The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Wanderer in Paris, by E. V. Lucas, Illustrated by Walter Dexter

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Title: A Wanderer in Paris

Author: E. V. Lucas

Release Date: November 6, 2011 [eBook #37937]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Chris Curnow, Melissa McDaniel,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team


Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





Mr. Ingleside
Over Bemerton's
Listener's Lure
London Lavender
One Day and Another
Fireside and Sunshine
Character and Comedy
Old Lamps for New
The Hambledon Men
The Open Road
The Friendly Town
Her Infinite Variety
Good Company
The Gentlest Art
The Second Post
A Little of Everything
A Swan and Her Friends
A Wanderer in Florence
A Wanderer in London
A Wanderer in Holland
The British School
Highways and Byways in Sussex
Anne's Terrible Good Nature
The Slowcoach
Sir Pulteney
The Life of Charles Lamb
The Pocket Edition of the Works of Charles
  Lamb: I. Miscellaneous Prose; II. Elia;
  III. Children's Books; IV. Poems and
  Plays; V. and VI. Letters









"I'll go and chat with Paris"

—Romeo and Juliet



First Published (Crown 8vo)August 5th 1909
Second Edition ( " )September 1909
Third Edition ( " )October 1909
Fourth Edition ( " )January 1910
Fifth Edition ( " )June 1910
Sixth Edition ( " )December 1910
Seventh Edition, revised (Fcap. 8vo)September 1911
Eighth Edition (Crown 8vo)October 1911
Ninth Edition ( " )March 1912
Tenth Edition ( " )February 1913



Although the reader will quickly make the discovery for himself, I should like here to emphasise the fact that this is a book about Paris and the Parisians written wholly from the outside, and containing only so much of that city and its citizens as a foreigner who has no French friends may observe on holiday visits.

I express elsewhere my indebtedness to a few French authors. I have also been greatly assisted in a variety of ways, but especially in the study of the older Paris streets, by my friend Mr. Frank Holford.

E. V. L.


Since this new edition was prepared for the press the devastating theft of Leonardo da Vinci's "Monna Lisa" was perpetrated. Pages 81-87 therefore—describing that picture as one of the chief treasures of the Louvre—must change their tense to the past.

E. V. L.



The English Gates of Paris   1
The Ile de la Cité   9
Notre Dame   31
Saint Louis and his Island   54
The Marais   61
The Louvre: I. The Old Masters   78
The Louvre: II. Modern Pictures and Other Treasures 97
The Tuileries   114
The Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées and the Invalides 132viii
The Boulevard St. Germain and its Tributaries 158
The Latin Quarter   170
The Panthéon and Sainte Geneviève   188
Two Zoos   199
The Grands Boulevards: I. The Madeleine to the Opera 214
A Chair at the Café de la Paix   227
The Grands Boulevards: II. The Opera to the Place de la République 244
Montmartre   260
The Elysée to the Hôtel de Ville   276
The Place des Vosges and Hugo's House 299
The Bastille, Père Lachaise and the End 306
Index   321




The Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville   Frontispiece
The Courtyard of the Compas d'Or To face page 6
The Ile de la Cité from the Pont des Arts " 40
Notre Dame " 58
The Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile " 74
The Parc Monceau " 116
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel " 124
The Place de la Concorde " 140
The Pont Alexandre III. " 160
The Fontaine de Médicis " 180
The Musée Cluny " 200
The Rue de Bièvre " 222
The Boulevard des Italiens " 240
The Porte St. Denis " 258
The Sacre Cœur de Montmartre from the Buttes-Chaumont " 280
The Place des Vosges, Southern Entrance " 300




Map. From a Drawing by B. C. Boulter Front Cover
The Nativity. Luini (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Mansell
To face page 16
Giovanna Tornabuoni and the Cardinal Virtues—Fresco from the Villa Lemmi.
Botticelli (Louvre)
" 20
La Vierge aux Rochers. Leonardo da Vinci (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 26
Sainte Anne, La Vierge, et l'Enfant Jésus. Leonardo da Vinci. (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 36
La Pensée. Rodin (Luxembourg)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 46
Balthasar Castiglione. Raphael (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 52
L'Homme au Gant. Titian (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 64
Portrait de Jeune Homme. Attributed to Bigio (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Alinari
" 70
The Winged Victory of Samothrace. (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Giraudon
" 80
La Joconde: Monna Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 86
Portrait d'une Dame et sa Fille. Van Dyck (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Mansell
" 94xi
Le Vallon. Corot (Louvre, Thomy-Thierret Collection)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 106
Le Printemps. Rousseau (Louvre, Thomy-Thierret Collection)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 120
Vieux Homme et Enfant. Ghirlandaio (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Mansell
" 136
Vénus et l'Amour. Rembrandt (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 146
Les Pèlerins d'Emmaüs. Rembrandt (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 154
La Vierge au Donateur. J. van Eyck (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 166
Portrait de sa Mère. Whistler (Luxembourg) " 176
La Bohémienne. Franz Hals (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 186
Ste. Geneviève. Puvis de Chavannes (Panthéon)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 190
La Leçon de Lecture. Terburg (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 206
La Dentellière. Vermeer of Delft (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Woodbury
" 216
Girl's Head. Ecole de Fabriano (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Mansell
" 228
Le Bénédicité. Chardin (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Giraudon
" 234
Madame Le Brun et sa Fille. Madame Le Brun (Louvre)
From a Photograph by Hanfstaengl
" 246
Le Pont de Mantes. Corot (Louvre, Moreau Collection)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 252xii
La Provende des Poules. Troyon (Louvre, Thomy-Thierret Collection)
From a Photograph by Alinari
" 266
The Windmill. R. P. Bonington (Louvre) " 274
L'Amateur d'Estampes. Daumier (Palais des Beaux Arts) " 286
Le Baiser. Rodin (Luxembourg)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 294
La Bergère Gardant ses Moutons. Millet (Louvre, Chauchard Collection) " 308
Le Monument aux Morts. A. Bartholomé (Père la Chaise)
From a Photograph by Neurdein
" 316




