequent, as when we approach, for a parade, a military rally. We parked patiently. It was the chosen hour when individual verve, in this collective celebration, was exercised more easily. Undoubtedly one could not put oneself at the window to watch oneself passing in the street, that being forbidden by the most recommended treatises on psychology. But we had fun leaving the procession to go, to the edge of the sidewalk, to see the comrades pass. This became a happy application of mutuality at people's parades. One thus measured with the glance all that one could seize from the inexhaustible procession. There was thus a reciprocal penetration of the procession and the crowd. Several marched, who had not come for this. Everyone approached to read while spelling the inscriptions of flags and placards. This feast day was a day of great popular teaching. There were gatherings around the most beautiful flags, around the beautiful singers. The choruses were sung, taken up in chorus by a growing crowd. A young and slender anarchist - that's how they are called, compromising a very beautiful name - who had made himself a head of the Italian Renaissance, tried to carve out a personal success by singing extraordinarily abominable words, where the name of God came back too often for an atheistic demonstration. He claimed that if you want to be happy, "hang your landlord." These threatening words in no way terrorized the little people on the sidewalk and the windows, the vast majority of whom were tenants. Thus already the petit bourgeois, throughout the course, had listened without any emotion, at least apparent, that all the bourgeois will be hanged. An excellent bourgeois fellow had even pushed benevolence at 214 boulevard to adorn his balcony with a crowd of little unknown flags. Discussions in the crowd and in the procession. What did these flags mean? these pavilions? Was it welcome in maritime language? A letter from this Mr. Pamard, addressed to Mr. Lucien Millevoye, and reproduced in la Petite République on Wednesday 29, tells us that “these little handkerchiefs ... were none other than the respected flags of all nations; and, in the midst of them, ours floated in good place ”. The letter from M. Pamard informs us that "the one who hung on his balcony these flags which usually float on his yacht is an old Republican. We didn't know that long when we paraded past this display. But the crowd was not mistaken. Obviously it was not a nationalist demonstration. Several people on this balcony, and in particular this old Republican, cheered the procession, applauded, saluted the red flag. Conversely, the people cheered this bourgeois, raised their hats. There was no question of hanging him: happy inconsistency! or rather happy and profound consequence! - How many bourgeois marched among the Freemasons and in the League for Human Rights!
I suspect all the people in the windows of having heard of all this only the immense hubbub from the moving street. The comrades treated the bizarre companion, the companion of the Italian Renaissance, with great good humor, like a terrible, capricious, negligible child. But the great success was for the good loustic, the inevitable loustic, older than the barracks and more durable than it. When the station became a real break, when we started to get impatient a little bit, the good loustic began to sing, instead of: Ah! Déroulède à Charenton, ton, taine, on the same tune, these ingenuous words: Allons vite à la place de la Nation, ton taine. Having ten syllables to cram instead of eight, he ran to catch up. This is very successful.
Alert. Startle. Scandal. A short cry along the column: Down with the fatherland! Great excitement, because such a cry is only uttered by an agent of provocation or by excessively pronounced internationalists. Suddenly we understand. And we laugh. Camelots harassed the demonstrators and the crowd, shouting: La Patrêe. The demonstrators responded by shouting: Down with the Fatherland, not with the fatherland. To dispel the misunderstanding, we began: Conspire Millevoye, but without insisting, saying: It is not worth it, or: it is too long.
As we approached this place, the order service, initially insignificant, became known. It had been agreed that there would be no police. In fact, the very sparse hedge, a simple staking in the middle of the boulevard, was made by Republican guards. But there were places in place reserves of agents massed on the sidewalks, black spots punctuating the mobility of the crowd. If these heavy-fisted men have subtle souls, the officers, non-commissioned officers, brigadiers and simple guards, police commissioners, peace officers, brigadiers and simple agents had to have fun each for his rank. In fact, many of these peacekeepers were laughing in their mustaches. Most were obstinate in looking elsewhere with military impassiveness. A few stood a bit like death row inmates, which was a bit of a pose, inaccurate, but understandable. What surprised them most was to see themselves there. We ourselves are so used to having the costumed men jump on our backs when we make certain acclamations that we remain stupid, uttering these acclamations, that they are not triggered. They who must have, since time and frequency, another habit than us, as they were surprised not to find themselves automatically carried on our shoulders! But they did not move, upright, hooded with passive obedience. Along the boulevard we considered them as we would look if a locomotive forgot to leave at the horn of the driver. They neglected to leave. The people were, moreover, a perfect correction. No doubt he had fun shouting while passing in front of them the cheers which formerly made them jump most perfectly out of their box, Vive la Commune! and Vive la Sociale. But from this immense and all-powerful crowd not a word left which was a particular attack on the adjacent police; not an allusion was made to cows or cops, and that in places where there were eighteen hundred demonstrators for a police man.
