The Project Gutenberg EBook of Paris from the Earliest Period to the
Present Day; Volume 1, by William Walton

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Title: Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day; Volume 1

Author: William Walton

Release Date: December 11, 2009 [EBook #30651]

Language: English

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image of a crown



image ship and William Walton, Volume I













THE MARTYR; MEROVINGIAN PERIOD. By F. Bac, from a tapestry.


F the capital of the French nation, situated on the river Seine, were simply the most beautiful, the wittiest, wickedest, and most artistic of towns, if—as has been so often asserted (and not exclusively by the citizens thereof)—the most commonplace and the most brilliant of human manifestations alike take on new qualities, texture, and interest the moment they become Parisien, then, indeed, would this city be entitled to be considered only with that mild offence which is the proper intellectual attitude before all so-claimed earthly superlatives. But Paris is by no means to be so disposed of. The very peccability of her wit is demonstrated by the extravagant claims which it permits itself. No God-given institution proclaims itself as such,—at least, noisily. It is the shadings to this brilliant picture, the exceeding width and depth and blackness of the sun-spots on this luminary of civilization, which relieve us from any easy toleration and compel us to the liveliest attention. One of her many qualities is that of representing and, too often, of acting for the whole country,—indeed, la centralisation is one of the four great evils (the others being the abuse of alcool, la pornographic, and the stationary birth-rate) which are recognized by its own citizens as menacing the nation. So that, in a general way, for both good and bad, Paris reads France.

Well, the heights and depths which we are called upon to contemplate are not unendurable, but they are certainly in many respects unexcelled. "France," says one of her most eloquent and dignified historians, "has justly been termed the soldier of God;" "Other continents have monkeys," says a learned German philosopher; "Europe has the French." Any community or locality which offers, or is considered by intelligent observers to offer, such a range as this, is certainly worthy of high renown and deep research, and it is not too much to say that Paris justifies her fame. Within her walls the human mind has displayed its loftiest development, and the human passions their most insane excesses; her art and her literature have erected beacon-lights for all the ages to come, and have but too frequently fallen into the depths of more than swinish filth; her science of government has ranged from the Code Napoléon to the statutes of Belial himself; her civilization has attained an elegance of refinement unknown to the Greeks, and her cigars and lucifer-matches are a disgrace to Christendom!

Happily, as in several other human institutions, there is more of good than of bad. The so-called "seamy side" of cities is not like that of flour-bags,—equal in extent and importance to the fair outer surface that meets the eye. Much as has been published of the depravity of Paris, it is not that, but the splendid activity of her material and intellectual civilization, the serious confronting of the heavy problems of humanity, the intelligent accumulation of the treasures of the mind and the hand, legislation, literature, art, science, that impress the intelligent visitor. Moreover, it is the annals of unhappy nations only that are said to be interesting, and it is impossible that a quick human interest should not attach to the contemplation of this capital which has attacked so many problems, maintained so many struggles, and endured such crushing reverses. In the light of her most troubled history the import becomes clear of the galley on her shield, and her motto: "Floats, but sinks not." But few capitals have been more frequently, apparently, on the point of being submerged. Even as these lines are being written, it is agitated by the protracted and cumulating effects of a military and social agitation which, in the language of the President of the Cabinet of Ministers, "is deplorable, which paralyzes all commerce and creates a situation intolerable to all."

INDEED, it may be said that the present moment is the most critical, the most dramatic, in the long history of the city and the nation, and that an entirely new interest will henceforth attach itself to this crowned capital which sees herself in the inevitable future forever uncrowned. Never before has the pitiless march of events, the pitiless accumulation of irrefutable evidence, the testimony of so many observers, at home and abroad, so seemed to demonstrate that all the methods of government had been exhausted, and that the nation had attained her summit of power and was doomed to steady decline. Down to Louis XIV, her hope was thought to lie in the consolidation of the royal authority and the suppression of the feudal power of the nobles; down to 1789, in the tiers état and the States-General; after the Commune of 1871, in the maintenance of a Republic supported by universal suffrage. The ideals of 1830 and of 1848 have been practically attained; there are, finally, no new and more liberal political expedients to hope for,—and never has France seen herself so distanced by her neighbors. Her contemporary literature groans with the accumulation of these facts—from the ineptitude of her rulers, national and colonial, down to the dependence upon the foreigner for wood for her street pavements and the canned provisions for her army. Behind that "gap in the Vosges" upon which, as one of her statesmen remarks, she cannot forever fix her gaze, she sees her great and hated rival doubling in power. In 1860, Germany had the same population as France; to-day, she has that of France and Spain combined. "Never has such a displacement of power been so quickly produced between two rival peoples. And no one among us seems to regard it, though not one of the problems which torment us is as grave as this one. Our agriculture, our industry, our commerce decline; we seem to be in decadence! How could it be otherwise? There are, in the neighboring hive, beyond the Rhine, sixteen millions of workers who were not there forty years ago,—that is the explanation of the progress of our neighbors as well as of the stagnation of our own activity. All the more that the quality of the French tends to diminish with their quantity; ... we can foresee the day when there will be two Germans against one Frenchman, and this prospect fills us with fear for the future of our country, for we cannot comfort ourselves with illusions, we cannot believe in the perpetual peace, we know that history is a Vie Victis continual."

Therefore, let us hasten to contemplate this great and most admirable Babylon before Cyrus comes.

Paris, Rue Boissonade.






Water-color by George Rochegrosse.
COTOCIA, says that somewhat inexact geographer, Strabo, "is the city of the Parisii, who dwell along the river Seine, and inhabit an island formed by the river." Ptolemy, who has been thought to have been somewhat better informed concerning the Parisii than with regard to any of the other small tribes of Gaul, calls their capital Lucotecia; but both they and their town appear for the first time in history fifty-three years before the birth of Christ, when Cæsar, in his Commentaries, relates, himself, that he summoned a general assembly of the Gauls at Lutetia, the capital of the Parisii. At this date, he was already master of the greater part of the country now called France. More than four hundred years later, Julian, surnamed the Apostate, nephew of Constantine the Great, after having passed more than two years in this city, which he called "his dear Leucetia," was proclaimed emperor here by his soldiers, who refused to obey the orders of Constantius and return to the East. It is surmised by the scholars that the imperial author of the Misopogon adopted this form of the name of the town on the Seine through an affectation of deriving it from the Greek, in which language he wrote, and, as is still evident in those of his works which have survived, in a style remarkably pure.

Lutetia, of which the modern French make Lutèce, is supposed to have been derived from the Celtic louk-teih, which signified the place of morasses; and the name of the Parisii from the Celtic par, a species of boat, and gwys, in composition ys, man, whence parys, boatmen,—these islanders being supposed to have been skilful navigators. But they are said to have called themselves Loutouchezi,—that is to say, a residence in the midst of the waters. Other etymologists cast doubts upon all these deductions, and the matter is not very important. The early Parisians were one of the smallest of the Gaulish tribes, and preferred the islands to the mainland as a safer place of residence; they were surrounded by the Carnutes, Senones, and other, stronger people whose names have not been perpetuated. Of their ten islands and sand-banks, which were preserved until late in the Middle Ages, there are now only two remaining, the Ile Saint-Louis and Ile de la Cité. The ancient town, like the modern one, lay in the centre of a "tertiary" basin, about sixty-five mètres, or two hundred and ten feet, above the level of the sea, broken here and there by low hills. The modern historian, Duruy, quotes Strabo as finding a proof of divine providence in the fortunate configuration of the soil of Gaul; and that writer testifies that the whole country was inhabited, even in the marshes and woods. "The cause of this is, however, rather a dense population than the industry of the inhabitants. For the women there are both very prolific and excellent nurses, while the men devote themselves rather to war than to husbandry."

The antiquity of the inhabitants of Gaul is now pushed back by the learned far beyond the days of Cæsar. M. A. Thieullen, in two communications addressed to the Société d'anthropologie at Paris (January and February, 1898), maintained that the chipped flint arrow-heads found at Chelles and Saint-Acheul, which have been considered as the earliest works of prehistoric man, are, in reality, in common with the polished stone hatchets of the Neolithic age, the products of an industry in a high state of development, the result of successive essays by numberless generations. In this theory he is supported by other scientists, among them the English geologist, Prestwich; and in this insistence upon the artistic quality of the chipped and polished flints and the prodigious number of rudimentary utensils which have preceded and accompanied them is found another argument in favor of the great antiquity of man and his existence in the tertiary period. The soil of Paris has furnished many of these superior flints, and the comparative state of civilization to which the locality early attained is further testified to by the discovery, in the early months of this year, 1898, by an enterprising proprietor on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, of the site of a prehistoric pottery on his grounds. This locality, opposite the village of Ecuelle, was already noted for the menhir, or prehistoric upright stone, standing on the right bank of the canal. The ancient potteries seem to have occupied a space about five hundred mètres in length and two hundred in width; at the depth of sixty-five or seventy centimètres below the surface there is found "a black sand, burned, beaten down, trodden, which gives forth a resonant sound when attacked by the pick-axe; this arises from the fact that it has been, through a long series of centuries, tormented by the incessant passage of men and the innumerable fires of the furnaces." From the specimens of pottery extracted from this sand, it is concluded that this manufactory had been maintained from the Neolithic age down to the Gallo-Roman period. In the little village of La Mouthe, in the department of the Dordogne, farther south, have been discovered within the last few years, in a cavern, very curious and not unskilful outline drawings on the rock, sometimes touched up with color, of now extinct animals,—the extreme age of these works of art being demonstrated by the fact that they are in many cases partially covered with stalactites. The learned scientists who have uncovered and photographed these incised drawings conclude, from their appearance and from the fragments of animals' bones found in the cavern, that they are the work of men of the Neolithic age and the Palæolithic, which preceded it. In short, there is every reason to believe, on the strength of all the testimony which modern science has wrested from the unwilling records of the past, that the earliest inhabitants of the islands of the Seine were contemporary with the mammoth, the cave-bear, the auroch, and the rhinoceros with cleft nostrils.



It is not to be supposed, however, that these very ancient texts are read without the necessary stumbling over obscure passages and much upsetting of cherished historical truth. The finest presentations of ancient records that we find in grave historians are now set aside by learned archæologists in communications to the Académie des Sciences à Paris or the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Even the original number of islands in the Seine and Cæsar's statements concerning the Gauls and their manners and customs are now disputed. When it comes to the origin of things and of peoples, the erudition is profound. M. G. de Mortillet proposes for the epoch quaternaire or pléistocène four successive divisions,—in their order of antiquity, the Chelléen, the Moustérien, the Solutréen, and the Magdalénien; M. Perrier du Carne thinks that the traces of the Solutré and of the Madeleine show them to have been derived from two races long contemporary on the same soil, of which the former were autochthonous and the latter, immigrants, who came in with the reindeer and followed him when he retreated northward. M. Piette objects to the word Magdalénien, and proposes to replace it by glyptique, for, during this period, man learned to carve bones with flint instruments; after the Solutré he places the epoch Eburnéenne, and after that, the Tarandienne, characterized by instruments in reindeer's horns. After the quaternary period, Professor Alexandre Bertrand, of the École du Louvre, places the Mégalithiques, whom he thinks belonged to the great ethnological family of the Touranians which preceded the Aryans in Europe, and who erected the great stone monuments, dolmens, menhirs, cromlechs, etc., formerly called druidical, found in various parts of Europe. Several of these monuments mégalithiques have been discovered in Paris and its environs,—a street of the Faubourg du Temple owes its name of Pierre-Levée (raised stone) to the fact that at its opening, in 1782, an enormous ancient rock was found artificially supported on two others, the funerary tumulus, or mound, which formerly covered it having disappeared.

As it is impossible to attribute any longer these prehistoric monuments to the "Celts," or to "their priests, the Druids," so do others of our historical illusions vanish. M. Duruy, in his learned Histoire de France, states that at the dawn of history the country known as Gaul was "divided between three or four hundred tribes (peuplades) belonging to the three great families,—the Celts, the Iberians, and the Belgians." M. Guizot says that "in the south were Iberians or Aquitanians, Phœnicians and Greeks; in the north and northwest, Kymrians or Belgians; everywhere else, Gauls or Celts, the most numerous settlers, who had the honor of giving their name to the country." M. Salomon Reinach, in his detailed description of the monuments in the Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, under the general title of Antiquités nationales, declines to recognize the race celtique; in accord with the science of anthropology he distinguishes various Gaulish types and is aware that they nowhere present themselves in a pure state. Professor Bertrand "superposes" upon his Mégalithiques, whose distinguishing trait in Europe is their use of polished stone, another race, numerically inferior and much less ancient; these are the "tribus celtiques or celtisées of the Aryan race." When they arrived in Gaul, they were already familiar with the use of metals, especially bronze, beginning to be acquainted with iron; they were pastoral and agricultural, and burned their dead. About the sixth century B.C. appeared a third group, the tribus galatiques, Helvetians, Kymrians, Belgians; they were wandering bands of warriors, who used iron implements only and buried their dead. "From the superposition, rather than from the fusion, of these divers elements has resulted that which is called la nation gauloise or celtique."

Naturally, the religions of these varied nations were as diversified as their origins. The Druids, according to Professor Bertrand, so far from forming the priesthood of a practically homogeneous race, can be said to have had no influence upon the religion of the people, who were alien to them and who remained faithful to their own worship of the spirits or powers in nature and to their superstitious practices. "Druidism was, then, neither a dogma, nor a religion, nor a particular theogony, but a social institution with an organization analogous to that of the great abbeys of Ireland in the fifth and sixth centuries, or to the Lamaism of Thibet. The Druids lived in communism, like the Lamas." Moreover, M. Bertrand refuses the Druids all their fine old qualities,—human sacrifices; worship of stones; solstitial ceremonies, such as the Yule-log and fires on the eve of Saint John; the herbs of Saint John; the worship of fountains; the worship of trees, and medical prescriptions. Even more, what Guizot calls their "noblest characteristic, a general and strong, but vague and incoherent, belief in the immortality of the soul," was less a particular doctrine of their own than a sentiment innate in the race; "they had only to develop ideas the germ of which had not been imported by them." Nevertheless, so well organized was their communal order that they were, before the Roman epoch, the only central, definite power capable of consecutiveness in its conceptions and of unity in its views, and their influence over a gross and ignorant people was proportionally great.

To the chamanisme, or belief in the spirits that pervade nature, and in the power of man over them by magic arts, of the original Touranians, the Celtic tribes brought the worship of natural forces,—the sun, fire, torrents, tempests, mountains, etc.; but neither they nor the Druids had any human figures or symbols in their pantheon. The invasions galatiques or kimrobelge, on the contrary, brought in from the Orient a cult already strongly anthropomorphous, and with these symbols, traditions, and divinities those of the Greeks and Romans became mingled to a greater or lesser degree that it is impossible to determine, because, as it appears, all that we really know of the Gaulish religion before the Roman conquest is reduced to a few lines in Polybius, in which can be found the name of Perkunas, the Perkun of the Slavs. Cæsar identifies the gods of the Gauls with the Roman ones, Mercury, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva; and M. André Lefèvre, in the Revue mensuelle de l'École d'anthropologie, asks, without being able to answer: "How is it possible that such men as Cæsar and Tacitus were able to confound with Mercury the supreme gods of the Gauls and the Germans; but, still more, how is it that the Gaul should have adopted with enthusiasm the Latin name and forgotten the Gaulish name of his supreme god?" M. Reinach is considered to have proved beyond a doubt that the god with the mallet, the Dispater of the Gallo-Roman period, was a sort of copy, in Gaulish attire, of the Egyptian Serapis; and the inscriptions of the imperial epoch testify to the diffusion of the worship of the divinities of Alexandria from Arles and Nîmes, in the extreme south, to Besançon, almost on the borders of Switzerland, and Soissons, northeast of Paris. Nevertheless, those archæologists who have thought they found traces of the art of Egypt and Babylon in that of the original cave-dwellers are now considered to have been deceiving themselves; and M. Reinach has modified the opinions he held a few years ago on the early religious art of Gaul. "In short, what we know of Gaulish mythology amounts to nothing, or practically nothing."

Various rude images and fragments of altars found under the modern pavements of Paris at different dates and localities—among others, under the choir of Notre-Dame in 1710—have revealed the names, if not the characters, of some of the ancient divinities of the soil, Esus, Jovis, Volcanus, Tarvos trigaramos, Cernunnos.

But if the scientists grope doubtingly in these twilights of history, the romancers relate boldly. One of them, M. Henri Lavedan, has been calling up the Parisienne of the Lacustrine age, "gran' maman archi-centennaire" of her of the present day. This is how she was. "Large, thick, and short, with a vigorous figure, shaking out coarse and matted hair, the feet bare, the arms bare, the breast half bare and unrestrained under her species of primitive corset. The body is that of a handsome and robust decent human animal, a tanned skin, somewhat hairy. The feet are large and powerful, like the hands, with cutting nails, square and hard. The visage, high in color, with features that are simple and elementary, is lit up by eyes grey or blue, eyes limpid and tranquil, which regard without vivacity, without appearing and disappearing lights, without surprise, the eyes of an animal under the yoke and resigned to it, eyes only too well acquainted with the eternal landscape which they have been reflecting ever since they were first opened. The step is slow, sure, heavy, and majestic. Under her petticoat of sombre color may be divined two great legs, the legs, almost, of a man, two legs of labor and of endurance. She sings naturally, this woman, when she is alone, vague songs, sort of fugues of savages, very simple, which seem to have neither beginning nor end, but in the company of others she is almost taciturn, replying by gestures, by signs, accomplishing her task with a passive regularity. She scarcely knows the lighter shades of sentiments and expressions. She laughs or she weeps. No smiling. When she laughs, it is with a large display of the solid white teeth of a carnivorous animal; when she weeps, it is with the deep sobs of a beaten child. She is strong and patient like the ox, she runs like the horse, she resists cold, heat, and fatigue; her sleep is profound and without dreams. She is more mother than wife, in the animal sense of the word; she is capable of courage, of rude goodness and of devotion, but all of these naturally and by instinct. Her life may be hard and long, she may retain until a very advanced age the plenitude of her vigor, and die splitting wood or turning the mill.

"Should the wife cease to please her husband, he sells her again; should she commit a fault, he strips her (the garments will serve for the new spouse); then he takes her by the hair and smothers her in the marsh. Nevertheless, however miserable may be her condition of a domestic animal, this creature has passions. Tacitus informs us that adultery was not unknown to the purchased wife. The male children belonged to the father, and always remained with him; as to the aged, the old relatives, useless and cumbering, they were put 'in a place apart,' a sort of hollow in the neighborhood of the hole for the hogs or the enclosure for the cattle, and there was thrown to them the remnants of the meals. The family sentiment, the voice of kindred blood, did not, as yet, make itself heard very distinctly."



This information may be supplemented by various extracts from the ancient historians, who give us the usual picture of early man in the barbarous stage, bellicose, blood-thirsty, brutal, having the one virtue of courage. Cæsar says that when a man of importance died, his wives were tortured and put to death by fire if suspected of being instrumental in his taking off; but a short time before his conquests it was the custom to burn with the defunct his slaves and his favorite clients. It was also said that the women were not constrained in their choice of husbands, and that the latter were obliged to furnish an equivalent for the dowry brought by the wife. Human sacrifices were offered on certain great occasions, and it was thought possible that one of the upper stones of the great sepulchre discovered at Meudon in 1845, indicated one of the sites dedicated to these offerings.

Of the many attempts that have been made to restore the primitive man in his environments, one of the most learned and interesting is that shown by M. Cormon, the painter, in his series of large decorations for the plafond and walls of some ethnological museum, exhibited in the Salon of 1898. But an artist is an impossible archæologist; the more of an artist he is, the more will he be unwilling to represent the merely bestial, as the scientist finds it; and though the original inhabitant of the valley of the Seine and other favored spots may have circulated in some such early landscape, and have garbed himself and tattooed himself somewhat as the painter here paints him, it is probable that there was far less of the picturesque and presentable about him, of grace of attitude and whiteness of skin in his women-folk, than in any artist's presentation on a self-respecting canvas.

The habitations of the early Parisian were equally unlike those familiar to the Cook's tourist. On the pedestal of an antique statue of Melpomene of heroic size in the Louvre is a relief representing the head of a supposed Gaul defending his house against a Roman soldier, and this sculpture, confirmed by others on the column of Antoninus at Rome of those of the German barbarians, gives this dwelling as a species of circular, upright hut, covered with a conical-shaped roof constructed of branches and reeds, or thatch, or perhaps of a half-spherical piece of wood.

In the soil of the tertiary, or quaternary, basin in which Paris lies are found traces of marine plants, oyster-shells, skeletons of fish, etc., which indicate that it has risen from the bottom of the sea. As every one knows, the Seine, flowing in a general direction from east to west, curves toward the north to traverse the heart of the city, the former Palais de l'Industrie, but just demolished, having occupied nearly the centre of the upward curve of this bow. On the south, the river receives the waters of the Bièvre, a feeble stream which flows through a narrow valley, and, farther eastward, those of the river Marne. Under the Roman domination and that of the first Merovingian kings, that part of the city lying immediately south of the river seems to have become the most populous and important almost as soon as the narrow limits of the original islands became too confining. The pride of the Faubourg Saint-Germain may date itself back for some fifteen centuries. A central, principal street traversed the city from south to north, entering it in the general direction of the Rue Saint-Jacques, passing on the east side of the imperial palace whose ruins may still be seen in the Musée des Thermes, at the corner of the Boulevard Saint-Germain and Boulevard Saint-Michel. Under the Rue Saint-Jacques remains of the ancient pavement have been found at a great depth, and a fragment of it is preserved in the Musée de Cluny. The Roman street crossed the small arm of the Seine on a wooden bridge, near where is now the Petit-Pont, traversed the Ile de la Cité, at the western end of what is to-day the Place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, and crossed the larger branch of the river near the site of the present Pont Notre-Dame. On the northern shore, it followed for some distance nearly the course of the present Rue Saint-Denis, and then forked,—one branch continuing in a general northerly direction toward Senlis, and the other turning off to the northwest, in the direction of the Bourse, toward Clichy, Saint-Ouen, Saint-Denis, and, finally, Rouen by the valley of the Montmorency.

Of the stately buildings erected by the Roman officers sent to govern the city on the Seine and the province of which it was the capital, the only remains now above ground are those preserved in the Musée des Thermes, in somewhat curious juxtaposition with the late fifteenth-century Hôtel de Cluny. These ruins represent the great Roman baths of the palace, the frigidarium, the piscine, the tepidarium, and, somewhat deeper, the hypocaustum, or furnace for heating. By their size and importance, these ancient walls testify to the dignity of the imperial palace which rose on this site, and, surrounded by its gardens, extended along the southern bank of the Seine. Of the date of the erection of this Palatium Thermarum seu Thermæ Parisiaci nothing definite is known; it is generally ascribed to Constantius, surnamed Chlorus, "the pale," father of Constantine the Great, who died in 306 A.D. It is considered certain that it was occupied by Julian, and by Valentinian I, and Valens; after the expulsion of the Romans by the Franks, it served as a residence for the kings of the first and second race, and was still an important edifice in 1180 when Philippe-Auguste presented it to his chamberlain, Henri. About 1340 it passed into the possession of the Abbé of Cluny, Pierre de Chaslus.

These very antique walls are preserved by the national authorities in a manner that might be considered as more satisfactory to the lovers of the picturesque than to the archæologists. They are exposed to all the disintegrating influences of the sun and rain, much blackened by the Parisian climate, which darkens everything exposed to it, and largely overgrown with creeping vines. They are constructed of squared stones interspersed with layers of brick, with rectangular and arched niches, filled-up arches at the base of which may be seen still the remnants of the prows of ships, and in the niches are still the remains of the earthenware pipes that conveyed the water to the baths. The student of architecture is interested to observe here that the Roman bricks were much longer than ours, and only about an inch and a half thick. Their original, cheerful red still shows occasionally through the Parisian blackness. He will, however, probably be somewhat disturbed by the fine indifference of the authorities to styles and chronologies. In the place of the missing wall of the piscine is set the arched porch of the cloister of the Benedictines of Argenteuil; inside the enclosures are tumulary stones, with inscriptions in Hebrew, found on the site of the publishing house of Hachette. In the pleasant green garden in front of these ruins, and in which the bare-legged Parisian children play at soldiers or at digging gravel in the paths, are more incongruous mediæval bits of architecture and sculpture,—placid Madonnas and Annunciations, much defaced by time; gargoyles from the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, in what may be called the size of life, agonizing and tormented by queer little beasts like weasels under their throats or bellies, and, guarding the gateway at the angle of the boulevards, three great, deformed figures of the animals of the Evangelists, the Lion, the Eagle, and the Ox, from the tower of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, where they have been replaced by copies.

For a number of centuries these ruins were forgotten, and were even concealed until 1810 under hanging-gardens constructed above them. In 1819 it was proposed to establish in the Thermes a museum for the Gaulish and Roman antiquities discovered in the soil of Paris; but this project was not carried out until 1836, when, through the action of the Prefect of the Seine and the Conseil Municipal, the remains of the Roman palace became the property of the city. Seven years later, the State having acquired the Hôtel de Cluny and the collection Sommerard, the city offered the Palais des Thermes to the national government, and the two museums were united in one national one. The project of M. E. du Sommerard, of clearing away all the surrounding modern buildings, opening the new streets and planting the garden, was finally put in the way of being realized in 1856.

The site of this palace, the ruins of which are among the most important in France, was on the lower slopes of Mount Lucotitius, afterward the mount of Sainte-Geneviève, overlooking both the city and the Roman road to Genabum (Orléans). Its dependent buildings and enclosures seem to have extended as far south as the Rue Soufflot, in front of the Panthéon, ruins of foundation-walls having been located at various periods in this quarter. Its magnificent baths were probably preserved during the earlier Christian centuries, when the civilization of the Romans had not entirely disappeared, until the siege of Paris by the Normans in the ninth century. On this (southern) side of the river have also been discovered the ruins of an amphitheatre, traces of a quarter or barracks for soldiers, another establishment of baths, the aqueduct of Arcueil, a great cemetery on the southern slopes of Mount Lucotitius, secondary roads, and a port on the smaller arm of the Seine. In the Luxembourg garden have been unearthed at various periods numerous fragments of painted walls; seven hundred large Roman medals in bronze and two hundred in silver, all enclosed in a species of chest of tiles, and covered with a silver plate, and supposed to have been the treasury of a rich Gallo-Roman country-house; a statuette of Mercury; a bust of Cybele; pits to preserve grain, etc.

Another of these important palaces or suburban villas was seated on the northern slopes of the Butte Montmartre, which rises some hundred mètres above the level of the Seine, on the other side of the river,—a site which gave it an admirable extended view over the city and the surrounding plains. The most important ruins which have been discovered north of the river are the remnants of the aqueduct to convey water from Passy, large basins on the site of the Palais-Royal, various highways branching off to the north and east and extensive cemeteries near these roads, and numerous Roman medals and coins in various localities,—sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an extensive and important population. Montmartre is supposed to have derived its name from having been the site of a temple of Mars (Mons Martis); or from having been the scene of the martyrdom of Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris, and his companions, A.D. 270 (Mons Martyrum).

Buried under the modern pavement of the Ile de la Cité, the Gaulish Oppidum, are many vestiges of the Roman occupation. In 1847 numerous remains of the construction of houses during this period and of what was considered to be a church dedicated to the Virgin were discovered under the open place in front of Notre-Dame; of these, careful drawings were made, engraved, and published in the Statistique monumentale de Paris and the structures then covered up again; in the following year, excavations made in the course of enlarging the Palais de Justice brought to light in the court of the Sainte-Chapelle and under the houses to the south of it remains of walls of the ancient Roman palace. The old historians of Paris, indeed, relying upon the testimony of Ammianus Marcellinus, state that one of the two Roman palaces was situated in the western end of the island which formed the ancient Lutetia. In 1844 the laying out of a new street between the Palais de Justice and the Hôtel-Dieu revealed two portions of edifices the use of which was unknown, but which, by the thickness of their walls and the nature of their construction, were supposed to have formed some part of the public structures. It has been considered that these various vestiges of important buildings situated in the centre of Lutetia indicate that they surrounded an open market-place or commercial exchange.

But the discovery of one of the most important and interesting vestiges of the Gallo-Roman city was reserved for the latter part of the year 1869, when, in laying out the Rue Monge, on the eastern slopes of Mont Sainte-Geneviève, there was revealed the ancient amphitheatre, with which no Roman city of importance could dispense. Although these important vestiges lay only some twelve mètres below the surface, and though at least two passages in mediæval chronicles were known which alluded to the locality, this contribution to the history of the city was delayed to this late date. Alexandre Neckham, a professor in Paris, writing in 1180, mentions, in the course of four verses, the vast ruins of a Roman amphitheatre, dedicated to Venus, which was situated near the Abbey of Saint-Victor. Adrien de Valois cites a cartulary, or registry of a monastery, dated in 1310, in which mention is made of three sections of vineyards situated in the district known as les Areinnes. A date for the construction of this amphitheatre was conjectured by M. Adrien de Longpérier, from the bringing together of three of the broken stones of the edifice—selected from the sixteen bearing inscriptions now in the Musée Carnavelet and from twelve others bearing similar inscriptions and evidently from the same source, but which were found in 1847 in the Parvis-Notre-Dame, having been taken in later days to construct the wall of fortification of the city. By placing three of these fragments in order, M. de Longpérier was enabled to decipher the names of two of the Gaulish emperors who lived in the second half of the third century of our era, from which he concluded that it was a portion of the imperial inscription, and that the construction of the amphitheatre accordingly dated from this period. The pride of the Parisians, however, took offence at this interpretation, and it was considered as highly improbable that the Romans "should have delayed for more than two centuries and a half to construct, for the use of the population of a city as important as Lutèce had become, a monument similar to those the ruins of which have been enumerated in more than fifty Gallo-Roman cities,—a figure which shows how much the diversions of the amphitheatre and the theatre were relished by the Gauls." M. Gourdon de Genouillac, in his history of Paris, decides that the structure dates from the second century.


It may be observed that, in the third century, Roman Gaul became a practically independent State,—from A.D. 258 to 273, from Posthumus to Tetricus, its connections with Italy ceased, and it maintained its own emperors and its own legions. This was in sympathy with the rising spirit of nationalities, awakened throughout the empire by Septimus Severus, but in this ephemeral empire of the Gauls the old Celtic influence had but little part. "If there took place," said M. Camille Jullian before the Académie des Inscriptions in 1896, "as we would willingly believe, a Celtic renaissance at the opening of the third century, it was entirely superficial, and doubtless slightly factitious; it resembled that reaction in the life, the language, the traditions of the provinces which the French Romanticism brought about in 1815. Like that, it in no way changed the ideas of the nation, it had no influence upon the political and social destinies of Gaul." With regard to the fondness of the ancient Gauls for histrionic and spectacular performances, we may quote M. Reinach again: "The qualities and the defects of the present inhabitants of France may all be found again among the Gaulish contemporaries of Cato and Cæsar. The warlike humor, the facility of elocution, the curiosity—often turbulent, have remained, throughout the centuries, the portion, more or less enviable, of the inhabitants of Gaul."

An important publication in folio by Firmin-Didot, Paris à travers les Ages, gives the following description of the amphitheatre of Lutetia. "But few constructions are visible around the arena, elliptic in shape and measuring fifty-four mètres on its long axis and forty-seven on the short one. This was the space reserved for the combats of animals, for the hunts and other spectacles. A podium, or enclosing wall, surrounded this arena in its entire circuit, and the thickness of this wall was such that it resisted the thrust of the sides of the Mount Lucotitius, on the eastern slopes of which the edifice was constructed. The places arranged for the spectators of the games, around the arena, were evidently placed, on the west, on the slope of Mount Lucotitius, where have been found walls converging toward the centre of the structure to support the tiers of seats running in the contrary direction. The benches may have been supported by constructions which have now disappeared; the various fragments of architecture discovered in the excavations must have formed part of the decoration of the edifice, as well as the stones that were employed in the military wall of fortification of Lutetia during the later period of decline."

The discovery of these ruins caused much excitement among the savants of Paris at the time. The Société de Numismatique visited the excavations in a body, several archæological and antiquarian associations united in drawing up a paper, which was presented to the Emperor, advocating the preservation of this "antique theatre of the popular festivals of the Gauls, the arena in which had perished for liberty of conscience the ancestors of the French nation, the field in which sleep the martyrs of Lutèce." A petition was likewise addressed to the Chamber of Deputies; Napoleon III visited the locality in person; but the Municipal Council hesitated before the expenditure of 300,000 francs for this purpose, and the ground was actually purchased by the Compagnie Générale des Omnibus.

This interesting excavation, but little known even to the Parisians, has now been transformed into a public garden, in the quarter between the Panthéon and the Jardin des Plantes, and is well worth visiting. The ancient Mont Lucotitius still heaves itself under the modern Parisian pavement, and the grades frequently become so steep that they have to be abandoned, and terraces and retaining-walls substituted. Although much less than a half of the oval of the original arena has been uncovered, the explorations have reduced the houses on the Rue Monge to but little more than tall façades. From under their rear walls emerge the amphitheatre and some of the curving rows of seats in stone, the latter much restored. In the walls of the arena are two rectangular, barred entrances, and one lower, arched one, from which we may imagine the gladiators or the wild beasts emerging. The floor of the arena is left in a roughly gravelled condition; at present, nothing more formidable is to be encountered there than three very little French boys making mud-pies in the puddle formed by last night's rain. A fourth, still smaller, is at some distance, absorbed in some dry engineering of his own at the foot of the old wall. Seated in the steep little green park which rises above the terraced seats, crowned with trees and shrubberies, and vocal with a prodigious twittering of birds, are three or four idle, bare-headed young women in "shirt-waists," one with a lover, and an old gentleman with a red ribbon reading his morning newspaper. The traveller can place himself on one of the benches in this pleasant little greenery, look down on the infantile engineers below, and make appropriate reflections.

A still more important architectural feature of the ancient city was the great aqueduct which supplied the baths of the palace on the river, its fountains and those of the populous quarter around it. The waters of three or four small streams to the south of the capital were united and conveyed in a channel, lined with cement, 19,100 mètres in length, which traversed the slopes of the hills on the eastern side of the Bièvre, and remains of which have been found at various points. To cross the valley and the stream, an aqueduct was constructed on arches at the locality which took the name of Arcueil, and where some of the masonry is still preserved in modern construction, "this aqueduct being some four hundred mètres long and fifty (?) high." It is computed that a supply of twenty-four cubic mètres of water was furnished every twenty-four hours. Remains of other and smaller aqueducts have been discovered at various points in the city. At Passy, surrounding the present Trocadéro, there were springs of mineral waters, which were conveyed to the city by terra-cotta pipes, passing along the banks of the Seine. In 1781, in the gardens of the Palais-Royal, were discovered the remains of great basins which are supposed to have been the piscines of the hygienic baths. Remains of Roman aqueducts have been found at various other localities in France, at Nîmes, at Lyons, at Metz, etc., and that over the Gard is still standing in part.

Among the bridges constructed by the Gauls, Cæsar mentions that of Melun on the Seine; one on the Allier, near Vichy; that of Genabum (Orléans), and that of Lutetia, over the larger arm of the Seine, on the site of the present Pont Notre-Dame. Of that over the Allier and of the Parisian one, some of the ancient piles have been found in the bed of the rivers.

Remains of the ancient wall of fortification of the capital have also been brought to light, at various localities and at different dates. The excavations in the Parvis-Notre-Dame in 1847 discovered a section of the Roman wall twenty-six mètres in length, as well as the substructure of the porch and the front portion of the nave of the original basilica, constructed by Childebert and dedicated to the Virgin. These latter foundations, some thirty-two mètres in front of the present cathedral, demonstrate by their position, and by the probable width of the primitive edifice in proportion to its length, that they were constructed to the west and inside of the enclosing wall of the city, a portion of which had been found under the choir of the cathedral. The basilica constructed by the son of Clovis probably rose on the site of the altars consecrated to the Roman or Gaulish gods, Jupiter, Vulcan, Esus, and others, and which, before the construction of the city wall, were visible from all sides. The enclosing wall, on the contrary, fenced in the basilica, since it was necessary to protect this part of the city, as well as all others. The somewhat unimposing aspect of Notre-Dame, which was founded in 1163, may be ascribed in part to the raising of the level of all the surrounding soil, for, as the histories tell us, so late as 1748, it was reached only by ascending a flight of thirteen steps, whereas now it is on the ordinary street-level.

This wall of defence was not commenced till about 406, when the barbarians began to invade Gaul, and was apparently constructed in great haste, if we may judge by the manner in which materials were borrowed from surrounding buildings of all kinds. It is described as being something over three and a half mètres in thickness at its base, which was constructed in rough stone, frequently of small size, and sloping to a height of two mètres. On this was erected a wall of dressed stones, each successive layer set back, like a step, so that at the top it was only some two mètres in width. It might be thought that this manner of building offered considerable facilities to an escalading enemy.

On the largest stone of those discovered in 1711 under the choir of Notre-Dame was deciphered an inscription which recorded the erection of this altar to Jupiter, "very great, very beneficent," in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, by the corporation of nautæ, or mariners, apparently the most powerful in the city, and the prows of the ships at the foot of the arches in the ancient palace of Thermes are supposed to have been connected with the same guild, though this architectural ornament is by no means uncommon in ancient art. It is from these Nautæ Parisiaci that the modern city derives its arms,—a vessel with distended sails. (If any doubting tourist inquire concerning the maritime commerce of Paris, he will be proudly referred to the barges which may be seen at all the quais, and, even more, to the little steamers from London which contrive to get under the bridges.) In some of the modern records this ancient corporation is given great importance—with many sans doutes and il paraîts—in the history of the city, both before and during the sway of the Romans. Cæsar found it "fully organized," though it was founded on the Roman corporation of the Nautæ Tyberis, navigators of the Tiber, composed of senators, magistrates, and knights, which transported grain and other merchandise from the port of Ostia to the capital; and it was the original of the later maison de la marchandise de l'eau, de l'hôtel de Ville et du conseil municipal of Paris. The activity of the Lutetian shippers and navigators covered the territory bathed by the Seine, the Marne, and the Oise, all of them quite navigable. The ruins of the Gallo-Roman buildings discovered in the Cité in 1844, at the opening of the Rue de Constantine, were the remains of a market or forum for the sale of provisions; and the corporation had, near the port, an office or bureau for the regulation of this river commerce. Opposite the port, on the northern side of the Seine, they controlled also another point of landing, at the Grève, where, later, was established the prévôté de l'eau, which developed into the Parisian municipality. The port on the Cité, on the larger arm of the Seine, received in the Middle Ages the name of Saint Landri, this bishop having had an oratory, and perhaps his residence, in the neighborhood. Under the Later Empire, in the reign of Posthumus, the northern suburb having increased in size and importance, a market was placed at the Champeaux, on the site of the present Halles Centrales, and the port of the Grève became, as it has remained ever since, a point of landing for merchandise coming from the upper Seine. The port on the southern side of the river, near the great road from Genabum, was established on the site of the mediæval Quai de la Tournelle, the great tower which replaced that of the southern wall of fortification of the city built by Philippe-Auguste. This quai still serves at the present day as a landing-place for the barges.

Paul Laurens
FLIGHT OF LEUDASTE, A MEROVINGIAN. From a drawing by Jean Paul Laurens.

In the reigns of Louis the Fat and Louis VII, the successors of the Nautæ Parisiaci were known as mercatores aquæ parisiaci, and they were the origin of the municipal body charged with the policing of the river navigation and commerce. Later in the Middle Ages, this small species of Hanseatic League had a commercial station at Marsons-sur-Seine, and its maritime jurisdiction extended as far as the city of Mantes, situated on the western limits of the territory of the Parisii. The sources of the Seine, near the farm of the Vergerots in the commune of Saint-Germain-la-Feuille, were held in great veneration in Gallo-Roman times, and a temple, the remains of which have been found, was erected in their honor. In 1867 the Municipal Council of Paris set up a monument "to the sources of the river which has given its name to the department of the Seine, and to which Paris owes its ancient prosperity."

The overrunning of Gaul by the barbarians, the latest historians tell us, did not present the imposing spectacle of a great invasion in which armed hosts of valiant and robust warriors trod down the effeminate and corrupted civilization of the Romans, pillaged and ravaged the seats of refinement and luxury in city and country, slew and carried into captivity without respect for age or sex.

Long before the invasions of the fifth century the Germans had been established in the empire, both as colonists and as soldiers. The legions composed of Germans are said to have been even more amenable to discipline than the Roman ones. The first who established themselves in Gaul were the Visigoths and the Burgundians; the former, flying before the Huns, appeared as suppliants on the frontiers of the empire in the closing years of the fourth century. Ataulf (Ataulphus), the successor of the imperial puppet Attalus, set up by the conquering Alaric, came into Gaul early in the fifth century, became the ally of the Emperor Honorius, married his sister Placida, and marched to the conquest of Spain. The Visigoths, being thus installed in Gaul, admitted the Burgondes (Burgundii) in a neighborly manner; we are even told that they considered themselves as honored by the friendship of the Romans, and pretended that they had a common origin. Their kings proclaimed themselves lieutenants of the emperors, and fed their vanity by the Roman titles with which they invested themselves. The historian Orosius says the Burgundii were a quiet people, with gentle manners, respecting the civil authorities, and living in friendly relations with the Gauls. Both Visigoths and Burgundii promptly abandoned their national religions and traditions and adopted Christianity, but they followed the Aryan sect,—"unfortunately," says Duruy. Some modern French historians, on the contrary, attribute the greatness of France to this circumstance. The Gallo-Romans were orthodox.

When the Huns, driving the Germans before them or passing over their bodies, appeared on the frontiers of Gaul in the year 451, they were met by an army commanded by a Roman, Aëtius, but composed of Romans, Burgundii, Visigoths, Franks, and Saxons, which defeated them at the famous battle of the champs catalauniques, over the locality of which the historians are still disputing. When the Franks appeared, at the end of the fifth century, the army of Clovis contained a large number of Romans, and from the time of the sons of Clotaire, the entire population, without distinction of race, was called upon to do military duty. It is even said that it was only the Gallo-Roman chiefs of the armies who acquired military renown. Notwithstanding all this, there are still historians of the present day who speak of "the catastrophe of 406 breaking abruptly the bond which attached the barbarians to the Empire of the West." Some of these latter are disposed to see in Clovis, after his conversion, the founder of modern political society, a creator of a nationality, a maker of civilization,—titles which are freely denied him by others. His success was owing, it is said, not to his victories, but to his conversion. He was baptized by the Bishop of Reims, Remi, on Christmas Day, 496. "From that date, he had the alliance of the bishops throughout all Gaul against the Visigoths and the Burgondes, and his reign was assured."

This conversion, it is said, had been earnestly desired by his wife Clotilde, a niece of Gondebaud, King of the Burgondes, who had stipulated with her royal spouse that her first-born should be "consecrated to Christ by baptism." It also contributed greatly to his final establishment in Paris, a capital which he had long coveted and from which his predatory attacks had been constantly turned aside by the efforts of a virgin, Sainte-Geneviève, whom the Parisians still honor as their patron saint. The central position of this city, between the Rhine and the Loire, enabled him to keep a watchful eye upon Brittany, Aquitaine, the Burgondes, and the Frankish tribes of Belgium.