The Gare du Nord and Gare St. Lazare—The Singing Cabman—"Vivent les femmes!"—Characteristic Paris—The Next Morning—A Choice of Delights—The Compas d'Or—The World of Dumas—The First Lunch—Voisin wins.

Most travellers from London enter Paris in the evening, and I think they are wise. I wish it were possible again and again to enter Paris in the evening for the first time; but since it is not, let me hasten to say that the pleasure of re-entering Paris in the evening is one that custom has almost no power to stale. Every time that one emerges from the Gare du Nord or the Gare St. Lazare one is taken afresh by the variegated and vivid activity of it all—the myriad purposeful self-contained bustling people, all moving on their unknown errands exactly as they were moving when one was here last, no matter how long ago. For Paris never changes: that is one of her most precious secrets.

The London which one had left seven or eight hours before was populous enough and busy enough, Heaven 2 knows, but London's pulse is slow and fairly regular, and even at her gayest, even when greeting Royalty, she seems to be advising caution and a careful demeanour. But Paris—Paris smiles and Paris sings. There is an incredible vivacity in her atmosphere.

Sings! This reminds me that on the first occasion that I entered Paris—in the evening, of course—my cabman sang. He sang all the way from the Gare du Nord to the Rue Caumartin. This seemed to me delightful and odd, although at first I felt in danger of attracting more attention than one likes; but as we proceeded down the Rue Lafayette—which nothing but song and the fact that it is the high road into Paris from England can render tolerable—I discovered that no one minded us. A singing cabman in London would bring out the Riot Act and the military; but here he was in the picture: no one threw at the jolly fellow any of the chilling deprecatory glances which are the birthright of every light-hearted eccentric in my own land. And so we proceeded to the hotel, often escaping collision by the breadth of a single hair, the driver singing all the way. What he sang I knew not; but I doubt if it was of battles long ago: rather, I should fancy, of very present love and mischief. But how fitting a first entry into Paris!

An hour or so later—it was just twenty years ago, but I remember it so clearly—I observed written up in chalk in large emotional letters on a public wall the words "Vivent les femmes!" and they seemed to me also 3 so odd—it seemed to me so funny that the sentiment should be recorded at all, since women were obviously going to live whatever happened—that I laughed aloud. But it was not less characteristic of Paris than the joyous baritone notes that had proceeded from beneath the white tall hat of my cocher. It was as natural for one Parisian to desire the continuance of his joy as a lover, even to expressing it in chalk in the street, as to another to beguile with lyrical snatches the tedium of cab-driving.

I was among the Latin people, and, as I quickly began to discover, I was myself, for the first time, a foreigner. That is a discovery which one quickly makes in Paris.

But I have not done yet with the joy of entering and re-entering Paris in the evening—after the long smooth journey across the marshes of Picardy or through the orchards of Normandy and the valley of the Seine—whichever way one travels. But whether one travels by Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe or Havre, whether one alights at the Gare du Nord or St. Lazare, once outside the station one is in Paris instantly: there is no debatable land between either of these termini and the city, as there is, for example, between the Gare de Lyons and the city. Paris washes up to the very platforms. A few steps and here are the foreign tables on the pavements and the foreign waiters, so brisk and clean, flitting among them; here are the vehicles meeting and passing on the wrong or foreign side, and beyond that, 4 knowing apparently no law at all; here are the deep-voiced newsvendors shouting those magic words La Patrie! La Patrie! which, should a musician ever write a Paris symphony, would recur and recur continually beneath its surface harmonies. And here, everywhere, are the foreign people in their ordered haste and their countless numbers.

The pleasure of entering and re-entering Paris in the evening is only equalled by the pleasure of stepping forth into the street the next morning in the sparkling Parisian air and smelling again the pungent Parisian scent and gathering in the foreign look of the place. I know of no such exuberance as one draws in with these first Parisian inhalations on a fine morning in May or June—and in Paris in May and June it is always fine, just as in Paris in January and February it is always cold or wet. His would be a very sluggish or disenchanted spirit who was not thus exhilarated; for here at his feet is the holiday city of Europe and the clean sun over all.