Not for a moment did the people fall short of this courteous calm. Some drunkards came to counter-demonstrate. "If we want," they said, "shout Vive Déroulède! we are free to do so. »-« Perfectly, sir, it is precisely for the freedom that we manifest. At a window on the right a Catholic priest gesticulates, shouts, applauds, mocks. We shout down the cap! which is good, and Flamidien! Flamidien! which is painful and a little violent. We hardly cry: Down with the priests! The same cries are uttered at the Saint-Ambroise church, on the left, which rings its bells. At a window to the left, a re-engaged sub-off, with a woman of the army's honor. Not an insult leaves the crowd: down with the war councils! at the Mercier prison! A captain is at his window, on the left, with his wife and a little boy: Au bagne Mercier! Long live Picquart! A Mr. Mercier makes cars of all kinds on the left, at the end of Boulevard Voltaire. His house is the signal for redoubling of amusing fury. He knows perfectly well that it is not him that we want to send to the prison.
However slowly we go to the Place de la Nation, however distant this place is, all the same we end up getting there. For a long time the Carmagnole had almost ceased, abandoned a little by the demonstrators, a little less respected, more provocative, less durable, a little neglected. The International, very broad and vast, reigned and spread without question. The slowdown in the march had gradually mixed us with the group following us. This group had a huge fluttering and fluttering red flag. It read in black letters: Committee of Saint-Denis, and, I believe. Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party. A citizen no less immense tirelessly held this raised flag, waved at arm's length, and tirelessly sang the song of the Red Flag. The comrades grouped around the flag accompanied in chorus, in full voice, the refrain. That for hours. This admirable song was very successful, because it was slow and broad, like a hymn, like a hymn and, frankly, like the International. It was an admirable spectacle that the march, that the procession of this man with his indefatigable arm and voice, strong and lasting as he was, strong as a pole, continuous as a great wind. And what made the show perfect was that the man and his comrades were singing a meaningful song. The red flag they sang was not only the symbol of the social revolution, red with the blood of the worker, it was also their superb red flag, carried at arm's length, at the end of his arm, present, really superb and flamboyant.
Suddenly the dams, the hedges tighten. We separate the procession from the crowd. Platoons of Republican guards ^ pied à terre Fire companies, delicate attention. Here we are. It is agreed that when passing in front of Loubet, Mercier will be shouted at him in the prison, Mercier, to tell him that the people do not want amnesty. Here we are. No more soldiers, but only peaceful guards in blue or green clothes, guardians of squares and gardens. Suddenly a great cry rises fifty paces before us: Long live the Republic! Our predecessors forgot Mercier. We ourselves are seized before the Republic of Dalou and we cry like them: Long live the Republic. It was not long live the amorphous and official Republic, but long live the living Republic, long live the triumphant Republic, long live the perfect Republic, long live the Social Republic, long live this Republic of Dalou which rose clear and golden in the clear blue sky, lit of the falling sun. It was at least four o'clock. All this in a single cry, in a single word: Long live the Republic, spontaneously sprung up at the appearance of the monument, a condensed cry in which the article recovered its demonstrative value. So when the monument rose for us, clear and alone over the clear water of the basin, we did not see the details of this monument, we did not see the details of the square. We have not seen the two ancient columns of the Throne, so liberally attributed by journalists to Charlemagne, Philippe-Auguste, and Saint-Louis. We have seen the triumph of the Republic and we have not seen the means, the craftsmen of this triumph, the two harnessed lions, the blacksmith, Madame Justice and the little children. The triumphant Republic, lifted on its ball, isolated itself very well from its servants and from its servants. We acclaimed it, we saw it alone and high, and we took the accelerated step, because the river of people had to flow. When we want to look at the Dalou monument at leisure, we will return to some Place de la Nation, and we will carry in our pockets the number of the Movement in which Deshairs’s article is published.
There are very few citizens who did not give a memory, a quick thought to Déroulède, who had come to seek two regiments so far from the Elysée and so close to evening soup.