At his death, his kingdom was divided among his four sons, Paris, with Poitiers, Périgueux, Saintes, and Bordeaux, falling to the lot of Childebert. From the confused records of these barbaric times the names of two women issue, and have remained permanently engraven upon the tablets of history,—one of them as that of a personification of Christian and feminine virtues rare at any age and doubly so in these dark ages, and the other that of a monstrous queen whose crimes have made her immortal. Radegonde was a daughter of Bertaire, King of Thuringe, killed by his brother Hermanfried at the instigation of the wife of the latter; the murderer invited Thierry, King of Metz, and Clotaire, King of Soissons, sons of Clovis, to invade the kingdom, and in the partition of the booty, Radegonde fell to the share of Clotaire. Charmed by her original beauty, the king had her educated with unusual care, and, later, married her, but the queen sought only to forget her earthly dignities in ministering to the poor, in pious meditation, and in long conversations upon the Scriptures with some learned prelate. "She is a nun," said Clotaire, "and not a queen;" and he ended by killing her last surviving brother. Whereupon she fled to Noyon and implored Saint Médard at the altar to give her the protection of the Church; Clotaire threatened and protested, but finally permitted her to found a church and a convent at Poitiers, in which she immured herself till her death, in 587,—thirty-seven years. "During this long seclusion she constantly mingled with good works and with the austerity of religious exercises the culture of letters; constantly also did she guard her cherished traditions of the domestic hearth, and we find her living again in the awkward verses of the greatest poet of that time, Fortunatus, who had himself ordained priest that he might never be constrained to leave her."

At the death of Clotaire, the monarchy was again divided into four kingdoms, those of Paris, Soissons, Metz, and Burgundy,—soon reduced to three by the death of Charibert, King of Paris. The Burgondes were under the sway of Gontran, the Austrasien and Eastern Franks under Sigebert, and the mingled population of Franks and Gallo-Romans which were called Neustriens, or the Westerners, under Chilpéric. Aquitaine was divided between the three, and Paris was already of so much importance that none of them was willing to yield her to the others, and it was agreed that no one should enter the city without the consent of the other two. The royal authority was weaker in Austrasie, now Belgium and Lorraine, the petty chiefs stronger, and the manners and customs more Germanic and barbaric; in Neustrie, now Ile-de-France, Normandy, etc., there were more ancient cities, mere remnants of the Roman civilization and vestiges of imperial administration. To the political rivalry to which this disparity gave rise was added the personal animosity of the two queens, Frédégonde and Brunehaut.

While Sigebert was fighting the Avars, barbarians from Asia, on the eastern frontier, his two brothers amused themselves by pillaging his western provinces. Chilpéric had taken, for a most unwilling bride, a younger sister of Brunehaut, Galswinthe, daughter of a king of the Visigoths, notwithstanding the fierce jealousy of his mistress, or his first wife, Frédégonde; her empire was, however, soon regained, and Galswinthe was strangled in her sleep. Brunehaut incited her husband, Sigebert, to a war of vengeance; Paris was taken, and Chilpéric only saved from ruin by his wife, who despatched two assassins against the King of the Neustriens. The rights of inheritance of her son, Clotaire, were impaired by the existence of two sons of Chilpéric by a former marriage. One of them, Mérovée, imprudently married the widowed Brunehaut, and his step-mother sent him to rejoin Sigebert. The Bishop of Rouen, Prétextat, who had already narrowly escaped with his life, in Paris, from the terrible queen, had blessed this marriage; he was killed on the steps of the altar while celebrating mass. Clovis, the brother of Mérovée, followed; then one of his sisters, and Audovère, the mother. The king left Paris for Chelles one afternoon, for the chase; he had previously entered his wife's apartment while she was occupied with her toilette and struck her playfully on the shoulder with a light wand,—the queen mistook him for another, and answered, without turning round: "Tout beau! Landry," and other words of great familiarity. Then she perceived her error, and the king went out without a word; as he dismounted, on his return, some one slipped a knife into his heart, "and no one thought it worth while to run after the murderer."

Charibert, the short-lived king of Paris, had in his royal palace a serf named Leudaste, who, when a fellow-servant, Markowefe, attracted the monarch's favor and was made queen, contrived to ingratiate himself with her to such an extent that he was made grand equerry and, later, Comte de Tours. In his administration he proved himself capable of every outrage; but the death of Charibert compelled him to seek refuge with Chilpéric, and he endeavored to win Frédégonde's favor as he had Markowefe's. When Tours fell into the hands of Chilpéric, in 574, Leudaste was re-established in his office and resumed his old practices; two years later, upon a petition addressed to the king by the bishop, Saint Grégoire de Tours, he was dismissed. Thereupon he hatched a plot against the bishop and against the queen who had not interposed to save him; he declared to the king that the former had conspired to deliver Tours to the King of Austrasie, and that the queen had done him an even greater wrong, and he offered to produce witnesses. But his case fell to the ground; the king, threatened with excommunication by the clergy for bringing false charges against the revered prelate, threw all the responsibility upon Leudaste, and that individual, diligently sought for, had prudently disappeared.

He was accordingly solemnly excommunicated and declared anathema "from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet." After some two years passed in pillage and debauchery at the head of an organized band of brigands in the domains of Gontran, he obtained permission to return to Tours, and had the audacity to come and seek his pardon at the court of Neustrie. Chilpéric tolerated his presence, but advised him to avoid the queen. As the sovereigns were one day attending mass in the basilica of Paris, Leudaste entered boldly, traversed the crowd, and knelt at the feet of Frédégonde, imploring her forgiveness. The king had him expelled from the church, but, instead of taking warning, he lingered in the shops around the market-place in the Cité, selecting jewels and rich stuffs with which to propitiate the queen; when she issued from the church and saw him, she despatched her guards to arrest him; one of them was wounded, and another gave him a sword-cut over the head; as he fled across the Petit-Pont, he fell and broke his leg. The manner and quality of a torture that should be appropriate for him were carefully discussed by the royal pair; he was tended by eminent physicians that he might be duly strengthened for it; but when Frédégonde learned that gangrene had appeared in his wounds, she had him dragged from his bed, stretched on the pavement with his neck on a great iron bar, and his head crushed by another heavy bar in the hands of the executioner.

After the murder of Chilpéric, the people began to murmur, and the gentle King Gontran, according to Saint Grégoire of Tours, "in order to put an end to the evil custom of killing kings, went one day to a church where all the people were assembled for the mass, commanded silence through a deacon, and said: 'I conjure you, men and women who are here present, keep for me an assured fidelity, and do not kill me as you have lately killed my brothers. Allow me to live at least two or three years, that I may educate my young nephews, for fear that, after my death, it should happen that you should perish with these children, since there will remain of all my family no man strong enough to defend you.'"

Nevertheless, he had the courage to raise doubts as to the legitimacy of Frédégonde's son, Clotaire, and to postpone his baptism till she produced three bishops and three hundred other witnesses in his favor. Brunehaut's son, Childebert, was threatening the queen with an armed force; he and Gontran agreed to be each the other's heir in case they died without children, and on Gontran's death Childebert endeavored to take possession of Clotaire's domains also. Frédégonde had him poisoned: the dreary series of civil war and family murders began again; Clotaire II became in the end sole king of the Franks, and his mother died in her bed, "full of years." Her rival, Brunehaut, less fortunate, betrayed by her own followers, was, by Clotaire's orders, tied naked to the tail of a wild horse and dragged to death.

Such were the manners and customs of the Mérovingians.

DEATH OF SAINTE-GENEVIÈVE. After the mural painting, in
the Panthéon, by J.-P. Laurens.
DEATH OF SAINTE-GENEVIÈVE. After the mural painting, in the Panthéon, by J.-P. Laurens.

There are various accounts of the two patron saints of France and Paris. It is to Grégoire de Tours that we owe our first knowledge of Saint Denis, who, according to his statement, came to preach Christianity in Lutetia in the year 245, with the friar Rustique and the deacon Eleuthère. Dionysius, bishop of the Parisians, he says, full of zeal for the name of Christ, suffered many persecutions, and finally martyrdom. Other historians assign to Saint Martin, rather than to Saint Denis, the glory of having converted the Gauls to Christianity; some place his mission even before the year 100, and the Abbé Hilduin confounds him with Saint Denis the Areopagite. But, according to Grégoire, Denis, Rustique, and Eleuthère were beheaded in the year 272, by order of the préfet Percennius, on a mountain situated near Paris, which accordingly took the name of the Mont des Martyrs (Montmartre). The préfet had given orders to have the bodies thrown into the Seine, but a Roman lady, named Catulla, although not a Christian herself, caused them to be sought for in the night and piously buried in a locality known as Catolocus. Grain was sown over the graves, and when the fury of persecution was passed, they were disinterred and deposited in a tomb.

According to the popular legend (to which the municipal and national authority has given a sort of official sanction by M. Bonnat's very vigorous and realistic presentation on the walls of the Panthéon), after having had his head struck off, the saint arose on his feet, picked it up and walked away, carrying the severed organ in his hands, to the great surprise of the spectators. In this manner he traversed the space of a league, till he came to the spot where his church now stands, the angels meanwhile chanting around him Gloria tibi Domine, and others repeating three times the Alleluia. It was this unusual promenade that gave rise to the well-known proverb that it is only the first step that costs.

In 286 the weight of the Roman yoke and the persecutions of the Christians had become so cruel that there was a rebellion, headed by Salvianus Amandus and Lucius Pomponius Ælianus, who put themselves at the head of the slaves and the colons of Paris and Meaux, were elevated on bucklers, and proclaimed emperors near the site of the present Hôtel de la Ville. To them were speedily joined the bagaudes (insurgents) of the surrounding country, and it required a very serious effort on the part of the Roman troops, under the command of Maximien Hercule, associated with Diocletian in the government of the empire, to restore order.

Sainte-Geneviève, the patron saint of the Parisians, also perpetuated with her legend on the walls of the Panthéon, originally her church but now dedicated to the Grands Hommes of the nation, was born at Nanterre, near Paris, in 422, and guarded in the fields the flocks of her parents, Sévère and Gérontia. She is said to have known Saint Germain d'Auxerre, and to have promised him to devote herself to the service of God; her reputation for sanctity, confirmed by several miracles accomplished, was such that when the city was thrown into a panic by the approach of Attila and his terrible Huns (begotten, it was asserted, in the deserts of Scythia by the union of sorceresses and infernal spirits) her voice was listened to as that of one qualified from on high. Nevertheless, there were certain obstinate ones who doubted her assurances of safety; there was even question of stoning her for false counsel; but she, mounting a little eminence, assured her fellow-citizens that, though Attila was indeed advancing, he would not attack their city; this she stated in the name of God. That was convincing, and, indeed, the dreaded conqueror turned his march toward Orléans, and was preparing to pillage it when he was vanquished by Aëtius and Théodoric.

A second time she came to the rescue of the capital when it was suddenly attacked, in 476, by Childéric at the head of his Franks. His first efforts were directed toward cutting off all supplies by the river, and in this he was so successful that the Parisians speedily found themselves reduced to a diet of fish and roots, with no bread at all. Geneviève was touched by their sufferings, she embarked on a little flotilla of fishermen's boats, and succeeded in escaping through the enemy's lines in the most marvellous manner. Her return was anxiously awaited; for nine days there was no news of her, and the famine grew more cruel; finally, the lookouts on the towers perceived something in the distance on the bosom of the river; it approached; it was she, with eleven vessels filled with provisions of all kinds, of which she herself superintended the distribution. Each one of the nine days had been marked by some miracle, in the pursuance of her object. Monsieur Puvis de Chavannes has recently devoted a large mural painting to this pious legend. Nevertheless, Childéric took the city, in which he dwelt but very little.

Pagan though he was, he partook of the general veneration for the saintly virgin, and could refuse nothing to her earnest entreaties. It was during his reign that she conceived the idea of building a church to Saint Denis on the site of his tomb; by her prayers and entreaties she succeeded in inducing the clergy and the people of Paris to raise the necessary funds, and she commissioned a priest by the name of Genès to construct the edifice. Clovis, son and successor of Childéric, had no less consideration for her, but the basilica which he erected, in connection with his wife Clotilde, and in consequence of his vow made during the war with the Visigoths, was originally dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and did not take the name of Sainte-Geneviève until later. It was completed after his death by Clotilde, who caused to be interred in it the bodies of her spouse and the saint.

The famous châsse (shrine or casket) of Sainte-Geneviève, preserved in the abbey bearing her name which was completed in the reign of Philippe-Auguste, and enriched by successive gifts of various sovereigns, was constantly appealed to during many centuries, taken down, solemnly carried in procession through the streets escorted by barefooted clergy, whenever any of the innumerable evils from the hand of God or man afflicted her good city of Paris.

A MEROVINGIAN QUEEN. From water-color by F. Bac.
A MEROVINGIAN QUEEN. From water-color by F. Bac.







NY one traversing the handsome, formal garden which now occupies the site of the ancient palace of the Tuileries, official residence of the rulers of France after the red days of the Revolution, may perceive in the midmost of the central alley, directly in the axis of the long vista between Napoleon's two arches of triumph, that of the Carrousel and that of the Place de l'Étoile, an important marble group by the sculptor Mercié, set up on a high pedestal. This monument represents a vanquished and wounded French infantry soldier, with bandaged feet, sinking and clutching for support at the skirts of a robust peasant woman wearing the typical head-dress of Alsace-Lorraine, who snatches the real Chassepot, whitened to imitate marble (furnished by the courtesy of the Minister of War), from his failing grasp. The whiting is wearing away from the real Chassepot, the grime of the Parisian weather is settling into corners of eyes, under noses, etc.; the pathos and sentiment of the work suffer accordingly, and it may be doubted whether any pathetic, or would-be pathetic, work of sculpture is ever really effective, even if wrought by a very clever contemporary French artist. But it is to be noticed that on this national and historic site, in what might be called the physical centre of the nation, the most prominent monument commemorates, not the national glories and triumphs, but a humiliating and overwhelming national disaster. Facing the square of the Carrousel, between the arch and the Louvre, is the much vaster monument of Gambetta in marble and bronze, with long extracts from his orations in the evil days of '71 engraved on the tall shaft which rises behind him,—a most ostentatious commemoration of defeat. Farther west, the great Place de la Concorde is surrounded by handsome pavilions and balustrades, with eight stately, seated female figures of heroic size typifying the principal cities of France. To one of these the traveller's attention is at once directed by the funerary contributions in which she is half smothered,—draped flags, great wreaths and disks of immortelles and black bead-work, similar to those seen on the tombs in the cemeteries, with commemorative inscriptions: "From the Societies of the Inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine;" "14th July, 1898" (the day of the national fête, commemorative of the fall of the Bastile); "France! Souviens toi!" on a huge yellow circle like a life-preserver, and, on a circular disk at the feet of the statue:


This curiously-garnished statue is that representing the city of Strasbourg, which is no longer a French city; and of all the others, which illustrate nothing particularly mortifying or mournful in the national history, no proclamation whatever is made. In the centre of the handsome court-yard of the new and imposing Hôtel de Ville, the statue selected as the central jewel of this écrin, as it were, is Mercié's Gloria Victis, the vanquished here being, again, France. (It should be stated, however, that if any work of contemporary sculpture is worthy of honor and of proud municipal recognition, it is this admirable bronze.)

Many of the great public places in the city of Paris, moreover, commemorate, more or less openly, what might be called the great stains on the history of the nation. The Place de la Concorde is that of the Guillotine, and the Luxor obelisk is the monument of the more than twenty-eight hundred victims beheaded by that axe. The Place de l'Hôtel de Ville was formerly the Place de Grève, famous in all hangmen's annals,—burnings alive, tearings asunder by horses, breakings on the wheel, decapitations, hangings,—from Catherine de Médicis' Huguenot chiefs and the unlucky Comte de Montgomery; Lally-Tollendal, Governor of the Indies; Foulon, contrôleur-général of the finances and his son-in-law, hanged to the street lanterns by the mob, down to the famous regicides and the obscure and ignoble multitude of criminals of all ages. The Place de la Bastile commemorates the fortress-jail of that name,—one of the worst of all jails and one to be discreetly forgotten; the column of July, in the centre of this place, was erected in memory of the victims of the Revolution of 1830. The statue of Henri IV on the Pont-Neuf marks the spot where the Grand Master of the Templars and one of his officers were burned at the stake; on the carrefour of the Observatory, that of Marshal Ney, the locality where that brave soldier was shot by order of the Chamber of Peers; from the little bell-tower at the side of the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, back of the Louvre, the signal was sounded for the Saint Bartholomew. The Châtelet and the Conciergerie were famous prisons; the ruins of the palace on the Quai d'Orsay have been but just removed, to make room for the new depot of the Orléans railway, after having stood since 1871 a most eloquent monument of the excesses of the Commune. It was even proposed to leave the shattered walls of the Tuileries as a permanent record of the follies of an unbridled democracy!

From an illuminated manuscript in the National Library, Paris.

This expansiveness, this frank parading of unseemly things, is supplemented by other public demonstrations of the passion of the hour. For some years after the fall of the Commune the national emotions found solace in stencilling in big letters on every possible wall or fronton or pediment, public or private,—Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité. The harassed citizen of the new republic looked up, or down, or sideways, at this official assurance of the sentiments breathed by all, high or low, and found comfort. Only, the wits of the agitated capital—who perceive some, but by no means all, of the opportunities which their fellow-citizens afford them—took occasion to read this text with the punctuation-mark—(.) point—after each noble word. Point is also the strongest of negations, so that the official declaration of faith was reduced to nullity,—"Liberty, none; Equality, none: Fraternity, not the slightest!"

All this seems to constitute a curious national trait, and in literature, in the daily journals, the observing traveller is again impressed with this unbosoming, which the Parisian himself would probably brand as naïveté if he could perceive it. It flourishes perfectly side by side with his vanity; in fact, it probably has its origin in his vanity. "The Causes of Our Defeat in 1870," under various titles, have furnished and are still furnishing matter for interminable publication. In municipal affairs, the unshakable conviction that Paris is, simply, the only capital in the world does not in the least interfere with frank admissions concerning its limitations, which the least public-spirited villager in other climes would neither believe nor admit. Here, the journalist, the romancer, the historian, find in the most simple human demonstration, if it take place in the capital, something peculiarly and most admirably Parisien. Balzac, e.g., in the Double Famille, if we remember aright, brings two of his characters together late at night in a dusky street; the younger man thinks he recognizes the elder, but is not certain; he therefore approaches him doubtfully "as a Parisian does when he is undecided." This endless and childish delight in everything appertaining to his town, and the accompanying frank indifference to everything, pretty much, outside of it, is, in fact, so well known abroad that it has even brought down upon the Parisian's unconscious head the epithet that he would consider the uttermost of insults—"provincial!" He provincial! he who has invented those two withering words, "the provinces" and "bourgeois."

Nevertheless, this capital of all possible civilizations does not hesitate to admit that it must by all means do all in its power to attract the wealthy tourist of other nations, on whom its prosperity is so largely dependent, especially since it has no longer the attractions of a royal or imperial court to offer. No presentation of the city of Paris at the present day would be complete without documents giving the opinions of its own cultured and intelligent classes on its general characteristics and its most urgent needs. With regard to this question of dependence upon strangers, endless quotations might be cited, and two or three may well be printed here as more valuable contributions to this contemporary history than any speculations by mere foreigners. The Revue Encyclopédique, published weekly by the great house of Larousse, has a column which it devotes to ideas of general interest, underscored, and in this column appeared, in the issue of January 23, 1897, the following communication: "For some time past the Avenue de L'Opéra, at Paris, has been lighted by electricity by means of incandescent lamps placed along the central axis of this great thoroughfare. This very handsome illumination serves only to accentuate more strongly the monotonous melancholy of the double row of commercial establishments the fronts of which are invariably closed at eight o'clock in the evening.... And sorrowful reflections are awakened of the brilliant evenings of thirty years ago, the movement of foreigners along the boulevards, the crowd of promenaders constantly changing before the dazzling show-windows of the end of the Second Empire. Why is not some effort made to revive this brilliant past by creating attractions capable of arousing the curiosity of the Parisians and, above all, of the foreigners? Could not some arrangement be made among all the shop-keepers of the grand boulevards and of the principal adjacent streets (Rue de la Paix, Rue Royale, Avenue de l'Opéra, etc.), that one evening a week be devoted to the exceptional adornment of their establishments?" And the writer goes on to suggest, with Parisian ingenuity, that a jury of artists might even be constituted to decide which display was the most brilliant and the most worthy, and to award suitable recompense. "By this means it is probable that the street and the boulevard would resume their former animation, to the great profit of the trade in articles of luxury, so profoundly affected by the desertion of the foreigners."

In the year of grace, 1898, the Parisian world was greatly agitated by the fact that the Grand Prix de Paris was run at Longchamps on the 5th of June, and that, consequently, the Parisian season was brought to an ending most unreasonably early. These complaints were so insistent that they found voice in the Municipal Council and were brought before the Prefect of the Seine. It was contended that the treaty between the city and the Société d'encouragement of improvement of the equine breed, its lessee at Longchamps, had been violated, inasmuch as the great event had taken place before the middle of June. But the Société d'encouragement proved conclusively, by the terms of its lease from the city, that the date and the regulations of the race were left to its own judgment, and that, in point of fact, it had always taken place before the 15th of June. "But that which it is above all important to observe is, that the date of the Grand Prix is determined, not according to the whim of the Société d'encouragement, but indeed by that of the English Derby, which regulates also that of the French Derby. It is necessary, in fact, that the same horses should take part in the three trials. The English, having set the date of their Derby this year on the 26th of May, the French Derby, which precedes it, had to be run on the 22d of May, and the Grand Prix de Paris, which occurs regularly ten days after the English Derby, could only be run on Sunday, the 5th of June. It is impossible, moreover, in any way to postpone this date, for the reason that the horses cannot be maintained in racing condition for any longer period of time."

Notwithstanding this conclusive reasoning, Le Temps, one of the most eminent and dignified journals of the capital, devoted a long article in its largest type, two days afterward, to the duty of the Conseil municipal in the matter. "This date is not, in fact, a matter of indifference to the interests of the city. It is, or it is considered to be, the moment selected for a general exodus of foreigners and even of Parisians in comfortable circumstances toward the seaside and other rural resorts. The shop-keepers therefore consider that they have cause for complaint if this moment arrive too early. The municipal councillors who have constituted themselves the spokesmen of their griefs have demanded and obtained a vote on a resolution having for its object the designation of the third Sunday in June, at the earliest, as the date of this equine solemnity.

Facsimile of a German copperplate engraving of the period.

Here is to be seen what is set forthSo, together with the servants, it is thought
To lose their lives, young and old,That three thousand were destroyed.
At a wedding in Paris.The King of Navarre, also Conde,
So that to judgment shall be sure,Is taken likewise of nobles more.
There were killed the AdmiralThe Huguenots, man, woman, child,
With his nobles altogether.Were rapidly disposed of.
 Of whom the total number was found to be five thousand.

On the 22d day of August, in the year 1572.

"Whether this date may or may not be adopted, it seems to us that the interest which it awakens is entitled to unqualified commendation. The Municipal Council in no way goes outside of its proper sphere; on the contrary, it is well within it, when it concerns itself with the general interests of the city of Paris, when it seeks for means of retaining in it and attracting to it the largest possible number of foreigners and of very wealthy individuals whose presence and whose habits have for result the circulation of a great deal of money and the constant vivifying of the Parisian industries, which are, for the greater part, the industries of luxury. The Municipal Council understands perfectly that this question of the sojourn of strangers amongst us is in the highest degree an economical question which concerns the labor and the wages of the Parisian workmen, as it does also the general prosperity of the finances of the city. Therefore, far from criticising it for deliberating upon this question and others of a similar nature, we should rather regret that it has not turned its attention upon them with more constancy and consecutiveness.

"It is not, in fact, a simple matter of detail like that which has occupied the Municipal Council, which can ameliorate or even guarantee the situation of Paris in so far as it is a rendezvous or a residence for foreigners. These will not continue to come here and to remain here unless their sojourn is made agreeable and peaceful for them. This is something which should be considered, and it is a question which is closely connected with the general functions of our ædiles. It is not to be imagined that with a few indirect measures this foreign colony, so essentially susceptible and flitting by nature, can be constrained to remain among us and expend its money against its own will. These are not birds that can be put in a cage, and, above all, retained there. Even those whose passion for the races is well developed will easily find a method of being present at the Grand Prix without domiciling themselves among us. They will only pass through; we shall see them no more. The essential point is, therefore, to watch with the utmost care, every day, that Paris shall never lose in their eyes its prestige and its attractions. From this will ensue, if we wish to deduce from it, practical regulations for the administration of the great city."

And the editor goes on to regret that the municipal authorities, so far from occupying themselves exclusively with these details of public hygiene, street lighting, facility of transport, etc., should so frequently expend themselves upon "violent discussions of politique pure." "Is it not true that in what concerns the general progress of urban life, whether it be the question of transportation, or that of gas, or that of electricity, we are behind, and very greatly behind, the condition which has been attained in London, in New York, in Berlin, and even in Geneva and in some of our cities of the provinces?" These reflections appeared to be especially opportune on the evening of the election which was to replace in the Municipal Council those members who were about to leave it for the Chamber of Deputies. "The electors who are interested in the aspect under which the city will present itself to foreigners in 1900, at the moment of the Exposition Universelle, will not allow to escape this opportunity of manifesting their sentiments upon this subject.... All those who labor to augment its prosperity accomplish much more—be it known—for the amelioration of the condition of the work-people than the dreamers of national confiscations and of obligatory collectivism, and their efforts, if they are in the majority, will be otherwise efficacious in retaining the foreigners than by the moving forward some fifteen days of the date of the Grand Prix. Although it is not to be despised, a season of fifteen days' duration is, taking it altogether, but a slight gain. The foreigners flock hither the whole year round, and it is the whole year round that it is necessary to make them find it safe and agreeable to visit here, visits to which they are inclined and from which the entire city derives such great benefits."

From a drawing by Adrien Moreau.

This exposition may be considered as an authentic, contemporary document, and, as has been premised, these opinions are coeval and coterminous with an admirable civic self-satisfaction. It is perhaps scarcely necessary to stipulate that in these general observations it is the frame of mind and the mode of speech of what are known everywhere as the upper classes, the more intelligent and refined, which are taken into account,—the Parisian workman, day-laborer, and semi-criminal, though they figure very largely in the results of the general elections (worse luck!), do not necessarily appear in the discussion of these questions of high importance. It may be remembered that, at the period of this much-discussed Grand Prix, there was much contradictory testimony as to the existence of a general feeling of hostility toward America and the Americans among the French because of the Spanish war. Many depositions were made on both sides, but there was a general consensus of opinion among the heads of the larger Parisian commercial and manufacturing establishments as to that of their work-people. "Their political views and manner of looking at things have no other horizon than that of the newspaper they are in the habit of reading," said one chief of an important house, "they take no notice of the effect which such crises may have upon their work." "We believe them to be absolutely indifferent," said another; "I can assure you that the workmen take not the slightest interest in this question, and they probably would not understand it if it were put to them," testified a third. "As to the working-class," said a merchant in the Rue de Rivoli, "they occupy themselves with their own affairs, and nothing beyond. Apart from the social question, all they want is to earn as much money as possible, and do the least work possible for it." One of these sons of toil corroborated these statements very frankly. "I can assure you," said he, "that neither my comrades nor myself side with one or the other. I assure you that it matters nothing to us. We have something better to do than to gossip about the war."

Much the same conditions have obtained in the formation and development of this superior intellectual and aristocratic Parisian society as in that of other civilized nations. We are all more or less familiar with the general demonstrations by which the historians demonstrate the development of the wealthy classes, by the aid and support of which alone the letters and the arts arise and flourish. In the earliest stages of society, the struggle for life absorbs all possible energy; a little comfort and security, and consequent leisure, bring in the arts. The half-starved hunting-dog follows the game steadily, stealthily, without a superfluous sign or motion; after the chase, and the subsequent feast and the subsequent luxurious slumber, he awakes to indulge in unpractical gambols and barkings around his master,—it is the dance; Art is invented! The three superior social classes, the king, the clergy, and the nobles, which were definitely established in France at the outbreak of the Revolution, were the legitimate development of the feudal system, and had, apparently, legitimately conquered their position. They had been the protectors of the people even before the Carlovingian epoch, and when the people finally arose and overturned them, it was only because they had completely forgotten their high mission through a long course of years.

To Stendhal's observation, that, in the tenth century, a man considered himself lucky if he were not killed, and had a good leathern jacket for winter, Taine adds, and a woman, if she were not violated by a whole band of ruffians. In those truly Dark Ages the peasant accepted quite willingly the hardest feudal obligations as a harbor of refuge from the ills that menaced him on every side. The sixth and seventh centuries of our era are considered to have been among the worst that the world has seen; it was declared that it was not with water, but with His tears, that God moistened the earth out of which He made man. After the fall of the Romans, it was the Church alone that saved human society from "a Mongol anarchy;" in the last years of the Empire, the cities, illy defended by their natural protectors, gave to their bishops, with the title of defensor civitatis, the principal municipal authority. The Church alone retained any influence over the conquering barbarian; before the shaven monk or the mitred abbot, the wolfish and ignorant chief, long-haired, filthy, and half-clad in furs, hesitated, listened to his words in the council, stooped before his altars,—"like Saint Lupicin before the Burgonde king Chilpéric, Saint Karileff before the king Childebert." In his moments of repose, after the chase, or the battle, or the feast, the menaces of the prelate began to stir in his guilty soul,—aided, perhaps, by the reproaches or the advice of his wife or his concubine; he hesitated to violate the sanctuary lest he should fall dead with a broken neck on the threshold; if he had been carried away by his passions, and committed murder or robbery, he repented and made reparation, sometimes a hundred-fold. The cloister offered a refuge to those who fled aghast from the world and sought meditation and solitude; the abbey was not only an asylum, but a haunt of learning and practical industry, a seat of instruction for the farmer, the workman, the student. "Thus the most evil centuries of the Middle Ages," says Duruy, "were acquainted with virtues of which the finest ages of paganism were ignorant; and thus, thanks to a few souls of the elect, animated by the pure spirit of Christianity, humanity was arrested on the edge of the abyss in which it seemed about to precipitate itself."

Nevertheless, this historian admits that Christianity, which had not modified the manners of Roman society, was itself an element in the dissolution of the Empire, and that the Church itself acquired some of the rudeness of the barbarians with which it came into such intimate contact. "Germans and Franks aspired to the honor of the episcopate, and carried into the basilicas customs and manners which were strange there. The great intellectual movement which had formerly animated religious society slackened, then ceased; the shadows descended upon the Church itself."

From a drawing by Adrien Moreau.

After Charlemagne's short-lived empire, the universal dissolution set in again. Against the bands of brigands, four or five hundred strong each, that traversed the country, any defender was welcome, and a second upholder of society arose,—the stout warrior, skilled in arms, who gathered retainers around him, secured a hold or a castle, and offered protection in return for service rendered. His title or his lineage mattered but little in the tenth century, his defence was much too welcome for any carping about his arms or his ancestry,—he was an ancestor himself. The original source of many noble houses is more than doubtful,—Tertulle, the founder of the Plantagenets; Rollo, Duke of Normandy; the ancestors of Robert le Fort; the Capétiens were said to have been descended from a butcher of Paris. "'In these times,'" says Taine, quoting the Spanish chronicle, "'the kings, counts, nobles, and all the knights, in order to be ready at any moment, kept their horses in the hall in which they slept with their wives.' The viscount in the tower which defends the entrance to the valley, or the passage of the ford, the marquis thrown as a forlorn hope on the devastated frontier, sleeps on his arms, like the American lieutenant in a blockhouse in the far West, among the Sioux. His house is only a camp and a refuge; some straw and a pile of leaves are thrown on the pavement of the great hall; it is there that he sleeps with his horsemen, unbuckling a spur when he has a chance for repose; the loopholes scarcely allow the day-light to enter,—it is important, above all, that the arrows do not. All inclinations, all sentiments, are subordinated to the service; there are posts on the European frontier where the boy of fourteen is called upon to march, and where the widow, up to sixty years of age, is compelled to marry again. Men in the ranks, to fill up the vacancies, men at the posts, to mount guard,—this is the cry that issues at this moment from all human institutions, like the call of a voice of bronze." Thanks to these stout defenders, some form of society is again made possible.

A later historian, M. Flach, in his Origines de l'ancienne France, finds the germ from which sprang the whole feudal system in this patronage, the system of defence of the serf and vassal by the landed proprietor. In the great disorganization of the Roman Empire, a portion of the public authority passed into the hands of individuals; when the Frankish kings invaded Gaul, they found there a system of patronage similar to their own. These great proprietors were maintained under the first Merovingian kings, who kept them in due subjection; but as this regulation gradually weakened under the growing power of the land-owner, the private individual found himself ground between these two millstones. A private patron then became his only defence, and thus was hastened the strictly feudal system. With regard to the royal function, which crowned this feudal system, the historian cites two quotations in support of his thesis: "Under Louis d'Outre-mer, the legate of the Pope, Marin, defined the royal authority,—he called it patronage [patrocinium]. Forty years later the decisive argument of the Archbishop of Reims, Adalbéron, in sustaining the claims of Hugues Capet to the throne, was: 'You will have in him a father. No one, up to the present time, has invoked in vain his patronage [patrocinium].'"

Quite apart from these valid, historical reasons, the British "love of a lord" is by no means confined to Great Britain. The Parisians, also, have a certain fondness for titles and distinctions of all sorts. For the English aristocracy they profess a genuine admiration, as affording the best example of the success of a certain élite in affecting the social conscience. They quote approvingly John Bright when he admits that his folk—trades-people and commoners—are quite willing to have their public affairs managed by a superior class, specially trained, enjoying an independent and commanding social station. Their titles and their pride of ancestry give them robes and plumes, and a troop follows its officers more readily when they are gorgeously uniformed. Only, it is required that this privilege shall not be abused; no favor to mediocrities, no nepotism. Victor Hugo was more proud of his title of vicomte Hugo than of his greatest work, and Balzac's obstinacy in clinging to his particle of de has lately been shown to have been completely unfounded. To Sainte-Beuve, who infuriated him by constantly speaking of him as M. Honoré Balzac, he wrote: "My name is on my register of birth, as M. Fitz-James's is on his." So it is, but without any de. In 1836, at the period of the legal process to which one of his works, Le Lys dans la vallée, gave rise, he wrote: "If my name is that of an old Gaulish family, it is not my fault; but my name, De Balzac, is my name patronymic, an advantage which is not enjoyed by many aristocratic families who called themselves Odet before they called themselves Châtillon, Riquet before Caraman, Duplessis before Richelieu, and which are none the less great families.... If my name resounds well in some ears, if it is envied by some who are not content with their own, I cannot therefore renounce it.... My father ... found in the Trésor des Chartres the concession of land made in the fifth century by the De Balzacs to establish a monastery in the environs of the little town of Balzac (department of La Charente), a copy of which, he told me, was, by their action, enregistered by the Parliament of Paris." It appears that there are existing no Merovingian records of any kind dating earlier than the seventh century; and a keeper of archives, M. Ch. Portal, in the department of Tarn, in which the death of the great novelist's father, "Bernard-François Balzac, born at Nougaïris," is recorded, having looked the matter up, discovered that his ancestors were simple country-people, laborers, who had never dreamed of a de before their name, which, in fact, was really Balssa or Balsa!

The French have no word in their language which exactly translates "snob," so they adopt with enthusiasm the English syllable (mispronouncing it fearfully); and this curious weakness in so great a writer and so keen a student of humanity would be even more remarkable if it were not so very common among other civilized people. M. Jules Lemaître, a couple of years ago, read before the five Academies of the Institute a careful study of this particular social class; there were said to be a crowd of amateur playwrights besieging the managers with plays with this title, and the pretentious claimer of things that are not his in the great world, "the great nephew of Mascarille in the Précieuses ridicules," was honored with more analysis, comment, and reconstruction than he was probably entitled to.

1610. From a drawing by L. Marold.
ASSASSINATION OF HENRY IV, RUE DE LA FERRONNERIE, MAY 14, 1610. From a drawing by L. Marold.

In addition to the three great classes that have ruled over France, and which, with the commons or serfs, have been known to almost every European nation, a third class, the tiers état, still in process of formation elsewhere on the Continent, but which arose in Paris and other great cities in the thirteenth century, is claimed by the historians of this nation as peculiarly French.

Previous to Pepin and Charlemagne, Paris was generally recognized as the capital, though the wandering and barbaric Frankish kings much preferred as places of residence their great country-houses or villas, when they were neither hunting nor fighting. The court of Charlemagne, in the later years of his reign, was held at Aix-la-Chapelle, his favorite abode. In 775 he was present at the dedication of the new church of Saint-Denis, and the Parisians are said to have made a fête of the occasion. Louis le Débonnaire, his son, more monk than king, also neglected the city, excepting in the matter of founding churches and increasing the privileges of the clergy. But under the last of the Carlovingian emperors, Charles le Gros, the capital redeemed its right to that title by its gallant defence against the Northmen, or Normans, and its valiant count, Eudes, having brought the sluggish emperor to the heights of Montmartre only to see him conclude an unworthy peace with the invaders, founded himself the first national dynasty when his fat suzerain was deposed in the following year. "One of the greatest figures of the Carlovingian decadence," says M. Faure, in a recent monograph, "he continued the monarchy of Charlemagne without changing anything in the institutions, and he gave a precise form to a power that before him was still undecided, that of duke of the Franks."

The royal authority waxed and waned, the turbulent nobles exhausted themselves in war, in struggles amongst themselves and against the king, but the wealth and power of the Church steadily increased. Occasionally only, when its interference was too flagrantly unjust, its authority was defied. The first Capétiens, like the first Carlovingians, whether from motives of self-interest or sincere faith, were its faithful allies. Hugues Capet liked better to wear his cope as Abbot of Saint-Martin de Tours than his crown, and he restored to the Church several abbeys which he possessed. His son, Robert the Pious, was almost a saint, and the princes of this dynasty, on the whole, merited the title which Rome gave them, of "eldest sons of the Church." Their piety was not altogether without reward: the bishops of the Ile-de-France and the abbots, chiefs of the abbeys founded by royal grace, brought more than once not only earthly weapons but a spiritual one, that of excommunication, to the defence of the sovereign.

Robert's first care, after his accession to the throne in 996, was to rebuild the church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois and the monastery of Saint-Germain-des-Près, which had been destroyed by the Northmen. He also erected in his palace a chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas, which, in 1154, entirely restored, became the Sainte-Chapelle. He washed the feet of the poor, he fed, it is said, sometimes a thousand of them a day; nothing was too sacred for them, neither the silver ornaments of his lance nor the gold fringe of his robe. He was constant in his attendance on the church services, he composed hymns, himself, which were long retained. Nevertheless, having espoused his cousin Berthe, he found himself excommunicated by the Pope, Gregory V. Among the earliest works of the painter Jean-Paul Laurens, long in the Luxembourg, is a graphic presentation of this unhappy couple, clinging to each other in the poor, bare splendor of the very early mediæval throne-room, the overturned great tapers of the excommunication service on the floor before them, the smoke rising like anathema, and the last of the implacable ministers of the Church departing through the open doorway. Every one deserted them, as though plague-stricken; only two poor domestics remained to serve them, and they purified by fire every vessel from which the unhappy monarch had taken food or drink. But Berthe was enceinte, and the king loved her, and so clung to her and would not obey. One morning as he went to pray, according to his custom, at the door of the church of Saint-Barthélemy, into which he was forbidden to enter, Abbon, Abbé de Fleury, followed by two women of the palace, carrying a great silver-gilt plate covered with a linen cloth, approached him, and announced that Berthe had been delivered. Then he uncovered the plate:

"See!" he exclaimed, "the effects of your disobedience to the decrees of the Church, and the seal of anathema on the fruit of your guilty love!"

And Robert recoiled in horror before a little monster with the head and neck of a duck! (Canard, it may be noted, in French, signifies both a duck and a highly improbable story.)

So the poor queen was repudiated, and Robert married Constance, daughter of the Comte de Toulouse, who made his life a burden to him. He hid himself from her to say his prayers, and feared her so much that he did not hesitate to deny his charities and good deeds to her,—though he had such a horror of falsehood, that he had made a casket of crystal, mounted with gold, but in which he was careful not to put any holy relic, so that those who took their oaths on it before him might not perjure themselves.

His son Henri I, who succeeded him, married a daughter of the Grand Duke of Russia, in order that he might be certain of not taking a wife within the degrees of consanguinity prohibited by the Church. This princess, Anne, claimed to descend through her mother, daughter of the Emperor Romanus II, from Philip of Macedon.

The queen Constance brought with her from the Midi some of those troubadours whose romantic airs and graceful verses were so appreciated in the little courts of the south of France and, later, in the gloomy castles of the nobles of the north. Great was the prevalence of ennui in these fortresses, in which there was but little sunshine and a great dearth of all other refining and civilizing influences. It was impossible to be engaged in warfare or the chase all the time, and the wandering pilgrim, with his tales from afar, or, still more, the wandering minstrel, trouvère, as he was called in the north of France, was a welcome relief to the deadly monotony of the days of peace. "Seated at the hearth of the seigneur, he sang, during long evenings, the tragic adventures of the Dame de Fayel and of the Sire de Coucy, or the marvellous exploits of the Knights of the Round Table, of Renaud, and of Roland, of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers; unless, indeed, his audience, in a livelier mood, demanded of him some sarcastic fabliau, or the fine tricks played upon Master Isengrin by his shrewd gossip, Master Renard."

From a drawing by L. Marold.

But these Aquitains in the train of Queen Constance, when they first appeared in the court of the good Robert, were singularly offensive to the Parisians by their elegance, their luxurious habits, and their light manners. "As soon as Constance appeared at the court," says Raoul Glaber, "you could have seen France inundated by a species of folk the most vain and the most frivolous of all possible men. Their fashion of living, their garments, their armor, the harness of their horses, were all equally fantastic. Their hair descended scarcely as low as the middle of the head [the northern French still retained the long flowing locks in the German fashion]: true theatricals, in whom the shaved chin, the small-clothes, the ridiculous boots, ending in a curved beak, and the whole outward appearance badly arranged, betrayed the disorder of their minds. Men without faith, without law, without shame, whose contagious example will corrupt the French nation, formerly so decent, and precipitate it into all kinds of debauchery and wickedness."

Notwithstanding Robert's piety, his reign was signalized by a cruel persecution of the Jews, in revenge for the destruction of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem by the Fatimite caliph of Egypt, and by the first execution of heretics in France. Throughout the whole of the Middle Ages, the Jews, forbidden to hold any landed property, were constantly persecuted, plundered, and outraged, banished only to be called back again at the price of further exactions. The first thirteen heretics were burned at Orléans in 1022; one of them had been the confessor of Queen Constance, and as he passed her on his way to the stake, she put out one of his eyes with a long rod she held in her hand. Nevertheless, the historian Duruy considers that this certain mental movement, these deviations of the human intelligence from the beaten track, demonstrated that the period in which all thought seemed dead had passed, and that the first Renaissance began in this (eleventh) century.

A more recent writer distinguishes this century also by "that revolution in feudal France," the development of the commune. The great social fact was the disappearance of the three classes, serfs, semi-freemen, and free men (libres), which had existed since the ninth century, and their unity under subjection to the seigneur. This domination of the seigneur, at first justified by the protection afforded, lost its authority when it began to consult only its self-interest, and, toward the close of the century, stirred up revolts which led to the establishment of all kinds of popular associations, guilds, confraternities, charities, communities, etc.

The only church erected in Paris during the thirty years' reign of Henri I was that of Sainte-Marine, founded about 1036, and whose patron, according to the story, was a young virgin named Marine, who conceived a strong desire to be a monk. So she disguised herself as a man, and became Brother Marin in a convent. One of her duties was to go to the city for provisions, with an ox-cart, and on her journeys she frequently passed the night in the house of the Seigneur de Pandoche, whose daughter was found to be with child. To screen her lover, a soldier, she laid the blame on Brother Marin, and he was accordingly driven from his monastery. However, he took the child, which was sent him, nourished it, and the monks, touched by his meekness, finally received him back in their fold. Not till his death was his secret discovered, when he was interred with great religious pomp and canonized under his true name. Consequently, in the church of Sainte-Marine were celebrated all the forced marriages of couples found living together without the sanction of law, the public authorities compelling them to appear before the curé of Sainte-Marine, who wedded them with a ring of straw, slipped on the bride's finger.

After an engraving by Saint-Jean.