And then comes the question "What to do?" Shall we go at once to "Monna Lisa"? But could there be a better morning for the children in the Champs-Elysées? That beautiful head in the His de la Salle collection—attributed to the school of Fabriano! How delightfully the sun must be lighting up the red walls of the Place des Vosges! Rodin's "Kiss" at the Luxembourg—we meant to go straight to that! The wheel window in Notre Dame, in the north transept—I have been thinking of that ever since we planned to come. 5

So may others talk and act; but I have no hesitancies. My duty is clear as crystal. On the first morning I pay a visit of reverence and delight to the ancient auberge of the Compas d'Or at No. 64 Rue Montorgeuil. And this I shall always do until it is razed to the earth, as it seems likely to be under the gigantic scheme, beyond Haussmann almost, which is to renovate the most picturesque if the least sanitary portions of old Paris at a cost of over thirty millions of pounds. Unhappy day—may it be long postponed! For some years now I have always approached the Compas d'Or with trembling and foreboding. Can it still be there? I ask myself. Can that wonderful wooden hanger that covers half the courtyard have held so long? Will there be a motor-car among the old diligences and waggons? But it is always the same.

From the street—and the Rue Montorgeuil is as a whole one of the most picturesque and characteristic of the older streets of Paris, with its high white houses, each containing fifty families, its narrowness, its barrows of fruit and green stuff by both pavements, and its crowds of people—from the street, the Compas d'Or is hardly noticeable, for a butcher and a cutler occupy most of its façade; but the sign and the old carvings over these shops give away the secret, and you pass through one of the narrow archways on either side and are straightway in a romance by the great Dumas. Into just such a courtyard would D'Artagnan have dashed, and leaping from one sweating steed leap on another 6 and be off again amid a shower of sparks on the stones. Time has stood still here.

There is no other such old inn left. The coach to Dreux—now probably a carrier's cart—still regularly runs from this spot, as it has done ever since the beginning of the sixteenth century. Rows of horses stand in its massive stables and fill the air with their warm and friendly scent; a score of ancient carts huddle in the yard, in a corner of which there will probably be a little group of women shelling peas; beneath the enormous hanger are more vehicles, and masses of hay on which the carters sleep. The ordinary noise of Paris gives way, in this sanctuary of antiquity, to the scraping of hoofs, the rattle of halter bolts, and the clatter of the wooden shoes of ostlers. It is the past in actual being—Civilisation, like Time, has stood still in the yard of the Compas d'Or. That is why I hasten to it so eagerly and shall always do so until it disappears for ever. There is nothing else in Paris like it.

And after? Well, the next thing is to have lunch. And since this lunch—being the first—will be the best lunch of the holiday and therefore the best meal of the holiday (for every meal on a holiday in Paris is a little better than that which follows it), it is an enterprise not lightly to be undertaken. One must decide carefully, for this is to be an extravagance: the search for the little out-of-the-way restaurant will come later. To-day we are rich.



This book is not a guide for the gastronome and 7 gourmet. How indeed could it be, even although when heaven sends a cheerful hour one would scorn to refrain? Yet none the less it would be pleasant in this commentary upon a city illustrious for its culinary ingenuity and genius to say something of restaurants. But what is one to say here on such a theme? Volumes are needed. Every one has his own taste. For me Voisin's remains, and will, I imagine, remain the most distinguished, the most serene, restaurant in Paris, in its retired situation at the corner of the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Rue Cambon, with its simple decoration, its unhastening order and despatch, its Napoleonic head-waiter, its Bacchic wine-waiter (with a head that calls for vine leaves) and its fastidious cuisine. To Voisin's I should always make my way when I wished not only to be delicately nourished but to be quiet and philosophic and retired. Only one other restaurant do I know where the cooking gives me the satisfaction of Voisin's—where excessive richness never intrudes—and that is a discovery of my own and not lightly to be given away. Voisin's is a name known all over the world: one can say nothing new about Voisin's; but the little restaurant with which I propose to tantalise you, although the resort of some of the most thoughtful eaters in Paris, has a reputation that has not spread. It is not cheap, it is little less dear indeed than the Café Anglais or Paillard's, to name the two restaurants of renown which are nearest to it; its cellar is poor and limited to half a dozen wines; its two rooms are minute 8 and hot; but the idea of gastronomy reigns—everything is subordinated to the food and the cooking. If you order a trout, it is the best trout that France can breed, and it is swimming in the kitchen at the time the solitary waiter repeats your command; no such asparagus reaches any other Paris restaurant, no such Pré Salé and no such wild strawberries. But I have said enough; almost I fear I have said too much. These discoveries must be kept sacred.

And for lunch to-day? Shall it be chez Voisin, or chez Foyot, by the Sénat, or chez Lapérouse (where the two Stevensons used to eat and talk) on the Quai des Augustins? Or shall it be at my nameless restaurant?

Voisin's to-day, I think.



Paris Old and New—The Heart of France—Saint Louis—Old Palaces—Henri IV.'s Statue—Ironical Changes—The Seine and the Thames—The Quais and their Old Books—Diderot and the Lady—Police and Red Tape—The Conciergerie—Marie Antoinette—Paris and its Clocks—Méryon's Etchings—French Advocates—A Hall of Babel—Sainte Chapelle—French Newspapers Serious and Comic—The Only Joke—The English and the French.

