§694 The Tuileries burnt (1870-1871): IV-100.

IV-100 (§694):

The celestial fire upon the Royal building,
When the light of Mars shall weaken:
Seven months a great war, harmful people dead,
Rouen, Evreux shall not escape the King.

(De feu celeste au Royal edifice,
Quant la lumiere de Mars deffaillira:
Sept moys grand guerre, mort gent de malefice,
Rouen, Evreux au Roy ne faillira.)

NOTES: Here is a good solution by Vignois (1910, p.327): « The fire of arson, scourge of God, destroyed the imperial palace of the Tuileries when Napoleon III had fallen from his throne. After the seven months’ great foreign war, the partisans of the Commune were put to death. During this interval, Rouen and Evreux could not escape the occupation by the King of Prussia.»

The celestial fire: = the fire of heaven (§692,V-100) = the insurrection of the Paris Commune. In particular, it is the fire of arsonists of the Commune: « The victorious troops immediately erected several batteries in Montmartre, one with eight naval guns of large calibre. These and other guns opened a heavy fire during the night between the 23rd and 24th of May on the Quartier du Temple and the Hôtel de Ville. During this night the Tuileries burst out in flames, and the Palais Royal, the Theatre Lyrique, and the Chatelet, the Palais de Justice, the Prefecture of Police, and other public buildings shared the same fate… With respect to the origin of these fires, we do not propose in these pages to discuss the question of the degree of guilt incurred by the Commune, or by individual members of that body; but we are compelled to add that we have sought through M. Vésinier's book in vain for the proofs of their innocence. On the other hand, documents are cited by the author of the Guerre des Communeux de Paris, which, if they are not forgeries, can only be read in one sense. The following is said to have emanated from the Committee of Public Safety on the 24th:—

" The Citizen Millière, at the head of 150 fuséens, will fire the suspected houses and the public monuments on the left bank.

"The Citizen Dereure, with 100 fuséens, is charged with the first and second arrondissements.

" The Citizen Billioray, with 100 men, is charged with the ninth, tenth, and twentieth arrondissements.

" The Citizen Vésinier, with 50 men, is charged especially with the Boulevards of the Madeleine and the Bastille.

" These chiefs must come to an understanding with the chiefs of the barricades, to assure the execution of these orders."

The signatures affixed to this document purport to be those of Delescluze, Régere, Ranvier, Johannard, Vésinier, Brunel, and Dombrowski. If this paper is a forgery, the doubt is answered, and the same remark applies to the following: —

" Ministry of War — Minister's Office.

" To Citizen Lucas. — Set fire immediately to the Ministry of Finance, and rejoin us.

(Signed) " Th. Ferre."

Then we have the testimony of the Abbé Lamazou that a proclamation was issued by Dombrowski, in which he laid down as the programme of defence:

" After the ramparts, the barricades; after the barricades, the houses; after the houses, fire and mines to burn and blow up all."

The authenticity of these and similar documents has to be proved before they can be accepted as conclusive evidence; but in the meantime collateral circumstances must be allowed their due weight. The authority for the above documents — an officer of the Versailles army — is pledged to the substantial truth of the circumstances he records, and he states as a fact that an army of 8,000 incendiaries was actually organized to burn Paris, and that this army, which had enrolled in its ranks a number of horrible old women of shameless lives, had its hierarchy and its instructions: " Each squad of pétroleurs or pétroleuses had a quarter designated for the theatre of its operations. The orders to burn the public edifices bore the stamp of the Commune, that of the Central Committee, and the seal of the Civil Delegate of War. With respect to private houses, they had judged it more convenient to use an adhesive stamp. There were found gummed to certain houses, tickets about the size of postage stamps, some square, some oval, having in their centre the head of a bacchante, and impressed with the letters B. P. B. (bon pour brûler [nice to burn]). The chiefs of the incendiaries fastened these tickets on the houses condemned to be burnt. Ten francs was the price paid to the pétroleurs for each house they fired successfully."» (Rich, II, p.628-629).

Mars: = Mars (§649, VIII-85) = Napoleon III as « the Man on Horseback » (Guerard, 1955, p. 201).

Seven months a great war: Since the French declaration of war on July 19th in 1870 upon Prussia till the capitulation of France on February 26th in 1871 (Jouette).