Quickly we pulled ourselves together to pass in front of the official gallery, on the left. We had, along the procession, shouted somewhat: Vive Loubet. We train, we blind, we get hoarse to the prison, Mercier, hats in the air, hands high, canes high. We walk carried, without looking at the road. We turn around the basin. We're kidnapped. We arrive. We are looking for Loubet, for who we shouted so much. He is not there. Really, on reflection, it would have been crazy for him to stay there for everything we had to say to him. From the rostrum we respond to our Vive la Sociale! Lots of scarves to the people in the gallery. These citizens are no less ardent. A last look at the countless people who follow and who revolves around this basin. It's finish. Someone around the corner said to me, "It was violent here in the beginning, the police removed a black flag.” This incident goes unnoticed in the perpetual movement of the people.
I will never forget what was most beautiful of the day: the descent of the Faubourg Antoine. Evening was falling, night was falling. As ignorant as we are of the history of past revolutions, which are the beginning of the next Social Revolution, we all know the glory of legend and history of the old suburb. We were walking on the cobblestones in this glory. With wise slowness the porters of la Petite République walked ahead of this new procession. The people of the suburb approached, spelled, read the Socialist - Little - Republic; Neither - God - nor - master, applauded, cheered, followed. Nothing more distinguished the procession and the spectators. The people descended into the crowd and fed on it. The old Marseillaise, recently disqualified from the revolutionary socialists by the favor of the nationalist bandits, was re-filmed. The whole suburb descended into the night, in a formidable push without hatred.
The dislocation took place for us Place de la Bastille. Those on the left bank went off on Boulevard Henri IV. Grouped in large bouquets in the night light, the red flags returned to their quarters and their houses in company. The balls were starting soon.
With the tiredness of the day, worries and scruples came to me. I know very well that there are no more lanterns, I know very well that the bourgeois have had workers build gas burners which are no longer lanterns, without the old ropes and without the old gallows. Several of the refrains of the day did not keep pace for me less in the head, even when violent and ugly. Will it be said that this Revolution of social love and solidarity will be made with these old words of violence, hatred, and ugliness. It may be. We may have perfected the Social Revolution before an architect of genius gave us the house of the new people, before a poet of genius gave us the poem or the song of the new revolution, of the new city . It will not be the first time that this will be the case, that the flow of universal life has outstripped the maturation of individual art. In the meantime, Pottier’s International is and remains one of the most beautiful revolutionary hymns that a people has ever sung. Let's gather around the International.
Incidents of the day continued to sadden me when in the evening, on the train, I opened a small brochure with which I had stuffed my pockets, to distribute it, as it should be. It was Le Pic's little brochure, entitled: Pour la République! (monthly political review, number 1, November 1899), where he undertook la Petit Journal on his infamy in Panama and on his atrocities in Armenia. This is the real propaganda brochure. The author does not start by assuming that his reader knows as well as he does what he wants to say to him. It does not assume that the reader knows. He does not proceed by allusions. He proceeds by narration. He announces the narration: I will tell you a story that happened. He announces: "What crimes the infamous Petit Journal is capable of, I will show by a unique but decisive4 proof, by the statement of the sums which it touched to make fall the money of its unhappy readers in the big swindle of Panama. "Further on, he announces:" Do you think that by throwing these thousands of humble people to ruin to earn his commission of 630,000 francs, he has reached the limit of crime and infamy? Well ! he found a way to be more criminal and more infamous!
"Listen and remember this story:"
Then follows the story of Mr. Marinoni and the Sultan.
The author proceeds as one should. A well-made brochure looks like a grandfather’s story told at a campfire:
There was once, in the land of the Infidels, a wicked king who massacred, in the most appalling torments, three hundred taunts of his Christian subjects. - The grandfather does not insist on torture, to spare the imagination of the little ones.
— Why then did the Pope not help them, grandfather?
— I don't know, my child.
— And the king of France, why then was he not there?
— Because there is no king of France.
— And the French who are not kings?
— Because the bad king had given money to la Petit Journal to make the French believe that it was the Christians who had revolted.
— Is it the same la Petit Journal that we buy in the village from the grocer?
— Yes boy.
— Ah true!
The brochure of Le Pic invites this imagination.
I read this well-made brochure with passion. And when I saw again what slynesses, what savagery, what atrocities, what barbarities against which this revolutionary people had led this triumph of the Republic in Paris, this unforgettable manifestation seemed to me all healthy and all good, and my scruples of detail only seemed vain to me.
- On Dalou, his work, and in particular the Triumph of the Republic, I refer to the excellent article, if hungry, by citizen Deshairs, published in the Movement of October 1. ↩︎
- Or rather the flour markets. ↩︎
- Quoted on the Morning of Sunday. It is better not to read the Intransigent in the text. ↩︎
- This does not prevent him from giving a second proof, just as in well-made stories. ↩︎