FRENCH PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE.
Many private letters frciin Paris have reached us this week. Much of their contents is the minute confirmation, on testimony the value of which we kA0V7 petsonally, of the general narratives given to the public by the stated correspondents of the daily journals; but some of them assert new facts, or tell facts vaguely known in a more striking way. We present extract./ freni the interesting mass. - First,-some authentic details illustrating the conduct of the troops. "On Thursday., December 4th, a column, commanded by General Cauro- bert, advanced along the Boulevards. As it passed along from the line Laffitte to the Gate of St. Denis, some musket-shots, but very few, were fired from some of the houses. Those shots became the signal for a general mas- sacre. The troops fired upon everybody ; a great number of persons were killed. Two persons were killed in the Cercle du Commerce, Rue Lepelle- tier. An officer and some soldiers rushed into this Cercle—the officer him- self being visibly drunk. They wanted to search every one. General La- fontaine exerted himself generously, and at last with success, to deter them. But when the officer gave ;order, to retired .9ne.qf the soldiers was heard to say, 'Don't mind the captain—lie is- drunk? Andther soldier said, We are to go away, then, without killing anybody ? '
"While passing opposite to the Rue Vivienne, the soldiers fired several times on the passers-by ; who were for the most part persons belonging to the Bourse, coming from their business. These unhappy men took refuge, as well as they could, behind doorways : whenever they showed themselves, and tried to get away, the soldiers fired upon them again.
"Two young men,. between twenty and twenty-five years of age, had been to visit a female.friend; from whom the following statement is derived. After quitting her house, they reached the Boulevard at the moment when the soldiers were about to fire. Their first impulse was to rush towards the bell of a neighbouring house-door ; but as five other persons followed their example, the porter refused to open the door. All the seven threw them- selves on the ground : the younger of these two men lay under his elder bro- ther. The soldiers fired ; and out of these seven persona, two only arose from the ground ; one of these was the younger of the two brothers—the other, a woman. The elder brother, wounded by a ball, and having one of flit; arteries torn, lay bleeding and in agony.. His younger brother threw him- self on the body, and clasped it in a distraction of sorrow. When the sol- diers came up, in their onward march, he implored them to leave him near msddying brother. But they drove him away with the butt-ends of their eta, saying, 'Get sway with you! don't you see that he has not two minutes to live ?
"Thirty-one dead bodies were seen in the Cite Bergere. Of these there was only one in a blouse. " It is certain that the soldiers fired into many houses from whence no shots had issued. As they marched forth from the Place de Carrousel, sere- ral officers exclaimed aloud, Carte-blanche !'
" As the soldiers passed by the Rue Richelieu, a young man standing there cried Vive la Republique!' An officer, in marching by, fired his pistol at him, quite close, but missed him. The officer then seized his sword and made a cut at him ; but as he had marched forward a step or two, the sword fell upon another person, and grievously wounded him.
" In the Rue Grange aux Belles, the residents heard during all the night scattered shots going. On the next morning, the sergeant of the post boasted to a fruitwoman near, that they had killed during the night thirty- two persons going back to their homes.
" Severe penalties have been pronounced against all soldiers seen con- versing with citizens."
The following statement respecting the slaughter on the Boulevard Montmartre—most interesting from the individuality of its main story— is given in a letter by a British officer to his brother in London, which has been placed at our disposal.