Harmful people dead: « History has rarely known a more unpatriotic crime than that of the insurrection of the commune; but the punishment inflicted on the insurgents by the Versailles troops was so ruthless that it seemed to be a counter-manifestation of French hatred for Frenchmen in civil disturbance rather than a judicial penalty applied to a heinous offence. The number of Parisians killed by French soldiers in the last week of May, 1871, was probably twenty thousand, though the partisans of the commune declared that thirty-six thousand men and women were shot in the streets or after summary court-martial» (HH, XIII, p.185-186).

Rouen, Evreux shall not escape the King: « The army of General Chanzy, which we left in position on the Mayenne, with its centre at Laval, now claims our attention. We have recorded how Chanzy stood at bay at every stage of his retreat from Orleans; and while he kept the enemy in his front, never for a moment forgot that his objective was Paris. The last stage of his retreat was indeed effected in accordance with orders from the Minister of War, and contrary to Chanzy's better judgment. Yet even in these circumstances he made the best of the situation, and took up a strong defensive position with a broad and deep river in his front, and with the alternative of a retreat northward to Carentan in the event of further defeat; or otherwise, an advance in a north-easterly direction over the line of the Eure above Dreux. The position in which he thus stood on guard on the morning of the I7tn of January, when Bourbaki made his last endeavour at Héricourt, extended some sixteen miles along the river from Laval to Mayenne, and a still greater distance south and north of the ground on which his chief strength was concentrated. The 1st and 3rd divisions of the 16th corps stood in front of Laval, on the left bank of the river. Other dispositions were made to meet the attacks which threatened various points of the line, and on the 18th of January a slight action occurred between the advanced guards of the two armies at Sainte-Mélaine. Still nothing important enough to affect the relative situation of the two armies had taken place until the 22nd of January, when Chanzy reported to the Minister of War certain movements of the enemy in front of his position, of which he could not quite understand the object. Alençon had been evacuated, and the corps which had moved up to positions within sight of Laval had withdrawn in an easterly direction, while other divisions on the right bank of the Loire were inactive. What might all this portend ? Chanzy surmised that something had occurred within the lines of investment around Paris, and the reader has the advantage of knowing that the event in question was the great sortie against Buzenval, the disturbing influence of which had reached thus far. Chanzy sent out reconnaissances to watch the enemy's movements, and began gradually to strengthen his left, hoping that he might yet seize an opportunity to resume the offensive by marching in the direction of the Seine. Every precaution against this had, however, been taken by the enemy; for while Prince Frederick Charles menaced Chanzy's front, two columns were sent in a northerly direction under the command of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, with orders to disperse the Francs-tireurs in the department of the Eure [Evreux], and prevent the Armies of the North and West from establishing communications. There was, in consequence, some fighting at Orbec and Bernay (January 21st and 22nd), and everywhere as the Duke advanced the retreating French were driven right and left in a panic. On the 26th the two columns arrived at Rouen [Rouen], and effected a junction with the forces of Goeben, fresh from the action of St. Quentin [ Rouen, Evreux shall not escape the King]. Chanzy in the meanwhile prepared for the opportunity that the chances of war might after all possibly afford him by organizing an independent force for the defence of Brittany and the Loire-Inférieure, and he was engaged in the reconstitution of the various corps, with this object in view, when intelligence of the armistice reached him in the afternoon of Jan. 29th. This was a blow which the gallant commander of the Second Army of the Loire had not anticipated. It is true that Faidherbe in the north was for the moment defeated, and the army of Bourbaki was hopelessly disorganised; but, on the other hand, the Second Army of the Loire counted 140 thousand combatants, and during the last ten days had been preparing for a fresh effort against the enemy. The capitulation of Paris had suddenly left this intended effort without an objective, and instead of a march on Paris from his strong position at Laval, it was the fate of Chanzy to fall back, and place a respectful distance between himself and his enemy in terms of the armistice. The positions to which he retired were in front of Poitiers, (where Chanzy now established his head-quarters,) south of the Loire, and west of its tributary, the Creuse. The military arrangements imposed on the Government were all to the advantage of the Germans in case the National Assembly about to be convened should declare for the continuance of the war. If the resumption of the struggle was not rendered impossible, it was at least reduced to an act of despair, as the line of demarcation agreed upon left it in the power of the enemy to advance by either bank of the Loire, and pour his forces over the whole south of France. Nantes and Bordeaux were both placed at his mercy. The history of the Second Army of the Loire is terminated when we add that it furnished twenty-one regiments of infantry, three battalions of chasseurs, nine regiments of cavalry, and fourteen batteries to the Army of Versailles, which crushed the Commune of Paris.» (Rich, II, p.535-537).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2014. All rights reserved.



Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

Latest journals