The poor soldiers and the Mobiles, who do all the real fighting, will experience the eternal truth of Virgil's Sic vos non vobis. But there is no use being angry at what will happen in one hundred years, for what does it signify to any who are now alive either in Paris or out of Paris? December 5th.
The coffin of the lieutenant was carried on the shoulders of four Franc-tireurs and deposited on a bier near the altar. The soldiers then retired and joined their comrades. Every gun was polished and every bayonet shone as the Franc-tireurs and about four hundred of the mobiles and regulars marched with military precision into the cathedral.
It is considered that very possibly the Prussians may have concentrated their whole available force round Paris, in order to crush our grand sortie when it takes place. General Trochu himself takes the most despondent view of the situation, and bitterly complains of the "spirit" of the army, the Mobiles, and the Parisians.
She described how, at the sight of his violet robes, and the white cross on his breast, the brave boy gardes mobiles came crowding round him, all black with powder, begging for his blessing, some reminding him that he had confirmed them, while others cried, 'Your blessing on our muskets, and we shall be invincible, while some of the women asked him to carry the bandages and lint which they wished to send to the wounded.
It appears to me, as Sir Robert Peel would have said, that he has only three courses to pursue: first, to do nothing, and to capitulate as soon as he is starved out; this would, I reckon, bring the siege to an end in about two months: secondly, to fight a battle with all his disposable forces, which might be prolonged for several days, and thus risk all upon one great venture: thirdly, to cut his way out of Paris with the line and the Mobiles.
He was by the side of Ducrot when the general's horse was killed under him. The events of the past week prove that General Trochu's sole available force for resisting the enemy consists of the Line and the Mobiles. As for the population of Paris, they are more than useless.
Every café was closed. It appears that at about nine o'clock the Café Riche was full of Gardes Mobiles, officers, and lorettes. They made so much noise that the public outside became indignant, and insisted on their giving up their orgie. The National Guard joined in this protest, and an order was sent at once to close every café.
Two weeks after, it surrendered. The Mobiles and National Guards, being Alsatians, were sent to their homes; the remaining five thousand men, who were regular soldiers, were marched as prisoners of war into Germany. Hardly a house in Strasburg remained untouched by shells. The ordinary provisions were exhausted.
Mobiles and Nationaux who apply formâ pauperis receive one franc and a half per diem. Now, at present prices, it is materially impossible for a single man to buy sufficient food to stave off hunger for this sum, how then those who depend upon it for their sustenance, and have wives and families to support out of it, are able to live, it is difficult to understand.
The news of the destruction of the bridge across the Vesouze had preceded them; and when, after three days' heavy marching, they reached the village which formed the headquarters of the general, they were received with loud cheers by the crowds of Mobiles who thronged its little streets.