Henri's son, Philippe I, contrived, like his grandfather, to get himself excommunicated because of his marriage, but for the space of ten years he seems to have concerned himself but little about the wrath of the Church. He had repudiated his wife, Berthe, and taken Bertrade, whom he had carried off from her husband, Foulque, Comte d'Angers. Finally, wearied of her, he presented himself as a penitent, barefooted, before the council of 1104, Bertrade doing the same; they protested their horror of their past conduct, their resolve to sin no more, and were accordingly absolved. It was this monarch who, by his unseemly jest concerning William the Conqueror, of whom he was both jealous and afraid, nearly brought down upon the Parisians again another Norman. "When is that fat man going to be delivered?" inquired Philippe, with the delicate humor of the Middle Ages. To which the Conqueror replied that he was coming to Paris for his "churching," with ten thousand lances instead of tapers. And, as was his fashion, he started to keep his word: his advance guard was burning villages up to the gates of Paris, when, according to the story, his horse stepped on some hot cinders at Mantes and in his sudden recoil so injured the monarch that he died soon after at Rouen.

The great national assemblies which Charlemagne had so often consulted, and even those convocations of the great lords and bishops which had been so frequent in the tenth century, fell into disuse under the Capétiens, in consequence of the rise of the feudal power and the decline of the royal authority. The king, by his constant donations to his leudes or great vassals, had, in course of time, very nearly stripped himself of domains, and these bénéfices were retained by the lords and made hereditary in their own families. It was the same with the public charges and the titles of dukes, counts, etc., which carried with them an authority delegated by the prince, and which ended by passing entirely out of his hands. Charlemagne had been able to check the greed and ambition of the feudal lords, but his feebler successors were unable to do so. Even the right of coining money was claimed by the great seigneurs, and in this century there were no less than a hundred and fifty in France who exercised this privilege. Most of them refused to receive any coinage but their own, and the confusion and difficulty in conducting trade may be imagined. The nobles, solicitous to increase their power, founded new towns and took them under their protection, granting certain privileges to the inhabitants, even that of holding land, and under the cover of these privileges, as under those of the communes, the tiers état, or third estate, was gradually formed. Similar grants were made to some of the ancient cities, including Paris and Orléans, which seemed to have received all their franchises from the Middle Ages and from the kings, excepting, in Paris, the corporation of the Nantes, already referred to, whose privileges were confirmed by Louis VII.

This monarch, father of Philippe-Auguste, fixed the number of peers of France, the great seigneurs who held directly from the crown, at twelve,—six laic and six ecclesiastical. The first were the dukes of Burgundy, Normandy, and Guyenne, the counts of Champagne, Flanders, and Toulouse, and, to counterbalance these puissant lords, six ecclesiastics, all the more attached to the king that they were without landed property and consequently without much temporal power, the Archbishop of Reims and the bishops of Laon, Noyon, Châlons, Beauvais, and Langres. The Court of Peers was, however, not regularly organized before the beginning of the thirteenth century. Notwithstanding the weakness of the royal authority, it still retained elements of strength and superiority which time eventually developed. The king was nominal head of the whole feudal society, he was the chief suzerain, and all the great lords were his vassals and owed him homage. He was the supreme justice of the nation, and the vassals all were bound to appear before the "Court of the King." This court was not only a great council, but also a court of justice; the great vassals had the right to demand a trial by their equals, or peers, and in this case the court became the Court of Peers. The fief, held from the suzerain, could not be diminished or impaired in any way—just as the modern tenant has no right to damage his landlord's property; at the death of the vassal, the suzerain inherited, and in case he left infant children, the suzerain was the guardian.

Two incidents recorded by the chroniclers of the reign of that very capable monarch, Louis VI, called le Gros, or the Fat, will serve to illustrate the manners and customs of the times from two points of view. A short time before the marriage of the king with Adélaïde de Savoie, he had, in the exercise of his royal authority, demolished part of a house, the property of the Canon Duranci, in the Rue des Marmousets, because it projected too far out into the street and obstructed the circulation. But the chapter of Notre-Dame protested in the name of its privileges and of its immunities; the king admitted his error, and agreed to pay an indemnity of a denier of gold; the chapter insisted that this should be done on the day of his marriage, before he could be permitted to receive the nuptial benediction, and the crowned culprit was obliged to consent that a formal record of the affair should be placed on the registers of the chapter. It was recognized that he had no right to demolish any house, except for the purpose of erecting a church on the site: this, although the narrowness and crookedness of the streets, as well as their foul and miasmatic condition owing to the lack of all paving and sewerage, were the constant sources of epidemics.

On the 13th of October, 1131, the king was riding with his son on the hillock of Saint-Gervais (to-day the site of the Mairie of the IVth Arrondissement, on the Rue de Rivoli, a little beyond the Hôtel de Ville), when a wandering pig ran between the legs of the young man's horse, causing him to bolt and throw his rider, who was so badly injured that he died in a few hours. This led to the promulgation of a royal ordinance forbidding the proprietors of swine in the city to allow them to run at large, under penalty of confiscation for the benefit of the executioner of Paris. This regulation was several times renewed,—in 1261 under Saint Louis, in 1331 under Philippe VI, and in 1369 under Charles V, and extended to the faubourgs of Paris and the surrounding districts. The decree of 1331 gave the sergeants of the city authority to kill all those which they found wandering at liberty, to keep the head for themselves provided they transported the body to the Hôtel-Dieu. The pigs of the abbey of Saint-Antoine alone were exempted from this regulation, and, that they might be recognized, they bore a bell marked with a cross.

Louis le Gros, already occupied with measures to repress the growing power of the great nobles, commenced the fortifications of Paris, which were not completed until during the reign of his son, with a view of guarding his capital against any sudden attack. It is recorded that he adopted the habit of the great Caliph of the Arabian Nights, of traversing the streets at night in disguise and mingling familiarly with the people,—but with the design of drawing from them their complaints against their feudal lords and their knowledge of their machinations. They were not without their grievances against the king himself, and it was not till the reign of his son that was abolished the right of the royal officers, when the king came to Paris, to enter the houses of the bourgeoisie and carry off for their own use the bedding and the downy pillows they found therein.

During the long reign of Philippe-Auguste, which even the modern historians call "glorious," the power of the nobles was seriously impaired. The Cour du Roi retained the organization it had received, but its importance increased with that of the royal authority, and the most powerful vassal of the king of France saw himself dispossessed of his fiefs by its decree. The feudal power was attacked in one of its most cherished rights, that of private warfare, by a royal ordinance compelling the observance of a truce of forty days after any injury, so that no one might be assailed without warning. Any seigneur might be at once vassal and suzerain, but when Philippe acquired the fief of the Amiénois, for which he was to render homage to the Bishop of Amiens, he refused, saying that the king of France should be the vassal of no man. "To the feudal contract, between man and man, symbolized by the homage and the investiture, the thirteenth century saw succeed the democratic contract between a man and a group, between seigneurs and subjects, carrying an engagement written and public. Then began the conquest of liberty,—liberty of the person, of the family, and of the property; liberty administrative and political; economic liberty.... Of the total sum of partial contracts intervening between the king and the provinces, cities and corporations, has been formed the great national contract tacitly concluded between him and the people." (M. Imbart de la Tour.)

Notwithstanding war, famine, and pestilence, Paris had outgrown the fortifications of Louis le Gros, and, before he departed for the Crusade, Philippe-Auguste ordered the bourgeois of the city to construct a new wall, solidly built of stone, with towers and gates. This was commenced in 1190; the faubourgs were surrounded with a wall of more than two mètres in thickness, faced with masonry, flanked by five hundred towers and pierced with fifteen gates. Its course can be traced on any good map of modern Paris, and the size of the mediæval city thus compared with that of the present one. On the right bank of the river it began with a tower that was called "the tower which makes the corner," and which stood near the northern end of the present Pont des Saints-Pères. Thence it passed to the Porte-Saint-Honoré, near the present Oratoire and the statue of Coligny on the Rue de Rivoli, which was defended by two towers, struck northerly to the site of the present square formed by the intersection of the Rues Jean-Jacques-Rousseau and Coquillière, just north of the Bourse, where was a gate called Bahaigne. Here it turned eastward, cut off the commencements of the Rues Montmartre and Montorgueil, traversed also the Rue Française, and, following the direction of the little Rue Mauconseil, arrived at the Rue Saint-Denis, where was another gate called Porte-Saint-Denis, or Porte aux Peintres. Continuing in this direction, it traversed the Boulevard Sébastopol and the Rue Saint-Martin, enclosing the Rue aux Ours, followed the Rues Grenier-Saint-Lazare and Michel-le-Comte, traversed the Rue du Temple, and came to a tower erected nearly on the site of the Mont-de-Piété of to-day, between the Rues des Francs-Bourgeois and des Blancs-Manteaux, opposite to the Palais des Archives. Remains of this tower were discovered in 1878, in demolishing some old houses to make way for the enlargement of the Mont-de-Piété; it served to enclose a circular staircase. The wall continued to follow the Rue Francs-Bourgeois to another gate, the Porte Barbette, at the intersection of the Rue Vieille-du-Temple with the Rue des Rosiers; then, beginning to trend south, it followed nearly the Rue Malher to the Place Birague, not far from where the Rue de Rivoli becomes the Rue Saint-Antoine. Here was another gate, the Porte Baudet or Baudoyer. Thence the line of fortification, crossing the locality of the present church Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, descended to the river in the direction of the Rue des Barres, and ended on the quai, at the Porte Barbel-sur-l'Yeau. Vestiges of this tower were also found in 1878.

On the south side of the river the wall was not commenced till 1208, when that on the northern side was completely terminated. Instead of making a close junction with that on the other shore, it took its start somewhat to the eastward of the "corner tower," at the famous Tour de Nesle, on the locality now occupied by the right wing of the Bibliothèque Mazarine and the Hôtel des Monnaies. It crossed the Rue Dauphine and halted on the Rue Saint-André-des-Arts at the Porte Buci; crossed the Boulevard Saint-Germain, where was another gate, the Porte des Cordeliers, afterward Porte Saint-Germain; descended the Rue Monsieur-le-Prince to the Boulevard Saint-Michel, where was the Porte de Fert or d'Enfer, which became the Porte Saint-Michel under Charles VI. From this gateway the wall continued southeasterly to that of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, between the Rue Soufflot and the Rue des Fossés-Saint-Jacques, just south of it, enclosed the Place du Panthéon, crossed the Rue Descartes at the Porte Bordet or Bordel, crossed the Rue Clovis, and traversed the locality at present occupied by the buildings of the École Polytechnique. Continuing in a northerly direction, it reached the Porte Saint-Victor near the present junction of the Rue Saint-Victor and the Rue des Écoles, and finally arrived at the Quai de la Tournelle by following a direction parallel to that of the Rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard.

It was to Philippe-Auguste also that the city of Paris was indebted for its first paved streets. In 1185, five years before the wall of fortification was begun, he was in one of the great halls of his palace in the Cité, and approached a window whence he was in the habit of watching the traffic on the Seine. Some heavy wagons or carts were being drawn through the streets at the time, says the historian Rigord, and such an insupportable odor was stirred up from the mud and filth that the king was obliged to leave the window, and was even pursued by it into his palace. From this occurrence came his resolve to carry out a work from which all his predecessors had shrunk because of the great expense involved, and which, indeed, discouraged the bourgeois and the prevost of the city when the royal commands were laid upon them. Instead of carrying it out for all the streets and by-ways of the capital, they appear to have contented themselves with paving the environs of the palace, and the two streets which traversed the Cité from north to south and from east to west, and which were called the croisée de Paris. This paving was effected by means of square stones fifteen centimètres long and fifteen to eighteen thick. The bourgeoisie found the expense so heavy that under Louis XIII half of the streets of Paris were still unpaved.

In 1204, the king charged the prévôté of Paris to pay to the prior and the monks of Saint-Denis de la Chartre thirty sous parisis for the privilege of building on their land, and he commenced the construction of the Louvre. The site had long been occupied by a sort of suburban house of entertainment, and the king resolved to erect a strong château, commanding the Seine. This château was square, the thick walls pierced with small windows and loopholes arranged without order, surrounded by wide and deep ditches, and completed by a great tower rising in the middle. Over the pointed roof floated the royal banner, and within were confined the State prisoners, and the royal treasures, crown-jewels, and Trésor des Chartres. In 1200, this indefatigable monarch conceived the idea of uniting all the different schools established in Paris under one head, but the corporation of the Université was not constituted until twelve years later.

The life and reign of Louis VIII, son of Philippe-Auguste and father of Saint-Louis, have recently been made the subject of special research by M. Petit-Dutaillis, whose history may serve to give his short reign of three years a greater importance in the eyes of subsequent students than it has received. He surrounded himself with the same political advisers that had served his father, and was inspired by the same political and administrative principles: the death of King John and the birth of the infant Henry III caused his expedition to England, while still Dauphin, to fail, and in his attempt to unite the crowns of Hugues Capet and of William the Conqueror he had against him the influence of the Pope. His energetic and persevering obstinacy won for him the surname of "the Lion;" and, moreover, he was haunted "by those visions of sanctity and of power to which the clerical and classical education gave birth, the sole general ideas which enlightened and enlarged the darkened and narrow brains of the men of the Middle Ages." The French historians are of the opinion that it was to his father's victory of Bouvines that England was indebted for her Magna Charta.

His entry into Paris after his coronation at Reims is described enthusiastically by the chroniclers of the times. "The whole city turned out before him; the poets chanted odes in his praise, the musicians filled the air with the sound of the vielle [hurdy-gurdy!], of fifes, of tambours, of the psalterion and of the harp." Another admires the richness of the garments: "It is a pleasure to see the embroideries of gold and the coats of jewelled silk sparkle on all the public places, in the streets, in the squares. Old age, the flower of life, petulant youth, all stoop under the weight of the purple. The servitors and the domestics abandon themselves to the joy of being covered with adornments, and forget their condition of servitude on seeing the splendid stuffs which they display on their persons. Those who had not garments worthy of figuring in such a festival procured them by borrowing."

On the occasion of another procession which took place during this reign, and in which, as in so many other mediæval demonstrations, the devout participants walked barefoot, the religious zeal of these latter was so great that they appeared, most of them, in their shirts, and very many quite naked. This did not prevent the three queens, Isemberge, widow of Philippe-Auguste; Blanche, wife of Louis VIII, and Bérengère, Queen of Jerusalem, from watching the procession with great interest. This chronicler, Guillaume Guiart, records another instance of the manners and customs of the period, in which Queen Blanche again appears. It was the custom, at mass, when the officiating priest pronounced the words: "The peace of the Lord be with you!" for each worshipper to turn to his neighbor on the left and give him the kiss of peace. On one occasion, the queen, having received this chaste salutation, bestowed it in her turn upon a girl of the town who was kneeling next her, but whose dress was that of a respectable married woman. Greatly offended, she procured from her royal husband an edict that, in future, these coureuses d'aiguillettes should be forbidden to appear in robes with trains, in falling collars and gilded girdles. Saint-Louis, Queen Blanche's son, for all his sanctity, appears to have been the first king of France to introduce a royal falconer into his court.

From a water-color by F. Bac.

Concerning this monarch, "in whose grand figure," says M. Henri Martin, "is summed up all that there is of pure and elevated in the Catholicism of the Middle Ages," we have, fortunately, abundant information in the chronicles of the Sire de Joinville, his secretary and intimate friend, who, with Villehardouin, is one of the first in date and in merit of these national historians. The piety of the king—like that of most other truly sincere mortals—had about it something simple and ingenuous which Joinville records with equal frankness. When they first embarked on their voyage to the Crusade, the clerks and the seigneurs were fearfully seasick and much repented themselves; when they had somewhat recovered, the king would draw them into serious conversation. On one day, says Joinville:

"'Sénéchal,' said the king, 'what is it that is God?' 'Sire, it is so sovereign and so good a thing that nothing could be better.' 'Truly, that is very well replied, for this response is written in this little book which I hold in my hand. Another question I will put to you, that is to say: 'Which would you prefer, to be leprous and ugly, or to have committed a mortal sin?' And I," says Joinville, "who never wished to lie to him, I replied to him that I would rather have committed thirty mortal sins than to be a leper. When the brothers had all departed from where we were, he called me back alone and made me sit at his feet, and said to me: 'How have you dared to say that which you said to me?' And I reply to him that I would say so again. And then he says to me: 'Ha, fou musart, musart, you are deceived there, for you know that there is no leprosy so ugly as that of being in mortal sin. And I pray you, for the love of God in the first place, and for the love of me, that you retain this in your heart.'"

The king's piety did not prevent him from showing an unyielding front to the turbulent nobles and duly strengthening the royal authority at their expense. By enforcing the regulations of Philippe-Auguste, he well-nigh put a stop to the private wars and the judicial duel; he decided that the royal coinage alone should circulate in the kingdom; at his death, "Royalty already appeared as the unique centre of jurisdiction and of power, and the tiers état amassed every day more science and more riches—which always ends by giving also more influence." The French language, disengaging itself from its Latin idioms, had become the language of legislation; it was that of the Assises, or laws of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The poetry of the troubadours had perished in the atrocious crusade against the Albigeois, but, "north of the Loire, the trouvères were still composing the chansons de geste, veritable epic poems which were translated or imitated by Italy, England, and Germany. So that we are quite justified in saying that, from the twelfth century, the intellectual domination of Europe appertained incontestably to France."

The formation of the collection of manuscripts known as the Trésor des Chartes is due to Saint-Louis. These archives he gathered together and placed in the Sainte-Chapelle,—founded to receive the true Crown of Thorns which he had received from Baldwin II, Emperor of Constantinople. He restored and protected the great hospital of the Hôtel-Dieu; and when his chaplain, Robert de Sorbon, in 1253, being at that time canon of Paris, conceived the design of erecting a building devoted to the instruction, by a certain number of secular ecclesiastics, doctors in theology, of poor students, who, at that period, were frequently obliged to live in the utmost poverty in order to pursue their studies, the king purchased for the purpose a building situated in the Rue Coupe-Gueule before the Palais des Thermes. The canonization of the monarch was celebrated with great pomp in the spring of 1297, under Philippe IV; all the nobles of the kingdom, clerical and laic, were invited to the capital, the body was placed in a silver casket and carried in a procession from Saint-Denis to Paris, where it was transferred to the church of Saint-Denis. Some time afterward, one of the ribs was placed in Notre-Dame and a part of the head in the Sainte-Chapelle.

It was under very different circumstances that these earthly remains were first carried from Paris to Saint-Denis. The king had died in his second Crusade, under the walls of Tunis; his son and successor, Philippe III, re-entered Paris in 1271, bringing with him five coffins,—that of his father, of his brother, of his brother-in-law, of his wife, and of his son. He insisted upon carrying, unaided, upon his shoulders, the body of his father from Paris to Saint-Denis, and at the localities upon the road where he was obliged to stop and rest, crosses of stone were erected, and remained for several centuries. Fortunately, this was the last of the Crusades.

This filial piety did not save the young king from much tribulation. Soon after his second marriage, with the princess Marie de Brabant (during the rejoicings attending which the Parisians consumed an inordinate quantity of wine, it is said, because the cabaretiers, in revenge for the renewal of an old tax the year before, had put more water than ever in their casks), his eldest son, the child of his first wife, died. The king's chamberlain, the surgeon Pierre de Labrosse, accused the young queen of having poisoned the prince. The queen protested her innocence; the nobles of her train asserted, on the contrary, that Labrosse was probably the murderer, as he was jealous of the confidence which the king bestowed upon her, and which the chamberlain had previously enjoyed. The king was unable to believe either of them guilty; the medical science of the day was quite unequal to the task of determining whether there had been any poisoning; the queen demanded that Labrosse be put to the torture, and, to decide this doubtful question, appeal was had to the judicial duel. The duke, Jean de Brabant, arrived to maintain his sister's innocence in the lists; if he were vanquished, she would be burned at the stake. While the unhappy king was sending messengers to a celebrated béguine, a species of nun, in Brabant, who was reported to have the gift of revelation, and receiving only obscure replies, a certain man suddenly fell ill in a convent in Melun, after having confided to a monk a sealed letter to be sent to the king. The king received it, read it, showed it to his council, which declared that the seal and the writing were undoubtedly those of Labrosse. Whereupon the chamberlain was arrested, accused of high treason, correspondence with the enemies of France, peculation, everything except the real offence, and finally hung upon the celebrated gibbet of Montfaucon,—the first mention of it in history, though it had been long in existence.

It was in the first year of the reign of this monarch that the first Parisian was ennobled,—Raoul, "called the Goldsmith," the king's silversmith. Philippe afterward extended this privilege to several other worthy bourgeois who had distinguished themselves in the arts. Restricted as the space enclosed within the wall of Philippe-Auguste had been, it still contained many cultivated fields and other unbuilt-upon tracts of land; the numerous religious edifices and university establishments erected since that reign had occupied these waste spaces, and the population had even over-flowed in several directions and congregated around the abbeys that had been constructed outside the walls. When Philippe IV, the Bel, succeeded his father in 1285, four principal streets were paved,—those leading to Saint-Denis and to the Portes Baudet, Saint-Honoré, and Notre-Dame. The bourgeois successfully resisted the demands of the prévôt of Paris that they should pave more.

Under Philippe IV, the conditions regulating the acquisition of the rights of bourgeoisie were definitely determined. Any free coloni.e., stranger, sojourner—could go before the prévôt of the city with two witnesses, engage himself to contribute to the finances of the city, and to build or to purchase within the space of a year a house of the value of, at least, sixty sous parisis; on these conditions he was recognized as a bourgeois of Paris, and, in consequence, was obliged to reside within its limits from the day of Toussaint to that of Saint-Jean, in the summer, or at least to leave his wife there, or his valet, if he were a bachelor. The population of Paris was thus composed of the clergy, of the nobility,—of which the king was the chief,—of the bourgeois or proprietors roturiers, of the colons,—free or still vilains,—and of a few serfs of the soil whom their owners had obstinately refused to emancipate.

One of the strongest grievances which this population had against the king was his repeated debasements of the royal coinage, and on one of these occasions their discontent was so menacing that, notwithstanding he had hastily caused some specie of legal weight and value to be struck, he left his own palace and sought refuge with the Templars. The establishment of this order had greatly increased since they had first found an asylum in Paris under Louis VI; the ancient gate of the tower of the Temple was demolished as late as 1810. Within their walls was asylum for all, as in the churches, and the king was none too prompt, for the angry multitude was soon at the gates. Before these frowning walls, they hesitated, but a few of the more hardy pushed past the guard at the portal and penetrated as far as the kitchens. "What do you want here?" inquired the mâitre-queux, the chief cook. "To know what is going on here," replied the boldest of the invaders. "Why, the dinner of our dear lord, the king." "Where is this dinner?" "Here it is." And he presented an appetizing dish to his interlocutor, who passed it on to his comrades, saying: "Here, all of you, it is the King of France who gives the feast." By this time the alarm had been given, and the intruders would have paid dearly for their enterprise had not Philippe ordered that they be allowed to depart unmolested. However, though they went away very proud of having eaten the king's dinner, a few days later the bodies of twenty-eight of their number were seen hanging in a row along the ramparts of the town. It was rumored that the Templars had not been altogether ignorant of the gathering of this popular tumult, and that if the entrance to their fortress had been so easily forced it was not altogether without their knowledge; their ruin is said by some historians to have been determined in the king's mind from this date. On Friday, the 13th (!) of October, 1307, the Parisian population were very much surprised to learn that the grand-master of the order and all the knights had been arrested, their entire property confiscated, and the Temple occupied by the king and his court. In this nefarious enterprise Philippe had taken care to secure the co-operation of the Pope, Clement V; the wildest charges, of idolatry, magic practices, cruelty and outrage, were brought against the order; fifty-six of the knights were burned alive at a slow fire at Vincennes, and, finally, in 1313, the grand-master and another dignitary, on the little Ile aux Vaches, to-day the platform of the Pont-Neuf, in the presence of the king and all his court. A popular legend asserts that as the figure of the grand-master, Jacques de Molay, disappeared finally in the smoke and flame of his pyre, he was heard, in a solemn voice, to summon his executioners to meet him before the bar of God, the Pope within forty days and the king within the year. Certain it is that both these potentates died within the appointed time.

The provincial synod which had condemned the fifty-six Templars had been presided over by one of Philippe's confidants, the Archbishop of Sens, brother of the king's minister of finances, Enguerrand de Marigny. It was this latter who set the melancholy example of being hanged by his royal master's successor, which was followed by other finance ministers in two succeeding reigns. His innocence, however, was formally recognized by the king, Louis X, before the end of his short reign of eighteen months, a sum of ten thousand livres was granted to his children, "in consideration of the great misfortune which has befallen them," and his principal accuser, the Comte de Valois, stricken with paralysis ten years later, made amends by a general distribution of alms to the poor of Paris, with the request that they would "pray to God for Monseigneur Enguerrand and for Monseigneur Charles de Valois." Much the same fate awaited Gérard de la Guette, minister of Philippe V, le Long, who reigned for six years after Louis X,—only, as he had expired under the torture, this minister was hanged after death, and his innocence duly acknowledged in course of time. Pierre Remy, successor of Gérard de la Guette and treasurer of Charles le Bel, who succeeded Philippe le Long, was arrested by Charles's successor, Philippe de Valois, even before he had been crowned, and hanged on the gibbet of Montfaucon, like his predecessors. He was at first intended for the little gibbet of Montigny, reserved for the vulgar, but on his way there—whether moved by sudden remorse, or by ambition for higher honors—he accused himself of a multitude of new crimes, among others, of high treason against the king and against the State. He was accordingly transferred to Montfaucon, where he had the distinction of being hanged above all others. This was in 1328.

"The amount of his property which was confiscated," says the historian Félibien, "was estimated at twelve hundred thousand livres, which was the produce, as well as the proof, of his pillaging; but this example and that of several others of a similar kind did not serve to render any more moderate those who have since had charge of the finances,—as witness Macé de Manches, treasurer-changer of the king's treasury, executed, like Pierre Remy, in 1331; Réné de Siran, director of the mint, treated in the same fashion in 1333, and some others."

Louis X, Philippe V, and Charles IV, the three sons of Philippe le Bel who reigned in succession after him, and who ended the elder branch of the Capétiens, were even more unfortunate in their wives than in their treasurers. These three Burgundian princesses, Marguerite, Jeanne, and Blanche, were of an exceedingly dissolute character; the eldest and the youngest resided in the abbey of Maubuisson and had for lovers two Norman gentlemen, Philippe and Gaultier d'Aulnay. The king, Philippe le Bel, being informed, caused the two Normans to be arrested, in 1314; they confessed under torture, and were condemned to be flayed alive, mutilated, decapitated, and hung up by the arm-pits. The two princesses, after having had their heads shaved, were conducted to the Château-Guillard, where they were most ingeniously persecuted. When the husband of Marguerite ascended the throne, in 1315, as Louis le Hutin, or the Quarreller, he disposed of his unworthy spouse by smothering her between two mattresses, or, according to the local legend, strangling her with her own long hair.

Neither Brantôme nor Villon gives the name of the sanguinary princess who is said to have inhabited the Tour de Nesle, attracted handsome young men passing by, and in the morning had them strangled and thrown into the Seine, but romance or popular report has ascribed these doings to Marguerite de Bourgogne, though it is certain that she never lived in the Tour de Nesle. Other romances have designated Jeanne, wife of Philippe le Long, as the princess celebrated for her amours with Buridan, rector of the University in 1347; but this story is equally unfounded, as she died in the Hôtel de Nesle in 1329, leaving behind her a great reputation for gallantry, royal widow though she was. The Hôtel de Nesle occupied nearly the site of the present Mint, adjoining the Institute.

When the question of deciding upon a successor for Louis X arose, the famous Loi Salique, by which at least one modern historian, M. Duruy, thinks France has profited but little, was revived. Louis le Hutin left but one child, a daughter; a posthumous son, Jean, lived but a week. "Should his sister take the crown? A text of Scripture reads: 'The lilies spin not, and yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.' This evidently signifies that the kingdom of the lilies shall not fall under the sway of a distaff. In the fourteenth century this was a reason. There were others: it was not to be desired that a foreigner should acquire France by a marriage; and the States-General, applying to the Crown the rule of succession formerly established for the Salic domains, excluded the daughter of Louis X from the throne. Thus the right of inheritance recognized for daughters for the fiefs was denied for the Crown."

Philippe le Long, also, had only daughters, and their uncle, Charles IV, accordingly succeeded, only to see the same fate befall his children. On his death-bed he said to his barons: "If the queen give birth to a son, he will be your king; if a daughter, the crown will belong to Philippe de Valois, whom I declare your regent." Another branch of the Capétiens, the Valois, thus assumed the sceptre. But this interpretation, thus three times renewed in twelve years, was contested abroad. Philippe VI of Valois was a cousin of Charles IV, nephew of Philippe le Bel and grandson of Philippe III. Edward III, King of England, was a grandson of Philippe IV by his mother Isabella, and he protested against this decision and asserted his right to the throne of France, mildly in 1328, on the accession of Philippe VI, and strongly eight years later. Thus came about the Hundred Years' War, and, incidentally, the residence in Paris, as if in his capital, of an English king.

Unfortunately, the French nobility were divided in these evil days coming upon the capital and the nation. In 1329, the Comtesse de Mahaut, who held the comté d'Artois, died in Paris, poisoned. Robert d'Artois, a prince of the blood, one of the royaux de France, claimed the succession, but the king awarded it to the queen Jeanne, widow of Philippe le Long; a month later, as she was about to take possession of the comté, she also died suddenly, poisoned by one of the officers of her table, in the hippocras, or medicated wine, which he handed her. Whereupon Robert produced documents, duly signed and sealed by his grandfather, Robert I, in which he was designated as the successor to his title to the comté; these letters were recognized as forgeries, and Robert was banished from the kingdom forever by the Court of Peers, and his property confiscated. The false witnesses whom he had suborned were arrested,—a demoiselle, Jeanne de Divion; his clerk, Perrot de Sanis; his fille de chambre, Jeannette des Chaînes, and Pierre Tesson, notary. All this made a tremendous sensation in Paris; a Jacobin, called as one of the witnesses, refused to reveal the secrets of the confessional; he was threatened with the rack by the Bishop of Paris; the doctors in theology assembled and decided that he must testify, in the interests of justice, which he did, and was accordingly confined in prison for the rest of his days. The demoiselle La Divion was burned alive on the Place of the Marché-aux-Pourceaux, in the presence of the prévôt of Paris and a great multitude of people; the same fate finally befell Jeannette de Chaînes, after having concealed herself in various localities, in 1334, on the same place; eight other false witnesses were condemned to the pillory and other punishments, the notary to perpetual imprisonment, and others to make amende honorable.

This ceremony, so usual in the Middle Ages, consisted in the culprit walking in his shirt, bareheaded and barefoot, conducted by the public executioner, a rope around his neck, a candle of yellow wax in his hand, a placard explaining his crime on his chest, another on his back, to some public place, usually the Parvis-Notre-Dame, and there, in an audible voice, avowing his crime and professing repentance. No rank of society, not even the monarch himself, was exempt from this punishment, which frequently was only the prelude to execution. The chief criminal, in this case, took refuge in Brabant, and there, to revenge himself, envoulta the king's son.

This was the familiar process in witchcraft by which an image of the person attacked being made in wax, baptized, and the voult duly performed, with a mass said and religious consecration, it is then melted before a fire, or in the sun, or pierced with a needle. This was discovered. Robert, afraid of prosecution for sorcery, thought himself too near France and escaped to England, where he urged Edward III to war against his native country.

Notwithstanding the national troubles, the court and the Parisians seemed disposed to give themselves up to pleasure. The marriage of the king's second son, Philippe, with Blanche, daughter of Charles le Bel, was celebrated with great pomp, and with a tournament at which assisted the most illustrious knights of France and many from abroad. Among these was the Duc de Normandie, against whom the king pitted the Seigneur de Saint-Venant, and the duke was overthrown, horse and man. The Comte d'Eu, Constable of France, received a lance-thrust in the chest, from which he died that night. These casualties were only too common in these celebrations, which were constantly discouraged by the popes, and even forbidden by some of the kings of France. At the close of these particular exercises, Olivier de Clisson, the Baron d'Avangour, Geoffroi and Georges de Malestroit, and other Breton chevaliers were arrested and conducted to the prisons of the Châtelet on charges of high treason and of conspiring with the king of England.

The historian Mézeray declares that in the capital the sumptuousness of apparel, the lascivious dances, the multiplication of entertainments, were common both to the court and the citizens. Nothing was to be seen but jongleurs, farceurs, and other actors and buffoons, extravagance, debauchery, and constant change. "All the misfortunes of the nation did not serve to correct them; the spectacles, the games, and the tourneys constantly succeeded each other. The French danced, as it were, on the bodies of their relatives. They seemed to rejoice at the conflagration of their châteaux and their houses, and at the death of their friends. Whilst some of them were having their throats cut in the country, the others were feasting in the cities. The sound of the violins was not interrupted by that of the trumpets, and there could be heard at the same time the voices of those singing in the balls, and the pitiful cries of those who perished in the flames or under the edge of the sword."

Another chronicler, Robert Gaguin, writing in the fifteenth century, dilates on the constant changes in the Parisian fashions in 1346. "In those times, the garments differed very much from each other. When you saw the manner in which the French clothed themselves, you would have taken them for mountebanks. Sometimes the vestments which they adopted were too large, sometimes they were too narrow; at one period they were too long, at another, too short. Always eager for novelties, they could not retain for ten years the same style of apparel."

After an engraving of the period.

Jean II succeeded his father Philippe in 1350, and has preserved his surname of le Bon, or the Good, though his reign was one of the most disastrous in history. One of his very first acts was to cause the arrest, in the Hôtel de Nesle, of Raoul, Comte d'Eu, Constable of France, whom he accused of high treason, and, without any form of law, had him beheaded at night in the presence of the Duc de Bourbon, the Comte d'Armagnac, the Comte de Montfort, and several other high personages of the court. All his property was confiscated, his comté was given to the king's cousin, Jean d'Artois, and the king kept the rest. In the following year he founded an order of knighthood, in imitation of that of the Garter, established by Edward III in England, and which, in its turn, served as a model for that of the Toison d'Or, the Golden Fleece, instituted in 1439 by the Duke of Burgundy. King Jean gave to his order the name of Notre-Dame de la Noble maison, but it was more generally known as that of l'Étoile, the Star. According to Froissart, it was "a company after the manner of the Round Table, which should be constituted of three hundred of the most worthy chevaliers." They took an oath never to flee in battle more than four arpents,—about four hundred perches,—and there to die or to yield themselves prisoners; the king gave them for a residence the royal lodging of Saint-Ouen, near Paris. "True chivalry was departing, since the kings endeavored to create an official chivalry."

Ten days after the battle of Poitiers, in which the king and his youngest son, Philippe le Hardi, were taken prisoners, the Dauphin Charles, Duc de Normandie, returned to Paris, took the title of lieutenant of the King of France, and convoked the estates, which assembled in October. The bourgeoisie, irritated at the ineptitude of the royal power, assumed the authority under the prévôt of the merchants, Etienne Marcel, and the civil war followed. On the side of the dauphin were the nobility and all those attached to the court; on that of the prévôt, the bourgeoisie, the shop-keepers, artisans, and common people. The latter extended the fortifications, especially those on the northern side of the city, so as to include all the buildings erected outside the walls of Philippe-Auguste. The dauphin, with a force of seven thousand lances, occupied alternately Meaux, Melun, Saint-Maur, the bridge of Charenton, and shut off all the supplies coming from the upper Seine and the Marne. The attempt of Marcel to deliver the city to Charles le Mauvais, King of Navarre, was discovered, the prévôt was killed at the city gate, and the dauphin entered Paris triumphantly two days later.

In 1364, he succeeded to the throne, under the title of Charles V, and by his wise administration, his prudent conduct of the war, and the judicious management of the finances, secured for himself the surname of "the Sage." He rendered the parliament permanent, instead of occasional, and he gave it for its sittings in the Cité the ancient palace of Saint-Louis, which became the Palais de Justice. A royal ordinance, which remained in force till the Revolution, fixed the majority of the kings of France at thirteen years of age, and provided that the regent should not be the guardian of the young prince; another, dated in 1370, authorized the bourgeois of Paris to wear the spurs of gold and other ornaments of the order of knighthood, and a third, of 1377, awarded titles of nobility to the prévôts and échevins, or aldermen, of the city. In 1369, the authority of the prévôt of Paris was officially confirmed in regard to all offences and misdemeanors committed within the city by any person whatsoever.

Among the many important buildings which this king erected or commenced was the Bastile, founded in 1370, to replace the old Porte Saint-Antoine, and consisting at first of two towers, united by a fortified gate; the Louvre, repaired and enlarged; the fortifications of the city; the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the gardens of which descended to the Seine; the chapelle of Vincennes, and several châteaux in the environs of the city. Nevertheless, and in spite of the encouragement given by Charles V to letters, the capital and the nation shared in the general decadence of the century, in morals, in intellect, and even in physical force. It has been estimated that while the average duration of human life was thirty years during the Roman Empire, it had now diminished to seventeen. The readers of Voltaire will remember that in The Man with the Forty Écus his "geometer" gives it as twenty-two or twenty-three years for Paris, and contrives to reduce this brief span to practically two or three years of active, enjoyable life,—ten years off the twenty-three for the period of youthful immaturity, ten more for the decline of old age, sleep, sickness, work, worry, etc.!

Duruy cites two instances of feminine peers of France. In 1378, the Duchesse d'Orléans writes to excuse herself from coming to take her seat as a peer in the Parliament of Paris; the Duchesse d'Artois, Mahaut, had been present at the coronation of Philippe V, and had supported, with the other peers, the crown on the head of the king.

The need of funds was so pressing at the very outset of the following reign that the young king, Charles VI, under the tutelage of his uncles, the dukes of Anjou, Burgundy, and Berry, entered into serious negotiations with the bourgeoisie of the city of Paris with a view of persuading them to accept a new tax on commodities. The people were obstinate in their refusal; a statute forbade the imposition of any new duties without previous public proclamation, and, in the actual condition of affairs, this proclamation was likely to lead to a popular outbreak. On the last day of April, 1382, however, a public crier presented himself on horseback at the Halles, where these proclamations were usually made, sounded his trumpet, and when he saw the people assembled around him, lifted his voice and announced that the king's silverware had been stolen and that a liberal reward would be paid for the discovery of the thieves. Then, profiting by the general surprise and commotion, he proceeded: "I have still another proclamation to make to you; to-morrow the new tax on produce will begin to be levied." After which he put spurs to his horse, and disappeared at full speed!

Early the next morning the tax-collectors accordingly presented themselves at the Halles; one of them claimed the percentage on a little cresson which an old woman had just sold, the old woman raised an outcry, the unhappy collector was beaten and thrown in the gutter, another was dragged from the very altar of the church of Saint-Jacques-l'Hôpital and killed, and the mob rushed to the Hôtel de Ville, where it was known that Charles V had caused to be deposited the maillets or mallets of lead which he had had made in anticipation of an attack by the English, and armed themselves with these weapons,—whence their name of Maillotins. But the new tax was withdrawn, and the popular fury speedily subsided.

When the young king attained his majority, in 1388, the former councillors of his father, the petty nobles, or marmousets, as the great seigneurs contemptuously called them, resumed the direction of affairs, but, with all their prudence and ability, were quite unable to restrain the prodigal wastefulness of the prince. The entry of the queen, Isabeau de Bavière, whom he had married three years before, was made the occasion of extravagant processions, pomps, diversions, and mystery-plays in Paris, as was the marriage of his brother, the Duc d'Orléans, with the beautiful Valentine Visconti, and the conferring of the order of knighthood on the children of the Duc d'Anjou. When, finally, worn out with dissipation, with the license of unlimited power from the age of twelve, the king went mad, his uncles resumed the regency and the marmouset ministry prudently sought safety in flight. The Duc de Bourgogne, Philippe le Hardi, died in 1404; his son, Jean sans Peur, wished to succeed to his father's authority in the State, but found himself opposed at every turn by the Duc d'Orléans; the old Duc de Berry interposed and effected a formal reconciliation; three days later the Duc d'Orléans was assassinated in the Rue Vieille-du-Temple by the bravos of Jean sans Peur, who did not fear to do murder on a prince of the blood.

From a drawing by Georges Cain.

In the civil war which followed, the Parisians profited at first by the concessions which were made to them in order to secure their support,—open opposition to all new taxes, restoration of their old free constitution, the right to elect their prévôt and other officers, to organize their bourgeois militia under officers elected by themselves, even that of holding fiefs like the nobles, with the accompanying privileges, provided they were well born, and of Paris. The nobility, on the contrary, were even less disposed to pardon him for thus seeking the aid of the populace than for having compromised the seignorial inviolability by laying violent hands on a brother of the king. The Comte d'Armagnac, father-in-law of one of the sons of the Duc d'Orléans, placed himself at the head of the opposing party; both parties made advances to the English to secure their aid on different occasions, but it was the Armagnacs who fought Henry V at Azincourt and sustained that disastrous defeat; the Duc de Bourgogne secured possession of the queen and proclaimed her regent; negotiating first with one and then with another, he finally ended by being assassinated in his turn by Tanneguy Duchâtel, prévôt of Paris, and other servants of the dauphin, on the bridge of Montereau, at the confluence of the Yonne and the Seine.

"That which neither Crécy nor Poitiers nor Azincourt had accomplished, the assassination on the bridge of Montereau did,—it gave the crown of France to a king of England." In the following year, 1420, the treaty of Troyes, concluded between Henry V, the Queen Isabeau, and the new Duc de Bourgogne, Philippe le Bon, recognized the King of England as regent and heir to the throne of France, he having married Isabeau's daughter, Catherine of France. "All the provisions of this treaty were read publicly, in a general assembly held by the Parliament on the 29th of April. The governor of Paris, the chancellor, the prévôt, the presidents, counsellors, échevins, merchants, and bourgeois, all were unanimous in accepting this treaty." On the 30th of May it was formally ratified in another general assembly, and on the 1st of December the bourgeois turned out in great state and with much pomp to receive the two kings, who entered, walking side by side, Charles VI on the right. "The streets were richly decorated and tapestried from the Porte Saint-Denis to Notre-Dame, 'and all the people cried Noël! to show their joy.'" The English king, with his two brothers, the dukes of Clarence and of Bedford, were lodged at the Louvre; the poor French king, at the Hôtel Saint-Pol, and the Duc de Bourgogne, in his Hôtel d'Artois.

The madness of Charles VI was intermittent, but apparently hopeless; it had been greatly aggravated by all the tragic circumstances of his reign, including the terrible bal des ardents, in which he had been saved from being burned to death, with several other maskers disguised as satyrs, by the coolness and courage of the Duchesse de Berry. The queen, Isabeau, was openly dissolute; on one occasion, the king, returning from visiting her at Vincennes, encountered her lover, the chevalier Louis de Bois-Bourdon, had him arrested on the spot, put to the question, sewed up in a sack, and thrown in the river. Probably with a view to her own security, she had placed in the king's bed-chamber "a fair young Burgundian," Odette de Champdivers, and it was this demoiselle who, in his periods of frenzy, was alone able to soothe and persuade him. It is related that they played cards together in his saner moments, this amusement having recently been brought into fashion again. Even the powers of magic were tried in vain to effect his cure.


Nevertheless, few monarchs seem to have been so sincerely mourned. "All the people who were in the streets and at the windows wept and cried as if each one had seen the death of the one he loved the best. 'Ah! très cher prince, never shall we have another so good! Never shall we see thee again! Cursed be Death! We shall have no longer anything but war, since thou hast left us. Thou goest to repose, we remain in tribulations and sorrow.'"

