25 MARCH 1882, Page 3

There appears to be no reason to complain just now

of the restrictions on liberty of speech in France. On the celebration, last Saturday, of the anniversary of the outbreak of the Com- mune in 1871, Mademoiselle Louise Michel publicly addressed to her fellow-Communists, at one of the twenty-two banquets held in honour of the insurrection, prophecies of vengeance, which the Times' correspondent thus translates :—" We shall be merciless ; we shall not limit the number of victims; we shall cleave abysses ; we have been styled petroleurs ; we shall again 'be incendiaries, and we shall think nothing of burning down a city." It is impossible to be franker in announcing the inten- tion to commit crime on a large scale ; but while auguries of this kind are limited to an abstract prediction of crimes not yet plotted, and for the commission of which there are no specific means in existence, it is, we suspect, wise policy to let men vapour away, without punishing them, or attempting even to hinder them,—unless, indeed, there be good reason to know that these vaponrings lead to the actual commission of these or other crimes. In the present instance, Mademoiselle Louise Michers avowals are very much more likely to promote shame and ridi- cule, and secession from the Communistic cause, than any kind of present or future violence.