Where to begin? That is a problem in the writing of every book, but peculiarly so with Paris; because, however one may try to be chronological, the city is such a blend of old and new that that design is frustrated at every turn. Nearly every building of importance stands on the site of some other which instantly jerks us back hundreds of years, while if we deal first with the original structure, such as the remains of the Roman Thermes at the Cluny, built about 300, straightway the Cluny itself intrudes, and we leap from the third century to the nineteenth; or if we trace the line of the wall of Philip Augustus we come swiftly to so modern an institution as the Mont-de-Piété; or if we climb to such a recent thoroughfare as the Boulevard de Clichy, with its palpitatingly novel cabarets 10 and allurements, we must in order to do so ascend a mountain which takes its name from the martyrdom of St. Denis and his companions in the third century. It is therefore well, since Paris is such a tangle of past and present, to disregard order altogether and to let these pages reflect her character. Expect then, dear reader, to be twitched about the ages without mercy.

Let us begin in earnest by leaving the mainland and adventuring upon an island. For the heart of Paris is enisled: Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Palais de Justice, the Hôtel Dieu, the Préfecture de Police, the Morgue—all are entirely surrounded by water. The history of the Cité is the history of Paris, almost the history of France.

Paris, the home of the Parisii, consisted of nothing but this island when Julius Cæsar arrived there with his conquering host. The Romans built their palace here, and here Julian the Apostate loved to sojourn. It was in Julian's reign that the name was changed from Lutetia (which it is still called by picturesque writers) to Parisea Civitas, from which Paris is an easy derivative. The Cité remained the home of government when the Merovingians under Clovis expelled the Romans, and again under the Carlovingians. The second Royal Palace was begun by the first of the Capets, Hugh, in the tenth century, and it was completed by Robert the Pious in the eleventh. Louis VII. decreed Notre Dame; but it was Saint Louis, reigning from 1226 to 1270, who was the father of the 11 Cité as we now know it. He it was who built Sainte Chapelle, and it was he who surrendered part of the Palace to the Law.

While it was the home of the Court and the Church the island naturally had little enough room for ordinary residents, who therefore had to live, whether aristocrats or tradespeople, on the mainland, either on the north or south side of the river. The north side was for the most part given to merchants, the south to scholars, for Saint Louis was the builder not only of Sainte Chapelle but also of the Sorbonne. Very few of the smaller buildings of that time now remain: the oldest Paris that one now wanders in so delightedly, whether on the north bank or the south, whether near the Sorbonne or the Hôtel de Sens, dates, with a few fortunate exceptions, from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Nowhere may the growth of Paris be better observed and better understood than on the highest point on this Island of the City—on the summit of Notre Dame. Standing there you quickly comprehend the Paris of the ages: from Cæsar's Lutetia, occupying the island only and surrounded by fields and wastes, to the Paris of this year of our Lord, spreading over the neighbouring hills, such a hive of human activity and energy as will hardly bear thinking of—a Paris which has thrown off the yoke not only of the kings that once were all-powerful but of the Church too.

By the twelfth century the kings of France had begun 12 to live in smaller palaces more to their personal taste, such as the Hôtel Barbette, the Hôtel de Sens (much of which still stands, as a glass factory, at the corner of the Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville and the Rue de Figuier, one of the oldest of the Paris mansions), the Hôtel de Bourgogne (in the Rue Etienne Marcel: you may still see its tower of Jean Sans Peur), the Hôtel de Nevers (what remains of which is at the corner of the Rue Colbert and Rue Richelieu), and, of course, the Louvre. Charles VII. (1422-1461) was the first king to settle at the Louvre permanently.

To gain the Ile de la Cité we leave the mainland of Paris at the Quai du Louvre, and make our crossing by the Pont Neuf. Neuf no longer, for as a matter of historical fact it is now the oldest of all the Paris bridges: that is, in its foundations, for the visible part of it has been renovated quite recently. The first stone of it was laid by Henri III. in 1578: it was not ready for many years, but in 1603 Henri IV. (of Navarre) ventured across a plank of it on his way to the Louvre, after several previous adventurers had broken their necks in the attempt. "So much the less kings they," was his comment. He lived to see the bridge finished.

Behind the statue of this monarch, whom the French still adore, is the garden that finishes off the west end of the Ile very prettily, sending its branches up above the parapet. Here we may stop; for we are now on the Island itself, midway between the two halves of the bridge, and the statue has such 13 a curious history, so typical of the French character, that I should like to tell it. The original bronze figure, erected by Louis XIII. in 1614, was taken down in 1792, a time of stress, and melted into a commodity that was then of vastly greater importance than the effigies of kings—namely cannon. (As we shall see in the course of this book, Paris left the hands of the Revolutionaries a totally different city from the Paris of 1791.) Then came peace again, and then came Napoleon, and in the collection at the Archives is to be seen a letter written by the Emperor from Schönbrunn, on August 15th, 1809, stating that he wishes an obelisk to be erected on the site of the Henri IV. statue—an obelisk of Cherbourg granite, 180 pieds d'élévation, with the inscription "l'Empereur Napoléon au Peuple Français". That, however, was not done.

