September 6, 1847.
Last night I dreamed this--we had been talking all the evening about riots, a propos of the troubles in the Rue Saint Honor»:
I entered an obscure passage way. Men passed and elbowed me in the shadow. I issued from the passage. I was in a large square, which was longer than it was wide, and surrounded by a sort of vast wall, or high edifice that resembled a wall, which enclosed it on all four sides. There were neither doors nor windows in this wall; just a few holes here and there. At certain spots it appeared to have been riddled with shot; at others it was cracked and hanging over as though it had been shaken by an earthquake. It had the bare, crumbling and desolate aspect of places in Oriental cities.
No one was in sight. Day was breaking. The stone was grey, the sky also. At the extremity of the place I perceived four obscure objects that looked liked cannon levelled ready for firing.
A great crowd of ragged men and children rushed by me with gestures of terror.
"Save us!" cried one of them. "The grape shot is coming!"
"Where are we?" I asked. "What is this place?"'
"What! do you not belong to Paris?" responded the man. "This is the Palais-Royal."
I gazed about me and, in effect, recognised in this frightful, devastated square in ruins a sort of spectre of the Palais-Royal.
The fleeing men had vanished, I knew not whither.
I also would have fled. I could not. In the twilight I saw a light moving about the cannon.
The square was deserted. I could hear cries of: "Run! they are going to shoot!" but I could not see those who uttered them.
A woman passed by. She was in tatters and carried a child on her back. She did not run. She walked slowly. She was young, cold, pale, terrible.
As she passed me she said: "It is hard lines! Bread is at thirty-four sous, and even at that the cheating bakers do not give full weight."
I saw the light at the end of the square flare up and heard the roar of the cannon. I awoke.
Somebody had just slammed the front door.