" Paris, 6th December.—I sit down to give you some account of myself, lest you should think I have got into the way of a stray bullet. You will, of course, see a good deal about the late emeute in the London papers, but I suspect there will not be much of the truth in them; one must be in Paris to realize the state of this unfortunate city. Of course the military were com- pletely successful ; it could not have been otherwise against a half-armed and half-organized people. But a more cruel, barbarous, and inhuman slaughter, I suppose was never committed. I do not allude to the taking of the barricades, but to the massacre on the boulevards, of which there is no mention in the Parisian papers. I had a fortunate escape myself. At about three o'clock I was in the Boulevard des Italiens, and saw an immense force, I should think between ten and fifteen thousand men, passing up the boulevards. I accompanied them as far as the Rue Vivienne, to see if I could find my. American friend A., whom I think I mentioned in my last letter. I did not know at the time that the troops were ad- vancing te attack a barricade at the Port St. Denis. Not being able to find my friend, I returned up the Rue Vivienne, intending to go again on the boulevards. When I got to the top of the street, I found a cordon of soldiers across it, who would not allow any one to come within fifty yards of them. Just about this time, (half-past three o'clock,) the firing recom- menced in the Boulevards Montmartre and Poissonniere ; and the sentries at the top of the Rue Vivienne fired deliberately down the street at us. The rush was tremendous ; but I got clear round a corner, and departed for my hotel as soon as possible. I went out again afterwards, and went to the bottom of the boulevards near the Rue du Helder, to watch the firing. The regiments of the line fired at the windows of the boulevards for several hours, but I saw no fire returned from the windows. I then went home to dinner. A. had not arrived ; and we were hoping that nothing had happened to him, when a woman rushed in, pale and trembling, and asked for me. She had brought poor A.'s card : he was lying wounded in a porter's lodge in the Boulevard Montmartre. Of course I started immediately for the spot. I had much difficulty in getting there, as the streets were all occupied by soldiers • but the officers were generally civil. When I got to the place, the boulevard was a ghastly sight. There were no wounded, but the dead were lying in dozens, most of them just as they fell ; and the pavements were slippery with blood. They were almost all bourgeois, and not ouvriers. Two or three women were arranging some of the corpses, and placing candles at their heads that their friends might recognize them. The soldiers were standing at ease in the centre of the street, very quiet, but perfectly unconcerned; there was not a living man to be seen except them. I found poor A. in good spirits, but badly wounded. He described the whole thing as a wanton massacre. He was walking along the boulevards in the same direction as the troops, and when he heard the firing commence at the Porte St. Denis, he turned back, think- ing it was no place for him. Almost at that instant, the whole of the troops in the Boulevards Montmartre and Poissonniere fired at the windows, and at the people walking in the streets, who were without anus and making no resistance. There were crowds of people at the windows ; but few were hurt, as they had time to throw themselves back when they saw the muskets go up. But for the promenaders in the street there was no escape. The first bullet struck A. on the left hand, knocking off the forefinger ; he then went down on one knee, and held upthe other hand, hoping they would spare him. Another bullet struck him in the centre of the left shin, smashing the larger hOne ; and a dead man fell heavily across him. As he lay on the ground, be saw one or two officers endeavouring to make the men lire at the windows ; but some continued to fire at those on the ground. He managed to crawl into a porter's lodge where the gate was open, and the women assisted him. He described it as a perfect storm of balls. Another bullet struck so close to him on the wall, that it spattered and cut his face like small shot. As he lay in the lodge, the women had to leave him, and get to a safer place, as the bullets were coming in there. The firing was kept up almost without ceasing for two or three hours, although there was no resistance whatever. I never saw such wanton destruction ; the fronts of the houses were per- fectly riddled with shot. I went out to endeavour to get assistance; but the officers resolutely, though politely, declined to afford any. I asked one cap- tain, in the name of common humanity, to let me have three men to carry A. He said, ' Look round you, my dear sir; do you think we have got humanity enough for all these ? ' 1 said, They are dead, and do not want it' : but he shrugged his shoulders, and said, Taut mieux.' I think if I had had sufficient command of language I should have lost my temper. I at length got an ambulance and three workmen, and we carried him down to the Rue St. Honore on our shoulders. He suffered dreadfully ; and you can imagine what a horrible job it is to carry a badly wounded man up a French staircase. It was nearly ten o'clock before we got him home. I then had to go out again as far as the Rue Montmartre, in order to get surgeons, bandages, &c. I was often challenged, but got all I wanted without being
fired at.' . . . . " It is useless to read the Parisian papers, as they are a mass of lies. There are only three or four that are not suppressed. The wretched people are harassed in every possible way. The most arbitrary edicts appear every- where on the walls. I am told on good authority that forty-five were shot yesterday on the Champ de Mars. It is not possible that this state of things can last ; you cannot keep cannon and lancers in the street for ever. I have not been in the Boulevards today ; yesterday they were one immense camp. It is not known how many people were killed on Thursday, and the papers treat the subject very lightly. One of the surgeons told me that there could not have been less than five hundred. The soldiers on the Boulevard Mont- martre told me there were sixty people killed there. It is cruel and bar- barous tyranny ; and I think if it were not on A.'s account, I should leave this place, as the sight of all this brutality is painful to me. I hope the English papers will get the true view of the case soon. I have not seen any that know anything about the popular feeling. If I were led by the arguments of those immediately about me, I should be a Napoleonist ; but I cannot help feeling that the mass of all classes are furious and indignant."