Time passed on, Napoleon fell, and Louis XVIII. returned from his English home to the throne of France, and was not long in perpetrating one of those symmetrical ironical jests which were then in vogue. Taking from the Vendôme column the bronze statue of Napoleon (who was safely under the thumb of Sir Hudson Lowe at St. Helena, well out of mischief), and to this adding a second bronze statue of the same usurper intended for some other site, the monarch directed that they should be melted into liquid from which a new statue of Henri IV.—the very one at which we are at this moment gazing—should be cast. It was done, and though to the Röntgen-rayed vision of the cynic it may appear 14 to be nothing more or less than a double Napoleon, it is to the world at large Henri IV., the hero of Ivry.

I have seen comparisons between the Seine and the Thames; but they are pointless. You cannot compare them: one is a London river, and the other is a Paris river. The Seine is a river of light; the Thames is a river of twilight. The Seine is gay; the Thames is sombre. When dusk falls in Paris the Seine is just a river in the evening; when dusk falls in London the Thames becomes a wonderful mystery, an enchanted stream in a land of old romance. The Thames is, I think, vastly more beautiful; but on the other hand, the Thames has no merry passenger steamers and no storied quais. The Seine has all the advantage when we come to the consideration of what can be done with a river's banks in a great city. For the Seine has a mile of old book and curiosity stalls, whereas the Thames has nothing.

And yet the coping of the Thames embankment is as suitable for such a purpose as that of the Seine, and as many Londoners are fond of books. How is it? Why should all the bookstalls and curiosity stalls of London be in Whitechapel and Farringdon Street and the Cattle Market? That is a mystery which I have never solved and never shall. Why are the West Central and the West districts wholly debarred—save in Charing Cross Road, and that I believe is suspect—from loitering at such alluring street banquets? It is beyond understanding. 15

The history of the stall-holders of the quais has been told very engagingly by M. Octave Uzanne, whom one might describe as the Austin Dobson and the Augustine Birrell of France, in his work Bouquinistes et Bouquineurs. They established themselves first on the Pont Neuf, but in 1650 were evicted. (The Paris bridges, I might say here, become at the present time the resort of every kind of pedlar directly anything occurs to suspend their traffic.)

The parapets of the quais then took the place of those of the bridge, and there the booksellers' cases have been ever since. But no longer are they the gay resort that once they were. It was considered, says M. Uzanne, writing of the eighteenth century, "quite the correct thing for the promenaders to gossip round the bookstalls and discuss the wit and fashionable writings of the day. At all hours of the day these quarters were much frequented, above all by literary men, lawyers clerks and foreigners. One historical fact, not generally known, merits our attention, for it shows that not only the libraries and the stall-keepers assisted in drawing men of letters to the vicinity of the Hôtel Mazarin, but there also existed a 'rendez-vous' for the sale of English and French journals. It was, in fact, at the corner of the Rue Dauphine and the Quai Conti that the first establishment known as the Café Anglais was started. One read in big letters on the signboard: Café Anglais—Becket, propriétaire. This was the meeting place of the greater part of English writers visiting 16 Paris who wished to become acquainted with the literary men of the period, the encyclopædists and poets of the Court of Louis XV. This Café offered to its habitués the best-known English papers of the day, the Westminster Gazette, the London Evening Post, the Daily Advertiser, and the various pamphlets published on the other side of the Channel....

"You must know that the Quai Conti up to the year 1769 was only a narrow passage leading down to a place for watering horses. Between the Pont Neuf and the building known as the Château-Gaillard at the opening of the Rue Guénégaud, were several small shops, and a small fair continually going on.

"This Château-Gaillard, which was a dependency of the old Porte de Nesle, had been granted by Francis I. to Benvenuto Cellini. The famous Florentine goldsmith received visits from the Sovereign protector of arts and here executed the work he had been ordered to do, under his Majesty's very eyes....

"One calls to mind that Sterne, in his delightful Sentimental Journey, was set down in 1767 at the Hôtel de Modène, in the Rue Jacob, opposite the Rue des Deux-Anges, and one has not forgotten his love for the quais and the adventure which befell him while chatting to a bookseller on the Quai Conti, of whom he wished to buy a copy of Shakespeare so that he might read once more Polonius' advice to his son before starting on his travels.

"Diderot, in his Salon of 1761, relates his flirtation with the pretty girl who served in one of these shops 17 and afterwards became the wife of Menze. 'She called herself Miss Babuti and kept a small book shop on the Quai des Augustins, spruce and upright, white as a lily and red as a rose. I would enter her shop, in my own brisk way: "Mademoiselle, the 'Contes de la Fontaine' ... a 'Petronius' if you please."—"Here you are, Sir. Do you want any other books?"—"Forgive me, yes"—"What is it?"—"La 'Religieuse en Chemise.'"—"For shame, Sir! Do you read such trash?"—"Trash, is it, Mademoiselle? I did not know...."'"