Queen Isabeau, in addition to disinheriting her son in favor of her daughter, was held responsible by her contemporaries for setting the fashion in wasteful and absurd extravagance in dress. The ladies wore the houppelande, the cotte hardie, tight around the girdle, and looped up their sleeves excessivement to show this cotte hardie; they also had openings in the surcoat to show the girdle. These openings the preachers called "windows of hell." "They made their stomachs prominent, and seemed, all of them, enceinte: this mode they clung to for forty years." "The more the misery increased, the more the luxury augmented; at the Hôtel de Bohême, inhabited by Louis d'Orléans, there were chambers hung with cloth of gold à roses, embroidered with velours vermeil, of satin vermeil embroidered with arbalists, of cloth of gold embroidered with mills.... And, during this time, the grass grew in the streets, say the historians of the period, the wolves entered the city at night by the river; the imagination of the people, exalted, saw already in Paris a new Babylon, the ruins of which would presently become the repair of the beasts of prey."

When the remains of what might well seem to be the last of the kings of France were interred at Saint-Denis, a herald-at-arms recommended the soul of the defunct to the prayers of the assembled multitude; then he cried: "Vive Henri de Lancastre, Roi de France et d'Angleterre!" At this cry, all the officers present reversed their maces, rods, and swords, to signify that they considered themselves as no longer exercising their offices. The English king was not crowned in Paris till nine years later (1431), but his representative, the Duke of Bedford, left his residence in the Hôtel de la Rivière, Rue de Paradis, and Rue du Chaume (to-day the Rues des Francs-Bourgeois and des Archives), to establish himself in the Palais de la Cité. On the 8th of September, 1429, Jeanne d'Arc, having brought about the crowning of the sluggish Charles VII at Reims in the preceding July, presented herself at the head of a French corps under the orders of the Duc d'Alençon before the northern walls of Paris, and herself directed the assault on the Porte Saint-Honoré. She surmounted the first entrenchment, constructed in front of the pig market there established on the Butte des Moulins,—afterward suppressed to make way for the opening of the Avenue de l'Opéra,—drove in the English, sounded the depth of the moat with the staff of her banner, and fell wounded with an arbalist shaft through her thigh, in front of what is now the entrance to the Théâtre-Français. The chronicles of the time differ as to whether the French chiefs failed to support her through jealousy, or fought with acharnement to save her from falling into the hands of the besieged. The attempt was abandoned, and the Maid was carried to Saint-Denis to have her wound dressed.

In Paris, opinions were very much divided, and even those who favored the French king felt that they were too much compromised to open their gates to him without some stipulations. Two years later, Jeanne having been duly burned at Rouen, and the consecration of Charles VII, at Reims, "to which he had been conducted by an agent of the demon, being in itself and of its own nature null and void," the English monarch entered his city of Paris to receive an orthodox and irreprehensible coronation. As he rode by the Hôtel Saint-Pol, he perceived the Queen Isabeau on the balcony; he doffed his hat to her and she returned his salute, then burst into tears. On the 17th of December, he was anointed and crowned in Notre-Dame by Cardinal Winchester—which gave great offence to the Bishop of Paris—and surrounded entirely by English lords; there was no liberation of prisoners, no largess to the people, no removal of taxes. "A bourgeois who marries off his daughter would have done the thing better," said the Parisians. However, he manifested some desire to secure their good-will by confirming a number of their minor privileges, their right to acquire titles of nobility, etc.

The discontent grew among the citizens; no coronation of a king of France could be as sacred as that celebrated according to the ancient ceremonial at Reims; the English garrison felt constrained to take such strong measures of precaution as to forbid any one to leave the city without passports, or to mount upon the ramparts under penalty of being hanged. It was not till the 29th of May, 1436, that six citizens, whose names history has preserved, contrived to open the Porte Saint-Jacques, in the quarter of the Halles, to their countrymen outside; the Constable of France, Arthur de Bretagne, Comte de Richemont, with the Comte de Dunois and some two thousand horsemen, were waiting for them; the first twenty men introduced through a little postern gate opened the great doors and let down the drawbridge, all the cavalry trooped in without meeting the least resistance. "Then the Maréchal de l'Isle-Adam mounted upon the wall, unfurled the banner of France, and cried 'Ville gagnée!' [City taken!]."

Captain Willoughby, who commanded the English, finding the whole populace rising against him, was compelled to take refuge in the Bastile with some thousand or twelve hundred men, and soon after capitulated and left the city by the Porte Saint-Antoine, pursued by the hootings of the people. Charles VII made his triumphal entry in the following November, and was received with abundant demonstrations of welcome. It was, however, a city devastated by pestilence and famine and with troops of wolves in all the suburbs. Bands of brigands, largely made up of unpaid soldiers, and called, from their outrages, escorcheurs, traversed the country and the environs and were more feared even than the wolves. The universal demoralization caused by the war had removed all bounds to the cruelty of the nobles, and the chronicles of the time are replete with murder, open and secret. "The Duc de Bretagne caused the death of his brother; the Duc de Gueldre, that of his father; the Sire de Giac, that of his wife; the Comtesse de Foix, that of her sister; the King of Aragon, that of his son."

"Above this feudal aristocracy was placed another aristocracy, that of the princes, which royalty had elevated with its own hands, in constituting vast appanages for the royaux de France, the title given to the sons, the brothers, the relatives of the king. Hence those powerful houses of Bourgogne, of Orléans, of Anjou, of Bourbon, which joined to the spirit of independence of the ancient feudality the pride and the pretensions of a royal origin, and which said by one of its members: 'I esteem so much the kingdom of France, that, in the place of one king, I should like to see six.'"


Valuing only that which was acquired by the sword, or professing to do so, this feudal aristocracy affected to look down with disdain upon the great merchants and bankers,—whose large fortunes, indeed, were not always acquired with the strictest probity,—and they viewed with indifference the king's infamous robbery of his minister, Jacques Cœur, which, with his abandonment of Jeanne d'Arc, constitute the blackest stains upon his character. The gens de petit estat, the councillors of humble origin, with which the king surrounded himself, and who served him so well, were also a source of offence to these proud nobles. M. G. du Fresne de Beaucourt, in his exhaustive history of this monarch, in six octavo volumes, dwells at length on the constantly increasing influence in the grand council, during the period of national reorganization in the latter part of the reign, of these humble councillors. "And it was, above all, the people of France themselves," says M. Funck-Brentano, "who, in the midst of all the secular struggles, acquired, little by little, the sentiment of its unity, of the common solidarity of the public welfare. The day on which they were found grouped, admirable in their energy and devotion, around the royal throne which, for them, was the concentrating point of these sentiments, the cause of the foreign enemy was lost."

Son though he was "of an imbecile father and a debauched mother," Charles VII did not lack for intelligence, and in his diplomacy, directed during the first part of his reign against a foreign enemy and, in the latter part, against a domestic one, the Burgundians, he gave proof of the highest qualities. He had a taste for letters, and was—"unique, doubtless, in this among the kings of France"—a good Latin scholar. His mistresses, of whom Agnès Sorel was only the first, were imposed upon his wife, Marie d'Anjou, and upon his court with unusual effrontery. The queen was even obliged to distribute gifts to the "filles joyeuses who followed the court in its peregrinations." This moral depravation, naturally, extended downward to the whole court. M. Brentano, who is one of the few French historians who venture to lay disrespectful hands on the grand Roi-soleil, says: "Charles VII was the original source of the crapulous debauchery of the last Valois; he traced the way for the crimes of Louis XIV, and the turpitudes of Louis XV." This, although the higher clergy of the reigns both of Charles and of Louis Quatorze did not fail in their duty, and did denounce openly from the pulpit the sins of these all-powerful monarchs.

On his re-entry into Paris, Charles did not take up his residence in the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the sorrowful lodging of his father, but in the Tournelles, which he made a "delightful sojourn," and where his successors installed themselves until François II, who established his dwelling in the Louvre. In the time of Louis XI, however, the Tournelles partook of the sordid and melancholy character of its master. "The king lived there alone and stingily," says the historian Michelet. "He had had the odd taste to retain some servitors whom he had brought from Brabant; he lived there as if in exile.... As soon as he was king, he assumed the pilgrim's habit, the cape of coarse gray cloth, with the gaiters of a travelling costume, and he took them off only at his death.... If he came out of the Tournelles, it was in the evening, like an owl, in his melancholy gray cape. His gossip, companion, and friend (he had a friend) was a certain Bische, whom he had formerly set as a spy on his father, Charles VII, and whom afterward he kept near the Comte de Charolais, to induce him to betray his father, the Duc de Bourgogne."

The king had, indeed been one of the worst of sons,—at the period of his accession to the throne he was almost in open rebellion against his father, and had sought refuge at the court of Burgundy. The great nobles consequently looked with complacency upon his coming into power, and were very far from foreseeing that through him their privileges and authority throughout the kingdom were to be finally ruined. During his reign, the capital prospered,—"the king made of it his refuge, his citadel and his arsenal for all his enterprises against the feudality." In one respect, he followed his father's example and even bettered it,—his counsellors were chosen by preference among the tiers état, and frequently even among men of base extraction. When occasion required, he did not disdain any of the arts of the demagogue: on entering Paris after the indecisive battle of Montlhéry, with the Burgundians, almost under the walls of the capital, he took supper with the principal ladies of the city in the house of Charles de Melun, and so moved them with the recital of the dangers he had undergone that all the dames bourgeoises wept. He was in the habit of visiting familiarly the principal bourgeois, seating himself at their table or inviting them to his own, and interesting himself in their private affairs. By this means, he endeavored to ascertain their opinions concerning his political measures, and the amount of obedience which they were likely to render to them. In 1471, "he honored the city by starting the fire with his own hand in the Place de Grève, the evening of Saint John the Baptist." On a mast, twenty-five mètres in height and surrounded by combustibles of all kinds, was hung a great basket containing a dozen black cats and a fox, symbols of the devil. "The more the grilled cats cried, the more the people laughed."

For all his craftiness, "he had not reigned four years when all the world was against him," says Duruy. "The people forced to provide, by paying a great many imposts, for the necessities of the government which they did not as yet comprehend, the bourgeoisie wounded in its particular interests, which it did not know how to sacrifice to the general interests, the clergy menaced in its property, the lesser nobility in its rights and in its dearest habits, the higher aristocracy in its pretensions to sovereignty,—all these classes, so widely diverse, so often hostile one to another, found themselves for the moment quite in accord upon one point,—the necessity of limiting the royal authority." The Ligue du Bien public was formed by the great nobles through compassion for the miseries of the kingdom "under the discord and piteous government of Louis XI." Thus threatened by the aristocracy, it was a question of the utmost importance for the king to retain his capital; he wrote to the Parisians in the most cajoling phrases before Montlhéry, and after, hastened to arm the bourgeois and accepted, as an aid and support, a council of six bourgeois, six members of the Parliament, and six clerks of the University.

The festivals and processions in the streets of Paris were not so numerous in this reign as in many of the preceding ones, but some of them have remained memorable. On his entry into the city on the occasion of his accession to the throne, August 30, 1461, he was richly dressed in white satin, and rode between the old Duc de Bourgogne and the Comte de Charolais. Over the Porte Saint-Denis was the representation of a ship, "emblem of the arms of Paris (which are, gules, a ship équipé, argent, on a sea of the same; au chef cousu d'argent, sown with fleurs-de-lis d'or). From this ship descended two little angels, who placed a crown upon the head of the king. The fountain of Ponceau ran wine; and at this fountain three beautiful maids, quite nude, represented sirens; 'and this was a very pleasant thing,' adds the chronicler, Jean de Troyes; 'they discoursed little motets and bergerettes.'" Other demonstrations, in the fashion of the time, were given at other points of the route; all the streets through which the king passed were hung with rich tapestries, and when he arrived at the Pont-au-Change, the bird merchants of Paris launched in the air "more than two hundred dozen birds of all kinds."

GRAND SALON OF THE TUILERIES, 1810. After Percier and
GRAND SALON OF THE TUILERIES, 1810. After Percier and Fontaine.

A very good painter, M. Tattegrain, in one of his recent envois to the annual Salon, has represented with great detail and much historical accuracy the incident of the three pretty sirens, quite nude. According to his story, they were only bared to the waist, and the king, very gallantly, checked the procession and rode out from under his canopy to hear their motets and bergerettes.

On the 15th of May, 1468, there was a fine tilting at the Hôtel des Tournelles between the gentlemen of Paris and those of Normandy; "they were valiant champions, superbly apparelled in hacquetons embossed with gold." Of the four Norman chevaliers who came expressly for this occasion, three were wounded, so that "all the honor of the jousts remained with those of Paris." On the 19th of November, the conclusion of the treaty of Péronne, between the king and the Duc de Bourgogne, was announced by trumpets in all the public squares of the city, and popular rejoicings ordered; as also for the birth of the dauphin, afterward Charles VIII, June 30, 1470, and the victory of Henry of Lancaster, King of England, over his competitor, Edward. These two events, the king directed, should be celebrated by a cessation of work of all kind for three days, and public prayers. Not long afterward, the queen of Henri VI arrived in Paris with her son, the Prince of Wales, and was received, by order of the king, with all the honors due her rank.

Amidst all these splendors it was Louis XI himself who frequently presented the reverse side of the medal. The registers of the Chambre des Comptes mention, about the time of the English queen's visit, a disbursement of twenty sols for the insertion of a pair of new sleeves in an old pourpoint of the king's wearing. He was considered to have gotten much the worse of the treaty of Péronne with Charles the Bold, and he had a mistress named Perrette, so that the Parisians trained their parrots, magpies, and other speaking birds to ask Perrette to give them a drink, among other ribald phrases. Consequently, the king issued a royal commission "to a young man of Paris named Henry Perdriel, in the said city of Paris" to take and seize "all magpies, jays, and chevrettes being in cages or otherwise, and being private property, in order to bring them all before the king, and have written down and registered the place where he had taken the aforesaid birds and also all that they knew how to say, as: larron; paillard; fils de p—— ; va hors, va; Perrette, donne-moi à boire, and several other words which the said birds know very well how to say and which have been taught them." In this same year, 1468, he caused to be confiscated in Paris and brought to him at Amboise all the deer, does, and cranes which the rich bourgeois were in the habit of keeping in their gardens. "This dispensed with the necessity of his buying them," adds the historian.

A Bohemian periodical, the Nation Czech, has recently published a condensation of the very curious journal kept by a certain Seigneur Léon de Rozmital, brother of the queen Joan, wife of Georges Podiébrad, King of Bohemia, during his travels in France in the year 1465. At Meung-sur-Loire he met Louis XI, who received him with much honor, though he appears to have quite declined to listen to the seigneur's proposals of a treaty of alliance between the two nations; he accompanied the king to Kand (perhaps the château of Candes, Indre-et-Loire), where he was presented to the queen and all her train. Her Majesty received him cordially, "and every one kissed him on the mouth. It was the king who had ordered it, and who wished it so. Afterward, the queen gave her hand to every chevalier and was very gracious with all." Louis invited his guest to come to visit him in Paris, but the latter fails to record his doing so.

In the year 1470, it may be mentioned, Ulric Gering, Michel Friburger, and Martin Krantz set up the first printing-press, in the college of the Sorbonne, and printed a book: Epistolæ Gasparini Pargamensis (Letters of Gasparin de Bergamo). Other works appeared, the first of which was a Bible, offered to Louis XI in this same year.

The universal demoralization of manners resulting from the long wars against the English and between the Burgundians and Armagnacs, the English occupation of the city, the presence in the capital of a multitude of drunken and debauched soldiers, did not serve to check the extravagance and license among the wealthier bourgeois against which the clergy thundered in vain. One of the boldest of these preachers was a Cordelier named Olivier Maillard, who appealed to the multitude by the freedom of his language and his images too frequently borrowed from the vernacular, and who—although he bore the title of prédicateur du roi—did not hesitate to denounce the monarch himself. He accordingly received an intimation that if these attacks did not cease very promptly, he would be tied up in a sack and thrown in the river. "The king is master," replied Maillard, "but go and say to him that I would go quicker to paradise by water than he with his post-horses." A species of crusade was organized by the mendicant friars against the extravagance of the costumes and the indecency of the manners; the evil had assumed such proportions that to be modestly and decently dressed was to be, in the language of the people as well as in that of the preachers, "clothed without sin." "To the ferocity, to the barbarity of feudal times had succeeded the vices of a semi-civilization, whilst waiting till manners and customs should refine themselves under the action of the Renaissance."

   One of the first acts of the new king, Charles VIII, was to hang Olivier le Dain, valet de chambre, barber, counsellor, and, finally, ambassador of his father. His property was confiscated and given to the Duc d'Orléans. This act afforded a lively satisfaction to the Parisians and to the nation at large. Another favorite of the late monarch, Jean de Doyat, was somewhat more fortunate, though he was arrested, publicly whipped in the streets, pilloried at the Halles, where his tongue was pierced with a hot iron and one ear cut off, then sent down to Auvergne, his native province, flogged again, robbed of the other ear, and all his goods confiscated. Later, however, the king quashed the judgment and restored him his property, if not his severed members.

By his marriage with Anne de Bretagne, December 13, 1491, this monarch united the last of the great fiefs of France to the crown, and disappointed several powerful foreign suitors, English, German, and Spanish. On the 9th of the following February the royal couple entered the capital in state, and the stately and haughty carriage of the Breton princess was greatly admired by the populace. The bourgeois and merchants of various conditions who rode, two by two, to meet her had all "magnificent costumes, robes of satin cramoisi, of damask gris cendre, or of scarlet cloth on a violet ground. They had had made a dais the canopy of which was of cloth of gold, embossed, sown with lilies and roses. They carried it alternately from the Porte Saint-Denis as far as Notre-Dame."

When the king set off on his ill-advised expedition to conquer the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, he was very short of funds and wished to borrow a hundred thousand écus from the Parisians, but met with a flat refusal. Consequently, when a deputation of the notables of the city took the liberty of remonstrating with him concerning this Italian war, he received them very badly and requested them to keep their advice for themselves, as he had no need of it. But, after having conquered the Milanais and lost it very soon afterward, he applied again to his city of Paris for a vessel of war; Jean de Ganay, president of the Parliament, presented to the prévôt of the merchants and to the échevins at the Hôtel de Ville the letter which the king had written on this subject. In order to deliberate on it weightily, they assembled all the councillors, and a resolution was adopted that the Messieurs of the Parliament and of the Chambre des Comptes and the Bishop of Paris meet in a general assembly at the Hôtel de Ville. But the progress of political events having rendered this vessel unnecessary, nothing came of all these deliberations.

Louis XII, on his accession to the throne in 1498, resolved to cross the Alps in his turn, and on his solemn entry into Paris after his coronation an elaborate machine was contrived to delicately flatter his pretensions to Genoa and Milan, and appear in the royal procession. This consisted of an apparatus mounted on wheels, in the form of a terrace, on which was seen a porcupine, moving all his quills at once, and a young virgin, habited in Genoese fashion and throned on a seat of cloth-of-gold cramoisi. But unluckily the machine would not function, and after remaining immovable in one place, finally disappeared "in great mortification." The Parisians seem never to have lost their fondness for processions and displays, and were always ready to welcome a new king with the firm belief that all their griefs would speedily be remedied under the new régime. As there was a possibility of the widowed queen, Anne de Bretagne, carrying her rich dower, now returned to her, out of the kingdom, Louis XII secured a divorce from his wife Jeanne, third child of Louis XI, and so very plain in countenance that her royal father could not endure the sight of her. Thus it happened that la Bretonne made her second solemn entrance into Paris as a newly-wed queen of France, in 1504; and at her death, ten years later, the king "during a whole week did nothing but weep."

Her obsequies, at Saint-Denis and Notre-Dame, gave rise to a scandalous discussion over the possession of all the objects which had figured in them. The abbot and the monks of Saint-Denis demanded the restitution of the dais, of the effigy and of the garments of the queen, of the cloth of gold, of the velvet which had served to decorate the chapel, and of all the offerings made by the assistants. The nuns of La Saussaye-lez-Villejuif wished that there should be given them all the linen of the late queen, body linen and table linen, the ornaments of gold and of silver, and all the mules, palfreys, horses of state and others which had drawn the chariots, with all the harness and the collars. The grand equerry of the queen, Louis de Hangest, pretended, for his part, that the horses, the canopy, and the cloth of gold all pertained to him in virtue of his office, and, whilst awaiting the decision, he insisted that the horses, chariots, and harness should at least be turned over to him provisionally in order that he might conduct the ladies and the pages of the late queen. But it was feared that he would keep them under any conditions. The king-at-arms and the heralds wanted all the mouldings and all the stuffs of velvet and of silk which were on the walls of the chapelle ardente; and the chaplains of the cardinal, the sum of all the offerings made both at Notre-Dame and at Saint-Denis. The Parliament devoted a week to endeavoring to bring the disputants into accord, and in the meanwhile ordered an appraisement of all the horses, carriages, etc., which were confided to the grand equerry, and all the linen, ornaments, dais, etc., were sequestered and placed in the hands of Jean du Val, receiver of pledges, and of Ragerin Le Lieur, merchant bourgeois.

In addition to his grief over his wife's death, the king found himself very much embarrassed in his finances till his good city of Paris came to his relief with a donation of twenty thousand livres. He had even sold his vessels of gold and silver, for the sum of two hundred thousand livres. Being thus relieved, with the inconstancy of men, he began to think of another wife, and in September, 1514, the magistrates of the city went out in state to meet the ambassadors of England who had arrived to negotiate a match with the Princess Mary, daughter of their sovereign. For this fickleness (which, however, was partially dictated by political considerations) Louis XII was destined to pay dearly; he was fifty-three years of age and his bride was eighteen; to please her, he changed all his habits of life, and even the hours of his repasts. He had been in the habit of "dining" at eight o'clock, and he now dined at noon; he had been accustomed to go to bed at six o'clock in the evening, and now it was often midnight when he retired. So that he died at the Palais des Tournelles on the first of the following January, 1515, and the death-criers, sounding their bells, paraded the streets, calling aloud: "The good king Louis, father of the people, is dead!"

It was the States-General of the nation, speaking through the representative of Paris, which had given him this fine name, Père du peuple, and which, by his care for their interests, his economy in the general administration, his suppression of abuses, he had well deserved. "The third part of the kingdom," says a contemporary, "was opened to cultivation in twelve years, and for one important merchant that had been known in Paris, in Lyons, or in Rouen, there could be found fifty under Louis XII, who made it more easy to go to Rome, to Naples, or to London than formerly to Lyons or Geneva." In this intelligent administration, he was greatly aided by the cardinal, Georges d'Amboises, who "for twenty-seven years remained less his minister than his friend," and who shared with him the well-earned approval of the people. "Laissez faire à Georges" (Let George alone and he'll do it) marked the general appreciation.


That curious custom of the Middle Ages, which testifies so strongly to the impotence and unjustness of the laws and the universal prevalence of sudden outbreaks of passion and crime, the right of asylum, was greatly modified in Paris by Louis XII. In the porches of the churches, or, if they had none, within the space of thirty feet of their walls on all sides, and in the cemeteries adjoining them, the hunted criminal was safe. The king suppressed this privilege for the churches and convents of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, Saint-Merri, Notre-Dame, l'Hôtel-Dieu, the Abbaye Saint-Antoine, the Carmelites of the Place Maubert, and the Grands-Augustins. François I extended this reform still further; his ordinance of 1539 abolished all places of immunity for debts or other civil matters, and decreed that any person could be apprehended anywhere, provided that, if his place of refuge should be justified, he should be returned to it. This, however, never was done. In 1789, there were in Paris a few privileged localities remaining,—the royal residences, the hôtels of the ambassadors, and the hôtel of the grand prior of Malta, the Temple. By an article of the Code de procédure civile, it was forbidden to arrest debtors in the buildings consecrated to worship and during the religious exercises; and under the Second Empire a debtor could not be arrested in the garden of the Tuileries. With the abolishment of imprisonment for debt, these regulations repealed themselves.

In an almost equally important matter, that of the hours of the three meals of the day, a great change also took place during this reign. The courtiers did not generally follow the king in his transferral of le dîner from eight o'clock in the morning (according to the custom established at the beginning of the reign) to noon, but the people seem to have adopted the new hour. The wars in Italy brought to the French table for the first time the pâtes of that country, vermicelli, macaroni, semoule, the lassagnes and others. For women in childbed and for consumptives were reserved the bouillons or "restaurants,"—these were composed of meat, of animals or of chickens, cut up very fine and distilled in an alembic with peeled barley, dried roses, cinnamon, coriander, and Damascus raisins. One of the most succulent of these bouillons was called restaurant divin.

Under François I, the dinner-hour was established at nine o'clock in the morning, and the supper-hour at five in the evening. It is true that the hour of rising was also most unreasonably early according to modern ideas. There was a popular rhyme:

"Lever à cinq, dîner à neuf,
Souper à cinq, coucher à neuf.
Fait vivre d'ans nonante-neuf."

(To rise at five, to dine at nine, to sup at five, to go to bed at nine, will make you live to ninety-nine.)

The national menu was further increased by contributions from Italy and from domestic producers, pâtes, cheeses, and some new fruits, apricots and plums; the latter, still a great favorite with the French, was called la reine Claude after the daughter of Louis XII. With the good living came an increase in drunkenness among all, lower classes, bourgeois, courtiers, and soldiers,—the latter, indeed, to such an extent that the king felt constrained to issue edicts threatening this growing vice with the severest penalties: for the first offence, imprisonment; for the second, flogging in private; for the third, flogging in public; and the hardened offender ran a great risk of losing his ears and being banished from the kingdom.

With the reign of François I began the ancien régime,—"that is to say, a government in which the subjects have no guarantee against oppression, even the most iniquitous, and the prince, no obstacle to his will, even the most capricious." In 1527, the president of the Parliament of Paris declared openly that the king was above the law, though he added that his sovereign will should be regulated by equity and reason. The nobility, reduced to a state merely of revenues and titles, were no longer the great feudal powers of the Dark Ages, "and at the sumptuous court which François opened to them they learned to ruin themselves and to obey." In the middle of this century, there was only one great feudal house remaining, that of Bourbon-Navarre, the head of which, Antoine, was quite without influence. Below were the grand seigneurs, the Montmorencys, the Guises, the La Trémouilles, the Châtillons, and others, but deprived of all the rights of the powerful feudal vassals of the king of former times; the clergy had been reduced to a condition of dependence upon the king by the concordat of 1516, which made him the unique dispenser of benefices; the tiers état—which included "the men of letters, who are called men of the long robe; the merchants, the artisans, the people, and the peasants"—had long been accustomed to obedience. "There had formerly been only manants (rustics, clowns), seigneurs, and fiefs; there is now a people, a king, and a France."

"If the accession of François I was a great occasion for the men," says M. de Lescure, "it was still more so for the ladies. In fact, it might be said that they ascended the throne with the new king. Admitted for the first time to the banquets, to the tourneys of the Hôtel des Tournelles, this hardy innovation gave the measure of their new destinies and of the credit reserved by the most gallant of monarchs for the fairest half of the human species." Unfortunately, the king was not inclined to make any distinctions among these new ornaments to his court, and while his predecessors had made strenuous efforts to reduce the license of manners, we find him issuing such edicts as this:

"François, by the grace of God, King of France, to our friend and loyal treasurer of our exchequer, Maître Jehan Duval, salutation and dilection. We desire, and we command you, that from the deniers of our aforesaid exchequer you pay, give, and deliver ready-money to Cécile de Viefville, dame des filles de joie, attending our court, the sum of forty-five livres tournois, making the value of twenty écus of gold sol at forty-five sols apiece, of which we have made and do make by these presents donation, as much for her as for the other women and girls of her vocation, to divide among themselves as they may advise, and this for their right for the month of May passed...."

The court of the French kings itself is dated by their historians from this reign. Before François I, it did not exist. "Grave councillors only surrounded Louis XII, and the chaste Anne de Bretagne authorized around her only rare and tranquil pleasures. François I wished to be followed always by a troop so numerous that there were counted around the royal residence rarely less than six thousand and sometimes as many as eighteen thousand horses." By the brilliancy of its fêtes, this court attracted to itself the châtelaines, up to this time forgotten in the depths of their feudal castles. "At the beginning," says Mézeray, "this had an excellent effect, this amiable sex having introduced into the court politeness and courtesy, and imparting lively impulses of generosity to those whose souls were more nobly constituted. But the manners and customs became speedily corrupted; the offices, the benefices, were distributed according to the whims of the women, and they were the cause of the adoption of very pernicious maxims by the government."

The revival of the arts brought about by the Renaissance, and which François I had the intelligence to appreciate and encourage, and the somewhat greater sense of security in the body politic, combined to give to this court, and to the wealthy citizens of the capital, such extravagant luxury of dress and ornament that even this pleasure-loving monarch felt constrained to promulgate sumptuary laws on various occasions, an example which was followed by his son and successor, Henry II. The edict of 1538 proscribed chains of gold of too great weight for financiers and men of affairs, and it was intimated to them that it would be better not "to make their daughters too handsome and too rich when they married them." In 1543, the tissues of gold and silver were forbidden for men, with the exception of the relatives of the monarch, and this edict was renewed, four years later, by Henri II, greatly amended and amplified and extended to all, high and low, excepting the ladies in the queen's suite and the king's sister. In 1549, it was renewed, with still greater detail concerning the costumes of the two sexes.

The abuse of masks was of long standing, Charles VI having been addicted to their use, and in 1514, under Louis XII, the Parlement directed that all these false visages in the city, wherever found, should be collected and burned, and that, by order of the king, no more should be worn. During the captivity of François I in Madrid, the members of the Parlement set the example of reducing their style of living, limiting the number of their horses, etc.; and so great was the suspicion and distrust at this time, that a special edict was directed against the mysterious strangers who were seen in the streets of the city, all with long beards and carrying heavy sticks. The use of the latter was strictly forbidden, and the wearing of the former, "which seemed to conceal some pernicious designs against the peace of the State." Among the minor social revolutions which this monarch effected, in consequence of a wound received on his head, was that in the manner of wearing the hair and beard, which had prevailed since the time of Louis VII; François I reversed the ancient custom, and cut his hair short, but not his beard.

Paris, which had celebrated his accession with even more than the usual ceremonial, jousts, and tourneys, was greatly alarmed at the threat of the Connétable de Bourbon to march upon it with the allied forces of the King of England and of Charles V. The king, to reassure them, sent them the Sire de Brion, who declared to them that their monarch "had so much consideration for the city of Paris that he would sacrifice himself rather than allow it to be taken, that he was willing to expose his life in order to defend it, to live and to die with the Parisians, and that, if he could not come to it in person, he would send to it his wife, his children, and his mother, and all that he had and possessed, persuaded as he was that when he had lost the rest of the kingdom, he would readily recover all his losses if he could preserve Paris; that he had the intention to bring to it ten thousand Swiss, that he was aware of the attachment which the Parlement and the city bore to his person, that he thanked them for it, and exhorted them to continue a fidelity which was so useful to him."

All these fine words gave great pleasure to the citizens, and they were thrown into corresponding consternation when the news was received, on the 7th of March, 1525, that he had been taken prisoner at Pavia. His mother, Louise de Savoie, subordinated the evil traits of her character to constitute herself an intelligent regent; and on the 14th of April, 1527, the king made a triumphal re-entry into his capital after his release. Some doubts seem to have been entertained as to the genuineness of the welcome, for, it is recorded, the prévôt of the merchants, the échevins, and the school-masters were ordered to station, at a dozen points on the route of the procession, groups of eighty or a hundred children, who were to cry enthusiastically: "Vive le roi!" The quibbling by which François endeavored to justify his refusal to carry out the provisions of the treaty of Madrid, for which he had left his two sons as hostages, deceived no one; Charles V very justly proclaimed him a traitor and perjured, to which the king had no better answer than that the emperor "lied in his throat," and that he would meet him in the lists in single combat whenever he liked.

The ransom of the two young princes cost one million two hundred thousand écus, a sum which both the king and his capital found it very difficult to raise. After the treaty of Cambrai, in 1529, François endeavored to strengthen his position by foreign alliances, without any regard for his standing as eldest son of the Church and persecutor of Protestants. He made terms with Henry VIII of England, who had just broken with the Holy See; and he acquired the friendship of the Pope by demanding for his son, afterward Henri II, the hand of Catherine de Médicis, niece of the pontiff. He renewed the ancient friendship with the Scotch by giving his eldest daughter, afterward Marie de Lorraine, to their king for wife. He even concluded a commercial treaty, and one of alliance, offensive and defensive, with the Sultan Soliman, who promised to aid, with all his power, his good friend, "the Padishah of France."

The first of the followers of Luther to be executed in Paris was burned alive on the Place de Grève in March, 1525, and from this beginning the persecution went on, by direction of the king, and even during his absence, with a cruelty only tempered by the occasional necessity of conciliating the Protestant allies of the nation. The Sorbonne ordered that all the writings of Luther should be publicly burned on the Place du Parvis Notre-Dame; and the king decreed that all persons having in their possession any of the aforesaid heretical books should deliver them up, under penalty of banishment and confiscation of all their property. For the dreary spectacle of a nation and a city divided into hostile factions, struggling through barbarism and crime to a political unity and a more beneficent civilization, we have now, just when these goals seemed to be on the point of being attained, the spectacle of the same city and nation rent by religious faction, and relapsing into an even crueller barbarism under all the specious glitter of the civilization of the Renaissance.

It seemed at first, however, as though the doctrines of the Reform might find as stable a footing in France as they did in Germany. Among the lettered and cultivated classes their conquests were rapid; even in the court, the king's mother, Louise de Savoie, was not apparently disposed to oppose them; his sister, Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, and his dear friend the Duchesse d'Étampes, were more or less openly inclined in their favor; Clément Marot, the court poet, translated the Psalms of David into French, which the Reformers sang at the Pré-aux-Clercs. Two scholars greatly esteemed by François I, Lefebvre d'Étaples, who had begun six years before Luther, and Louis de Berquin, considered by his contemporaries as "the wisest of the nobility," publicly supported the Reform doctrines. But the king, fearing in them an organized movement against all authority, sacred or secular, soon withdrew his support; Berquin was burned at the stake in the Place de Grève, and the Sorbonne even ventured to pursue, with open prosecution and denunciation, and with hidden satire in a comedy represented at the Collége de Navarre, the king's sister for having caused her brother to adopt a book of prayers translated into French and for having caused to be printed a work of her own in verse: Le Miroir de l'Ame pécheresse. The Parlement formally forbade the scholars of the Université to translate any of the sacred books in Hebrew or Greek into French, as being a work of heresy. In 1546, Etienne Dolet, the printer, was hanged and then burned, for impiety and atheism, on the Place Maubert where his statue now stands. There was even invented, for the benefit of the heretics, a refinement of cruelty on the ordinary horrors of the stake,—a pulley over the victim's head to which he was suspended by chains, so that he could alternately be raised out of the flames and lowered into them again. This was called l'estrapade.

From a sketch by F. Courboin.
  This reign witnessed one of those unjust condemnations of the royal treasurer which had become so common in French history. Jacques de Beaune, Seigneur de Semblançay, had succeeded his father in this important post; Louis XII and François I alike had found every reason to repose the utmost confidence in their financial officer, but the latter monarch, and his mother, set no bounds to their lavish expenditure. In 1521, Lautrec, François's general in Italy, drew on the royal treasury for four hundred thousand écus to pay his Swiss mercenaries. Semblançay was about to send him the money, when he was summoned, according to the generally received story, by Louise de Savoie, to hand it over to her, which he did. Owing to the defection of his unpaid Swiss, Lautrec was defeated at the Bicoque and lost the Milanaise; when bitterly reproached by the king for his ill-success, the facts in the case came out. The queen-mother admitted having received the money and applied it to her own use, but she declared that it was a portion of her private funds which she had previously deposited with the treasurer-general. Semblançay was accordingly brought to trial, but, though he demonstrated that the king was in his debt to the amount of three hundred thousand livres, he was condemned for peculation and hung on the gibbet at Montfaucon, notwithstanding his blameless life and his seventy-two years. "I have, indeed, deserved death," he said, "for having served men more faithfully than God." Clément Marot, the court poet, wrote an epigram on the juge d'enfer who had condemned this worthy servant of the king, and a popular tumult was averted with difficulty; two years later, the clerks whom the queen-mother had employed to steal her receipts from the treasurer's coffers confessed, he was declared innocent, and his confiscated property restored to his grandson.

Charles V, who more than once threatened Paris with his victorious arms,—in 1544 he was at Château-Thierry, twenty-four leagues from the capital, and the affrighted citizens had begun to transport themselves and their worldly goods to Orléans,—visited the city in peace, on the 1st of January, 1540, on his way to Flanders to subdue the revolted burghers of Ghent. François was strongly tempted to break his royal promises, as he had done once before, and retain so valuable a prisoner, but confined himself to hints as to what he might do, and displayed on the part of his court and his capital an ostentation of luxury almost equal to that of the Field of the Cloth of Gold twenty years before, when he had met Henry VIII of England—"that spot of blood and grease on the pages of history." The capital, indeed, was much embellished and made more healthful under François I; the municipality were enjoined to pave and to clean the streets, and the king caused to be drawn up minute regulations concerning the administration of the city, the fountains, markets, slaughter-houses, gutters, etc. Nevertheless, the pest prevailed throughout the whole of his reign.

This gay monarch, who aspired to excel in all the accomplishments of a chevalier, wrote verses in his lighter moments, but the celebrated "Souvent femme varie; bien fol est qui s'y fie," said to have been written with the diamond of his finger-ring on a window in the Château d'Amboise, has been resolved into the very commonplace phrase: "Toute femme varie," which Brantôme saw written by the royal hand on the window-casing. In like manner, the pretty verses ascribed to Mary Queen of Scots, on leaving France,—

"Adieu, plaisant pays de France,
O ma patrie,
La plus chèrie," etc.,

were really written by a journalist named Meunier de Querlon. What the young queen did say, as she saw the French coast sink below the horizon, was: "Adieu, chère France! je ne vous verrai jamais plus!"

The son of François I, who succeeded him, had all his father's defects and none of his good qualities; his short reign is made memorable chiefly by his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and the unusual manner of his death. The former, whom he made Duchesse de Valentinois, and who exercised in the court an authority quite denied to the queen, maintained over her royal lover,—she had been the mistress of his father,—notwithstanding her forty-eight years of age, an ascendency, by her beauty and her intelligence, which her contemporaries ascribed to an enchanted ring. She was nearly sixty years of age, and the king was in his forty-first year when he wore her colors, the black and white of widows, in the fatal tourney which he had commanded to celebrate the wedding of his eldest daughter, Elisabeth de France, to Philippe II, King of Spain, already twice widowed. The lists were set up across the Rue Saint-Antoine, from the Palais des Tournelles almost to the Bastile, with great amphitheatres of seats on each side for the spectators. The king, who excelled in bodily exercises, had distinguished himself during the first two days; on the third, the jousting was completed, when he happened to see two lances still unbroken, and commanded the captain of his guards, Gabriel, Comte de Montgomery, to take one of them and tilt with him "for the love of the ladies." Montgomery protested, but the king insisted, and as they came together the former did not lower his arm quickly enough, and the broken shaft of his lance, glancing up from the king's breast-plate, lifted his visor and inflicted a mortal wound over the right eye. Eleven days afterward, he died, and Montgomery paid with his life for his inadvertence.

From a sketch by F. Courboin.

Henry "was not yet dead when Catherine de Médicis sent to Diane de Poitiers an order to restore the crown-jewels, and to retire to one of her châteaux. 'What!' she exclaimed, 'is the king dead?' 'No, madame, but he soon will be.' 'So long as he has a finger living,' she replied, 'I wish that my enemies should know that I do not fear them, and that I will not obey them whilst he is alive. My courage is still invincible. But when he is dead, I no longer wish to live after him.'

"She did live, however, but she made haste to leave Paris, and withdrew to her Château d'Anet."

The king's death occurred in the midst of his plans to resume the persecution of the heretics, plans which he had so much at heart that he had not hesitated to conclude the unfortunate treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, in the same year, in order to be at liberty to engage in this crusade against his own subjects. "Sire," said his generals, Guise and Brissac, as the treaty was signed, "you are giving away in one day what could not be taken from you in thirty years of reverses." But Henri "was more religious than the Pope," for, the sovereign pontiff having sent the Parisians a bull by which he granted them permission to eat butter, cheese, and eggs during the approaching Lent, the king was scandalized at this license; the Garde des Sceaux directed the Lieutenant Criminel to publish, by the public criers, a decree forbidding the printing and circulating of this bull, and the document was even publicly burned by order of the king and the Parlement.

Among the ceremonials of public rejoicing attending the wedding of Henri with Catherine de Médicis was the illuminating, by the royal hand, of the fire on the eve of Sainte-Jean, on the Place de Grève, in which the lamentable cries of the cats confined in a basket, and thus consumed, filled the populace with the wildest delight. Their appetite for cruelty was soon to be much more fully gratified, for arrangements were made, after high mass at Notre-Dame and the State banquet in the episcopal palace, to burn as many Protestants at the stake at once, at several places, as was possible. Among these unfortunates was a journeyman tailor, who had been summoned before the king, and reproached by him for listening to heretical doctrines; when Diane de Poitiers, who had been instrumental in causing his arrest, also began to harangue him, the tailor suddenly broke silence: "Madame," said he, "content yourself with having infested France, and do not bring your ordure to mingle with things as sacred as the truth of God." He was consequently given one of the posts of honor among the victims, his stake being erected in the Rue Saint-Antoine, nearest the window of the Hôtel de la Roche-Pot, from which the king watched the executions, and it is related that, notwithstanding his atrocious sufferings, he fixed upon the monarch, from amidst the flames, so steadfast and terrible a look that Henri withdrew from the window, declaring that he would never be present at another auto-da-fé. This did not signify, however, that he would order no more.

Both François and Henri had formed, and partially carried out, various enlightened measures for the embellishment of the capital and its environs, the rebuilding of the Louvre, the completion of Fontainebleau, the improvement of the navigation of the Seine, etc. Henri ordered the demolition of the old royal residence, the Palais des Tournelles, and its pestiferous moats were filled up. He is represented as being inordinately fond of processions, and every event, of good or bad omen, was made a pretence for one of these public displays. Catherine de Médicis had brought with her from Tuscany a taste for luxury, letters, and the arts; Philibert Delorme, whom the French consider the second of their great architects, and who, under her orders, began, in 1564, the construction of the Tuileries, testifies to "the exceeding pleasure which she took in architecture, designing and sketching out the plans and profiles of the edifices she intended to erect."

Under the reign of Henri II began the rise in importance, and the frequent appearance in the national councils, of the great families afterward so prominent in the wars of the League. The Connétable de Montmorency, the Maréchal de Saint-André, and the Guises, younger branch of the ducal house of Lorraine, who at this period claimed to be only the heirs of the house of Anjou, but who, later, asserted themselves to be descendants of Charlemagne, monopolized the royal favors and the royal authority. The eldest of Henri's sons, François II, during his brief reign of seventeen months, confided the military administration of his kingdom to François, Duc de Guise, who had retaken Calais from the English, and defended Metz against Charles V, and the "civil affairs" to his brother Charles, cardinal, and possessor of no less than a dozen benefices in the Church. The house of Bourbon, which might have disputed this ascendency with them, was temporarily in disgrace because of the treason of the Connétable, under François I, and the Duc de Montmorency had lost the important battle of Saint-Quentin against the Imperialists, in 1557, and was advanced in years. To these malcontents was added the Prince de Condé, and the higher nobility were all indignant at seeing the domination of France in the hands of foreigners,—the queen-mother, Italian; the young wife of François II, Scotch, and the Guises, Lorrainers. To add to their ill-humor, these foreigners, as foreigners, claimed the precedence in matters of etiquette, and the right to walk in procession immediately after the princes of the blood, before the chiefs of the most illustrious houses of France.

COSTUME OF 1830. From a water-color by Maurice Leloir.