The letter of one friend, who wrote on the 5th instant, would, if it had reached us as it ought on Saturday last, have anticipated many of the interesting details in the communication which has since attracted such attention in the columns of the Times, and is mostly reproduced in our regular foreign news. This friend's letter satisfies us that the record in the Times has the unimpassioned accuracy of an historical state-paper ; and that its writer has used no dramatic exaggeration for the ate- a ef- fect or to engage sympathy.
" The two hundred and thirty members of the Assembly, arrested at the Mairie of the Tenth Arrondissement, who may be fairly considered as the elite of the French nation, as well for high and irreproachable private character as for capacity and public renown," and who included no fewer than nine ex-Ministers of Louis Napoleon, were compelled to pass the night in the bar- racks of the Quai d'Orsay, "sleeping in their clothes on the floor," and " without fire" ; they were conveyed thence to the fortress of Vincennes " in prison-vans such as are employed for felons and criminals, each in a box or cell apart from the rest" ; and though some of them had wives on the eve of childbirth, it is true that not one was allowed the liberty, at first, to go home, or for some hours afterwards to send home, with any message of re- assurance to their bewildered families. It is true also that much sympathy with the captive Assembly was manifested by the people of Paris; and that " the idea of a plot on the part of the Assembly against the person of Louis Napoleon" was, and still is, "scouted everywhere." "Paris is subjugated, but not calm. The press is so stifled that you in England will hear of no- thing but acquiescence and acceptance of the new regime by the country." " The Prefects are instructed to remove each and every recalcitrant officer in their various departments." Lastly—most ominous rumour—" it is strong- ly affirmed that blank orders of arrest, in other words, lance do cachet, are distributed to the authorities, to be used at discretion against suspected par- ties." Another friend in London, feeling that no real French opinion has reached England, has sent us a translation of the letter of a schoolfellow, a Frenchman of the highest honour, of great moderation of character, who has hitherto kept wholly aloof from politics. We can only make room for a few passages.
"Paris, 9th Derember.—We have indeed fallen very low ; and if one could yet doubt the harm which Louis Philippe has done to France, I would wish for no other proof than the official servility which we have been wit- nessing for the last eight days. Not a General could understand that he was a citizen before being a soldier." . . . " Whatever the Constitutionnel may say, the High Court of Justice did meet, at once, on the news of the coup d'etat ; and gave judgment unanimously. 'I have this from a son of one of the members of the Court. The requisitoire was being drawn up t• Bourges was named as the place where it was to sit ; but the sentence had to be ex- ecuted. M. Renouard, who was drawing up the requisitoire' had some com- munication on the subject with one of the Generals—but unsuccessfully. Had it been otherwise, the slightest hesitation, the slightest emotion in the army, would have carried everything with it the first day. Nothing was sadder than the bearing of the troops on the 2d of December ; but on the morrow, the praetorian liberalities of the bivouac—beside which the Satory collations were mere child's play—had exasperated them. They are the conquerors now ; and they repeat to each other other, that it is our time to be treated as the conquered. "Nothing now remains but to bend the head beneath the phantom of legality which Napoleon puts forward for his reelection, and to carry on the
struggle by one's vote Reelected he will be; but I would wager that he does not get his six millions of votes My own belief is that he will fall of himself, in some legal struggle ; for I greatly doubt the oc- currence of more fighting. Indeed, before the election this would but in- crease his chance of success. It seems to me that administration difficulties will be rising up for him at every step, and that at these alone will he stum- ble Patience now, and union.'