The Nativity


M. Uzanne's pages are filled with such charming gossip and with character-sketches of the most famous booksellers and book-hunters. One pretty trait that would have pleased Mary Lamb (and perhaps did, in 1822, when her brother took her to the "Boro' side of the Seine") is mentioned by M. Uzanne: "The stall-keeper on the quais always has an indulgent eye for the errand boy or the little bonne [slavey] who stops in front of his stall and consults gratis 'La Clef des Songes' or 'Le Secrétaire des Dames'. Who would not commend him for this kind toleration? In fact it is very rare to find the bookseller in such cases not shutting his eyes—metaphorically—and refraining from walking up to the reader, for fear of frightening her away. And then the young girl moves off with a light step, repeating to herself the style of letter or the explanation of a dream, rich in hope and illusions for the rest of the day."

But the best description of the book-hunter of the 18 quais is that given to Dumas by Charles Nodier. "This animal," he said, "has two legs and is featherless, wanders usually up and down the quais and the boulevards, stopping at all the old bookstalls, turning over every book on them; he is habitually clad in a coat that is too long for him and trousers that are too short; he always wears on his feet shoes that are down at the heel, a dirty hat on his head, and, under his coat and over his trousers, a waistcoat fastened together with string. One of the signs by which he can be recognised is that he never washes his hands."

Henri IV.'s statue faces the Place Dauphine and the west façade of the Palais de Justice. At No. 28 in the Place Dauphine Madame Roland was born, little thinking she was destined one day to be imprisoned in the neighbouring Conciergerie, which, to those who can face the difficulties of obtaining a ticket of admission, is one of the most interesting of the Island's many interesting buildings. But the process is not easy, and there is only one day in the week on which the prison is shown.

The tickets are issued at the Préfecture of Police—the Scotland Yard of Paris—which is the large building opposite Sainte Chapelle. One may either write or call. I advise writing; for calling is not as simple as it sounds: simplicity and sightseeing in Paris being indeed not on the best terms. It was not until I had asked five several officials that I found even the right door of the vast structure, and then having passed a room 19 full of agents (or policemen) smoking and jesting, and having climbed to a third storey, I was in danger of losing for ever the privilege of seeing what I had fixed my mind upon, wholly because, although I knew the name and street of my hotel, I did not know its number. Who ever dreamed that hotels have numbers? Has the Savoy a number in the Strand? Is the Ritz numbered in Piccadilly? Not that I was living in any such splendour, but still, on the face of it, a hotel has a name because it has no number. "C'est égal," the gentleman said at last, after a pantomime of impossibility and reproach, and I took my ticket, bowed to the ground, replaced my hat and was free to visit the Conciergerie on the morrow. Such are the amenities of the tourist's life.

Let me here say that the agents of Paris are by far its politest citizens, and in appearance the healthiest. I have never met an uncivil agent, and I once met one who refused a tip after he had been of considerable service to me. Never did I attempt to tip another. They have their defects, no doubt: they have not the authority that we give our police: their management of traffic is pathetically incompetent; but they are street gentlemen and the foreigner has no better friend.

The Conciergerie is the building on the Quai de l'Horloge with the circular towers beneath extinguishers—an impressive sight from the bridges and the other bank of the river. Most of its cells are now used as rooms for soldiers (André Chénier's dungeon is one of their kitchens); 20 but a few rooms of the deepest historical interest have been left as they were. These are displayed by a listless guide who rises to animation only when the time comes to receive his bénéfice and offer for sale a history of his preserves.

One sees first the vaulted Salle Saint Louis, called the Salle des Pas Perdus because it was through it that the victims of the Revolution walked on their way to the Cour de Mai and execution. The terribly significant name has since passed to the great lobby of the Palais de Justice immediately above it, where it has less appropriateness. It is of course the cell of Marie Antoinette that is the most poignant spot in this grievous place. When the Queen was here the present room was only about half its size, having a partition across it, behind which two soldiers were continually on guard, day and night. The Queen was kept here, suffering every kind of indignity and petty tyranny, from early September, 1793, until October 16th. Her chair, in which she sat most of the time, faced the window of the courtyard.

A few acts of kindness reached her in spite of the vigilance of the authorities; but very few. I quote the account of two from the official guide, a poor thing, which I was weak enough to buy: "The Queen had no complaint to make against the concierges Richard nor their successors the Baults. It is told that one day Richard asked a fruitseller in the neighbourhood to select him the best of her melons, whatever it might cost. 'It is for a very important 21 personage, then?' said the seller disdainfully, looking at the concierge's threadbare clothes. 'Yes,' said he, 'it is for some one who was once very important; she is so no longer; it is for the Queen.' 'The Queen,' exclaimed the tradeswoman, turning over all her melons, 'the Queen! Oh, poor woman! Here, make her eat that, and I won't have you pay for it....'

"One of the gendarmes on duty having smoked during the night, learnt the following day that the Queen, whom he noticed was very pale, had suffered from the smell of the tobacco; he smashed his pipe, swearing not to smoke any more. It was he also who said to those who came in contact with Marie Antoinette: 'Whatever you do, don't say anything to her about her children'."