Catherine de Médicis had preserved, amidst the intrigues and debauchery of the court, but one wholesome moral sentiment,—a passionate love for her children. The long course of mortifications which she had had to endure at the hands of Diane de Poitiers "had effaced in her all distinctions between good and evil." To preserve the royal power in the hands of her sons, three of whom succeeded to the throne in somewhat rapid succession, she considered all means legitimate. For a brief space of time she saw herself excluded from her ascendency over the king by the young queen, Marie Stuart, daughter of James V of Scotland and Marie de Lorraine, whom Henri II had married to his son to assure the alliance of Scotland against England. The discontent against the Guises led to the "conspiracy of Amboise," in 1560, easily suppressed and punished with the utmost severity; the young king wept at the incessant executions, but the pretty young queen, as seems to be proven by her "Letters," secretly approved. The queen-mother, more intelligent, gave the keeping of the seals to the Chancellor Michel de l'Hôpital, who opposed the proposition of the Guises to set up the Inquisition in France, and convoked the nobles at Fontainebleau to organize the opposition. The civil wars were inaugurated.

François II died on December 5, 1560; Mary of Scots went back to her native land, weeping bitterly, and the queen-mother assumed the regency, as her second son, Charles IX, was then only ten years and six months of age. He was not without good parts, he had an inclination for les belles lettres, fostered in him by his preceptor, Amyot, who had translated Plutarch, and one of his favorites was the poet, Pierre de Ronsard. The mutual outrages and exasperations, the changing fortunes of the incessant wars between Catholics and Huguenots, gradually led up to the calamity of the Saint-Bartholomew; in 1567, five years before, the young king was nearly captured by the chiefs of the Reformed religion, escaping with difficulty to his capital and to his palace of the Louvre. To cement the peace of Saint-Germain, signed in 1570, and which granted such favorable terms to the Protestants that the Catholic party protested fiercely, a marriage was arranged between the son of Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, Henri de Béarn, and the king's sister, Marguerite, the Reine Margot of the chroniclers. The Queen of Navarre and her son, followed by the Admiral Coligny and a host of the leaders among the Huguenots, came to Paris; the protestations of friendship with which they were received by the king inflamed still more the passions of the partisans of the Guises, and the sudden death of Jeanne d'Albret, attributed to poison, but probably caused by a pulmonary affection, only served to increase the universal apprehension and suspicion.

The marriage was postponed, but celebrated a week later, on the 17th of August, 1572, with great pomp; the bridegroom took up his lodgings in the Louvre, but, five days later, Coligny, returning to his little hôtel in the Rue des Fossés-Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, was fired at by an assassin named Maurevert in the pay of the Guises, receiving one ball in the left arm and losing the index finger of his right hand by another. The excessive grief and concern manifested by the king seems to have disarmed his suspicions; but Catherine, aided by the leaders of the Catholic party, was incessantly urging her son to seize the opportunity thus within his grasp, and, by exterminating all the enemies of the true religion, at once avert from France the horrors of a fourth civil war. "The king resisted; his mother quoted to him the Italian proverb that mildness is often cruelty, and cruelty mildness; then she threatened to leave the court with her other son, the Duc d'Anjou, so as not to witness the ruin of her house, so as to no longer have before her eyes such cowardice and imbecility. She had well calculated the effect of this last taunt upon a violent spirit. Charles, until then motionless and sombre, suddenly exclaimed, that, if it were found advisable to kill the admiral, he wished that all the Huguenots in France might be killed, 'so that not one should be left to reproach him.'" It was agreed to exempt from the massacre the King of Navarre, the new brother-in-law of Charles, and the young Prince de Condé, but on the condition that both of them returned to the Catholic religion.

All the necessary measures had been taken by the Guises and by the municipality of the city; the signal was to be given from the Palais de Justice, by the first stroke of the tocsin after midnight, on the morning of Sunday, the 24th of August, the day of Saint-Barthélemy, and the Catholics were to be designated by white handkerchiefs on their arms and white crosses in their hats. But the killing began under the walls of the Louvre before the appointed hour, and Catherine sent hastily to the neighboring church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois with orders to give the signal. The Duc de Guise had reserved for himself the honor of superintending the murder of Coligny, then helpless from his wounds, and he immediately hastened to the Hôtel de Ponthieu, where the admiral was lodged, burst in the doors, had the old man murdered and flung out of the window and his head struck off.

There are various authorities, among them D'Aubigné, for the story that the king fired with a long arquebus from one of the windows of the Louvre upon the fleeing Huguenots. "He took great pleasure," says Brantôme, "in seeing from his windows more than four thousand corpses, killed or drowned, floating down the river." The same chronicler relates that when, on the 27th, in company with his mother and a number of seigneurs, he visited the gibbet of Montfaucon to inspect the corpse of the admiral, there hanging in chains, he did not, like all the others, stop his nose, but said: "I do not as you all do, for the smell of an enemy is always pleasant." He had, perhaps, borrowed the phrase from Aulus Vitellius, visiting the battle-field of Bedriac.

"Women who were enceinte were ripped open, that the little Huguenots might be snatched from their wombs, to be thrown, to be devoured, to pigs and dogs. In those houses in which none were left alive but children, these infants were piled into large baskets, and then thrown from the bridges into the river. There might be seen frightful little boys, ten years of age, strangling the babies in the cradles, or dragging them through the streets by a cord around their necks."

The number of slain in the city of Paris was variously estimated at from two thousand to ten. The murders did not cease entirely until the 17th of September, and, with the exception of some districts, in which the officials refused to carry out their orders, extended throughout France. The victims were by no means all Huguenots; the opportunities offered to private vengeance were too great, and rivals, debtors, thieves, and a horde of criminals covered their crimes with the cloak of religion. Two years later, the king died, at the age of twenty-four, tormented in his last moments by remorse, and cared for only by his old Huguenot nurse.

Even in this horrible business, there were not wanting reassuring touches of human nature. The fine story which Dumas père tells with so much spirit in his Reine Margot, of the wounded gentleman, pursued by the assassins, seeking refuge in the very bed-chamber of this queen, and saved by her, is quite true, if we may believe the recital of the queen herself (Historic Memoirs: Margaret of Valois). His name was Monsieur de Nançay, and she was obliged to change her chemise, as he had bloodied it in clinging to her! In the conspiracy to prevent the return of the King of Poland, afterward Henri III, to France in the eventuality of the death of Charles, of which conspiracy the youngest royal brother, the Duc d'Alençon, was the head, there were two gentlemen, Joseph de Boniface, Sieur de la Mole, who was Queen Marguerite's lover, and the Comte de Coconas, an Italian, who was loved by the Duchesse de Nevers. The story of the trial and execution of these two, and even the ghastly incident of the preservation of the severed head of the lover, are also founded on facts.

The massacre of Saint-Bartholomew has found apologists, even at this late day,—an historical work issued by the house of Firmin-Didot, in 1898, purporting to give an impartial résumé of the acts of the League during the reigns of Henri III and Henri IV, declares that the people took part in this tragedy because "their zeal had been misled," and they believed that they were going, not to massacre, but to battle "against enemies who menaced their faith and their liberty." The League, according to this champion of the Church, M. V. de Chalambert, "was at once legitimate in its principles, energetic and sagacious in its acts, in its faith;" ... "if the family of Lorraine had the signal honor of personifying, during a space of nearly fifty years, the Catholic cause in France, it owed this honor to the faith, to the sincere zeal, and to the great qualities of its princes, not to the schemes of ambition." A more important work, the History of the Princes of Condé, by the Duc d'Aumale, in seven volumes, is much more impartial, though the distinguished author's sympathies are naturally enlisted in this subject. He quotes with just appreciation the answer of the young Prince of Condé, Henri de Bourbon, to Charles IX after the massacre, when the king summoned him before him and curtly gave him his choice: "Messe, mort, ou Bastille?" (the mass, death, or the Bastile.) "God will not permit, my king and my seigneur, that I should select the first. As for the other two, they are at your discretion, which may God temper with His Providence."

"The intellectual life of the people," says the author of the Mémoires du peuple français, "had gained, rather than lost, amid the terrible emotions of public affairs. In the interiors of the houses, everything demonstrated that literature, the arts, the sciences, commerce, and industry were far from having succumbed during the long crises of the preceding reigns." It was during the reign of Charles IX that the beginning of the year was fixed at the first of January, by an edict issued in 1564. It had previously been considered as commencing at Easter.

Henri de Navarre and the young Duc d'Alençon were retained as prisoners in the Louvre, where they amused themselves by flying quails in their rooms and making love to the ladies. The young prince escaped first, on the evening of the 15th of September, 1575, but the king did not succeed in evading the vigilance of his keepers till the following February, when he took advantage of a hunt in the forest of Senlis, to ride to rejoin Monsieur, his young brother-in-law, and the Prince de Condé, thus abjuring the vows of the Church, which he had taken under compulsion. The Paix de Monsieur which followed, signed on the 17th of April, 1576, granted the followers of Luther and Calvin the free exercise of their religion everywhere, "as much as they would have acquired by gaining two battles against the court of France." To the zealous Catholics this peace seemed like a betrayal of their cause, and the Sainte Ligue, for the maintenance of the privileges of the Church and the king, was organized throughout the country under the auspices of Henri de Guise, who placed himself at the head of the movement.

Henri III, who had fled from his throne of Poland to take that of France as soon as he heard of the death of his brother, had not even the few good qualities of the latter. Depraved, prodigal, effeminate, capable only of the most puerile occupations, he excited the indignation of the Parisians by his dissolute manners, by his travesty of feminine apparel, his fine collars, his necklaces of pearls, his pourpoint opened to show his throat. D'Aubigné declared that he could not decide whether he saw "a woman-king or a man-queen." In his solemn entry into his capital he scandalized the grave citizens by his appearance, "having around him a great quantity of parakeets, monkeys, and little dogs." His courtiers and favorites naturally followed his example, and shared the popular disfavor; in 1576, the Parisians began to designate them as mignons du roi. Their worthy master, whenever it arrived to one of them to be killed in duel or ambuscade, contented himself with giving him a fine tomb and a marble statue in the church of Saint-Paul, hence called "the seraglio of the mignons," so that, says De Thou, "the usual threat against one of these favorites was: 'I will have him carved in marble like the others.'"


To thwart the schemes of the Guises, who had begun to plot for the succession to the throne, the king placed himself at the head of the League, and created his Order of the Saint-Esprit in hopes of winning partisans in both camps. His brother, now Duc d'Anjou, died in 1584, after an unsuccessful expedition into the Low Countries; the Duc de Guise concluded the treaty of Joinville with Philippe II of Spain, in the same year, in which the high contracting parties agreed to extirpate sects and heresies; to exclude from the throne of France heretic princes, or those who promised public impunity to heretics, and to assure the succession of the Valois to Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon. The cardinal was put forward as a stalking-horse, to be discarded at the right moment. And yet after the eighth civil war, that "of the three Henrys," the duke had the courage, or the assurance, to come to demand an audience of the king at Blois, and was poniarded by the Quarante-Cinq, the royal body-guard, in the antechamber. The next day, his brother, the cardinal, was killed with halberds, and the two bodies were burned that there might be no relics.

Catherine de Médicis, if we may believe the historians, had an undoubted talent for epigrams. When it was announced to her erroneously, as it afterward proved, that the battle of Dreux, in 1562, had been won by the Huguenots, she remarked, placidly: "Well, we shall have to pray God in French." When her son hastened to inform her after this notable assassination: "I have become, again, King of France, madame, having had killed the King of Paris," she replied: "It is not enough to cut out, my son; you must sew up." Henri did not know how to sew up; the League was far from being killed, the city of Paris, filled with fury and resentment at this murder, publicly disowned him and closed its gates against him. In one of the many nocturnal processions in its streets, a hundred thousand persons, it is said, carrying lighted torches, extinguished them all at once at a signal, crying, with one voice: "God extinguish thus the race of Valois!" He was obliged to seek an alliance with the Béarnais; the two kings laid siege to the capital, and a fanatical Dominican monk, Jacques Clément, having gained access to the tent of Henri III by forged letters, buried a knife in his bowels. He died in the night, having previously made his attendants swear to recognize the King of Navarre as King of France. His mother had died six months before, "despair in her soul."

Of Henri IV, "manly and humane by natural gifts, as well as by worldly experience," there are innumerable anecdotes related to illustrate his somewhat contradictory character. He is even found apologizing for Catherine de Médicis. One day, in 1600, the Président de Groulard was recalling to the king the memory of the many ills that she had brought upon France. "But," said the Béarnais, "I should like to ask you, what could a poor woman do who had, by the death of her husband, been left with five small children on her hands and two families who were endeavoring to wrest the crown from them, ours and that of the Guises? Was she not obliged to make use of strange personages to outwit both of them, and yet to preserve, as she did, her children, who reigned successively, thanks to the discreet conduct of so sagacious a woman? I wonder that she did not do even worse!" His perpetual pecuniary difficulties, so common to kings of France, developed in him other qualities. L'Estoile relates that his fine horses were returned to him in Paris because there were no funds with which to provide for them. The king turned to M. d'O, the Governor of Paris, and asked him how this came to be. "Sire," replied the latter, "there is no money." "My condition," said the king, "is, indeed, deplorable! I shall presently be obliged to go naked and on foot." Then, turning to a valet de chambre, he asked him how many shirts he possessed. "A dozen, sire; some of them are torn." "And handkerchiefs, have I not eight?" "At present, there are only five." "One night, when D'Aubigné and La Force were sleeping near the King of Navarre, the former complained bitterly to the second of their master's stinginess. La Force, overwhelmed with fatigue, was not listening. 'Do you not hear what I am saying?' asked D'Aubigné. La Force, rousing himself, demanded the subject of his discourse. 'Eh! he is telling thee,' said the king, who had heard it all, 'that I am a skinflint [un ladre vert], and the most ungrateful mortal on the face of the earth.' 'He did not manifest any resentment toward me,' adds D'Aubigné; 'but neither did he give me a quarter of an écu the more.'"

Fac-simile of a lithograph, by Perrin, printed by Girod. A companion form exhibits a young man seated, in lieu of the young woman.

His second marriage, with Marie de Médicis, a niece of the Pope, was no more happy than royal marriages usually were. The pontiff had granted him a divorce from Marguerite de Valois, whose conduct was thought to be too frivolous even for those times; and the royal nuptials were solemnized at Florence in October, 1600, and greatly fêted in Paris the following January. "A dull woman, who brought him neither heart nor beauty nor wit, but the largest dot that could then be found (six hundred thousand écus of gold, equivalent to eighteen or twenty millions of francs to-day)." "His mistresses—less by their beauty than by gaiety and good humor—held an influence over him which probably she herself might have acquired, could she have curbed her violent temper. But not only did she rave and rage, and assail him with angry words, it was even necessary to restrain her from the too free use of her hands. And her blows were far from being light ones, for, as Henri once jestingly said, she was 'terribly robust.'" His conjugal inconstancy was, indeed, flagrant. La belle Gabrielle, Madame de Liancourt, afterward made Marquise de Mousseaux, the most celebrated of his mistresses, was declared by him to be the only woman he ever really loved, and, say the chronicles, "he used to caress her greatly and kiss her before everybody," but she had plenty of successors. One of them, the Marquise de Verneuil, was obliged to be present in the queen's train on the day of her coronation, as was, also, the divorced Marguerite de France; and on the very morning of his assassination, the king, now grizzled and bent, went to pay a visit to a newer beauty to whom he was paying court, Mlle. Angélique Paulet, daughter of the secretary of State who originated the celebrated financial measure named, after him, la paulette.

Nevertheless, it is related that on the day of her coronation, in 1610, when Marie de Médicis passed up the nave of the cathedral of Saint-Denis, flushed with pride and triumph, and wearing regally the royal mantle and jewels, Henri, who was present only as a spectator, turned to Sully, his minister and friend, and said, with animation: "Ventre-saint-gris! Qu'elle est belle!" It may be remarked that the king's favorite oath was said to have been invented for him by the churchmen, that he might not be guilty of blasphemy,—neither Saint-Gris nor his stomach being known to the calendar.

After having paid his visit to Mademoiselle Paulet, the king ordered his carriage, to go and see how the preparations for the 16th of May—the day of the public entrance into the capital of the newly-crowned Queen of France—were progressing. It is said that he had a superstitious presentiment concerning carriages, and but very seldom used them; there were not wanting other warnings, one from the astrologers, and his heart was unusually heavy. He had already escaped nineteen attempts at assassination. The coaches of those days had no glass windows, and were clumsy boxes, mounted on four immense wheels, and either set without springs or suspended on broad leathern bands. The king, who was accompanied by the ducs d'Épernon and de Montbazon and five other gentlemen, ordered the leathern curtains at the sides to be rolled up; at the corner of the Rue Saint-Honoré and the narrow Rue de la Ferronnerie there was a temporary blockade caused by two wagons, one laden with wine and the other with hay,—Ravaillac took advantage of the halt to mount with one foot on one of the spokes of the hind wheel on the side where the king was sitting and stabbed him three times, though the second stroke was instantly mortal.

The consternation was general and overwhelming, and with reason. "There might be seen men, as if struck by lightning, suddenly fall unconscious in the middle of the streets; several persons died very suddenly."

Henri III was the first King of France who made use of a carriage, but horses and mules long remained the favorite means of transportation for those who did not go afoot. Sober personages, magistrates and burghers, rode mules, and the ladies were loath to give up their hackneys for the new machines. Sauval, in his Antiquités de Paris, relates that he had been informed by a certain ancient dame—Madame Pilon—that there were no coaches in Paris until after the time of the League, some sixteen years before the death of Henri IV, and that the first person to appear in one was a relative of her own, the daughter of a wealthy apothecary of the Rue Saint-Antoine. Glass windows for them were not used till the reign of Louis XIV, who sent a coach so furnished as a gift to Charles II of England. The usage of tobacco began to be general under Henri IV, and soon became so excessive that the strongest measures were taken against those addicted to this habit. The beard of this monarch was also considered an offensive innovation by his Catholic subjects, and is even said to be responsible for more than one of the fanatical attempts on his life. His Huguenot subjects, however, "drew a hope from his continuance to wear it that their renegade chief might yet be of the number of the predestined."

"A hundred virtues of a valet, and not one virtue of a master," said Tallemant des Réaux of Henri's son, Louis XIII, as he grew to manhood. In two very recent publications on this historical period, M. Berthold Zeller, drawing his details from the contemporary reports of the Florentine and Venetian ambassadors at the court of France, presents a striking picture of the feebleness and ineptitude of the young king, even after the date of the official ending of his minority, October 2, 1614, and of the subtlety, quite Italian, with which the queen-mother played her part amid the intrigues of her followers and her adversaries. M. Louis Batiffol, in an article in the Revue de Paris, December, 1896, comments on a collection of manuscripts which he has found in the Bibliothèque Nationale, communications furnished by Louis XIII to the Gazette, published by Renaudot, on various military transactions. The communications were all edited, and not printed from these originals, because, although he was very fond of writing for the new art of printing, the king was "absolutely destitute of orthography, and was ignorant of the simplest rules of grammar. He wrote stiffly and with great care, in letters thin and long, more than a centimètre in length, he re-read, erased, and corrected in pencil the most awkward phrases, but his style remained at the end that of a child." Before being sent to the printer, these royal communications were corrected by one of his secretaries, M. Lucas, and afterward went through the hands of Richelieu. Nevertheless, M. Batiffol finds that these articles give "a very favorable impression of a king who presents so unimportant a figure in history and yet who did not lack for real qualities,"—an impression of impassibility, of self-control under all circumstances, and of a very serious application to the details of the affairs that came before him. "He was a soldier devoted to his profession, a true soldier, who loved the whistling of bullets, and would remain all night on horseback under a beating rain if he expected an attack from the enemy."

After a water-color by Maurice Bonvoison; "Mars."

He was also a superior market-gardener, and prided himself on having the earliest and finest spring vegetables, superintending all the details of their cultivation himself. None of these early crops, however, appeared on his own table, but were furnished, at fancy prices, to such luxurious consumers as the wealthy Pierre de Puget, Seigneur de Montauron, Conseiller du roi. One day, in 1628, being, as usual, at a loss for occupation, and having successfully concocted a fricandeau for dinner, he amused himself by shaving all his courtiers, leaving them only a little tuft on the chin. This, naturally, set the fashion for beards for some time.

It also became the custom for gentlemen to perfume themselves, to disguise the odor of the pipe, which was now coming into general use. In October, 1645, the King of Poland sent a magnificent embassy, with an escort of four hundred cavaliers, to Paris to demand in marriage the hand of Marie-Louise de Gonzague, daughter of Charles I, Duke of Mantua, and Catherine de Lorraine; a formal entry into the city was arranged, and the Parisians were much impressed with the grand costumes of the Polish nobility,—"their stuffs were embossed with gold and silver, and precious stones glittered from every portion of their adornment, whilst the French nobility, which came out to meet them, displayed only plumes and ribbons." Nevertheless, it appeared that the French nobles had shaved themselves and washed their hands, which the Poles had forgotten to do. This mediæval lack of cleanliness continued down to the time of Louis XIV; Marguerite de Navarre, in a pretty, amorous dialogue of her composition, makes the fair lady admit that she had not washed her hands for a week.

    The court of France was, at this period, the most depraved in morals, the grossest and most unpolished in manners, of any in Europe. The women of the bourgeoisie, envious of the great ladies, called them dames à gorge nue; and the latter retaliated by designating the women of the people as grisettes, because of their gray (grises) stockings,—a name retained almost down to the present day. In the sittings of the États Généraux, the President, Miron, complained bitterly of the excesses of the nobility, the contempt for justice, the open violences, the gambling, the extravagance, the constant duels, the "execrable oaths with which they thought it proper to ornament their usual discourse." It was from this general ignorance and corruption that the Marquise de Rambouillet withdrew in disgust, and established in her own hôtel that famous society of arts and letters and refinement—somewhat stilted and artificial—which constituted it the true court of France. "Instituted certainly before 1620," says M. Victor Cousin, "it sparkled with the utmost brilliancy for thirty years."

In 1612, the queen-mother, Marie de Médicis, then regent, arranged a double Spanish marriage for two of her children: the Princess Elisabeth, a child of twelve, was sent to Spain to wed the Prince of the Asturias, afterward Philip IV, and Louis brought back to Paris "a fine tall girl, a Spanish blonde, wanting yet two or three summers for the full development of her beauty," Anne d'Autriche. Though he was as faithful to his marriage vows as Saint-Louis, it is said, he seems to have always maintained for his wife a profound contempt, and, when the little Louis XIV was born, refused to take the infant in his arms, or to kiss it, which wounded the mother more than all his previous neglect. His treatment of his own mother in her later days was even more reprehensible; she was banished, and left in indigence and humiliation till her death, at Cologne, July 3, 1642. Her sole piece of jewelry, a cross surrounded with diamonds, and containing a piece of the true cross, she bequeathed to her daughter Henrietta, wife of Charles I of England. It was through Marie de Médicis, whom he afterward opposed so consistently, that the Bishop of Luçon, afterward Cardinal Richelieu, first was called to court, and during the king's minority and tutelage the government was administered by "the three robes," the queen-mother, the Bishop of Luçon, and the wife of the Italian favorite Concini, the Maréchal d'Ancre, killed on the drawbridge of the Louvre when he became too overbearing and obnoxious.

AFTER A MORNING MEETING IN THE BOIS DE BOULOGNE. From the painting by Nicolas Sicard.

"The distinguishing characteristic of the Siècle de Louis XIV," says M. Maxime Petit, in his review of the important work by Émile Bourgeois, Le Grand Siècle, "that which Voltaire selected as the most important, is not the history of the negotiations and the battles, but that of the manners and customs, the ideas, the beliefs, the letters, and the arts.... Never, perhaps, more than in the time of Louis XIV was there a more complete harmony between the ideas and the life. The political forces are thoroughly disciplined, and the principle of authority, which Richelieu had developed to its fullest extent, reigns uncontested. Polite society—the only one to be considered—believes itself to be in possession of absolute rules, and, in the court as in the city, the heart abdicates in favor of reason." "When one speaks of the seventeenth century in France," says M. Louis Farges, "it appears, to those who are neither historians nor professional scholars, as one of those rare epochs in which all the forces of the nation concentrate and develop in a serene and majestic unity. France seems, then, to be at the summit of her political power, of her intellectual and artistic development, of her religious and philosophical unity. Taken altogether, and in a very general manner, this is a very just idea; ... it must be admitted that at no other epoch has the genius of France manifested itself in the divers branches of human activity in a manner so complete, so abundant, and so united." "France was really," says M. Duruy, "at the head of modern civilization, and, by the recognized superiority of her genius and of her taste, she caused to be accepted by the whole of Europe the pacific empire of her artists and of her writers."

PARISIENNE. From a drawing by L. Marold.

Apparently, at least, the visible instrument that accomplished this great result was the dogma of absolute power, the monarchical régime; the king was the earthly image of God, divine, inviolable: loyalisme was a veritable religion, it had its symbols, its mysteries, and its rites. "If the king were not afraid of the devil," said Saint-Simon, "he would cause himself to be worshipped." This faith and this worship were already manifested "in their incomparable splendor by the ceremonies attending the opening of the États Généraux in 1614, dominated, not, as in 1789, by the august and abstract idea of the nation, but by the pale and melancholy figure of a boy of thirteen." For the tremendous and elaborate pomp of his court, the ceremonial ostentation which hedged around his own redoubtable figure, the tedious and suffocating etiquette which attended all approach to his person, Louis XIV himself had very definite reasons, which he expressed with an appreciable logic in his Mémoires. "Those who deem that these are only matters of ceremony deceive themselves greatly. The people over whom we reign, not being able to penetrate to the depths of things, form their judgments usually on that which they see on the surface, and most frequently measure their respect and their obedience by precedence and rank. As it is important to the public to be governed by one only, it is also of importance to it that he who fills this function should be elevated in such a manner above the others that there should be no person who can be either confounded or compared with him, and it is not possible, without injury to the whole body of the State, to deprive its chief of the slightest marks of superiority which distinguish him from all the other members."

Hence, three conditions were imposed absolutely upon all those who sought in any way to find favor with the head of the State,—to ask and to obtain a residence at Versailles; to follow the court everywhere, even when sick, even when dying, and to approve of everything. Of the universal abasement of spirit which this régime brought about, the memoirs of the time are full. La Bruyère said: "Whoever considers how the happiness of the courtier lies wholly in the face of the prince, that he makes it the one occupation of his life to look on it, and to be seen by it, may, in some degree, comprehend how, in looking on the face of God, consists all the glory and happiness of the saint." The Duc de Richelieu wrote: "I pray the king on my knees that he will permit me to come sometimes to pay my court to him, for I had rather die than be two months without seeing him." A court-preacher, preaching one day before the king on the familiar topic, dwelt upon it: "We shall all die, all, all!" A sudden and involuntary movement of the monarch reminded him that he had touched upon a theme displeasing to royalty. In his dismay and confusion he hastened to qualify his assertion: "Yes, sire, almost all." Louis XIV, it is said, looked forward to continuing his rôle of Grand Monarque, even in the next world.

AUX COURSES. By F. Fournery.
"AUX COURSES." By F. Fournery.
  His education had been much neglected in his youth,—it was said, designedly, by Mazarin, who wished to perpetuate his own powder. One of the first of the royal preceptors, M. Le Vayer, discovered that Louis was less intelligent than his younger brother, Philippe, and proposed to devote himself to developing the character of the latter, but was speedily checked by the astute cardinal. Like his mother, Anne of Austria, the king had but little taste for literature. "Of what use is reading?" he said one day to the Maréchal de Vivonne. His appetites, however, were fully developed. The Duchesse d'Orléans relates that she had very frequently seen him eat, at one sitting, four platefuls of different soups, an entire pheasant, a partridge, a great dish of salad, a dish of mutton with its gravy, garnished with garlic, two good pieces of ham, a large plateful of pastry, and end with fruit and preserves. However, he drank only water reddened with a little wine. The état de maîtresse en titre du roi was as formally recognized in his court as that of confessor or chamberlain. Frequently there were two at once. The "three queens" were legitimate objects of curiosity to all those who were permitted to bask in the royal sunshine. Madame de la Vallière, perceiving herself to be gradually superseded by Madame de Montespan, fled to a convent three times, and was finally permitted to remain there; M. de Montespan, having vainly attempted to remove his wife from court, was sent to the Bastile, and on his release was ordered to his estate. There he put on mourning, as though she were dead, which the king considered a great affront. His wife graciously made use of her influence at court to procure a renewal of the pension of the widow Scarron, only to see her ultimately appointed guardian of the king's children and succeed her in her position, as Madame de Maintenon.

"Violating all laws, civil and religious," says Duruy, "the king placed on a level with the princes of the blood the princes legitimized. He forced the court to respect the one as equal to the other; and the public morality received a blow from which it was very slow to recover." These lessons were not lost, and the annals of the nobility are full of scandalous examples. The ducs d'Orléans and Vendôme were addicted to infamous debauchery; the Duc d'Antin was caught, flagrante delicto, in theft; drunkenness and gambling were prevalent at court, the Grand Prieur de Vendôme boasted that he had not gone to bed sober one night in forty years. Pascal, discussing the privileges of the nobles and the kings, said to them boldly: "You are kings only of concupiscence." This great court, the most brilliant in Europe, "sweated hypocrisy," said Saint-Simon. It may be remarked, that, in addition to the very frequent disfigurement by small-pox, from which even the king was not entirely free, there was a remarkable prevalence of deformity among the families of the aristocracy. "There was scarcely one of which some member, male or female, had not a curved spine, a distorted limb, or other malformation; owing, most likely, to the common practice of closely swathing the limbs of infants, and of confiding young children to the charge of careless and ignorant nurses, for the first three or four years of their lives."

Two of the mysteries of this reign which have long furnished themes for discussion have lately been solved by the ingenuity of modern research. The "Man in the Iron Mask," guarded in the Bastile "for forty-two years," treated with the utmost consideration and buried under a false name, it now appears was confined there only five years, from September, 1698, to his death in November, 1703, shared his cell at different periods with other prisoners, a police spy and a lackey, and was buried without any attempt at mystery! The original register of his death, reproduced before its destruction among other archives of the city of Paris in 1871, gives his name as Marchioly, though it had been read Marchialy by all the commentators (the tail of the o being really a trifle too high for an a), and it is now considered settled that this signified Mattioli, in the uncertain orthography of the times, Count Hercule-Antoine Mattioli, secretary of the Duke of Mantua, whom Louis XIV had caused to be arrested on Italian soil, in defiance of international law, for having betrayed the secrets of the negotiations relative to the acquisition of Casal.

The sudden and tragic death of Madame, Henriette d'Angleterre, wife of the king's brother, Monsieur, le Duc d'Orléans, made famous by Bossuet's funeral oration, long ascribed to poison, has been elucidated by Littré in what has been designated as the finest example known of "a retrospective medical demonstration." She had just returned from England, bearing with her the treaty of Dover, signed by her brother, Charles II, in which that monarch agreed to abandon the alliance with Holland, and died suddenly in great agony after taking her usual glass of chicory-water in the evening. The autopsy, which was performed by the most celebrated surgeons of France, aided by two or three English physicians, revealed a small perforation in the walls of the stomach, which the doctors, knowing no other way of accounting for, agreed must have been made accidentally by the point of their scissors. Littré demonstrates that this accident was very improbable, and that the perforation was evidently caused by an ulcer of the stomach,—a disease unknown to the medical science of the time.

By F. Fournery.
  Louis XIV was preceded to the tomb by his only son, the dauphin, in April, 1711; by the Duc de Bourgogne, become dauphin in February, 1712, his wife having died six days before; by the Duc de Bretagne, eldest of the sons of the Duc de Bourgogne, three weeks after his parents; by the Duc de Berry, grandson of the king, on the 4th of May, 1714. Such a succession of calamities roused the gravest suspicions, and the Duc d'Orléans, afterward regent, openly accused of the use of poison, seriously contemplated demanding permission of the king to constitute himself prisoner till these calumnies should be silenced. There remained only a young prince, the Duc d'Anjou, son of the Duc de Bourgogne and Marie-Adélaide de Savoie, five years old at this date, and so delicate that his life was despaired of. He, however, lived to become Louis XV. Louis XIV, after having declared his sons by the Marquise de Montespan, the Duc du Maine and the Comte de Toulouse, heirs to the crown in default of princes of the blood, and making them members of the Council of the Regency, died September 1, 1715, at the age of seventy-seven.

His testament, as he had foreseen, was set aside, much as his father's had been. Philippe d'Orléans summoned the Parlement, which granted him full power as regent, with freedom to compose the council as he liked, and the government of the royal household was taken from the Duc du Maine after a most unseemly altercation. All the solemn and pompous traditions of the court were likewise abandoned. "What does it matter to the State," said the regent, "whether it is I or my lackey who rides in a carriage." He took for his minister and councillor the Abbé Dubois, "a little, thin man, like a weasel," said Saint-Simon, "in whom all the vices, perfidiousness, avarice, debauchery, ambition, and base flattery, struggled for the mastery." The general demoralization caused by the collapse of the great financial schemes of John Law was only a feature in the general abandonment of all restraint in the pursuit of pleasure. In the midst of this luxury of effrontery, there suddenly appeared the imposing and barbaric figure of Peter the Great of Russia, who visited Paris in the spring of 1717, and dismayed the court and the Parisians by the simplicity and directness of his character, his disregard for their voluptuous frivolity, and his appreciation of the things only that make for greatness in a State. He did not hesitate to prophesy, from what he saw and learned, the approaching decadence and ruin of the French monarchy and the French people.

BEFORE THE ATTACK. After a water-color by J. Koppay.

At the age of thirteen, in February, 1723, Louis XV was declared to have attained his majority and assumed the reins of government, nominally at least, for the regent had taken care to give him Dubois for prime minister. Both these illustrious personages, however, died in the course of the year, and were succeeded by the Duc de Bourbon, "ugly and one-eyed, low, mediocre, hypocritical, a man of little led by a woman of nothing, Madame de Prie," and who renewed the persecution of the Protestants and the Jansenists. The young king contented himself with "showing at the council table his handsome and impassible countenance, which nothing ever animated. When not thus engaged, when he was neither gambling nor hunting, he occupied himself with tapestry-making, turning snuff-boxes in wood, or reading either the secret correspondence with his ambassadors, which he maintained unknown to his ministers, or the scandalous recitals which the lieutenant of police sent him regularly every day." In the latter part of his reign, these habits were succeeded by even more ignoble ones, drunkenness and nameless vices.

To maintain his own power, the Duc de Bourbon sent back to Spain the Infanta, who had been brought to Paris, at the age of four, to fit her for her future position as Queen of France, and married the king to Marie Leczinska, daughter of the dethroned King of Poland, then living at Wissembourg on the charity of the French government. One day, this Stanislas Leczinski entered the chamber in which his wife and daughter were sitting, and said to them in great excitement: "Let us get down on our knees and thank God!" "Are you recalled to the throne of Poland?" asked his daughter. "Much better; you are Queen of France." She was seven years older than the king, very poor, without beauty, but gentle and pious. The insult offered to the court of Spain was but one of the many blunders and failures of the foreign diplomacy, while the extravagance and debauchery at home kept pace with the growing disorder in the national finances. The sum total of the funds disbursed during "the nineteen years of the reign of Madame de Pompadour, drawn up by her orders, exceeds thirty-six millions of livres, equivalent to more than sixty millions at the present day." In 1780, under Louis XVI, the amount of pensions paid by the government reached the sum of twenty-eight millions, and soon after rose to thirty-two. "I doubt," said Necker, in his Compte rendu, "if all the sovereigns of Europe pay in pensions the half of this sum." At the same time, the officers of the household of Louis XV were frequently unpaid, and it was more than once necessary, as it had been in the reign of his illustrious predecessor, to appeal to bourgeois and nobles to bring their silverware to the treasury to be melted down, that the national administration might not be utterly bankrupt. "Never," said the Comte de Maistres, during the Terror, "did a great crime have so many accomplices: there are doubtless some innocent sufferers among the victims, but they are very much fewer than is generally supposed."

The marriage of the dauphin, afterward Louis XVI, with the Austrian archduchess, Marie-Antoinette, in May, 1770, was attended with a frightful catastrophe during the celebration of the event, on the evening of the 30th, on the Place Louis XV, now Place de la Concorde,—hundreds of persons being crushed to death, trampled under foot, killed with swords, or with the fireworks which burst in their midst. It was an ill omen for the future. The accession to the throne of this youthful pair, in 1774, was hailed with pleasing anticipations by the nation, wearied with the excesses of the late reign. "What joy," said Michelet, "to see seated at last on the purified throne of Louis XV this virtuous, this excellent young king and this charming queen! Who would not have hoped for everything? A grand movement of art adorned this coronation, illuminated the scene. And the queen was the centre of all. One woman only seemed to exist." The graceful, youthful figure of Marie-Antoinette, dauphine, has recently been made the subject of special research by M. Pierre de Molhac, and the intimate relations between court intrigues and the gravest measures of foreign diplomacy are exemplified in the pressure put upon her by her mother, Marie-Thérèse, to treat with more consideration the king's mistress, Madame du Barry, who, the dauphine wrote to her mother, "is the silliest and most impertinent creature imaginable." The consent of Louis XV to the partition of Poland was purchased by the promise of his daughter-in-law to assume the same attitude toward Madame du Barry that her mother had formerly condescended to with respect to Madame du Pompadour. "Louis XV was touched in the most sensitive part of his heart by the tact of his old friend; his silence concerning Poland was paid for in advance."

Amid the general extravagance and corruption of the upper classes of society some attempts were made to preserve the traditions of the famous Hôtel de Rambouillet, le berceau de la société polie, where talent, learning, and wit were the qualities that secured distinction, and not pride of birth. Under Louis XIV, this salon was renewed in the fine hôtel of the Marquise de Lambert, in the Ile Saint-Louis,—in modern times restored by Prince Czartoriski,—and in the "Saturdays" of Mademoiselle de Scudéry, one of the greatest literary celebrities that had frequented the receptions of the Marquise de Rambouillet. The Saturdays were a great success, and the example thus set of "having a day" was generally followed; the literary coteries of the précieuses—later satirized by Molière—became numerous, and Mademoiselle de Scudéry's receptions were maintained till 1695. Under Louis XVI, in 1780, appeared no less than three social organizations having widely different aims,—the Société Philanthropique, the Société Apollonienne, which soon changed its title to that of the Musée, and the more practical Société des Mercredis, which existed for the purpose of encouraging good cooking. But the most distinguished of these reunions, frequented by the higher classes of society, was the Société Dramatique de Madame de Montesson, the mistress of the Duc d'Orléans, who had ended by marrying her with his left hand. In her hôtel in the Rue Chaussée d'Antin, this lady had mounted a theatre, on which she appeared with the prince, and which, from 1770 to 1780, quite maintained the lead in the social diversions of the capital.

FAINT-HEARTED. After a water-color by J. Koppay.

With the approach of the Revolution, about the commencement of the year 1785, there was a new movement, in the direction of the organization of a great number of "clubs," a word then new to the Parisian ears, but which was received with great favor. There was already in existence a Club Politique, which the government tolerated on the express condition that no discussions of politics or religion were to be permitted,—a condition which was quite disregarded. The Duc d'Orléans, who was very proud of being a member of the Club Anglais, founded the Club de Boston or des Américains; then there was the Club des Arcades, the Club des Étrangers, the Club de la Société Olympique, the Club des Artistes, and several others. The important part played in the bloody drama of the Revolution by the various political clubs, is matter of history. The earliest of these associations, of course, bore a general resemblance to the social institutions which the Parisians now know as Cercles; and it may be remarked that one of the most celebrated of the many recent pessimistic publications of the day, the Grandeur et Décadence des Français, by M. Gaston Routier, finds one of the many signs of the social demoralization of his countrymen in the number and importance of the cercles in the cities, and especially in the high play that so many of them favor.

To the extravagances and pretended miracles of the sect of the convulsionnaires and those wrought on the tomb of the deacon Paris in the cemetery Saint-Médard in 1730 and 1731, succeeded the extraordinary alleged cures of the German doctor Mesmer, who came to Paris in 1778 with his theory of "animal magnetism,"—theory treated with more respect by many of the savants of the present day than by those of the eighteenth century. The invention of the brothers Montgolfier, practically tested in 1783, awakened an extraordinary interest both in the scientific world and among the populace; and it is related that the American, Benjamin Franklin, being asked what he thought of these new aërial machines, replied: "It is the coming child."

The times were ripe for change: Mademoiselle de Romans, walking in the Tuileries gardens with a little son whom she had born to Louis XV, and pressed by the crowd, exclaimed: "Eh! messieurs and mesdames, do not crush so, and let your king's child breathe!" The Comte d'Artois, who was devoted to the game of tennis, being one day in an ill humor, ordered the court to be cleared of all the spectators, using epithets which were habitual with him: "Drive them all out," he said, "tous ces b . . . et ces j . . . f . . . !" No one was left but one officer. "Well, did you not hear what I said?" demanded his Royal Highness. "Yes, monseigneur, but as I am neither a b . . . , nor a j . . . f . . . , I remained." "The respect for la noblesse was singularly diminished, and the whole audience, even the nobles themselves, applauded at the theatre, in 1784, the bold epigrams of the 'Figaro' of Beaumarchais: 'Because you are a great seigneur, you think yourself a great genius! You have given yourself the trouble to be born; that is all you have done!'"

On the 19th of June, 1789, the Assemblée Nationale, in a session which Marat qualified as "glorious," decreed "that hereditary nobility is forever abolished in France; that, consequently, the titles of marquis, chevalier, écuyer, comte, vicomte, messire, prince, baron, vidame, noble, duc, and all other similar titles cannot be borne by any person whatsoever, nor given to any one; that no citizen shall bear other than his true family name; that no one shall cause his domestics to wear a livery nor have any coats-of-arms, and that incense shall be burned in the temples only in honor of the Divinity." The Assemblée Legislative held its first sitting on the 1st of October, 1792; on the 4th, the deputation of sixty members sent to announce to the king that the body was ready to begin its deliberations hesitated as to what phrases to employ, and finally decided upon Votre Majesté. When the deputation returned to give an account of its mission, much dissatisfaction was expressed: "Let there be no more use of this title of 'Majesty,'" exclaimed one member.

"Let us repudiate the title of 'Sire,'" said another.

"There is no longer any majesty here but that of the law and the people," cried Couthon.

It was accordingly decreed that the deputies should seat themselves and cover themselves before the king, that there should be provided but two similar arm-chairs, one for the king and one for the president, and, finally, that the king should receive no other title but that of Roi des Français. Louis XVI complained bitterly of this indignity, but it was one of the least he was called upon to endure.

When the royal family were brought into Paris from Versailles by the armed mob, they arrived at the Tuileries at half-past ten in the morning of the 6th of October, 1789. No attempt had been made to prepare for their use this long uninhabited palace, and the little dauphin said to his mother: "Mamma, everything here is very ugly." "My son," she replied, "Louis XIV lived here, and found himself comfortable; we should not be more difficult to please than he was." On the 20th of June, 1791, they made an unsuccessful attempt to escape by flight, in disguise, from the constantly increasing perils that menaced them, but were recognized at Varennes and brought back in captivity. Nevertheless, the king was restored to his executive functions on the 14th of the following September, and it was not until after the attack on the Tuileries, on the 10th of August, 1792, brought about largely by the intrigues of the émigré nobles who had fled over the frontier and by the manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick, the general in command of the Prussian army, announcing that he was coming, in the name of the allied kings, to restore to Louis XVI his authority, that that hapless monarch finally lost it. While his faithful Swiss guards were being massacred in the hopeless defence of his palace, he was sitting, surrounded by his family, in the loge called that of the logographe, where he had taken refuge with the Assemblée, watching through the open grille, or iron railing, the tumultuous deliberations of that body while it enacted that the chief of the executive power was temporarily suspended from the exercise of his functions. Two days later, they were all conducted to the Temple as prisoners, where the king was lodged on one floor of the grand tower, while the queen, Madame Elisabeth, his sister, the young dauphin and his sister, occupied that above him.