For her trial the Queen was taken to the Tribunal sitting in what is now the First Circle Chamber of the Palais de Justice, and led back in the evening to her cell. She was condemned to death on the fifteenth, and that night wrote a letter to her sister-in-law Elizabeth which we shall see in the Archives Nationales: it is firmly written.



The Conciergerie had many other prisoners, but none so illustrious. Robespierre occupied for twenty-four hours the little cell adjoining that of the Queen, now the vestry of the chapel. Madame Du Barry and Madame Récamier had cells adjacent to that of Madame Roland. Later Maréchal Ney was imprisoned here. The oldest part of all—the kitchens of Saint Louis—are not shown. 22

The Pont au Change, the bridge which connects the Place du Châtelet with the Boulevard du Palais, the main street of the Ile de la Cité, was once (as the Ponte Vecchio at Florence still is) the headquarters of goldsmiths and small bankers. Not the least of the losses that civilisation and rebuilders have brought upon us is the disappearance of the shops and houses from the bridges. Old London Bridge—how one regrets that!

At the corner of the Conciergerie is the Horloge that gives the Quai its name—a floridly decorated clock which by no means conveys the impression that it has kept time for over five hundred years and is the oldest exposed time-piece in France. Paris, by the way, is very poor in public clocks, and those that she has are not too trustworthy. The one over the Gare St. Lazare has perhaps the best reputation; but time in Paris is not of any great importance. For most Parisians there is an inner clock which strikes with perfect regularity at about twelve and seven, and no other hours really matter. And yet a certain show of marking time is made in the hotels, where every room has an elaborate ormolu clock, usually under a glass case and rarely going. And in one hotel I remember a large clock on every landing, of which I passed three on my way upstairs; and their testimony was so various that it was two hours later by each, so that by the time I had reached my room it was nearly time to get up. On asking the waiter the reason he said it was because they were synchronised by electricity. 23

There has been a Tour de l'Horloge at this corner of the Conciergerie ever since it was ordained by Philippe le Bel in 1299; the present clock, or at least its scheme of decoration, dates, however, from Henri III.'s reign, about 1585. The last elaborate restoration was in 1852. In the tower above was a bell that was rung only on rare occasions. The usual accounts of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew say that the signal for that outrage was sounded by the bell of St. Germain l'Auxerrois; but others give it to the bell of the Tour de l'Horloge. As they are some distance from each other, perhaps both were concerned; but since St. Germain l'Auxerrois is close to the Louvre, where the King was waiting for the carnage to begin, it is probable that it rang the first notes.

One of Méryon's most impressive and powerful etchings represents the Tour de l'Horloge and the façade of the Conciergerie. It is a typical example of his strange and gloomy genius, for while it is nothing else in the world but what it purports to be, it is also quite unlike the Tour de l'Horloge and the façade of the Conciergerie as any ordinary eyes have seen them. They are made terrible and sinister: they have been passed through the dark crucible of Méryon's mind. To see Paris as Méryon saw it needs a great effort of imagination, so swiftly and instinctively do these people remove the traces of unhappiness or disaster. It is the nature of Paris to smile and to forget; from any lapse into woe she recovers with extraordinary rapidity. 24

Méryon's Paris glowers and shudders; there is blood on her hands and guilt in her heart. I will not say that his concept is untrue, because I believe that the concept formed by a man of genius is always true, although it may not contain all the truth, and indeed one has to recall very little history to fall easily into Méryon's mood; but for the visitor who has chosen Paris for his holiday—the typical reader, for example, of this book—Mr. Dexter's concept of Paris is a more natural one. (I wish, by the way, before it is too late, that Mr. Muirhead Bone would devote some time to the older parts of the city—particularly to the Marais. How it lies to his hand!)

Since we are at the gates of the Palais de Justice let us spend a little time among the advocates and their clients in the great hall—the Salle des Pas Perdus. (In an interesting work, by the way, on this building, with a preface by the younger Dumas, the amendment, "La Salle du temps perdu" is recommended.) The French law courts, as a whole, are little different from our own: they have the same stuffiness, they give the same impression of being divided between the initiated and the uninitiated, the little secret society of the Bar and the great innocent world. But the Salle des Pas Perdus is another thing altogether. There is nothing like that in the Strand. Our Strand counsel are a dignified, clean-shaven, be-wigged race, striving to appear old and inscrutable and important. They are careful of appearances; they receive instructions only through 25 solicitors; they affect to weigh their words; sagacious reserve is their fetish. Hence our law courts, although there are many consultations and incessant passings to and fro, are yet subdued in tone and overawing to the talkative.

But the Palais de Justice!—Babel was inaudible beside it. In the Palais de Justice everyone talks at once; no one cares a sou for appearances or reticence; there are no wigs, no shorn lips, no affectation of a superhuman knowledge of the world. The French advocate comes into direct communication with his client—for the most part here. The movement as well as the vociferation is incessant, for out of this great hall open as many doors as there are in a French farce, and every door is continually swinging. Indeed that is the chief effect conveyed: that one is watching a farce, since there has never been a farce yet without a legal gentleman in his robes and black velvet cap. The chief difference is that here there are hundreds of them. As a final touch of humour, or lack of gravity, I may add that notices forbidding smoking are numerous, and every advocate and every client is puffing hard at his cigarette.