On the 26th of October, the Journal de Paris announced that the ladies had taken possession of their new apartment on the third floor, which consisted "of four rooms very well furnished, two of which had chimneys and the other two, stoves. The son of Capet sleeps in his father's chamber. On a clock in the chamber of Louis there was the inscription: 'Le Pautre, clockmaker to the king.' The name of the king has been effaced and that of the Republic substituted." The "ci-devant royal family" were allowed to promenade in the garden, and the king sometimes walked on the leads of the tower, all the openings of which had been carefully closed so that he could not see below, nor be seen. During five months this captivity was maintained under a constant and frequently outrageous surveillance.

The Bourbons were not without their familiar spectre, a very celebrated one, who appeared to announce the approaching death of a member of the royal family, and on the eve of his execution Louis XVI asked Monsieur de Malesherbes if the White Lady were not walking in the corridors of the Temple. This was the Dame Blanche of the popular saying, who takes an interest in you when all other things cease to be of any concern to you: La Dame Blanche vous regarde, et les affaires des autres ne vous regardent pas.

VANQUISHED! After a water-color by J. Koppay.

During the Revolution, the Directory, the Consulate, and even the early days of the Empire, the fashions for both men and women were in many respects extravagant. The very elegant young men were known as muscadins and incroyables (incredibles) from their favorite expression,—all the r's being banished from their speech: "En véité, c'est incoyable!" But it was not always safe to laugh at them; in 1795, the black collar which the aristocrats substituted for the former green one, in sign of mourning, gave rise to many difficulties and altercations. In the midst of the Palais-Royal a republican received a bullet point-blank in his chest in return for an insult. Another, meeting one of these collets noirs, said to him: "B . . . of a Chouan, for whom dost thou wear mourning?" "For thee!" replied the other, and blew out his brains. When Napoleon came into power, there arose that misdirected imitation of the antique known as the style of the Empire, with a great display of jewelry on the costumes of both men and women; "the aristocracy of the French Empire presented a revival of the ostentatious patricians of Rome under the Cæsars. The toilettes displayed were rich and magnificent, but it must be said that they were in bad taste."

The contempt which the members of the somewhat effete aristocracy of the ancien régime manifested, even down to the period of the Second Empire, for the virile and fire-new nobility of Napoleon's family, generals and marshals, was generally as puerile as it was unpatriotic, but the latter only too frequently presented subject for sarcasm. In one of the most recent of the many Napoleonic memoirs, those of the Comtesse Potocka, this lively Polish lady describes the great personages who surrounded the Emperor in the winter of 1806-1807, at Warsaw: Murat, parading himself in the salons "with the majestic air of a comedian assuming the rôle of a king;" the young Prince Borghèse, "who, in the brief intervals when the conversation became a little serious, went off to get some chairs, arranged them in pairs in the middle of the salon, and amused himself by dancing contra-dances with these silent partners, humming to himself." Three years later, in Paris, Madame Potocka saw the new Empress, Marie-Louise, whose dull countenance and German accent sufficiently accounted for her personal unpopularity.

Napoleon, who did not hesitate to qualify contemptuously the public opinion of Paris when it was adverse to him, was not above the ancient "bread and circus" methods of the Roman emperors at times. On the occasion of the celebration of his coronation, there were distributed to the populace thirteen thousand poultry, bread, and wine ran freely in the public squares, so that the streets echoed to this cheerful refrain:

"Vive, vive Napoléon,
Qui nous bâille
D' la volaille,
Du pain et du vin à foison.
Vive, vive Napoléon!"

(who gives us chickens, bread, and wine in abundance.)

As for Joséphine, her pretty legend has quite disappeared in the light of these recent memoirs, and the historians and commentators no longer attempt to defend her against even the abominable stories which Barras tells of her. "It would be Don-quixotism to deny them," says M. Gustave Larroumet, among others; "the Joséphines prefer the Barras to the Bonapartes."

The marriage with Joséphine was declared null, in virtue of an order of the Council of Trent on the 14th of January, 1810, and Napoleon was condemned by the municipality of Paris to a fine of six francs for the benefit of the poor. The curious engraving, reproduced on page 123, illustrates the brilliant ceremony of the arrival of the new Empress at the Tuileries on the 2d of April following. A tremendous storm broke over the city the night before, but at one o'clock in the afternoon, when the Imperial couple arrived at the Arch of Triumph, then incomplete but represented by a temporary maquette, the sun was shining brightly. The cavalry of the Guard and the heralds-at-arms preceded the gorgeous coronation carriage in which they were seated; the procession descended the avenue of the Champs-Élysées, traversed the gardens of the Tuileries, and halted before the Pavillon de l'Horloge. Then the Empress assumed the coronation robe, the cortége ascended the grand stairway, traversed the grand gallery of the Louvre between a double row of invited guests, and entered the Salon Carré, which had been transformed into a chapel, and where the nuptial altar had been erected. After the mass, there was a Te Deum, and in the evening a grand banquet in the Tuileries. The musicians sang the chorus of the Iphigénie of Gluck: Que d'attraits, que de majesté! to the accompaniment of thousands of voices.

La Femme has always played a most important role in France; nowhere is she so much discussed, nowhere is she so much respected as Mother, and nowhere, it may be said, is she so little respected as Woman. The women of the eighteenth century enjoy a species of popular renown as somewhat more piquant, brilliant, and peculiarly feminine, as it were,—thanks largely to the chroniclers and the romancers in literature and art; there is a very general idea that they were all, more or less, of the type of Madame de Pompadour, we will say, as set forth by one of her most recent biographers: "It would seem that the grace and the good taste of all the things of her time appertained to Madame de Pompadour. She marked with her cachet, it might almost be said with her arms, all that world of matter which seems to be animated from one end to the other by the ideal of the habits of a people, and the needs of a society. The whole century is like a great relic of the royal favorite.... She presides over that variety and that wide range of objects, so diverse in the universality of their type, that the eighteenth century created in her image to surround her existence, to serve her and to adorn her." This graceful and pleasing picture, however, was largely superficial in the case of her less favored sisters. The inevitable limitations of the life and of the times, the ignorance, the social prejudices, the inexplicable dissatisfaction which really haunted all things, all combined to undermine this brilliant social life, and there was a general consciousness of its hollowness.

"Under all this fever of fashion and customs, under all these dissipations of the imagination and the life, there remains something unappeased, unsatisfied, and empty in the heart of the woman of the eighteenth century. Her vivacity, her affectation, her eagerness to run after fancies, seem to be a disquietude; and a sickly impatience appears in this continual search for attraction, in this furious thirst for pleasure. She searches in every direction, as if she wished to expand herself outside of herself. But it is vainly that she displays her activity, that she seeks all around her a species of deliverance;—she may plunge herself, drown herself, in that which the fashion of the times designates as an 'ocean of worlds,' run after distractions, new faces, those passing liaisons, those accidental friends, for whom the century invents the word connaissances; dinners, suppers, fêtes, voyages of pleasure, tables always filled, salons always crowded, a continual passage of personages, variety of news, visages, masks, toilettes, absurdities, all this spectacle ceaselessly changing cannot entirely satisfy her with its distractions. Though all her nights are brilliant with candles, though she summon—as she grows older—more movement still around her, she ends always by falling back upon herself; she finds herself again in wishing to flee from herself, and she admits to herself secretly the suffering which devours her. She recognizes in herself the secret evil, the incurable evil which this century carries in itself and which it drags with it everywhere smiling,—ennui." (La Femme au XVIIIe siècle.)

The very original methods employed by one of these clever ladies at the very beginning of the century to avoid this all-pervading weariness of the spirit furnished Théophile Gautier with the title and the theme of one of his best romances. Mademoiselle de Maupin lived in the flesh of Mademoiselle d'Aubigny, offspring of a good family, who ran away from the paternal mansion at the age of fourteen and fell in love with a fencing-master who made of her a fighter of the very first order. Nothing that the most successful romancer could desire was wanting in her life,—abductions, disguises, duels, convents forced and set on fire: "Don Juan was only a commonplace fop in comparison with the incredible good fortunes of this terrible virago who changed her costume as she did her visage, courted, indifferently and always with the same success, one sex or the other, according as she was in an impulsive or a sentimental vein." She had a fine voice, became a member of the Opéra troupe under the name of la Maupin, and sang with success in the Psyche, the Armide, and the Atys of Lully. One of her most famous duels ensued from her too assiduous attentions to a young lady one night at a ball at the Palais-Royal, in the last days of the reign of Louis XIV. The husband, the brother, and the lover all took up the quarrel, and were all three neatly run through the body, one after the other, in the snowy court-yard below. Then the victor, calm and smiling, returned to offer his arm to the beauty.

Another of these epicene sworders, diplomat, publicist, and captain of dragoons, reader for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, in the suite of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, preserved the secret of his sex until his death. This was the adventurer D'Éon de Beaumont, whose career excited such a lively interest in both England and France, and who signed himself, in a letter addressed to Madame de Staël during the Revolution, citoyenne de la nouvelle République française, citoyenne de l'ancienne République des lettres.

On the 3d of May, 1814, a Bourbon king was again in the Tuileries. All the tremendous work of the Revolution and the Empire seemed undone. "Brusquely, without any transitions," says M. Henri Noël, "the standard of men and things was lowered many degrees. To the epopee succeeds the bourgeois drama, not to say the comedy. It would have been thought that France, satiated with glory and misfortunes, France, which, on the whole, seemed to have accepted without enthusiasm, but with a sort of resigned indifference, the new régime, was about to breathe again, to relax herself, to repose. She is wearied with herself. She is nervous, discontented. It might be said that she endured with less patience the blunders, the littleness, the errors of the royalty, than she had the tragic massacres, and the ruins, and the invasions, and the bloodshed, and the tears. Everywhere, anxiety and disquietude, the royalists not completely satisfied, the generals humiliated, the army without glory and its best officers retired on half-pay, the liberal bourgeoisie suspicious and disposed to join the opposition, the small land-owners anxious for their property which they had received from the Revolution...."

Louis XVIII, with all his inherent faults, was a prudent and moderate ruler in comparison with his brother, the Comte d'Artois, who succeeded him as Charles X in September, 1824, and in six years brought the Bourbon dynasty to an end. M. Ernest Daudet, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, has recently been publishing some letters in connection with the ministry of the Duc Decazes, in one of which we find the king remonstrating with his brother, already the chief of the ultras: ... "You have notified me that, if you do not succeed in persuading me, you will make your opinions known publicly, and, which unfortunately will inevitably follow, that you will no longer see me.... There is no doubt that this resolution will seriously embarrass the government. But, with consistency and firmness, this obstacle may be overcome, and I hope that, during my lifetime, there will be no troubles. But I cannot, without a shudder, look forward to the moment when my eyes will be closed. You will then find yourself between two parties, one of which believes itself to be already oppressed by me, and the second of which will apprehend being so treated by you. (Conclusion: there will be civil war, and a whole future of divisions, of troubles, and of calamities.)"

This prophecy was but too well realized. The liberal ideas, which were made responsible, though without any proof, for the assassination of the Duc de Berri, at the door of the Opéra-house on the evening of the 13th of February, 1820, attained a great development in the ensuing reign. Paris was unanimous in its opposition. Decamps's absurd cartoon of Charles X hunting, which we have reproduced, is a not unfaithful presentation of the state of public opinion concerning this purblind monarch.

All these revolutions in the political world were, of course, followed in the, perhaps, minor world of fashion. Souvent femme varie, and Toute passe, tout casse, tout lasse. "Paris, in its revulsion from the severity of the earlier Revolution," says an unsympathetic English writer, "took refuge in the primitive license of the Greeks. 'It was a beautiful dress,' says a lady in a popular modern comedietta; 'I used to keep it in a glove-box.' The costume of a belle of the Directoire was equally portable.... With the triumph of the Empire, a more martial and masculine tone prevailed. So the Parisienne cast off her Grecian robes—a comparatively easy process—and put on the whole armor of the tailor-made. She wore cloth instead of diaphanous gauze, and her gowns were cut with a more austere simplicity. Then came the Restoration and the Romantic movement, and the great days of 1830. Woman read her Chateaubriand and her Victor Hugo and her Byron, and became sentimental. It was bon-ton to languish a good deal, and the dressmakers were required to find a suitable costume for the occupation. They proved equal to the demand.... In England, these vestments are called Early Victorian, and are scoffed at, together with the horse-hair sofas and glass lustres of the period.

"At any rate, it did not last. Nothing lasts in feminine fashions.... Romanticism and sentiment died out or became bourgeois. Gay Paris grew alert, lively, animated, dashing. The lady who used to be called a lionne when people were reading Murger and De Musset, displaced the femme incomprise. The 'lioness' was not unlike the vigorous young person of a later epoch. She was distinctly loud in her manners and free and easy in her conversation.... At any rate, she was a healthier type than the pleasure-loving matron of the Second Empire, whose life was one whirl of unwholesome excitement. The vulgarity of thought and conduct, the destruction of all standards of dignity, which characterized the régime of Louis Napoleon's stock-jobbing adventurers, were reflected in the dress of the women. Never was female attire more extravagantly absurd.... Man, with all his tolerance, could not really like the Paris fashions of the Second Empire, and he might have found consolation for the tragedies of 1870, if he had known, as has been asserted, that they portended deliverance from the thraldom. France, so we are told, purged and purified by the baptism of fire, shook off its tasteless frippery, and sought a chaster and purer mode.... Thus elevated and touched to higher issues, the modistes of France, when once the Third Republic had settled down, made quite nice and simple dresses for a few years, and were imitated by the slavish islanders across the Channel, who had no such lofty motives to inspire them. The latest developments of this philosophy of clothes are not yet worked out in detail...."

A multitude of the emigré nobles returned with Louis XVIII, bringing with them the manners and customs of the ancien régime, which the Parisians found singularly antiquated and absurd, and gave these reactionaries the title of Voltigeurs de Louis XVI. The science of good cooking, however, which had been somewhat neglected by society during the Empire, suddenly took on a much greater importance—as was its due. The lady of the higher aristocracy, taking her déjeuner so comfortably with her lapdog, in the plate which we have reproduced from the Bon Genre, is supposed to be the Princesse de Vaudémont. A curious detail of the social life of the Romantic period of the Restoration was the fashion of keepsakes and annuaires illustrés, which came from England, and which flourished from 1825 to 1845. These costly little books intended for presentation, richly bound, and illustrated with small steel engravings, generally taken from the English "keepsakes," bore various titles: L'Album brittanique, L'Amaranthe, Annales romantiques, Le Camée, La Corbeille d'or, L'Eglantine, L'Élite, Livre des salons, etc. The greatest names among the writers of the Romantisme may be found among the contributors to these publications,—Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Alfred de Musset, A. de Vigny, Méry, Gozlan, and others.

The bourgeois monarchy of Louis-Philippe was made the object of a storm of ridicule on the part of the Parisian wits and caricaturists from which it has never entirely recovered. The "umbrella" of the Orléans family, which the ribald press of that day made the emblem of their royalty, still figures in the lampoons addressed to the present pretender. The caricature of the royal physiognomy as a pear is one of the most famous in history. Louis-Philippe wore his hair piled in a species of pyramid over his forehead, which lent plausibility to this defamation; this pyramid was known as the toupet, and was naturally largely imitated; those whose locks were not sufficient in quantity for the purpose, purchased false ones. Whiskers were also in fashion, but not moustaches, and no official functionary was permitted to wear hair under his nose. The Saint-Simoniens and those who entitled themselves Jeune France alone wore the hair long and pendant, and the toupet gradually lowered its altitude and finally disappeared, to give place to hair smoothed down and parted strongly on one side, generally the left.

After the Revolution of 1830, the Tuileries gardens were thrown open to all decently-dressed people, but not to those in blouses; it required another revolution, that of 1848, to bring about sufficient toleration to recognize the privilege of smoking under these ci-devant royal horse-chestnuts. A Legitimist journal, regretting the good old days, before the populace were accorded the privilege of entry, "which gives to this locality much the appearance of Noah's ark, in which both the clean and the unclean beasts were admitted," related the following anecdote of the days of the monarchy. A young man of the suprême bon ton, carefully arrayed in the very latest modes, a petit-maître [dandy, fop, exquisite], presented himself at one of the entrances of the garden and was much surprised to see the sentry on duty lower his bayonet and forbid his passing. "How! no admittance?" exclaimed the beau. "I have precise orders," replied the soldier. "Precise orders ... to refuse me?" "Precise orders to refuse any one whom I consider to be badly dressed [mal mis]; ... now, I consider you to be bien mal mis." And the young man was compelled to retire before this new censor of manners armed with authority.

In 1845, the prestidigitateur, Robert-Houdin, appeared at the Palais-Royal with his new species of entertainment, and for a number of years continued to delight numerous audiences with his mystifying skill in sleight of hand, his example being followed by minor practitioners who gave performances in private salons. The theatre bearing his name on the Boulevard des Italiens still maintains this class of popular amusement.

On the 13th of July, 1842, the Duc d'Orléans, the heir to the throne, and a prince deservedly popular, was thrown from his carriage on the Rue de la Révolte, while on his way to Neuilly, and so badly injured that he died five hours later, universally lamented. The right of succession passed to his son, the Comte de Paris, then a child of four; and both Legitimists and Republicans began to look forward to the inevitable feebleness and uncertainty of a regency as favorable to the triumph of their ideas. The opposition of the king's minister, Guizot, the historian, to the electoral reforms is generally considered as having brought about the Revolution of 1848, though it is somewhat doubtful if the monarchy could have successfully weathered the storms of this year of liberal ideas and universal unrest.

Nevertheless, the Republic came too soon, as the French historians now seem disposed to admit. The political education of the nation was not yet sufficiently advanced, and "it returned to the Empire as to a solution that best conformed with its condition of esprit simpliste. This movement was accelerated by the combinations of men of all shades of political beliefs,—Berryer, Montalembert, Molé, Thiers, Odilon Barrot, and others, who counted on 'the pretended incapacity' of the future emperor for sliding into power themselves. But their hopes were disappointed by the taciturn pretender." One of the latest apologists for the Emperor, M. Thirria, in his Napoléon III avant l'Empire, claims, and no intelligent commentator can disprove the claim: "If he reigned, it was because France was willing, and very willing, and his fatal politics of nationalities, she approved of it, sanctioned it, the republican party first of all." M. Thirria is willing to admit, however, that "he was not made to be the chief of a State, and his reign was a great misfortune for France."

THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE BIRTH OF A GIRL. From a drawing by Adolphe Willette.

Having the courage of his convictions, M. Thirria does not hesitate to take up all the charges against the Emperor, beginning with the first of all, chronologically, that he was not the son of his alleged father. By a number of letters which he quotes from Louis-Napoleon, King of Holland, he endeavors to demonstrate that the latter considered himself to be, without doubt, the parent of Charles-Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. The story of the Dutch Admiral Verhuel is, however, corroborated by other documents of equal authenticity. The future emperor, it appears, did at one time officiate as an English police officer, but it was only for the space of two months, and then as special constable at some Chartist meetings. After the affair at Strasbourg, he did accept fifteen thousand francs from the government of Louis-Philippe, which he had just attempted to overthrow, on condition that he should go to America.

A franker chronicler gives us further details. Under the title, Madame Cornu et Napoléon III, M. Eugène d'Eichthal published, in 1897, a number of fragments translated from a posthumous work, Conservation, by the English economist, Nassau Senior, who had been brought into contact with a large number of distinguished men of different countries. In 1854, he first met in a salon the wife of the French painter Sébastien Cornu, who was a goddaughter of Queen Hortense and had been a friend from childhood of Louis-Napoleon. She had been able to render him many services when he was a prisoner at Ham, and they had maintained a confidential correspondence even after the Coup d'État, which almost interrupted their friendship, Madame Cornu being a good republican. In the course of her acquaintance with the English gentleman, she gave him much information concerning the then ruler of the French nation, which he carefully set down, and which M. d'Eichthal translated for the benefit of his countrymen. On one occasion she said: "The mental faculties of Louis-Napoleon present many great superiorities and great deficiencies. He has neither originality nor invention. He neither knows how to reason nor to discuss. He has very few fixed or general principles, but he is a very keen observer, noting quickly the weaknesses and the stupidities of those around him. In the company of some persons with whom he feels at ease, his wit and his gaiety are delicious.

"There is an equal want of accord in his moral qualities. He is extremely mild and amiable; his friendships are durable, but his passions are not so. He has, in a high degree, decision, obstinacy, dissimulation, patience, and confidence in himself. He is not arrested by any scruples. That which we call a sense of good and evil, he calls prejudices...."

Installed in the Élysée as Prince-President in 1849, he began to prepare the way for the Coup d'État and the zealous republicans saw with alarm the species of informal court which he was already gathering around him. To attract the members of the higher society, he instituted a series of weekly receptions; all the ground-floor of the palace, including three salons and a gallery, was thrown open, and there was added a light edifice connecting the main façade with the wall of the garden, facing on the Avenue de Marigny. A decree of the 4th of January, 1850, elevated the ex-king Jérôme, then governor of the Invalides, to the rank of marshal of France, by a mere exercise of the presidential authority. His term of office and that of the Assemblée both expired in 1852, with an interval of three months between them, but the violent measures of the 2d of December, 1851, made him president for a term of three years, and the constitution which he had proposed was ratified by the nation by a tremendous majority.

In the Tuileries, he re-established the etiquette of the First Empire, but the ceremonial of his court did not equal the state maintained under the Bourbons. The palace itself, at first, was a very uncomfortable residence. All the modern conveniences of a dwelling were wanting; Louis-Philippe, who had a numerous family, had divided several galleries into apartments, separated by corridors without windows, lit only by lamps which vitiated the air. The various floors of the building were connected by narrow, winding stairways, also lit only by lamps; one story had been made into two, each with low ceilings and with very little day-light, and in the garrets, where the domestics were lodged, the air was pestilential. There was no running-water in the various apartments, and it was necessary to carry it in every day in pitchers.

In the Musée Carnavelet may be seen an interesting collection of water-colors by Baron, portraits of ladies and important personages of the Imperial court in costumes of fancy-dress balls and tableaux vivants. There may be seen the Emperor in black coat and trousers, the Empress en bohémienne, the Princesse de Metternich en diable noir, Madame de Gortschakoff as Salammbô, the Marquise de Galliffet as an angel, the Comtesse Walewska as Diana, the Comtesse de Pourtales as a bayadère, the Marquis de Galliffet as a cock, the Baron de Heeckeren as a doge, etc.

A retrospective exhibition, a Salon de la Mode, was opened in Paris, in the Palais du Champ-de-Mars, in the spring and early summer of 1896, and furnished a very good compendium in little, not only of the changing manners and customs of the last century or two, the vicissitudes of the artistic spirit of the nation, but also of the varying fortunes with which the capital ruled in matters of taste, of fashion, and of luxury. Subject-matter for grave historians might be found in the various indications, direct and suggested, of the points of contact between the daily life of the eighteenth century and our own, as well as of the many divergences. Long before 1789, the Parisians of the ancien régime were in the enjoyment of many of the modes, the whims, and the absurdities which constitute so large a part of the existence of their successors. They were even, almost, supplied with fashion magazines, the first of these very important publications to appear, the Courrier de la Mode, under Louis XV, in 1768, not being appreciated, and coming to an early end. In 1785, however, appeared the Cabinet des Modes, transformed in the following year into Magasin des modes nouvelles françaises et anglaises, for English fashions disputed the sovereignty with Parisian ones, and journals published on the banks of the Thames spoke with equal authority. Among these latter was the Gallery of Fashion, founded in 1794. The Germans, on the other hand, originated nothing, and the Moden Zeitung of Berlin reproduced slavishly only that which had already been approved in Paris and London.

CARD. Design by Guillaume
CARD. Design by Guillaume.

Much as in the present day, English tastes were followed in many things, not all of them feminine. The Tableau de Paris, published by Sébastien Mercier, lamented that "it is to-day the fashion among the youth to copy the English in their clothes." The large stores, the magasins, called themselves anglais; and the sport of horse-racing, which was beginning to be popular, and which was largely a matter of importation, naturally brought in alien words to shock the purists. The jockei was sweated down to his proper weight to mount the bête de sang [blooded animal]; cheval de race was antiquated, and bad form. In the present day, there is a Ligue d'honnêtes gens préoccupés de maintenir le bon français, and who quote Béranger:

"Redoutons l'Anglomanie,
Elle a déjà gâté tout."

[Beware of Anglomania, it has already spoiled everything.] These "worthy people" admit that for such words as "jockey," "lawn-tennis," and "sport," for which there are no equivalents in the French language, there is some excuse, but why, they ask, is "turf" better than pelouse; "flirter," meaning "to flirt," than fleureter (conter fleurette, to say pretty, gallant things); "garden-party" than une partie de jardin; "five o'clock" than cinq heures? Is "boarding-house" any more euphonious than hôtel meublé, or "tub" than bassin? Scarcely! Nevertheless, the English fashions, especially in men's garments, continue to enjoy great favor in Paris; and it may be noted, for the gratification of our national pride, that in some minor matters, such as shoes and ladies' stockings, the American articles are to be preferred to the Parisian ones.

All these futile and minor things, toilettes, brimborions, take on, a hundred years later, the importance of historic documents. "One would not go so far as to say," observes M. Bouchot, "that Napoleon was dethroned because it was found that the fleur-de-lis made an adorable ornament for a parure of crape, but is it such an absurd idea?" Under the reign of Louis XVI, it was proposed, more than once, to establish an Académie de la Mode, and an Académie de la Coiffure. A certain citoyen amateur de sexe, Lucas Rochemont, invented a concours, or competition, of new modes among the real élégantes of France. It was the custom then to put forth small jokes against the Académie, just as it is now; it was declared that men of letters should renounce it and all its works, and that it preserved no better the purity of the language than it did that of taste. Nevertheless, it retained a certain respect, and the title, Académie de Coiffure, with which certain hair-dressers and wig-makers provided themselves, was forbidden.

The capital had long enjoyed the reputation, says the Tableau de Paris, of being "the paradise of women, the purgatory of men, the inferno of horses." The purgatory seems to have changed in two respects at least;—one could live in it then "comfortably enough at small expense," and the city was "highly indifferent concerning its political position." The horses were treated cruelly, even more so than at present, and the familiar jests concerning the fiacres were already invented. By this name was designated both the driver and his vehicle drawn "by an expiring horse." The cochers enjoyed the same bad reputation they do at present—probably somewhat more justly, and they even went on strike, as in the nineteenth century. On one occasion, eighteen hundred of them drove out to Choisy, where the king was residing, to set their griefs before him. The streets were narrow and without sidewalks; the driver was held responsible only for the fore-wheels of his vehicle; and he naturally scattered terror as he went. The bicyclist and the automobile were not then invented to torment him in his turn. These two modern innovations have added very greatly to the danger and inconvenience of the streets of Paris of to-day; there are already complaints from the owners of private carriages that the Bois and the principal drives are becoming impossible because of the latter, and that the city will have to take measures to preserve its attractions for this class of inhabitants and for the wealthy stranger whose presence is so much desired within its walls.

Also, as at present, the washwomen were the despair of careful housekeepers. "There is no city where so much linen is used as at Paris, and none where it is so badly washed," says our authority. There was a legend of some gommeux [dandies] from Bordeaux who sent theirs to Saint-Domingo, naturally, by sailing vessel, to have it whitened. Homme à bonne fortune and petit-maître were no longer in favor, élégant was the proper appellation. The Seine water was drunk freely, but it had already begun to be analyzed and doubted; cremation was advocated and vivisection denounced; the classic education and Latin were derided, just as by M. Jules Lemaître; the evolution of the species was discussed, and the sorrowfulness of the Carnival lamented,—the police were even obliged to hire the maskers; the claque was offensively in evidence at the theatres. The grippe arrived periodically in the month of November, to the great surprise of every one,—but it was then called la coquette and not l'influenza. The ladies pommaded their faces, and drank vinegar to preserve their figures; marriages were effected only in hopes of pecuniary advantages. The honest bourgeoisie complained bitterly of the display of licentious prints on the walls and the fronts of the bookstalls; "the young men in the cafés discussed matters which were beyond their comprehension and which they had never studied." There was a surprising number of points of resemblance.

Among the minor observances of social life which have come down to the present day with only some modification of details are the billets de décès and the invitations aux funérailles. It is only since 1760 that the names of members of the mourning families have appeared on these invitations. In the matter of avis de naissance, in which the birth of a baby is announced, the moderns have made great improvements, some of the designs by the cleverest Parisian artists—as that by Willette reproduced on page 211—being quite charming. In the much more important matter of Menus, the prodigal display of invention is worthy of the most artistic of capitals. The luxury of the toilette is maintained with somewhat more discretion and less ostentation; many of the modern refinements, as that of the manicure, are but intelligent developments or modifications of the arts of the last century. Some of the social vices, as gambling and intoxication, have greatly decreased, notwithstanding the lamentations of such prophets of evil as M. Gaston Routier, and many of the more graceful forms of exercise, such as fencing—consult M. Koppay's spirited sketches—have grown greatly in favor.

The Second Empire contributed a very commendable example of luxury lending itself to the interests of history in the case of the restoration of a Pompeian house, erected by Prince Jérôme Napoleon in the Rue Montaigne, and formally opened with a reception at which the Emperor and Empress were present, February 14, 1860.

Max Nordau, in his Paradoxes psychologiques, thus disposes of the Parisian woman: "The Parisienne is entirely the work of the French romancers and journalists. They make of her, literally, whatever they wish, physically and intellectually. She speaks, she thinks, she feels, she acts, she dresses herself even, assumes attitudes, walks and stands upright, according to rules which the writers à la mode impose upon her. She is in their hands a doll furnished with springs and obeys with docility all their suggestions," etc. On the contrary, it is probably safe to say, speaking generally, that the French romancers systematically defame their compatriots, and that even Parisian society is not the institution it is represented to be in novels, on the stage, and by many of the essayists. It has been reserved, for example, for a very recent writer, M. Jules Bois, to portray, for the first time in France, the indignation of the fiancée at the fact, almost constant, that her future husband comes to her without that freshness of soul and body which is required in her case. It would not have required very accurate social observers, it would seem, to have discovered earlier this phenomenon. M. Bois counsels the wives not to compromise themselves by weak forgiveness of the egotistical and adulterous spouses.

The frightful conflagration of the Bazar de la Charité, in the Rue Jean-Goujon, on the 4th of May, 1897,—the most terrible catastrophe of this nature that had been seen in Paris since the fire at the ball given by the Austrian ambassador on the 1st of July, 1810, in honor of the marriage of Napoleon I and Marie-Louise, and the burning of the Opéra-Comique in 1887,—offered, in the long list of its victims, a most tragic demonstration of the fact that the women of Paris of the highest society knew how to occupy themselves in works of practical benevolence. Of the hundred and seventeen victims, all but six were ladies and young girls; and the roll of illustrious names was headed by that of the Duchesse d'Alençon. This philanthropic institution was founded in 1885 by M. Henri Blount, its honorary president; its annual bazaars, for the benefit of the poor, were held at first in the Salle Albert-le-Grand, then in the hôtel of the Comtesse Branicka in 1888, in the following year in that of M. Henry Say, and from 1890 to 1896 in two houses in the Rue de la Boëtie. In 1897, M. Michel Heine placed at the disposition of the managers, gratuitously, a large open space in the Rue Jean-Goujon. The new bazaar was here inaugurated on the 3d of May, and the receipts exceeded forty-five thousand francs. On the day after the catastrophe, some charitable person donated, anonymously, to the Œuvre de la Charité the sum of nine hundred and thirty-seven thousand francs, representing the amount of the sales of the preceding year, that the poor, also, might not suffer by this catastrophe. A subscription opened by the Figaro for the same charitable purpose, and for those who had distinguished themselves, at the risk of their lives, in saving victims from the flames, realized the sum of one million two hundred and eighteen thousand and fifteen francs, and another, by the Rappel, more than fifteen thousand francs. And, finally, the Comtesse de Castellane, who had been the American Miss Gould, gave a million of francs for the purchase of another site and the construction of another edifice for the work of the organized charity of Paris.

Among the lighter details of information concerning this illustrious society may be mentioned an article by the Vicomte A. de Royer in a recent number of the Revue des Revues (October, 1898), which undertakes to demonstrate, by means of documents, that, of the forty-five thousand "noble" families in France, only four hundred and fifty are in a position to substantiate a claim to ancient lineage, and that, of the three hundred and forty-six princely families of France, which are all that are left, not one has the right to wear the closed coronet. All the titles of the latter are usurped, and are purely fanciful. No fewer than twenty-five thousand families put the particle de in front of their names without a shadow of right; and it appears that the Republic manufactures another forty of such families every year. When official permission to thus distinguish the family name is refused, it is simply dispensed with. In addition, the Pope gives or sells, on an average, sixty titles of "count" or "prince" every year, and though these are not current, the possessors wear them, just the same. The Paris Journal demanded, indignantly, if M. de Royer thought he was doing a patriotic work in thus closing the French market to American heiresses.

To conclude: we quote what M. Henri Lavedan, in his recent work: Les Jeunes, ou L'Espoir de la France, gives as a typical conversation between three young men of the highest society in Paris, "the hope of France." The scene is laid in the apartments of D'Allarège, about five o'clock in the afternoon. All three are smoking. The day is declining; they comprehend each other in silence. At intervals, they alternately allow a monosyllable to fall, which is as the affirmation of their absence of thought:

Briouze.—"Yes...." (Puff of smoke.)


(Then a black hole of silence. Puffs. Spirals. Sound of carriages. Paris continues its murmur.)

Montois.—"Ah! la, la!"

D'Allarège.—"Is it not?"

Briouze.—"To whom do you say it?"

(Blue smoke through the nose. Ashes fall from the cigar. And time passes.)

D'Allarège (to Montois).—"And besides that?"

Montois.—"Not much."







IF the history of a city were written with anything like a due exactness of proportion, much of it would be but a weary record of human misery, and through even the most decorous and conventional of chronicles there appear constantly unpleasant glimpses of the terrible under-strata that sometimes upheave and make ruin. So long as this apparently inevitable and irremediable discord does not appear to affect the general march of events, it is glozed over. The condition of the middle and lower classes in Paris through the Middle Ages was that common to all mediæval cities, and would seem to modern ideas all but unendurable. To the absence of law, municipal, protective, or sanitary, the disregard of life and property, the pestiferous condition of houses and streets, to famine, war, pestilence, and constant internal discords, were added the intemperances of the seasons—apparently much more severe than at present—and the ravages of wild beasts. The Seine—quite regardless of the praise the Emperor Julian had bestowed upon its moderation and uniform flow—was constantly bursting its bonds and devastating with inundation the Cité and the adjoining shores; the excessive cold of the winters is a constant source of complaint in the local annals. That of 1433-1434 was heralded by a "formidable wind" which, on the 7th of October, raged for nine consecutive hours, demolishing many houses and uprooting many trees,—three hundred of the latter in the wood of Vincennes alone. The frost commenced on the 31st of December and continued uninterruptedly for eighty days; for forty days the snow fell continuously, night and day; toward the end of March, freezing weather returned, and lasted till Easter, the 17th of April. In one tree alone there were found a hundred and forty birds dead with cold. In 1437 and 1438 the wolves penetrated into the city, by way of the river, and devoured women and children, in the last week of September, 1437, while the king was in the city, "fourteen persons, big and little, between Montmartre and the Porte Saint-Antoine." There was one most monstrous beast, called Courtaud, because he had no tail, that was an object of special terror. "But the wolves, for the Parisians, were less to be feared than the seigneurs and the brigands called escorcheurs, which followed in their train."

In 1348, the Black Plague, coming from Egypt and Syria, reached Paris and destroyed eighty thousand inhabitants. At the Hôtel-Dieu, the dead numbered five hundred a day, and the nuns who served as nurses perished so rapidly that they had to be constantly renewed. Charles V, le Sage, died on the 16th of September, 1380, "after a reign of sixteen years, during which the people, although they had been crushed by such taxation that 'many were forced to sell their beds in order to pay,' had yet had much less to complain of than during the preceding reign, and, still more, than they would have during that which was to follow,—the most wretched of all!"

The historians quote from the Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris for the years 1419-1421: "You would have heard through all Paris pitiable lamentations, little children crying: 'I am dying with hunger!' There were to be seen on a dunghill twenty, thirty children, boys and girls, who yielded up their souls through famine and cold. Death cut down so many and so fast that it was necessary to excavate in the cemeteries great ditches in which were put thirty or forty, packed close together, and scarcely powdered over with earth. Those who dug the graves asserted that they had buried more than a hundred thousand persons. The shoe-makers counted up, on the day of their trade reunion, those that had died among them, and found that they numbered some eighteen hundred, masters and apprentices, in these two months. Troops of wolves traversed the country and entered Paris during the night to carry off the dead bodies.... The working people said to each other: 'Let us fly to the woods with the wild beasts.... Farewell to wives and children.... Let us do the worst we can.... Let us place ourselves again in the hands of the devil.'"

To multiply these historical incidents would be but dreary iteration,—we will rather give one or two presentations in full of some details of what may be called the subterranean aspect of the great city, sombre and rather unpleasant presentations that are not to be found in the dignified histories or in the guide-books, and that remain unknown to the usual decorous tourist and reader. That the first one may not be too sombre, we will select it, not in the gloom of the Dark Ages, but in full French Renaissance, under François I. Readers of Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris will doubtless remember his very picturesque description of the famous Cour des Miracles as it existed in the reign of Louis XI,—more sober historians do not hesitate to corroborate these fantastic details in many particulars. M. Gourdon de Genouillac, Officier d'Académie, in his learned work, Paris à travers les siècles, gives a description which we condense. "Everything had been done in order to oppose an effective defence to the attacks of enemies outside the walls; but it was much more difficult to guard against the enterprises of those within; the assemblings of the malcontents which were held nightly, and those of the gentry of sack and cord who, as soon as the gates were opened, set off eagerly to ravage the suburbs of Paris, returning in the evening to conceal themselves in the quarters where no one scarcely ventured to go in search of them. The Cour des Miracles was the usual refuge of all those wretches who came to conceal in this corner of Paris, sombre, dirty, muddy, and tortuous, their pretended infirmities and their criminal pollution.

"The Cour des Miracles extended between the Impasse de la Corderie (on the site of which a part of the Rue Thévenot was opened) and the Rues de Damiette and des Forges; its entrance was in the Rue Saint-Sauveur. It had been in existence since the thirteenth century....

"Several other haunts of the same kind existed in Paris, and Dulaure asserts that under Louis XIV there were still to be seen, the Cour des Miracles, of which we have just spoken; the Cour du Roi-François, situated in the Rue Saint-Denis; the Cour Sainte-Catherine, in the same street; the Cour Brisset, Rue de la Mortellerie; the Cour Gentien, Rue des Coquilles; the Cour de la Jussienne, in the street of the same name; the Cour Saint-Honoré, between the Rues Saint-Nicaise, Saint-Honoré, and de l'Echelle; the Cour des Miracles, Rue du Bac; the Cour des Miracles, Rue de Reuilly, and still another Cour des Miracles, Rue Jean Beausire.

"But that which, in the sixteenth century, formed a veritable quarter of the city, was the Cour des Miracles of the Rue Saint-Sauveur, which served as a refuge for beggars and vagabonds.

"'It consisted,' as we read in Sauval's Antiquités, 'of an open place of very considerable size and of a very large cul-de-sac, evil-smelling, miry, and irregular, which had no pavement whatever. Formerly, it was confined to one of the farthest extremities of Paris. At present, it is situated in that one of the quarters of the city which is the worst built, the most filthy, and the most out of the way, between the Rue Montorgueil, the convent of the Filles-Dieu, and the Rue Neuve-Saint-Sauveur, as if it were in another world. To get to it, it is necessary to go astray in little streets, villainous, stinking, crooked; to enter it, it is necessary to descend a sufficiently long slope, tortuous, rugged, uneven. I have seen there a house of dirt, half buried, tumbling to pieces with old age and rottenness, which did not cover a space of four square fathoms, and in which were lodged, nevertheless, more than fifty households, having in charge an infinite number of little children, legitimate, natural, or stolen. I was assured that in this little dwelling and in the others dwelt more than five hundred large families, piled one upon the other. Large as is this court, it was formerly much more so. On every side it has been encroached upon by lodgings, low, sunken, dark, and deformed, constructed of earth and of mud, and all of them crowded with the evil poor.'

"In fact, under François I the Cour des Miracles had a physiognomy much more strongly marked than under Louis XIV. The narrow and miry streets, insinuating themselves between the hovels in wood, halting and crippled, turned and returned upon themselves, to end finally in a repulsive sewer. Neither air nor sunshine ever penetrated into these infamous alleys, from which escaped, at all seasons of the year, nauseating odors, and too often, also, pestilential miasmas. There vegetated in the most sordid uncleanliness the subjects of the kingdom of beggary. All that Paris illegally received in the way of mendicants, false cripples, false blind, false lepers horrible to see, covered with ulcers, there wallowed in orgies, in frantic feasting, in gambling....

" . . . All these truands recognized a veritable hierarchy; there were to be distinguished among them three distinct classes,—the capons, or voleurs (thieves); the francs-mitous, or mendiants (beggars), and the rifodes, or vagabonds. All together formed a kingdom, the chief of which was called the grand Coësre; he carried a banner on which was depicted a dead dog, and, quite like his colleague, the King of France, he had a court and courtiers.

"It was the kingdom of Argot (cant, slang), the code or the formula of which prescribed theft and plunder.

"Its enclosure, restricted to the Cour des Miracles, was place of refuge [legal asylum]; all the historians have repeated it, but we do not think that this right had ever been officially recognized, and it existed rather through force of circumstances; in this sense, that when a thief or an assassin had taken refuge in one of the dens of which we have spoken, it was found more convenient to leave him there in peace than to run the risk of taking him out of it. However this may be, the argotiers were quite masters in their own house, and enjoyed in complete liberty the right of living as seemed good to them. In order that it might not be permitted that they should be accused of wanting for religion, they had stolen a statue of the Father Eternal from the church of Saint Pierre aux Bœufs and had placed it in a niche, before which they willingly made the sign of the cross.

"Moreover, it should be remarked that the monks and the gentry of the Cour des Miracles lived on sufficiently good terms with each other, and it would not be impossible that the name given to this enclosure came from the zeal with which the argotiers cried 'Miracle!' every time that one was manifested in the streets of Paris, and we may say, en passant, that the miracles were frequently performed in their favor. Whenever the monks made some solemn procession, promenading through the streets the relics of some saint, it was not uncommon to see a franc-mitou, paralyzed, crippled or epileptic, endeavoring to touch the sacred casket; in vain would the attempt be made to keep him at a distance; he redoubled his efforts, and scarcely had he succeeded in gluing his lips to the sacred coffer when immediately the cripple threw away his crutch, the epileptic ceased to foam at the mouth, and the astonished people cried: 'Miracle!'

"It was even said that the monks had been seen on several occasions to penetrate at night into the famous court, and come out again without having received the slightest ill treatment.

"During very many years, this society of begging thieves existed and its importance constantly augmented. Under Louis XIV, its numerous members were divided into cagoux, orphelins, marcandiers, rifodes, malingreux and capons, piètres, polissons, francs-mitous, callots, saboleux, hubains, coquillards, courtaux de boutange, and drilles.

"The cagoux, who occupied the highest rank in this singular association of malefactors, were, it might be said, the professors of the newly-admitted; they gave instructions in the art of cutting purses, the proper recipes for procuring factitious wounds, in a word, all the methods necessary for appealing to the charity of the public, and, if need be, of obliging individuals to exercise it unknown to themselves.

"The orphelins (orphans) were young boys who assumed the rôle of abandoned children, and who slipped into houses for the purpose of carrying off whatever fell into their hands.

"The marcandiers gave themselves out for merchants ruined by the wars and asked for alms, which they exacted when, after nightfall, some good bourgeois fell into their hands.

"The rifodes begged by means of forged certificates.

"The malingreux counterfeited maladies, simulating the most disgusting afflictions; they frequented the churches by preference, and implored aid that they might go on pilgrimages.

"The capons begged in the streets and the cabarets.

"The piètres were counterfeit cripples, walking with the aid of crutches, or pretending to be deprived of their legs.

"The polissons were a variety of capons, and effected their purposes through intimidation.

"The francs-mitous gave themselves out as dying of hunger, they fell fainting with weakness in the middle of the streets, and succeeded by this means in gathering in abundant receipts.

"The callots pretended to be recently cured of the scurf, and to have just arrived from Sainte-Reine, where they had been miraculously delivered of their ailment.

NEWSDEALER. PORTION OF THE "L'ALMANACH NATIONAL" OF 1791. Re-engraved by Pannemaker, after the original by Debucourt.

"The hubains exhibited a certificate setting forth that, having been bitten by a mad dog, they had been cured by the intercession of Saint-Hubert.

"The saboleux were false epileptics who were enabled to simulate convulsions by means of a piece of soap placed between their lips, which made a froth.

"The coquillards represented pilgrims returning from Saint-Jacques or some other pilgrim shrine.

"The courtaux de boutange, beggars in winter, shivered with cold under their rags.

"The drilles, or narquois, begged in military uniform, and said that they had received wounds which prevented them from working.

"The total number of these wretches had become so great, and their depredations in the city were so frequent, that it was resolved to use vigorous measures; in 1656, a veritable army of archers and of officers invaded the Cour des Miracles under the lead of several commissioners. The beggars and the truands endeavored to make their escape, but the quarter was surrounded.

"Thieves, beggars, and vagabonds were all arrested; then a selection was made; some were released, and the others remained in prison or were sent to the hospitals....

"But under François I, and especially at the period when the chevalier king was expiating at Madrid the loss of the battle of Pavia, the Cour des Miracles was in all its splendor, and those who inhabited it were a sufficiently lively cause of anxiety to the prévôt of the merchants and to the bishop-governor.

"On the 22d of May, 1525, the Assemblée des Vingt adopted a resolution to arrest a certain number of fraudulent beggars who were strongly suspected of being marauders of the worst kind, but, having been notified in time, they decamped.... The enterprises of the vagabonds, the thieves, and the mauvais garçons became more and more audacious; they had for chiefs three bandits, Esclaireau, Barbiton, and Jean de Mets, who spread such terror that the archers who were sent against them preferred to advise them to fly, through fear of being killed by them; however, the salt barges having been robbed on the 7th of June, near the Célestins, the prévôt of the merchants sent the night-watch against them; they defended themselves with arquebuses, drove the watch back as far as the Port Saint-Landry, and all but killed the prévôt.

"On the 14th, a troop of these rogues traversed the city, crying: 'Vive Bourgogne! À sac! à sac!'

"Immediately the watch turned out, there was a fight, and some thirty men were killed or wounded on both sides. Presently, the disbanded soldiers and the routiers, coming from no one knew where, joined forces with the truands and spread terror among the inhabitants. One of the officers of the quarters, charged to take proceedings against them, asserted that there were eighty of them who frequented the hostelry de la Coquille, situated in the Rue Saint-Martin, and that there was a still greater number in the Faubourg Saint-Denis. Every one was quite convinced that these were soldiers who had not been paid their hire, and it was resolved that some sixty persons, honorable and of divers conditions (one of them was a president of the court), with twenty sergeants, should be sent against them, to seize all these adventurers and bring them to justice.


"This was a mission sufficiently disagreeable to fulfil, and one which was not exempt from danger; the vagabonds, forewarned, joined the Italian and Corsican bands commanded by the Comte de Belle Joyeuse, who had been authorized by the regent 'to live upon the people,' and who gave themselves up to all the excesses which were compatible with such an authorization, quite in consonance with the manners of the times; when it was desired to raise soldiers for a campaign and there was no money with which to pay them, they were permitted to live upon the people, that is to say, to exact from the unhappy inhabitants of the town or the country whatever they pleased, to ransom them, to rob them, to pillage them, free to beat them unmercifully or to spit them like chickens, if they took it into their heads to complain. This was what was called the necessities of the troops.

"Presently, these adventurers, French or foreign, formed an effective force of four thousand men.

"If one imagine these four thousand armed bandits falling unexpectedly upon the inhabitants of Saint-Cloud, of Sèvres, of Montreuil, ravaging, destroying, robbing all, ransoming the nuns of Longchamps, threatening to pillage Le Landit, it can readily be believed that the merchants were so uneasy that they hastened to place their goods upon carts and to flee with them.

"There was certainly sufficient here to frighten the Parisians...."

All this took place in a period of general prosperity, of unexampled ease and comfort compared with what had gone before. "Bodin assures us," says Duruy, "that, from 1516 to 1560, there was more gold in France than had ever been collected there before in two hundred years. 'The bourgeois,' as the Venetian ambassador so well said, 'have become the masters of wealth.' Ango had amassed, like Jacques Cœur in another century, the fortune of a prince," And this was in full Renaissance. "It is the radiant awakening of human reason, the spring-time of the mind. After a long and rude winter, now behold the earth reanimating under the sunshine of the new birth! A generous sap circulates in her bosom; she adorns herself with a vegetation capricious, yet fruitful, which re-covers and conceals the old soil, while sustaining itself by it, like those vigorous plants which, born at the foot of an antique oak, embrace it and kill it in the clasp of their younger tendrils. Everything is renewed, art, science, philosophy; and the world, arrested for two centuries in the lower levels which it had found at the end of its passage through the Middle Ages, resumed its progress that it might mount into the light and the purer air. 'Oh! age!' exclaims Ulrich von Hutten, 'letters flourish, minds awaken;—it is a joy to live!' Even the least philosophical experience the sentiment of this renaissance of the mind. 'The world laughs at the world,' said Marot;—'therefore is it in its youth!'"

The question of the social evil had been taken up in this city as early as the time of Charlemagne. That great lawmaker had endeavored to banish from his capital all public women, but they defied even his imperial authority. He ordained that they should be punished with the lash, and that all those who had lodged them, or had been found in their company, should carry them around their necks to the place of execution. But the number of these whippings, and of these singular processions, was so great that a policy of toleration was, perforce, substituted. Philippe-Auguste also undertook to regulate this disorder, as the number was constantly increasing of these femmes amoureuses, or filles folles, as they were called; they were grouped in a corporation, honored with a special tax, and with special judges to consider their delinquencies; they were given the liberty of certain streets, the names of which have been preserved, in each of which they were furnished with a building (clapier, a sort of hutch, or retreat), which they were to keep clean and "render agreeable and comfortable." Here they were to confine themselves from ten o'clock in the morning till curfew—six o'clock in the evening in winter, and between eight and nine in summer, and nowhere else whatever. Every year they walked in solemn procession on the day of Saint Mary Magdalen. "Those of them who followed the Court were obliged during the month of May to furnish the bed of the roi des ribauds."

Reproduction of one of many contemporary engravings issued to excite the people against the clergy and nobility.

This functionary had been established by Philippe-Auguste for the double purpose of policing these offenders, and of forming a body-guard of resolute men for the monarch himself. "The ribauds were armed with maces, and watched night and day over the person of the king, who feared the assassins of the Old Man of the Mountain and the bravoes of Richard of England. The roi des ribauds was an important personage, in the enjoyment of very considerable prerogatives and privileges. He mounted guard at the sovereign's door, and saw that no one entered without authority. He was the judge for crimes committed within the enclosure of the royal residence, and carried out himself the sentences which he pronounced; he was thus at once judge and executioner. We find him in the exercise of his office as late as the fifteenth century."

Under Saint Louis, there was further legislation against these women, les ribaudes, and renewal of the edicts forbidding any citizen to let his house to them under penalty of confiscation. Thus early do we find in use one of the least ineffective of modern measures for correcting this evil. This king, who had a weakness for cruel and excessive punishments, notwithstanding (or, perhaps, because of) his sanctity, also commanded that these disturbers of public morals should be stripped of all their property, wherever found, and imprisoned at hard labor. This being found impracticable, he modified his ordinance, and directed that they should be restricted to certain streets, that they should not be allowed to wear embroideries, or silver or other ornaments appertaining to honest women. Three of these streets being in turn denied them under Charles VI, in 1387, the proprietors appealed to Parliament, which by a decree restored to them the Rue de Baillehoé. In 1367, in 1379, in 1386, and in 1395, there were further ordinances forbidding them numerous other streets; in 1446, the week before Ascension, proclamation was made by the public crier of the furs, silver girdles, reversed collars, and other articles of feminine adornment which were forbidden them. There were at this date between five and six thousand of them in Paris, and all classes of society, ecclesiastics, monks, magistrates, openly paraded their immoral mode of life. The very churches and bath-houses were used as rendezvous. Henry VI, King of England and France, had, in 1424, forbidden the sergeants and the archers of the municipality to confiscate to their own use the girdles, jewelry, or vestments of the fillettes et femmes amoureuses ou dissolues, but this regulation seems to have been no better enforced than all the others.

Under Louis XI, we find the same bold Cordelier, Olivier Maillard, who had not hesitated to preach against the king himself, denouncing all the sins of the Parisians at once from his pulpit. He reproached them with their games of chance, their playing cards, their taking the name of God in vain in their oaths, their turning their houses into dens of prostitution, their selling their daughters to the seigneurs; he accused their wives of deceiving their husbands for the sake of fine gowns, embroidered and furred. "Is it not true, mesdemoiselles," he cried, "that there are to be found among you, here in Paris, more debauched women than honest women? Is it not fine to see the wife of an advocate who has bought his office, and who has not ten francs of income, dress herself like a princess, display the gold on her neck, on her head, on her girdle? She is dressed according to her station in life, she says. Let her go to all the devils, she and her station! And you, Monsieur Jacques, you give her absolution? Doubtless she will say: 'It is not my husband who has given me such fine clothes, but I have earned them with the labor of my body!' To thirty thousand devils with such labor!"

In the following reign, the Court and Parliament took extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the contagious disease which was called le mal de Naples, because it was said to have been first brought into France by the soldiers of Charles VIII on their return from the Italian campaigns. This statement, however, is very doubtful. An ordinance was drawn up, with the approval of the prévôts of Paris, the merchants and the échevins, by which all those affected with this malady, and having no regular residence in the city, were directed to leave it within twenty-four hours under penalty of the halter, and in order to facilitate their return to their own homes, they were directed to rendezvous at the Portes Saint-Denis or Saint-Jacques, where they would give their names in writing to an official stationed there for that purpose and receive each four sous parisis. Those who possessed houses in the city were requested to immediately shut themselves up in them and remain in them; the curés and churchwardens of their parishes were to see that they were furnished with food. The homeless poor were to congregate in the Faubourg Saint-Germain-des-Près, where they would be lodged, fed, and cared for; they were expressly forbidden to leave until they were cured. The prévôt of Paris gave orders that those affected with disease were not to be suffered to go about the city, but were to be driven from it, or put in prison; the prévôt of the merchants and the échevins put guards at the city gates to prevent any of these persons entering the capital.

In 1560, during the short reign of François II, the States-General issued a positive prohibition of all prostitution,—which was as ineffective as all the preceding regulations had been. Under Charles IX and Henri III, the evil constantly increased,—the example offered by the corrupt court not being conducive to the growth of a sound public opinion. Those persons who were convicted of bigamy were condemned to be publicly flogged, and, sometimes, to be afterward hanged,—in the latter case, they were executed between two distaffs. Those convicted of the crime of bestiality were usually burned at the stake, the animal undergoing the same penalty. The filles de mauvaise vie were more numerous than ever, and all the streets formerly assigned to them were still occupied by them. In 1619, a new decree of the Parliament against them forbade all persons to let them houses or lodgings, under penalty of confiscation of their property for the benefit of the poor, and directed all vagabonds and filles débauchées to quit la ville et faulxbourgs de Paris within twenty-four hours, under pain of imprisonment. Every bourgeois and citizen of Paris was required to aid the first huissier, or sergeant of the Châtelet, or any other officer of justice, who called upon him to do so, in enforcing this regulation, under penalty of a fine of a hundred livres parisis.

All these legal penalties, necessarily inefficient in themselves, were rendered doubly so by the dissolute code of morals, les mœurs Italiennes, as they were called under Mazarin, that obtained in all classes of society. Under Louis XIV, an ordinance of 1684, drawn up by Colbert, was especially directed against those unfortunate women who were afflicted with disease: on entering the hospital they were first whipped, and then subjected to hard labor and the most rigorous confinement. Under the Regency, in 1720, Paris was greatly outraged by the tragic death of the Comtesse de Roncy, a very pretty young wife, who, justly suspicious of her husband, courageously went to seek him one day at the house of a certain charmer whom he was in the habit of visiting. On this occasion, he was not there, but the unhappy wife recognized his portrait on the bracelet which her rival was wearing; the controversy soon became heated, the neighbors of this Rue Gît-le-Cœur flocked in and took sides against the intruder, who, in the end, was thrown out the window and died on the following day. The murderesses were all sent to the Châtelet. Under Louis XV, the prodigal luxury displayed by the actresses and opera-dancers, the femmes à la mode, who were called des impures, and the effrontery of the grand seigneurs and rich bankers who maintained them in this state, became, if possible, more scandalous than ever; it was said, for example, that the minister Bertin, who had lived for fifteen years with Mlle. Hus, of the Comédie Française, had given her a set of furniture that was valued at five hundred thousand livres.

"Mlle. Grandi, of the Opéra, a dancer of mediocre talent and with a very commonplace face, was complaining one evening at the theatre of having lost the good graces of a protector who had given her a thousand louis in five weeks; one of those present said to her that she would readily find some one to take his place. Mlle. Grandi replied that it was not so easy as might be supposed, but that, in any case, she was firmly decided not to accept any new liaison excepting on the condition that she received a carriage and two good horses, with at least a hundred louis of income assured to maintain this equipage. The conversation then ended, but the next day there arrived at Mlle. Grandi's lodging a magnificent carriage drawn by two horses and followed by three others led behind it, and in the carriage was found one hundred and thirty thousand livres in specie."

Sometimes these scandalous chronicles took another turn. Mlle. Guimard, also of the Opéra, "a celebrated dancer, who was openly protected by the Maréchal de Soubise, did not shine by any excessive faithfulness to her protector; she accepted a rendezvous in one of the faubourgs of Paris, and saw that there was so much misery in this quarter that she distributed a portion of the two thousand écus which she had received as the price of her complaisance among the poor people whom she encountered and carried the rest to the curé of Saint-Roch, requesting him to have the goodness to distribute it among the poor."

The gardens of the Palais-Royal figure largely in the history of Paris as the scene of many of the more important incidents of the constantly changing social life of the capital. In the latter part of the eighteenth century, this locality was so much the favorite resort of the femmes galantes that the honest bourgeois and their wives were finally compelled to abandon it altogether; in the latter part of 1771, the former were accordingly all expelled, but by the summer of 1772 they had all returned. It is related that the Duc de Chartres, walking here one day, passed one of these ladies and was so much struck by her appearance that he turned to the gentlemen accompanying him and said: "Ah! how ugly she is!" To which the offended fair promptly replied: "You have much uglier ones in your seraglio." The prince did not judge it expedient to discuss the subject, but he related the incident to the lieutenant of police, and the next day these promenaders were more rigorously expelled than ever. In consequence, "to-day," relates a chronicler of the period, "excepting on days of the opera, the Palais-Royal is nothing but a vast solitude." In 1784, the streets back of it, inhabited by a dissolute and degraded population of both sexes, had become "veritable cloacæ." On the evening of the 31st of October, 1785, at a moment when the evening promenade was more crowded even than usual, a dragoon, having one of these filles on his arm, pushed by the throng, happened to step on the foot of the Abbé de Lubersac, walking near him; the latter made use of a strong expression, to which the soldier replied in kind; the young woman endeavored to make peace by saying: "After all, it is only an abbé, who is not worth stopping for." The churchman, still further forgetting himself, permitted himself to kick the young woman quite as if she were a man; the dragoon took him by the collar; the Suisses of the palace hastened to quell the riot, but their numbers were quite insufficient; the Duc de Chartres, seeing the tumult, but not daring to show himself because of his great unpopularity, summoned the city guard to what by this time had become a "regular field of battle," and the disturbance was finally quelled. Among the wounded who were carried off was a Chevalier de Saint-Louis, "disemboweled;" and thereafter the Suisses prohibited the entrance of the gardens to all women of doubtful virtue.

It may be remembered that, in the celebrated affair of the diamond necklace, the young person who was persuaded by the adventuress, Madame de la Motte, to personify the queen, Marie Antoinette, and to meet the duped Cardinal Rohan in the park of Versailles at ten o'clock in the evening for the purpose of giving him the fictitious authority to purchase the necklace, was a fille du monde who lived in the Rue du Jour at Paris, and was known as "la d'Oliva." For playing this part, the young woman was promised fifteen thousand livres. The mémoire that was afterward drawn up by the avocat of Madame de la Motte "excited the interest of all sensitive souls by relating that the demoiselle, enceinte at the moment of her arrest, had been delivered in the Bastile, and was nursing her infant herself."

PILLAGE OF THE ARCHBISHOP'S DWELLING, FEBRUARY 15, 1831. Engraved from an unpublished drawing by Raffet.

One of the most celebrated resorts of the ladies of the monde and the demi-monde, the cabaret of Ramponneau at Belleville, was closed a few years before the outbreak of the Revolution of 1789. Its renown seems to have been established, in the early days of the Regency, by the fact that wine was there sold at three sous six deniers the pint, that is to say, at one sou less than the usual price. "It was so crowded that there were as many persons outside, waiting their turn to enter, as inside, although the accommodations were very considerable in size. This crowd excited the curiosity of persons of distinction, who wished to see for themselves this prodigy." It is described as a species of cellar, decorated on the exterior with a vine painted on the wall, and with a sign bearing the legend, "Au Tambour Royal," and a picture of the proprietor astride of a cask. It was furnished in the interior with wooden benches and crippled tables, around which crowded a multitude drawn from all classes of society, high and low.

The fame of the proprietor became so great that he was offered by the two managers, Gaudon and Nestre, of a theatrical establishment on the Boulevard du Temple, in 1758, ten livres a day if he would consent to show himself on their stage daily for the space of three months. The contracts were all signed, the songs prepared for him, when Ramponneau, worked upon by the Jansenists, suddenly refused to appear. In a statement drawn up before a notary, we read: "To-day appeared before me, the Sieur Jean Ramponneau, cabaretier, living in the basse Courtille, who has of his own free will and volition declared that the serious reflections which he has made upon the dangers and the obstacles to the salvation of those persons who appear upon the stage of a theatre, and upon the justness of the censures which the Church has pronounced upon these individuals, have determined him to renounce, as in these presents, through scruples of conscience and for the purpose of so contributing, on his part, to the purity of manners which it becomes a Christian to maintain, and in which he prays God always to maintain him, he renounces appearing, and promises to God never to appear, on any stage, nor to perform any function, profession, or act which is in the nature of those performed by those individuals who appear on the theatrical stage, whoever they may be," etc. The case was conducted on both sides by the most eminent avocats, and finally compromised by Ramponneau paying a large sum to have the agreement cancelled. He still had left one hundred thousand livres, with which he established himself at the Porcherons, and purchased from the Sieur Magny the cabaret de la Grande-Pinte, on which he expended sixty thousand livres more, and where he had the same success as at the Courtille. The court and the city thronged his establishment, which became the restaurant à la mode.

A very celebrated wine-shop, known as the Petit-Ramponneau, was established, in 1859, at Montmartre, and was the last in which wine was served in little crocks or jugs. The proprietors, MM. Lallemand, made a fortune in thus dispensing vin bleu and portions at six sous the plate.

"It had long been said that the third estate paid with its property, the nobility with its blood, the clergy with its prayers. Now, the clergy of the court and of the salon prayed but very little, the nobility no longer constituted in itself the royal army; but the third estate, remaining faithful to its functions in the State, still paid, and each year more. Since its purse was the common treasury, it was inevitable that the more the monarchy expended, the more would it place itself in a condition of dependency upon the bourgeoisie, and that a day would arrive when the latter, weary of paying, would demand its accounts. That day is called the Revolution of 1789."


The engraving on page 245 is a reproduction of one of the many that appear at this day of settlement, with the object of exciting the people against the clergy and the nobility, and of illustrating forcibly the two principal vices of society as then constituted,—the privileges and the inequality of taxation. To suppress these privileges, and to make this inequality disappear,—this was the task of the Revolution. In the engraving, from the collection of M. le Baron de Vinck d'Orp, of Brussels, we see a woman of the people bending under the double burden of a nun and a lady of the nobility; the title is "Le Grand Abus."

As to the origin of the famous phrase, the sans-culottes, the following statement is made by some historians. Two ladies of the nobility, but favorably inclined toward the new ideas, were one day present at a session of the Assembly, and were commenting very audibly and very critically upon a speech which the Abbé Maury was delivering. The orator, finally losing his patience, interrupted his discourse, and, indicating his unappreciative hearers with his forefinger, turned to the presiding officer:

"Monsieur le President," he said, "make these two sans-culottes—unbreeched, trouserless—keep quiet."

This appellation, applied to the two ladies, naturally turned the laugh against them, and the phrase, repeated from mouth to mouth, was adopted by the people of the faubourgs as a title glorifying their miserable condition and their aspirations.

Another of these Revolutionary prints, from the National Almanac for 1791, engraved by Debucourt, and preserved in the collection of M. Muhlbacher of Paris, gives an ingenious and picturesque presentation of one of the numberless sources of supply of that literature of journals and pamphlets on which the Revolution was so largely fed. This marchande de journaux, who adorns a page in the calendar, sits between two benches covered with papers and pamphlets, and set off with ribbons, flowers, and patriotic emblems mounted on rods; her costume and her attitude are also patriotic and a trifle dishevelled, and she is shrilly proclaiming the new decree concerning the value of the assignat which she holds out. Behind her, a couple of elderly aristocrats are about to come into collision with two younger citizens, representatives of the newer ideas, and absorbed in reading some catechism for patriots. On the sidewalk are two boys in the costumes of their elders, one of whom is supposed to be pointing to the date of July 14th in the calendar. This plate is referred to in the Art du 18e siècle, by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt.

Caricature from La Journée du Poëte Décadent.

It is worthy of remark that even this sacred date of the 14th of July, that of the national fête, is nowadays not exempt from that curious self-criticism which in every tone of mockery, semi-seriousness, and grave apprehension occupies so considerable a proportion of contemporary French literature, from the Siècle to the Bulletin de la Société d'Economie Sociale et des Unions de la Paix Sociale. So persistent had this criticism become that the national authorities this year (1898) in the capital thought it fit to tack on to the national and municipal celebration of a great political event, in order to give it greater weight and dignity, the commemoration of the birth of a not very AN ADMIRER OF L'INTRANSIGEANT
important literary man! M. Gaston Deschamps, in the usually ribald Figaro, claimed much of the credit of this innovation for himself. In a long leading editorial on the Sanctification du 14 Juillet, he thus lays sacrilegious hands on the taking of the Bastile itself: "Last year, I demonstrated, very readily, that our fête of the 14th of July, already discredited by the desertion of the wealthy classes, by the scepticism of the public functionaries, and by the frivolousness of the populace, was destitute of that character, national, republican, and humanitarian, which should be in a democracy, the characteristic of every solemnity.

"This fête seems to have been instituted for the special aggravation of those Frenchmen who believe that the history of France did not begin with the 14th of July, 1789. It is no longer, to employ the energetic expression of Gambetta, anything but 'a rag of the civil war.' It glorifies an event which, according to the testimony of contemporaries the least suspected of moderation in politics (Marat, Saint-Just), had not the importance nor, above all, the beauty which our present system of primary instruction attributes to it. Historical research has verified the opinion of these witnesses. It is impossible to relate the taking of the Bastile Saint-Antoine without recognizing the silliness or the unworthiness of the citizens who were the principal actors in this enterprise. This old prison had just been put out of commission by a royal ordinance which decreed its demolition. Very many of the 'conquerors of the Bastile' cried 'Vive le Roi!' as they went down the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. The number of prisoners at that time confined in this jail reduced itself to seven, to wit: four forgers, two lunatics, and a crapulous old gentleman. The Bastile was garrisoned by the French invalides and by the Swiss guards. The assailants swore to injure no one if they were permitted to enter. The gates were opened. The French invalides, who had trusted in the promise given, were massacred without being able to defend themselves. The Swiss guards were taken for 'captives' (because of their uniform). They were carried off in triumph. The brewer Santerre (at that time demagogue, and later monopolist in national property) proposed to set the edifice on fire with poppy oil. His friends preferred the demolition pure and simple, which had the effect of turning out in the street the poor devils whose shops were built against the walls of the 'monument of tyranny.'" And he cites the works of a number of modern historical writers to prove the truth of his statements.

"The taking of the Bastile was an act of anarchy, which, if it were repeated to-day, would be immediately suppressed by our Minister of the Interior, Monsieur Brisson. The Republican police no longer permits, God be thanked, this particular form of diversion. This was very evident the other day when several hundred gentry, intoxicated, perhaps, by the approach of this untoward anniversary, wished to sack Mazas prison.

"No, I cannot bring myself to consider this killing of Frenchmen as the most glorious event of the French Revolution. There is too much of fratricidal murder in this affair. I cannot rejoice to thus see the blood of our nation flow. Every time that it is wished to make an apology for this excess of contagious folly, we find ourselves reduced to invoking the approbation of foreigners. It appears that Kant was so well satisfied with this outbreak that he forgot, for the first time in his life, the hour of his luncheon. The English ambassador wrote to his Gracious Majesty that he was very well pleased. The Venetian ambassador judged it to be a 'noble revolt.' So be it. But neither the Prussian Kant, nor this Englishman, nor that Venetian, had the same reasons that we have for grieving over an incident that divided France against herself....

"Last year I succeeded in stirring up a very sufficient number of protestations for having ventured to deduce, from a collection of self-evident facts, a judgment which I still maintain. It may well be believed, moreover, that I was not wrong, since the Government and the Municipal Council have, this year, taken the initiative of adding to the ceremonies and to the diversions usual on the 14th of July, the celebration of an illustrious memory, which will heighten the dignity of the official fête, and which should give to the French people the opportunity to reunite in the unanimity truly national of a common admiration.

"On the white posters which the administration has just placarded I read as follows:

"'Fête Nationale,'

and underneath:

"'Fêtes du centenaire de Michelet.'

"This coincidence is intentional. It is significative.

"Michelet was born on the 21st of August, 1798; the date of his centennial therefore falls regularly in the coming month. It has been decided to celebrate to-morrow the commemoration of his birth. It has been desired, by means of this addition, to purify, to sanctify the 14th of July by a sort of pious eve.... If these fêtes contribute toward fixing in the souvenirs of the populace an idea of the life and of the work of Michelet, this 14th of July, ennobled, embellished, will not have been misplaced. A hateful date will justly have been transformed into a fête of union and of fraternity."

Lamartine says of the murder of M. de Launey, Governor of the Bastile, hacked to pieces by the crowd in the street after he had surrendered: "A victim of duty, he yielded only with his last breath the sword which had been confided to him by his master. The court, the army, the royalists, the people, basely endeavored to throw upon him the responsibility for their want of forethought, their cowardice, their blood shedding."

The vainqueurs de la Bastille took upon themselves such airs of superiority and claimed so many privileges over their fellow-citizens that the municipal authorities finally, wearied with their arrogance, issued a proclamation in the latter part of December, forbidding them to assemble and to deliberate, and directing the procureur of the commune to prosecute any author, printer, or distributor of decrees which the aforesaid "conquerors" issued without any legal authority.


Michelet gives some details of one of the most celebrated of the innumerable murders of the Terror, that of the pretty Princesse de Lamballe, which may serve to illustrate the quality of the populace. She was confined in the prison de la Force, where during the night of the 2d of September, 1792, a Revolutionary tribunal condemned the prisoners to death after a mock trial. In the morning, two of the National Guards came to tell her that she was to be transferred to the Abbaye, to which she replied that she would as soon stay where she was. Taken before the tribunal, she was ordered to take the oath of liberty and equality, of hatred of the king, the queen, and royalty. "I will willingly take the first two oaths," she said; "I cannot take the last, it is not in my heart." A voice cried to her: "Swear; if you do not swear, you are dead." "Cry 'Vive la Nation!'" said several others, "and no harm will be done thee." "At that moment, she perceived at the corner of the little Rue Saint-Antoine something frightful, a soft and bloody mass upon which one of the participants in the massacres was trampling with his iron-pegged shoes. It was a heap of corpses, stripped, quite white, quite naked, which they had piled up there. It was upon this pile that she was required to lay her hand and take the oath;—this trial was too much. She turned around and uttered a cry: 'Fi! l'horreur!'"

"Release madame," said the president of the improvised tribunal. This was the signal for her execution. A little peruke-maker, Charlat, a drummer of the volunteers, struck off her cap with a blow of his pike, but in doing so he wounded her in the forehead; the sight of the flowing blood produced its usual effect upon the mob; they precipitated themselves upon her, "her breasts were cut off with a knife, she was stripped quite naked, Charlat opened her chest and took out her heart, then he mutilated her in the most secret part of her body." A certain Sieur Grison cut off her head; then the two wretches, taking on the ends of their pikes, one her head and the other her heart, set off down the Rue Saint-Antoine in the direction of the Temple, followed by an immense crowd, "dumb with astonishment." They carried the head into the shop of a coiffeur, who washed, combed, and powdered the blond hair. "Now," he said, "Antoinette will be able to recognize her." Then the procession proceeded in the direction of the Temple again; but by this time it began to be feared that, carried away by their excitement, the cut-throats might inflict the same fate upon the royal family confined there, and the Commune sent hastily some commissioners, girded with large tricolored sashes. When Grison and Charlat arrived, they demanded permission to promenade under the windows of the apartments occupied by the king and queen, which was immediately granted them, and the king was even requested to go to the window at the moment when the livid head of the princess was elevated in front of him. "The march was continued throughout Paris, without any one interposing any obstacle. The head was carried to the Palais-Royal, and the Duc d'Orléans, who was then at table, was obliged to rise, to go to the balcony, and to salute the assassins."

The only relief to be found in the perusal of these chronicles is in some incident in which the executioners turn on each other. Among the most vociferous of the "citizenesses" was the belle Liégeoise, called also la belle Théroigne de Méricourt, and the première amazone de la Liberté. From the garden of the Tuileries, the usual scene of her orations, she one day ascended to the terrace of the Feuillants, where she fell into the hands of the women of the party of the Montagne, who surrounded her, trussed up her petticoats, and gave her a public whipping. The "first amazon of Liberty" screamed, shrieked, but no one came to her rescue, and when her persecutors finally released her, it was found that she had lost her reason, and it was necessary to conduct her to an insane asylum in the Faubourg Saint-Marceau.

A CONCIERGE. From a drawing by Ludovico Marchetti.

All the chronicles of the times devote a paragraph to the "Furies of the Guillotine," the terrible women who habitually occupied the front places among the spectators at all the executions, and who interrupted their knitting only to hurl insults at the victims who mounted the scaffold. These tricoteuses affected an exalted Revolutionary sentiment, they wore the red cap of liberty, and one day presented themselves at the Convention with an address in which they offered to mount guard while the men went off to combat in the armies on the frontier.

At the great gate of the Tuileries, between the two marble horses of Coustou, was a café-restaurant, painted a lively red, and which bore the sign: "À la Guillotine." "Needless to say, that the establishment was always full of customers." During the two years in which the instrument of public executions stood permanently on the Place de la Revolution, on the site of the present obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, so much blood was shed there that, it is said, a herd of cattle refused to cross the Seine on the bridge, terrified at the stale odor of slaughter. By the side of the scaffold was a hole destined to receive the blood of the victims, but this diffused such an infection through the air that "the citizen Coffinet thought it would be advantageous to establish, on a little two-wheeled barrow, a casket lined with lead to receive the blood, which might then be transported to the fosse commune."

On the 16th of September, 1797, the Central Bureau, "justly indignant at the debauchery and at the offences constantly committed against the public morality, whether by the impudent exhibition of books and pictures the most obscene, or by the prodigious multiplicity of women and girl prostitutes, or by the indecent masquerading of a great number of women in men's garments," issued a rigorous decree against all women who were found disguised as men, and very many arrests were made in consequence.

When Louis XVIII made his solemn entry into Paris on the 3d of May, 1814, it was in the midst of the popular acclamations; a numerous and very enthusiastic crowd swarmed in the Carrousel, the court of the château, the garden and the terraces, "this same crowd which, on the 10th of August, 1792, filled the air with its imprecations against Capet, which, on the 2d of December, 1804, acclaimed the Emperor and the Empress, and which, on this occasion, welcomed with cries of joy the orphan of the Temple after having applauded the decapitation of his father and his mother." When this same populace, turned Republican again, thronged along the boulevards and into the Place Vendôme in 1831, singing the Marseillaise, Maréchal Lobau, unwilling to fire on them, contented himself by ordering the hose of the fire-pumps turned on them, and deluging indiscriminately conspirators, orators on the public place, and spectators. "The Republicans had demonstrated on many occasions that they did not fear fire. But, like all Parisians, they detested water. Surprised at these unexpected douches, they fled in every direction, and the Place Vendôme was immediately cleared."

Well might Napoleon declare, repeating Rabelais's word, on one of the many occasions of popular manifestation: "This is not the first time that I have had occasion to remark that the population of Paris is only a ramas de badauds."

The poissardes, or fish-women of the Halles, those "commères fortes en gueule" (shrill-voiced gossips), appear almost as frequently in these police and scandalous chronicles as the courtesans. They are frequently mentioned in the mediæval records; under Louis XIII, they and their resort were considered worthy of the following description: "You will see at the Halles a multitude of rascals who amuse themselves only by pillaging and robbing each other, sellers as well as buyers, by cutting their purses, searching in their hottes and baskets; others, in order to better secure their prey, will sing dishonest songs and dirty ones, sometimes one and sometimes the other, without any regard for either Sundays or fête days,—things deplorable in a city of Paris! In the Halles and other usual markets, you may see women who sell provisions; if you offer them less than they want, were you the most renowned person in France, there you will be immediately blazoned with every possible insult, imprecation, malediction, dishonor, and the whole with an accompaniment of oaths and blasphemies."

(The same author, speaking of the shop-keepers of Paris at this epoch, says: "They will damn themselves for a liard, gaining on their merchandise the double of what it has cost them, selling bad goods, and blaspheming and swearing by God and the Devil that they are excellent.")

In 1716, Jean-François Gruet, inspector of police and mounted huissier of the Châtelet, was condemned to the pillory of the Halles for malversation of funds, and the poissardes manifested themselves on this occasion in front of him in great shape: "Huissier du diable! Gueule de chien! jardin à poux, grenier à puces, sac à vin, mousquetaire de Piquepuce, aumônier du cheval de bronze, poulet dinde de la Râpée," etc., until they were too hoarse to continue. In 1784, the winter began by heavy frosts, which were followed by a sudden thaw which flooded the city. "Paris has become a sewer; communication has been absolutely interrupted between the inhabitants, and for several days past there have been on foot only those who were compelled to it by necessity, by their occupation, or by their duty. Arms and legs broken, and many other accidents, have been the results of this intemperance of the season. In the midst of this species of public calamity, there are those who find entertainment in it, occasion for mirth, and much laughter. In the first place, there have been unlimited opportunities for sled races, and, also, there has been offered to the amateurs a more novel and more piquant spectacle. You went to the Halles to see the poissardes in boots, in breeches, their under-petticoats trussed up to their navels, and exercising their trade in this species of masquerade while redoubling their quirks and their scandalous jests."

Nevertheless, so important was their corporation, that, on the birth of the dauphin, in 1781, they were admitted in a body to compliment the king, to whom they were formally presented by the Duc de Cossé, Governor of Paris. The spokeswoman had her discourse written out on her fan, and read it to his Majesty. They were all dressed in black, and they were all, to the number of a hundred and fifty, invited by him to dinner and to present their compliments also to the queen. They had at first manifested some reluctance to accepting these royal hospitalities; the last time they had been to Versailles on a similar mission, some evilly-disposed person had inserted in the tarts and pâtés some indigestible substances "and dishonest things." The lieutenant of police, however, assured them that this time nothing of the kind would occur, and they were, in fact, treated sumptuously.

But, "the émeute had established itself permanently in Paris, and its effects were disastrous. This condition of intermittent political fever which threatened to become continuous, paralyzed business, ruined commerce, and filled all minds with keen anxiety." "The people became accustomed to substituting sudden overturnings for the regular action of institutions," says another historian, "...a habit which has cost us twenty revolutions in eighty years. England has proceeded differently. Since 1688, she has had, instead of bloody revolutions, only changes in the ministry;—everyone, high as well as low, has, with her, manifested respect for the law, and everything has been left to free discussion,—force is never used." And a later student of the Mouvement Social, M. Jules Roche, quoted in the issue of La Réforme Sociale for May 16, 1898: "Every country well governed develops from an economical, industrial, commercial, financial, and political point of view. All those projects necessary to the grandeur and the prosperity of the nation are conceived, decided upon, carried out. At this time, France, so munificently endowed, enriched by all the favors of nature, inhabited by the race the most intelligent, the richest in resources of the mind and the imagination, is delivered over to hazards the most unforeseen and the most dangerous. No one knows in the evening what will happen the next morning, nor in the morning how the day will finish. There is no doctrine, no method whatever, in the direction of public affairs. A Chamber possessed by the electoral epilepsy; charlatans without shame abandoning themselves before the electors to every contortion, to the grossest declamations, to the most shameful manœuvres, in order to lead public opinion still further astray, instead of enlightening it,—this is the spectacle she presents to the universe. And there is no one to speak out aloud, frankly, and clearly! Silence, envy, cowardice, imbecility, where there should be courage, living reason, and action!" It might be thought that this gloomy presentation lacked in consistency,—this method of government could scarcely be practised by "the most intelligent race."

The street revolutions of 1831 and 1848, which finally expelled from power the royal houses of Bourbon and Orléans, presented the usual characteristics of these popular uprisings in the capital, in the result of which the nation always acquiesced meekly. One of the most senseless of the acts of excess in the former is illustrated in our engraving of the pillage of the archbishop's house, February 15, 1831, from an unpublished design by Raffet, in the possession of M. Cain, the sculptor. The mob had, the evening before, sacked the church and the presbytère of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, and on this day, incited to higher game, they broke into the residence of the archbishop, adjoining Notre-Dame. Everything was broken, overturned, flung out of the windows and into the Seine, rare books, precious manuscripts, rich crucifixes, missals, chasubles,—"that which was, on this day of folly, lost for art and science is incalculable." The heart of Louis XVI, which the doctor Pelletan had placed in a leaden box, sealed with his own seal, and presented to Monseigneur Quélen, was thrown into the river. Louis Blanc, in his Histoire de dix ans, relates that Monsieur Thiers, sous-sécretaire d'État in the ministry of finance, was seen walking about amidst this ruin with a satisfied countenance and a smile upon his lips.

  From a photograph.

The bodies of the first victims of the revolution of February, 1848, killed in a collision with a detachment of the 14th regiment of the line, were placed in an open car and paraded through the streets at night by the light of torches, to excite the fury of the populace. "They are assassins who have struck us down; we will avenge ourselves! Arms! give us arms!" The death-chariot, escorted by the crowd, proceeded to the office of the National, where the procession was harangued by M. Garnier-Pagès, and then to the Rue Montmartre, to the office of another liberal journal, La Réforme. "A man standing in the cart, his feet in the blood, lifted from time to time in his arms the body of a woman, showed it to the people, and then deposited it again on the heap of dead which made for it a gory couch." About two o'clock in the morning, this funeral cortége deposited the corpses at the Mairie of the IVth Arrondissement, and the rest of the night was spent in preparation for the combat of the morrow.

After the revolution of 1831 came the cholera, and as though the pestilence in itself was not a sufficient evil, the ignorant populace, surprised by its sudden outbreak and not comprehending the possibility of such an epidemic, conceived the idea that it was a fiction concocted to cover a system of wholesale poisonings by the police. The préfet de police, Gisquet, in his Mémoires, gives a detailed account of the various methods employed by organized bands of from fifty to a hundred men to scatter perfectly harmless substances in the wells, in the streets, in articles of food and drink, in order to increase this panic. "A young child was accosted on the Pont-Neuf by an individual who handed to her a vial containing some liquid and gave her twenty sous to go and empty it into the fountain of the Place de l'École, recommending her to use every precaution to avoid being seen doing so. The child, instead of executing this commission, went and related the story to her mother. Immediately the whole quarter was in an uproar. Crowds assembled in the streets, but some good citizens succeeded in calming the excitement. The flask was carried to the préfecture de police, and it was discovered that its contents were nothing but melissa." In eighteen days, more than twenty thousand persons had been attacked by the malady and more than seven thousand had perished; every one that could, fled the city; there were not enough coffins, not enough hearses, not enough grave-diggers for the dead. The streets were filled with the dying and with corpses; riots broke out, and "the authorities, on the 5th of May, massacred the youths who had crowned with immortelles the Imperial eagles of the Place Vendôme. The police, for their part, instigated an émeute and smothered it in blood." Among the more illustrious victims of the plague were the Minister Casimir-Périer and General Lamarque; the funeral of the latter was made the occasion of a formidable popular manifestation and insurrection which was only put down after hard fighting and the declaration of a state of siege at the instigation of M. Thiers.

Even in the very first days of the new Republic of 1848 the popular discontent broke out afresh. Clubs were formed all over the city; the most violent harangues were made against the bourgeoisie; the words "communism" and "socialism" began to replace "fraternity"; numerous failures occurred in all the business quarters, and all the strangers left the city. Crowds paraded the streets crying, "À bas les aristos!" the last being a new word invented to designate the bourgeoisie, and the latter, strengthened by the workmen in blouses, to the number of a hundred thousand men, made a counter-demonstration, singing the Marseillaise. In 1850, on the eve of the Coup d'État, "a profound discouragement prevailed among the bourgeoisie. The sudden fall in public securities, the rise in the premium on gold, the significant increase in the purchase of foreign bonds, the departure of the numerous strangers who had come to Paris to pass the season, the diminution, more marked even than in the preceding month, in all industrial and commercial transactions,—such were the symptoms of that confidence which was to effect the conciliation of the electors."

The events of the first three or four days of December, 1851, justified only too well these apprehensions, and have been but too frequently related by indignant historians. "It was a sinister and inexpressible moment," says the author of Napoléon le Petit,—"cries, arms lifted toward Heaven, the surprise, the terror, the crowd flying in every direction, a hail of bullets, from the pavements even to the roofs, and in a minute the dead strewing the street, young men falling, their cigars still in their mouths, ladies in velvet dresses killed by the musketry, two booksellers shot on the threshold of their shops without even knowing what was wanted of them, bullets fired into cellar-windows and killing no matter whom, the Bazar de l'Industrie riddled with shell and balls, the Hôtel Sallandrouze bombarded, the Maison-d'Or mitrailleused, Tortoni taken by assault, hundreds of corpses on the Boulevard, a stream of blood in the Rue Richelieu!"

Under the new Empire, Paris saw itself almost transformed by the opening of wide and direct avenues of communication, the suppression of gloomy and insalubrious quarters, the completion of the Louvre, the construction of the Halles, the erection of churches, schools, mairies, and the laying out of public gardens and promenades. Six hundred kilomètres of sewers were provided for the drainage of the capital, and the Bois de Boulogne and de Vincennes greatly embellished. The working-classes were still disturbed by vague discussions over social questions, and by souvenirs of the Republic; but the bourgeoisie, enriched by the public security and liberty of trade, desired only the continuance of order and a somewhat more liberal administration of public affairs. The condition of many parts of the city, as revealed by a number of official investigations after the Revolution of 1848, was indeed deplorable. "A third only of the working-classes live under conditions approaching hygienic ones, the remainder are in a frightful state; forty thousand men and six thousand women are lodged in Paris in furnished houses which are for the greater part nothing but damp hovels, scarcely ventilated, badly kept, containing chambers in which are eight or ten beds pressed one against another, and in which several persons sleep together in the same bed." The immediate effects of the opening of Baron Haussmann's magnificent new boulevards were in many cases disastrous for the workmen and for the poorer classes, who found themselves compelled, by the destruction of their old lodgings, and the increase in rents and daily expenses, to seek shelter in the suburbs, and in the quartiers eccentriques; the Expositions Universelles also served to increase permanently the cost of living, as they have always done since, and in other cities than Paris. On the other hand, the cost of clothing was considerably diminished, and the workingman was never so well arrayed as in the first years of the Second Empire.

The dubious antecedents of the third Napoleon exposed him to even more than the usual hatreds and perils of crowned heads, and the number of plots against his life rivalled even those of the attempted assassinations of Louis-Philippe, one of the most unlucky of sovereigns in this respect. The Emperor has been accused of having been a member of the Italian secret society of the Carbonari in his youth; the Italian war of 1859 has been said to have been rendered imperative by his former oaths, and the frightful affair of the Opera-house on the evening of January 14, 1858, appears to have been the work of this political and revolutionary society. On this gala night, Massol was to bid adieu to the stage, and Madame Ristori was to appear in three acts of Marie Tudor, followed by an act of Guillaume Tell and a scene from the Muette. The house was brilliantly illuminated, both the exterior and the interior, and thronged by an eager audience waiting for the arrival of the Emperor and the Empress; at half-past eight the Imperial cortége appeared, descending the boulevards at a trot and turning into the Rue Le Peletier. In the first two carriages were seated the chamberlains and officers of the crown, and in the third the Imperial couple, escorted by a peloton of lancers of the Guard, the lieutenant commanding which rode close by the right side of the coach, while a maréchal des logis chef rode on the left side. The three vehicles slackened their speed to turn into the vaulted passage, under the marquise, which conducted to the stairway newly constructed for the use of the sovereign, and at this instant a bomb fell in the midst of the cortége and exploded. All the lights were extinguished by the concussion, the glass of the marquise of the theatre and that of the windows of the neighboring houses, from the cellars to the mansards, flew in splinters, the street was covered with the dead and wounded, and the terrified horses of the lancers, bolting in every direction, added to the confusion and terror. A few seconds later, a second bomb fell under the horses of the Imperial carriage, killing them, and a third, directly under the carriage itself.

At the first explosion, the Emperor had attempted to leave his carriage by the door on the right, on the side of the peristyle of the Opéra, but this door, jammed in its frame by the terrible shock, refused to open. While he was hesitating to attempt to descend by the other door, which opened on the street in which the assassins were probably stationed, a haggard and bloody countenance presented itself at the opening. It proved to be that of a brigadier of the secret police, Alessandri, one of the most devoted of the Imperial agents; beside it presently showed themselves the faces of M. Lanet, commissaire of the section of the Opéra, a police officer, Hébert, MM. Royer and Vaëz, directors of the Opéra, and General Roguet. The latter, who had been seated on the box of the Imperial carriage, had received a violent contusion on the neck, from which an enormous quantity of blood escaped. The lieutenant commanding the escort hastily assembled those of his men whom the flying projectiles had spared, and behind this friendly human wall the Emperor and the Empress finally ventured to leave their vehicle, and hastened into the Opera-house. Neither of them were injured, though the former had a hole through his hat, and his forehead was lightly cut by a piece of flying glass. His carriage was riddled by seventy-six projectiles, and he owed his life only to the fact that the panels were all lined with iron.

A hundred and fifty-six persons were killed and wounded by the three bombs; the pavement, the sidewalks, and the front of the Opera-house were pitted with holes and splashed with blood. All the issues of the Rue Le Peletier were closed almost immediately after the explosions, and a prompt descent was made on the restaurant and little garden, immediately opposite the Opera-house, which was kept by an Italian named Broggi. Here those of his companions who were at odds with fortune were in the habit of assembling, and here a waiter named Diot found on a table a pistol and beside it a man who was ostentatiously weeping. When questioned, he gave his name as Swiney, declared he was the servant of an Englishman named Allsop, a brewer, who lived at No. 10, Rue du Mont-Thabor, and that he wept because he feared his master had been killed. The real name of Swiney was Gomez, and that of his master, Allsop, was Orsini; the latter, who had been wounded by his own bomb, was arrested as he was walking peacefully away. He had the assurance to write a long letter to the Emperor from Mazas prison, after his trial, in which, while making no appeal for his own life, he interceded for the independence of Italy, without which, he asserted, "the tranquillity of Europe and that of your Majesty will be but chimeras." He admitted having brought the bombs from England and charged them with fulminating powder, but denied having thrown any of them; he was guillotined on the 13th of March, with his accomplice, Pieri,—Orsini crying with his last breath: "Vive l'Italie! Vive la France!" Gomez was condemned to hard labor for life.

TYPE OF BOURGEOISE. From a drawing by L. Marold.

"In 1867," says a historian, "France believed herself invincible. The capital of capitals surpassed the splendors of all other cities, ancient and modern. It was a bedazzlement, a fairy spectacle. But a time was approaching when a bloody and funereal vail was to be suddenly thrown over so many more than Babylonian magnificences, and in which the great city, so proud of her riches and her glory, was to have no other ceremonial than the overthrow of the Vendôme column by French hands in the face of the Prussians."

By the 18th of September, 1870, the siege of Paris by the Germans was formally opened, and yet, on that date, the author of the Journal du Siège declares the capital to be "the most strange and the most marvellous city. On the eve of combat she still preserves her unalterable gaiety, still sings, and strews flowers in front of the soldiers. It is because her resolution is firmly taken, and that she awaits the attack with a firm stand and a valiant heart. To-day, it is a festival Sunday indeed;—on every side is animation, enthusiasm, life. We have made the tour of the boulevards; we have traversed the Champs-Élysées, the Rue de Rivoli, the quais. Everywhere there are tranquil countenances, and everywhere the Sunday crowd, gay, in no way impressed, nowise dejected, as the despatches to foreign journals assert.... The little street industries have not ceased; the tight-rope dancers continue their performances tranquilly in the midst of the military groups. YOUNG BOURGEOISE AT TOILETTE
From a drawing, in colors, by Maurice
Bonvoison, called "Mars."
If the Prussian spies were there, they could have heard, as we did, the converse of this valiant and joyous population, which waits only for a signal to hasten to the ramparts, and which has lost nothing of its complete self-assurance of the great days."

Two months later, the picture had become somewhat more sombre. M. Edouard Dangin writes: "Paris has become a veritable city of war. At seven o'clock in the morning, before all the gates of the city, the guard is under arms, the drum beats aux champs, the portcullis is lowered. It is the opening of the gates. At eight o'clock, in all the quarters of the city, the rappel is beaten, all the citizen soldiers who are to relieve the guard on the ramparts and on the minor posts are called to arms. Others are called out for the drill; there are, however, some quarters in which there is no drill in the mornings. The crowd commences to form in line before the butcher-shops in which beef and horse-flesh are sold, even before the doors are opened, then it becomes more numerous; the housekeepers press against each other, crowd and jostle. The men hasten to the different kiosques and purchase the newspapers, to learn the news of the morning. At noon, the distributions are all made; calm reigns, Paris is taking its déjeuner.... Toward half-past three the rappel is heard again in various quarters,—it is the evening drill. From all the houses issue the national guards, their muskets on their shoulders. At five o'clock, the drums beat aux champs again before all the gates and the portcullis is raised. Paris is closed. The Parisians return home for dinner. The greater number of them go to bed early. Some of them go in the evening to take a little promenade, whilst others, who have not lost their café habits, commence, by the light of gas, games of dominoes which they finish by candle-light. In the streets, there are no cries, no drunkards, almost no more petites dames, nor others who lodge in houses and accost the passer-by too much preoccupied to reply to them. After eleven o'clock, silence prevails in the streets and the darkness deepens, because it is necessary to save gas."

Finally, the Germans entered the capital, and the population became more patriotic than ever. "The vanquishers, enclosed in their restricted zone, looked with astonishment at the grand city indomitable, whose superb monuments were seen in profile against the horizon. Those who showed themselves at the windows were hooted.... Women accused of having smiled on the enemy were whipped. Those unfortunate honest women who were wrong enough to inhabit the quarters occupied, or, perhaps, to be curious, were subjected to the same fate as the street-walkers. The ferocity of the populace began to manifest itself."

"It was much remarked that the German officers had all new uniforms, and that they all held in their hands plans of Paris. Their soldiers, frightfully dirty, prepared their meals in the open air, whilst the noisy fanfares of their military music were greeted by the hootings and hissings of the spectators. The stone statues of the Place de la Concorde, veiled in black by unknown hands, did not see the soiling of Paris. The Arch of Triumph of the Place de l'Étoile had been barricaded and obstructed in such a manner that the Germans could not pass under it. The triumphal monument remained virgin of this defilement. In the evening, Paris assumed the aspect, strange and prodigious, of a city asleep. Nowhere were there any lights, rare pedestrians, no omnibuses, no carriages. The footsteps of a patrol which resounded rhythmical and sonorous in the distance, and the qui vive? of the sentinels, alone came to break the mournful silence which hung over the capital. The long line of boulevards, black and sombre, displayed the mourning of the city. Paris was superb in her suffering."

From a drawing, in colors, by L. Sabattier.

It may be remembered that the number of German troops admitted into the city was restricted by the terms of the capitulation to thirty thousand, the entrance to be made at ten o'clock on the morning of the 1st of March, 1871, and the district occupied by them to be limited to the space between the Seine and the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, from the Place de la Concorde to the Quartier des Ternes. The evacuation was to take place immediately after the ratification of the preliminaries of the treaty of peace by the Assemblée Nationale. END-OF-CENTURY TYPE.
On the appointed morning all the public edifices, even the Bourse, were closed, as well as the great majority of the cafés and restaurants. All the battalions of the National Guard were under arms in their various quarters, their standards draped in crape, in the streets and on the various mairies black flags were displayed, and on many shutters might be read inscriptions: "Closed on account of the national mourning," or, "because of the public grief." On the boulevards, opposite the new Opera-house, and on all the streets leading down to the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées, detachments of the National Guard were stationed who prevented from passing any person wearing a uniform, or even a képi or pantaloons with a red stripe. The Rue Royale, from the Madeleine to the Place de la Concorde, was barred in the middle of its length by artillery caissons, and the Rue and the Faubourg Saint-Honoré were patrolled by strong detachments of the Chasseurs d'Afrique and mounted gendarmes. But in the afternoon the sun came out, and, according to M. Claretie, "the appearance of Paris, alas! became quite different from that of the morning. The population, carried away by an unwholesome curiosity, and aware that the entrance of the enemy had occasioned no disorder, decided to come out in the streets." The next day the Germans wished to visit the Louvre and the Invalides, but the sight of Prussian uniforms under the colonnade of the Louvre produced such an effect on the populace, it is said, that the French general Vinoy informed the German general von Kammecke that if his soldiers entered the Invalides he would not be responsible for the public peace,—and the Prussian officer abandoned the attempt.

If the Prussians had remained in Paris, the public peace would have been much better preserved. On the heels of their withdrawal came the Commune, and within three weeks the condition of the city had become such that the following is the official report of a quiet night, made to the Comité Central by "a Sieur Garnier d'Aubin, 'général de brigade, commandant de place du 18e arrondissement'":

Report of the 20th and 21st of March.

"Nothing new.

"I have received the reports of the different chiefs of the posts. The night has been calm and without incident.

"At five minutes past ten, two sergents de ville, disguised as bourgeois, were brought in by the francs-tireurs and immediately shot.

"At twenty minutes past midnight, a police officer, accused of having fired his revolver, was shot.

"At seven o'clock, a gendarme, brought in by the guard of the 28th, was shot."

"'The night was calm and without incidents,'" comments M. Gourdon de Genouillac, from whom we borrow many of these details, "and only four men were shot!"

The quality of the officers of this inchoate government may be judged from another contemporary document, inserted in L'Officiel of the 18th of May:

"Those officers of the general staff of the National Guard who have neglected their duties to banquet with filles de mauvaise vie, at the restaurant Peters, were arrested yesterday by order of the Committee of Public Safety. They have been sent to the Bicêtre, with spades and picks, to work in the trenches. The women have been sent to Saint-Lazare to make sacks for containing earth."

One of the strongest characteristics of the Commune was its hatred and persecution of the clergy, manifested in a hundred acts, and culminating in the murder of the archbishop and the hostages. On the morning after the arrest of all the clergy of Montmartre, the following notice was posted on the doors of the church of Saint-Pierre:

"Whereas, the priests are bandits, and the haunts in which they have morally assassinated the masses, by bowing France under the claws of the infamous Bonaparte, Favre, and Trochu, are the churches,

"The civil delegate of the Carrières of the ex-prefecture of police orders that the church of Saint-Pierre (Montmartre) shall be closed and decrees the arrest of the priests and the Ignorantins."

On the preceding day, the cathedral and the church of Saint-Laurent had been closed, and in the crypt of the latter were found a great number of human bones; some of these were arranged so as to constitute the skeletons of fourteen women which, it was asserted, had been sequestered by the priests of the church, outraged, and murdered. Great was the virtuous indignation, the bones were officially photographed by the photographer Carjat, all Paris went to see them, and the affair made such a noise that after the capture of the city by the Versailles troops and the restoration of order, it was officially investigated by a scientific commission, which reported through its chairman, M. Tardieu, that the bones were those of persons who had been buried for at least a hundred and fifty years.

Of the women of the Commune, M. Maxime du Camp draws the following unflattering picture: "They were wicked and cowardly. Utilized by the police of the Rigaults and the Ferrés, they were pitiless in the search for refractory citizens who hid themselves that they might not have the shame of serving the Commune.... From the heights of the pulpits of the churches, converted into clubs, they poured out all the corruption of which their ignorance was full; with their shrill and yelping voices, in the midst of the smoke of pipes, to the accompaniment of vinous hiccoughs, they demanded 'their place in the sun, their rights as citizens, the equality which was refused them,' and other vague claims which concealed, perhaps, the secret dream which they put into practice shamelessly,—the plurality of husbands.

"They disguised themselves as soldiers; ... they 'manifested'; they assembled in bands, and, like the Tricoteuses, their grandmothers, they wished to go to Versailles 'chambarder la parlotte and hang Foutriquet the first.' They were all there, rushing about and squalling, the boarders of Saint-Lazare in vacation, the natives of the little Pologne and the great Bohemia, the sellers of tripe à la mode de Caen, the seamstresses for messieurs, the shirt-makers for men, the instructors for elder students, the maids of all work, the vestals of the temple of Mercury, and the virgins of Lourcine. That which was the most profoundly comic was that those escaped from the Dispensaire delighted in alluding to Joan of Arc and in comparing themselves to her.

IN THE LATIN QUARTER. AU CINQUIÈME. From a drawing by Lucien Simon.

"The Commune, without concerning itself about it, aided in this feminine uprising which emptied the houses with big street-numbers [houses of ill-fame] to the detriment of the public health and to the profit of the civil war. It knew how to resolve—this good Commune, composed of the sensible men that we know—it knew how to resolve, with one sole blow, the social problem which had troubled, for so many years, the administrators, the economists, the moralists, the philosophers, the doctors, and the legislators. It caused a paper to be pasted on the walls of Paris, and the great difficulty was solved forever. By a poster, well and duly stamped, it forbade prostitution. It was not any more difficult than that! The poor creatures liberated from all administrative regulation, from all sanitary control, did not wait to have it repeated; they spread themselves like a leprosy through the city, and when, reduced to poverty by the men who exploited them, they no longer had anything to eat, they donned the great-coat of the foot-soldier and went to the advance posts, where they were as formidable to their friends as to their adversaries.

"In the last days, all these belligerent viragoes fired from behind the barricades longer than did the men; very many of them were arrested, their hands black with powder, their shoulders bruised by the recoil of the musket, all excited still with the fever of battle. A thousand and fifty-one of them were conducted to Versailles, among whom were to be counted, according to the euphemism of the statistics, 'two hundred and forty-six celibataires under police surveillance.' As in the case of children, no undue severity was exercised, and eight hundred and fifty decisions of non-lieu were rendered in their favor; among the female prisoners, four were sent to insane asylums,—that was very little! For any student of possession, there is scarcely any room for doubt; nearly all the unfortunates who combatted for the Commune were that which science calls 'patients.'"

The last stand of the insurgents before the constantly advancing forces of Marshal MacMahon was made in the last days of May in the quarters Ménilmontant and Popincourt and in the cemetery of Père-Lachaise. The Buttes Chaumont were taken on the evening of the 27th; through the cemetery, around the tombstones, in the rain, the combat was waged with the bayonet, and without quarter. The marine infantry pursued the Communards into the vaults and killed every one they found. On the gray stones of the tombs could be seen for days afterwards the imprint of hands blackened with gunpowder and red with blood. In the quarries of Amérique, many of the last survivors killed themselves in despair. "The Seine for many days was filled with corpses, and the streets of Paris were only a slaughter-house." Two hundred and thirty-four buildings were destroyed, and the losses in property were estimated at a hundred and fourteen million francs.

The hideous virgins of the Commune are no longer in evidence, but they have been succeeded by a variety of their sex, in the idle and fashionable society of the present day, which, if we may believe a modern romancer, is sufficiently numerous to constitute a still more formidable menace. His story is put forth as a serious psychological study of Parisian manners and customs in certain walks of life; the interest, if not the approval, with which it has been received has been very marked, and the volume from which we quote is of the hundred and sixty-first edition. It is in much such a salon as M. Montzaigle has endeavored to paint that the explanation of these demi-vierges is furnished to his friend from the provinces by the critical Parisian man of the world:—"There have happened in Paris, within the last fifteen years, two grave events,—two kracks, as my brother the banker would say.... Firstly, the krack of modesty. Our epoch may be compared to the Latin decadence or to the Renaissance, in the matter of love. Our young girls (I refer to those of the idle world of pleasure) no longer serve naked at the table of the Médicis; they do not wear necklaces of representations of the generative organs; but they are as knowing in matters of love as those Florentines and those Roman women. Who troubles himself to refrain from speaking before them of the last scandal? To what theatrical representations are they not taken? What romances have they not read? And yet conversation, books, the theatre, these are only words.... There are at Paris, in the world of society, professors of defloration, men on the hunt for innocence: ... the first lesson is given to young girls on the evening of their first ball; the course is continued through the season; when the summer comes, the promiscuousness of the watering-places or the sea-beach will permit the professional deflorator to put the finishing touch to his work....

"The second krack is that of the dot, as pernicious for the modern virgin as that of modesty. There are no longer any innocent young girls, but there are, also, no more rich young girls. The millionaire gives two hundred thousand francs of dot to his daughter, that is to say, six thousand francs of income, that is to say, nothing, not even enough to hire a coupé by the month. Hence, in this respect, the young girl has never been dependent upon the man, and as she has but one weapon with which to conquer him—love—the mothers allow them to learn love as soon as possible, through maternal devotion.... Yes, through maternal devotion. In my opinion, the universal alteration in the type of the young girl of former times may be imputed, first of all, to the mothers of the present generation." ...M. Marcel Prevost justifies his unpleasant discourse on the plea that modern education tends more and more to develop the type "demi-vierge," and that, if the education of the young girl be not greatly modified, "Christian marriage will perish."

There has been no successful street revolution in Paris since the days of the Commune, but the terrible under-strata ever and anon break through the thin upper crust of society with some such outburst as that of the dynamite explosions of 1892 in the Boulevard Saint-Germain, in the caserne Lobau, and in the Rue de Clichy. On this occasion, the Paris Matin published the result of the official researches as to the locality of the various groups of anarchists in the city, from which it appeared that they were to be found in associations of greater or lesser numbers in the quartiers of the Bourse, of the Temple, of the Panthéon, of the fashionable Champs-Élysées, among the valets de chambre, the cooks, and the coachmen, and in the fourth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fifteenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth arrondissements. In the quartiers of the Louvre, of the Luxembourg, and in the seventh, sixteenth, and seventeenth arrondissements, no organized groups existed. Their titles varied: L'Avant-garde cosmopolite, Le Réveil du quinzième (arrondissement), La Bibliothèque socialiste, La Jeunesse anarchiste du vingtième (arrondissement), La Jeunesse révolutionnaire and La Ligue des antipatriotes; their publications ranged from Le drapeau rouge [the red flag] to La Révolte and Henri Rocheforte's Intransigeant. The arrest of the chief dynamiter, Ravachol, was effected through the intelligence of a waiter named Lhérot in the restaurant Véry, on the Boulevard Magenta, of which we give a view, on Victor Hugo's authority that it is always interesting to look at a wall behind which we think something is happening.

COCOTTES IN A BRASSERIE. PERIOD OF THE SECOND EMPIRE. From a water-color by Constantin Guys.

Their haunts, or those of the desperate poverty and misery which tend to swell their ranks, may be represented by the Cabaret or Buvette du Père Lunette or the Château Rouge, both of them threatened with demolishment for the last nine years, but still standing. The first, situated in one of the worst streets of old Paris, the Rue des Anglais, in the quartier of the Place Maubert, has been famous for forty years, having succeeded, as it were, to the evil renown of the Lapin blanc, in the Rue aux Fèves, celebrated by Eugène Sue and believed to have dated from the reign of Pepin le Bref, and the cabaret of Paul Niquet, in the Rue aux Fers. The founder of the Père Lunette, a Sieur Lefebvre, is said to have made a fortune by it. Its name is derived from a gigantic pair of spectacles (lunettes) hanging over the entrance-door, and another painted on the small window beside it. The whole small front of the establishment is of a deep red. Our illustration represents the inner sanctuary, to which the visitor attained by passing through an antechamber only slightly less characteristic. The walls are decorated by ignoble frescoes; on the disbursal of a franc for several litres of a species of wine, the stranger is admitted to the honors of the establishment, and there are duly unrolled for him six canvases hanging on the wall on which are figured various personages, Gambetta, Cassagnac, Prince Napoleon, and even the Pope, in various situations. The Rue des Anglais, at the present day, very short and narrow and irregular, is very clean and proper.

A large porte-cochère, surrounded by a red border, near the middle of the Rue Galande, opens under an arched passage-way into a small court, badly paved, at the bottom of which a few steps lead up to an entrance in a wall also painted red, and a glass door opens into the first apartment of the Château Rouge. This visit should be made between midnight and two o'clock in the morning, the hours at which the establishment is in its fullest activity. The first two rooms on the ground-floor are merely low drinking-places, crowded with both men and women; the second floor, reached by a narrow staircase, was formerly known familiarly to the inmates as the Salle des Morts or the Bataille de Champigny; at these hours it is strewn with motionless bodies, in various attitudes of uneasy slumber, and in various stages of squalid undress. As the visitor turns to descend, he will find the stairway blocked by the recumbent forms of late arrivals for whom no space has been left in this wretched dormitory. At two o'clock in the morning the establishment closes, and all the sleepers are aroused and turned out into the street. For this transient hospitality each of them pays two sous.

Curiously enough, the building seen at the left of the Château Rouge, with its balustraded stairway under the arch and its arched windows filled with innumerable little panes, was the residence of Gabrielle d'Estrées, the belle amie of Henri IV. It may still be seen, but the railing of the stairway at the present day is a simple iron one.

The Place Maubert, now forming part of the Boulevard Saint-Germain and ornamented by a statue of Étienne Dolet, was at the period shown in our illustration, in 1889, a rendezvous for the professionals of that peculiar street industry who are known as ramasseux de mégots,—those highly unpleasant individuals who slouch about the cafés on the boulevards and pick up the butts of cigars and cigarettes. They claim to be several thousand in number, and they have definite hours for the exercise of their profession, hours in which their harvest is the greatest and just before the street-sweepers come along, at two o'clock in the morning, when the establishments close, at noon, and at nine o'clock in the evening. An industrious man, who has pretty good eyesight, may pick up a hundred to a hundred and fifty grammes of tobacco on each round. A good day's work will bring in as much as fifty sous; a rainy day, not more than twelve or fifteen. The best localities, which it is, of course, very important to know, are the surroundings of the Halle aux blés, the Bourse, the Louvre, the cafés on the boulevards, and in summer the public gardens and the crowds around the military bands. This tobacco which is thus saved from the street sweepings is—it is painful to relate—dried, assorted, made over again, and sold to other smokers. When one reflects on the quality of ordinary French tobacco at its best, this consideration tends to add another ease to death. And yet an ingenious chronicler, who extracted these details from a professional, declares that upon examining, with his eyes and his nose, a package of the best of this resuscitated weed, a package of "théâtre," these faithful organs gave him no reason to suspect its origin. The théâtre is made from londrès exclusively, no cigarettes and no tabac de chique are allowed to enter in its composition; the two cheaper brands manufactured are le petit and le gros. There are special clients for this merchandise, ranging from the inmates of asylums for old men and the insane patients at Charenton to military men on insufficient pensions who make their purchases hurriedly and with anxious glances around. When the fine season opens, the ramasseur de mégots who has collected a good winter harvest will issue from the city to sell his merchandise in the suburbs. In this irregular commerce he runs the risks of denunciation by the authorized bureaux de tabac, and of six months in prison, although his tobacco has once paid the régie, or tax.

All this world of the people, which ranges from M. Brispot's comfortable and respectable Bon Bourgeois, taking his summer ease in his court-yard, down to almost unknown depths, has its moments of leisure and takes its relaxation as well as its betters. Two of M. Vierge's characteristic sketches may serve to illustrate two of the more popular and more innocent methods,—the informal manner in which the frequenters of the Parc de Montsouris, on the line of the southern fortifications, dispose themselves on the grass, around the kiosque of the military band, to listen to the music, and a very characteristic feature of the popular observance of the fête of the 14th of July, the balls in the open street. At almost every important crossing or open space, not only in the so-called quartiers excentriques, but in such official neighborhoods as those of the Louvre and the Hôtel de Ville, temporary bandstands are set up, and around them the people dance cheerfully, mostly in ungraceful waltzes, all the evening, and frequently all night. In front of the cafés in the popular quarters, the music of a violin or a hurdy-gurdy, or even of the dreadful organ of the "merry-go-rounds," or chevaux de bois, will furnish inspiration enough to perspiring couples who will repeatedly leave their beer or their sirop to revolve giddily on the pavement till, quite breathless, they return to their seats. All this is done with such frank simplicity and good nature, such a characteristically cheerful French appropriation of the public street for domestic purposes, that the foreigner, sitting looking on somewhat scornfully at first, gradually veers round to their point of view, and, if he be young enough, probably ends by being quite willing to get up and dance, himself, with some of these slim-waisted, pretty French maids.

From a drawing, in colors, by Pierre Vidal.

As the official fête of 1898 had a new feature added to it, the celebration of the centennial of Michelet, it naturally took on still another diversion, that of the election of a Muse of Paris, selected from among the most beautiful young working-girls of the capital. Her official functions consisted in being crowned, in presiding at the ceremony before Michelet's bust, set up in front of the Hôtel de Ville, and in strewing flowers before it. Then there was chanted before her: "Good people, Rich and poor, Hasten hither! Come all to admire, The Muse of Paris! She is a nice little working-girl, Whom the poet-kings of poverty, Have anointed queen of their chimeras," etc. The election of a queen of the washerwomen, or, rather, of a reine des blanchisseuses, has long been one of the important ceremonials of the Mi-carême festivities, and grotesque accounts are given of the intrigues, the rivalries, the heart-burnings, which this choice entails, of the adventures of the sovereign and her attendant ladies in assuming their somewhat unwonted toilettes for this great occasion, and of the still greater efforts of the garçons of the lavoirs to accoutre themselves as d'Artagnans and Henri III's. However, everything passes off for the best; and it is a dull lane that has no turning.

Among the less praiseworthy diversions, neither rat-baiting nor cock-fighting have much favor in Paris. A pair of game-cocks were imported from England in 1772, but the "sport" was not appreciated. In the country parts of France it is more practised; and one of the most important of the establishments, affected by the Parisians, devoted to the murderous combats of dogs and rodents, is the Ratier Club of Roubaix, whose modest wooden façade, rising at the back of a court which is entered through a sufficiently common-place cabaret, is shown in the illustration. On the left is a great lantern to light the dingy approach, and on the right, full of noise and tumult, the office and the weighing-stand. In the interior, the arrangements are those usually adopted,—the wooden benches are ranged around the parc, or pit, a large wire cage nearly five mètres long and two and a quarter high, elevated on a platform about a mètre from the floor. It has no top, but the upper portions of the walls present a smooth band of metal up which the rats cannot climb. The dog is introduced through a sliding door on the floor, and his antagonists are emptied from a box over the top. They are of three kinds, water-rats, sewer-rats, and granary-rats; the first are of a placid disposition and are rarely used; the last, in black, are the fiercest, and consequently the most desirable. The dogs are usually bull-dogs, fox-terriers, or a species with a scanty hair, called griffons; they are usually pitted against four rats at a time, and their prowess is according to the brevity of the time in which they dispose of them. There is a legend that one champion despatched a hundred rats in seventeen minutes, thirty seconds. A good dog will finish the four rats in ten or twelve seconds, notwithstanding their doublings and turnings, the speed with which they climb the wire trellis, and the fierceness with which they turn on him and fasten on his jaw. There are various methods of conducting these contests; the chasse à excitations, in which the proprietor of the dog is permitted to run around the cage and excite his animal by voice and gesture; that à la muette, in which he is strictly forbidden to make a sound or a sign; that à obstacles, in which the rodents are concealed under every second or third of a number of flower-pots reversed on the floor, or in which they are furnished with bundles of straw in which to seek refuge, or favored by an arrangement of partitions about a foot high, arranged in the manner of a Saint Andrew's cross, and over which the dog has to leap while they traverse them through small semicircular openings on a level with the floor. The dogs are classified by weight; the price of entry varies according to the variety of the chasse, and the sum of the prizes distributed sometimes amounts to as much as fifteen hundred francs.

From a drawing, in colors, by Pierre Vidal.

As to the more aristocratic sport of horse-racing, we have already seen that the annually-recurring Grand Prix de Paris has been elevated to the dignity of a capital municipal institution. But it was early recognized that this diversion, which has attained such extraordinary development in the capital within the last twenty years, owed a very considerable proportion of its popularity to the facilities which it offered for gambling. The true sportsman's interest in the improvement of the equine race was by no means sufficiently widely diffused to maintain the hippodromes of the Sociétés de Course. This was abundantly demonstrated when, in the spring of 1887, the government forbade all betting on the race-course; the indifference of the public was promptly manifested by the great falling off in the attendance. At the end of a few weeks, it was found necessary to remove the restriction, but it was wished at the same time not to encourage the spirit of gambling, which threatened to affect all classes of society. The Pari Mutuel [mutual betting], which was accordingly authorized, offers to-day the only legal method of betting on the race-courses. It consists of a series of offices established on the tracks, where the public makes its bets on the horses running. It registers the bets, receives the money, and divides the winnings among those entitled to them. "A bettor wishes to stake fifty francs upon a horse which, we will say, is number six on the list; he goes to one of the five-franc bureaux, and asks for ten tickets on number six winning, or ten on number six 'placed.' He pays his fifty francs, receives ten tickets bearing the required number, and with the stipulation 'winning' or 'placed,' and he has no more to do but to wait the result of the race. If he win, as soon as the division is made he has only to present himself at the treasurer's office of the bureau where he made his bet, and he receives his winnings in exchange for his ten tickets." On all the operations there is deducted a tax of seven per cent. in the Parisian Sociétés de Courses,—one per cent. for breeding purposes, two for local charities, and four for the Sociétés themselves. The latter portion, which is six, eight, or ten per cent. in the provinces, is added to the sums gained from the entrance fees, and employed for the expenses, and to increase the prizes offered the following year.


At Longchamp there are about one hundred and fifty bureaux of the Pari Mutuel, and nearly twice as many on the day of the Grand-Prix. No bet is accepted under five francs, and there are special bureaux for ten, twenty, fifty, and even one hundred, and five hundred francs at the weighing-stand; the bets are of two kinds,—first, for the winning horse, and, second, for the horses "placed" one and two, when there are at least four horses running; one, two, and three, when there are at least eight. When two or more horses belong to the same proprietor and run in the same race, the Pari Mutuel gives the whole stable, that is to say, that if one of the horses of the stable wins the race the bets made upon the other horses of the stable, one or several, are paid as though laid upon the winning animal himself. This rule applies only to bets made upon one winner; for the places, it is not a question of the whole stable, and each horse is paid according to his order in arriving at the winning-post. When all the tickets are collected, the sum total of the bets is ascertained, the seven per cent. tax is deducted, and the sum remaining is divided among the winning tickets. For the placés, there are four operations to be performed after the deduction of the seven per cent.,—first, to subtract from the sum to be divided the sum total of the bets upon the places. This operation has for its object to save the stake of the bettor and to guarantee him against the risks of receiving a sum less than he wagered; second, to divide the new sum thus obtained by two or by three, according as there are two or three placés; third, to divide each half or each third proportionally to the number of bets on each placé; fourth, to add the amount of the bet previously subtracted. All the employés of the Pari Mutuel are strictly forbidden to bet, themselves, under penalty of losing their situations; and the whole is under the control of the Minister of Agriculture and the inspectors of finances.

The establishment of this official regulation was speedily followed by the opening of unauthorized "pool-rooms" all over Paris, in cheap cabarets, tobacco-shops, coiffeurs' salons, anywhere, in which the general public were invited to come in and bet on any horse they chose, without any further concern about attending the races, and with the deduction of the smallest possible commission for the bureau, in some cases fifty or twenty-five centimes. These improvised agencies, in a great majority of cases, hold no communication whatever with the Sociétés, thus depriving them of their commissions, and offer their clients only the slightest guarantees of good faith. This abuse became so flagrant that the law had to be invoked.

The popular cafés, cabarets, buvettes, brasseries, châteaux, moulins, etc., are so numerous as to be entitled to a special chapter. One of the most famous, the Moulin de la Galette, of the Montmartre quarter, is here illustrated, with a touch of the picturesque. It may be reached by the Rue Lepic, more circuitous and possibly more safe than the acrobatic ladders which lead directly to its door. Its usual customers vary from workmen's families through many varieties of painters, strangers, filles, and marlous. Its dances are not of a kind to recommend themselves to the conventional. It is even customary, before each one, for each couple to pay four sous, and it is usually the lady who pays for her cavalier. The beer-shops, or brasseries,—"more properly embrasseries,"—were invented in the Latin Quarter, but have since multiplied more on the lower boulevards. It is asserted that they were better at the beginning; M. Maurice Barres declared at one time: "The brasserie à femmes is quite truly a salon." He appreciated them for the severe discipline maintained in them by the proprietor, or, at least, for the restraint imposed upon the more enterprising clients and servitors by the example of the others. "There was coquetry and flirtage, without much more." He considered this institution necessary; its influence was, in his opinion, beneficent. These superficial endearments, this amiable tone, this care to please which was there displayed, "relaxed the mind and restored the neglected faculties of our sensitiveness." Since then, he has asked himself whether the brasseries have changed or whether he has grown older. Certainly, the qualities which he discovered in them no longer exist. The institution does not seem necessary; the salon is usually a hole; the attendants appear to be the refuse of those places of entertainment the character of which is revealed by the unusual size of the house number over the entrance. Even the Parisian gilding of vice sometimes wears off.


More of these unfortunates, of various shades, may be seen displaying themselves in the open streets, in the public fiacres as in their salons, during the Carnival, and especially on the day of Mardi Gras,—arrayed as Pierrettes, clownesses, rosières [winners of the prize of virtue], and avocats with very open robes, their bared arms and shoulders defying the weather. Their proper establishments are known by a great variety of appellations, the old word bordel being now considered gross. More commonly they are designated discreetly as Tolérances or Gros Numéros; in the popular slang they are claques or boxons. Many of them have special designations, as the celebrated Botte de paille mentioned by Edmond de Goncourt in his Fille Elisa; one of the noisiest was known as the Perroquet gris; and another, from its specialty, Au Télescope. "But at Paris all these maisons chaudes," says an expert in these matters, Rodolphe Darzens, "have a special physiognomy,—they are not, as in the provinces, discreet localities, with an atmosphere of familiar conventionality, in which the father brings his eldest son to pass the evening with the notary of the quarter and the pharmacien of the public square, in an interminable game of billiards or of piquet voleur. Houses very comme il faut, in which no incongruity would be tolerated, from which a Parisian was even chased one day for having pronounced a gross word. Neither do they resemble those vast establishments in the seaports or in the commercial cities, in which the rutting assumes a character of savage eagerness and of primitive fury.

"Excepting in the houses of the exterior quarters of the city which are frequented by soldiers and by coarse peasants, who quickly recover from their first bedazzlement at the fine salons ornamented with mirrors and gilding, illuminated by gas or by electricity, and in which the usual visitors are composed almost exclusively of workmen, which constitutes them rather a species of brasserie, the prostitution in Paris has been refined by luxury. The viveurs enter them, no longer to finish the night in them, but to pass a few minutes, to yawn and to drink champagne in the company of some young women lightly clad, indifferent and passive, pretty sometimes, bestial almost always. You can rarely avoid hearing confidentially from one of them her story, the eternal story of love betrayed. There are sometimes to be found among them some who have received a real education,—these speedily acquire an influence over their comrades, who listen to them, admire them, ask their advice. They are the queens of the household, and Madame treats with them on a footing of equality.

"Frequently an inmate of one of these convents of the Devil will seat herself at the piano, and then some revery of Chopin will rise, melancholy, through the air, while the tears will appear in the eyes of her hearers.

RAMESSEUR DE MÉGOTS. From the painting by Eugène Girardin.

"When, 'finally alone,' to fill up their long leisure of waiting, they play never-ending games of écarté, or, indeed, tell each other's fortunes by the cards, in the hope that the promises they read in them may be speedily realized, promises of a better life, outside of the cursed house, of meeting a monsieur very rich, of country parties, carriages, a little hôtel, who knows? To see, perhaps,—a marriage.

"But a voice, interrupting these dreams, that of the imperious matron, orders curtly: 'To the salon, ladies!'"

The Parisian winter is an institution of which no good can be said. The tremendous, arctic cold of the United States is almost unknown, as is also the beautiful, clear, frosty weather; in their stead come an almost endless succession of gray, misty, unutterably damp days, with a searching, raw cold that penetrates even to the dividing asunder of bone and marrow. The dearness of fuel, and the totally inadequate heating arrangements in most houses, add to the cruel discomfort of this season, in which the poor always suffer greatly. The number of unemployed is always large, and among them are frequently to be found those accustomed to the comforts and refinements of life. A recent article in a Parisian journal describing the charitable distribution of hot soups by the organization of the Bouchée de pain [mouthful of bread] cites the instance of a lady among these applicants, so well dressed that the attendant thought it right to say to her: "Have you come through simple curiosity, madame? In that case, you should not diminish the portion of those who are hungry." The lady answered simply: "I am hungry." It appeared that she was an artist, had exhibited twice in the Salon, and yet was reduced to this necessity. This charitable organization is distinguished from most others by the fact that it asks no questions and imposes no conditions on those who come to it for aid. Consequently, its various points of distribution are crowded with long lines of the shivering and famished, and the smallest offering from the charitable is thankfully received.

On the suppression of the recent general strike among the workmen of Paris, in the month of October, 1898, there appeared, in a number of the Matin, a serious article giving some important details concerning the wages and the manner of spending them, and presented from the point of view of a friend of the laboring classes. The writer, M. Manini, had interviewed one of his friends, an important contractor, whose six hundred workmen had followed the example of their comrades, gone on strike, and been compelled to abandon it by the prudent action of the civil and military authorities in protecting all those who were willing to labor. "I expressed to my friend my surprise that workmen earning, at a minimum, six francs, and some of them, masons and rough-casters, eight and ten francs a day, should have ceased work under pretence of insufficient pay. I showed him the instructive table published by an evening journal, and according to which the rough-casters earned from eleven to twelve francs a day; the stone-cutters, eight francs; the journeymen masons, eight francs; the apprentice masons, five and a half francs; the bricklayers, eight francs; the stone-sawyers, nine to eleven francs,—in a word, as much as a lieutenant in garrison in Paris, and more than a lieutenant in garrison in the provinces.

From a drawing by A. Lozos.

"'All that is perfectly true,' replied my friend. 'Never have the workmen on buildings had such a fête. Since Paris has become a vast ant-hill in which the work of preparation for 1900 goes on without ceasing, the workmen make magnificent working-days and have no fear of being "laid off." They have before them three magnificent years. But you are not aware of the conditions of a workman's life in Paris. They bear no resemblance to those of the life in the provinces, where similar wages would insure a comfortable living. In Paris, you see, the workman lives at a great disadvantage, and, in reality, it may be said that he is obliged to meet the expenses of two establishments.... Paris is an immense city, in which the distances are very great. The laborers, the diggers, and shovellers live, nearly all of them, on the heights of Clignancourt and of Belleville; the masons, for I know not what reason, prefer the quarter of the Gobelins. Well, work is carried on in all parts of Paris, is it not? The laborer from Belleville, the workman hired by me or by my overseer, arrives at his field of labor at six o'clock in the morning. This spot is at Auteuil, at the Trocadéro, at Passy, anywhere. It will be absolutely impossible for him to return to Belleville for his meals. He will have to eat on the spot, there where he works.

"'Well, arrived at the chantier at half-past six, and hard at work at seven, the workmen go at nine o'clock to get some soup and a piece of cheese. It is to some little eating-house in the neighborhood that they betake themselves. The cost of this casse-croûte [bread-crust], as they call it, fifty centimes at the least. At eleven o'clock, the déjeuner, always at the wine-shop or the little restaurant. When one works in the open air, and when one propels, by the strength of his arms, shovelfuls of earth weighing five kilos each a height of two mètres into the cart, one is hungry. Notwithstanding the utmost frugality, the déjeuner amounts to thirty sous, thirty-five sous at the least. We have now expended two francs, twenty-five centimes. About four o'clock, another mouthful and a glass of wine,—say ten sous, about. We have now reached fifty-five sous, have we not? In case the workman should be fatigued, or that the distance home should be too great,—observe that from Auteuil to Clignancourt there are nine good kilomètres, that is more than two leagues,—he dines on the spot, say twenty-five sous more.

"'If the workman earns eight francs, here are his wages reduced more than one-half. And you will remember that the wife and the brats eat at home; also, that it is necessary to clothe yourself and to clothe the little ones, that it is necessary to pay the rent, that, sometimes, there is an old infirm mother at home, that an illness is readily contracted.... In fact, the workman, at Paris, who labors at a distance is obliged to eat away from his own house, and he expends for himself alone as much as would be required to support the whole family. It may therefore be said, that he has to provide for two households,—the outside establishment, himself, and the inside establishment, the wife and the children.'"

It does not seem to have occurred to the author of this interesting exposé, or to his interlocutor, that there was a very simple and well-known remedy for this idiotic and extravagant mode of living,—the dinner-pail. The contractor cited to his friend the case of the masons from the provinces, the Creusois and the Limousins, who are enabled to save money by leaving their families in the country, and that of the London workman who commences his day's labor at nine o'clock in the morning and who ends it at five,—but without any interruption. "At one o'clock in the afternoon he breaks a piece of bread, which he generally brings in his work-bag; and at six o'clock, thanks to the 'Metropolitan,' he is again with his family, comfortably seated at table." The workman's dinner-pail, or its equivalent, is not altogether unknown to the Parisian ouvrier, and picturesque groups may sometimes be seen, sometimes with the wife's presence to cheer and adorn, eating and drinking comfortably al fresco, on the sidewalks, or on the steps of some monument. To the sojourner in the land, the facts appear to be that the workmen frequent the gargotes much more to drink than to eat, that they spend a very important fraction of the day congregated around, or in, the cheap wine-shops of the neighborhood, and that they consume a highly unnecessary quantity of variously and fearfully colored cheap combinations of alcool.

In the strike referred to, the terrassiers, or diggers, who commenced it, had enough influence in the Conseil Municipal of Paris to get the increased wages for which they quit work, awarded them; but the other workmen, who struck for the cause of solidarité, were unsuccessful, and the great strike of all the railway employés throughout the nation, ostentatiously ordered by the Syndicat Guérard, and promptly met by the military occupation of all the stations and points of danger, was a complete failure.


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