Victor Hugo's Notre Dame begins, it will be remembered, in the great Hall of the Palais de Justice, where Gringoire's neglected mystery play was performed and Quasimodo won the prize for ugliness. The Hall, as Hugo says, was burned in 1618: by a fire which, he tells us, was made necessary by the presence in the 26 archives of the Palais of the documents in the case of the assassination of Henri IV. by Ravaillac. Certain of Ravaillac's accomplices and instigators wishing these papers to disappear, the fire followed as a matter of course, as naturally as in China a house had to be burned down before there could be roast pig.

Sainte Chapelle, which, with the kitchens of Saint Louis under the Conciergerie, is all that remains of the royal period of the Palais de Justice, is, except on Mondays, always open during the reasonable daylight hours and is wholly free from vexatious restrictions. Sanctity having passed from it, the French sightseers do not even remove their hats, although I have noticed that the English and Americans still find the habit too strong. The Chapelle may easily disappoint, for such is the dimness of its religious light that little is visible save the dark coloured windows. One is, however, conscious of perfect proportions and such ecclesiastical elegance as paint and gold can convey. It is in fact exquisite, yet not with an exquisiteness of simplicity but of design and elaboration. It is like a jewel—almost a trinket—which Notre Dame might have once worn on her breast and tired of. Its flêche is really beautiful; it darts into the sky with only less assurance and joy than that of Notre Dame, and I always look up with pleasure to the angel on the eastern point of the roof.



What one has the greatest difficulty in believing is that Sainte Chapelle is six hundred and fifty years old. 27 It was built for the relics brought from the Crusades by Saint Louis, which are now in the Treasury of Notre Dame. The Chapel has, of course, known the restorer's hand, but it is virtually the original structure, and some of the original glass is still here preserved amid reconstructions. To me Sainte Chapelle's glass makes little appeal; but many of my friends talk of nothing else. Let us thank God for differences of taste. During the Commune (as recently as 1871) an attempt was made to burn Sainte Chapelle, together with the Palais de Justice, but it just failed. That was the third fire it has survived.

From Sainte Chapelle we pass through the Rue de Lutèce, which is opposite, across the Boulevard, because there is a statue here of some interest—that of Renaudot, who lived in the first half of the seventeenth century at No. 8 Quai du Marché Neuf, close by, and founded in 1631 the first French newspaper, the Gazette de France. Little could he have foreseen the consequences of his rash act! It is amusing to stand here a while and meditate on the torrent that has proceeded from that small spring. Other cities have as busy a journalistic life as Paris, and in London the paper boys are more numerous and insistent, while in London we have also the contents' bills, which are unknown to France; and yet Paris seems to me to be more a city of newspapers than even London is. Perhaps it is the kiosques that convey the impression.

The London papers and the Paris papers could not 28 well be more different. In the matter of size, Paris, I think, has all the advantage, for one may read everything in a few minutes; but in the matter of ingredients the advantage surely lies with us, for although English papers tell far too much, and by their own over-curiousness foster inquisitiveness and busy-bodydom, yet they have some sense of what is important, and one can always find the significant news. In Paris, if one excepts the best papers, the Temps in particular, the significant news is elusive. What one will find, however, is a short story or a literary essay written with distinction, an anecdote of the day by no means adapted for the young person, and a number of trumpery tragedies of passion or excess, minutely told; and in the Figaro once or twice a week an excellent humorous or satirical drawing. The signed articles are always good, and when critical usually fearless, but the unsigned notices of a new play or spectacle credit it with perfection in every detail; and here, at any rate, as in our best reviews of books, we are in a position to feel some of the satisfaction that proceeds from conscious superiority.

But, it has to be remembered, in Paris people go to the theatre automatically, whereas we pick and choose and have our reasons, and even talk of one play being moral and another immoral, and therefore in Paris an honest criticism of a play is of little importance. The Paris Daily Mail seems to have fallen into line very naturally, for I find in it, on the morning on which I write these lines, a puff of the Capucines revue, saying that it kept 29 the house in continuous laughter by its innocent fun, and will doubtless draw all Paris. As if (i) the laughter in any Paris theatre was ever continuous, and as if (ii) there was ever any innocent fun at the Capucines, and as if (iii) all Paris would go near that theatre if there were!

One reason, I imagine, for the diffuseness of the English paper and the brevity of the French, is that the English have so little natural conversation that they find it useful to acquire news on which to base more; while the French need no such assistance. The English again are interested in other nations, whereas the French care nothing for any land but France. There is no space in which to continue this not untempting analysis: it would require much room, for to understand thoroughly the difference between, say, the Daily Telegraph and the Journal is to understand the difference between England and France.

The French comic papers one sees everywhere—except in people's hands. I suppose they are bought, or they would not be published; but I have hardly ever observed a Frenchman reading one that was his own property. The fault of the French comic paper is monotony. Voltaire accused the English of having seventy religions and only one sauce; my quarrel with the French is that they have seventy sauces and only one joke. This joke you meet everywhere. Artists of diabolical cleverness illustrate it in colours every week; versifiers and musicians introduce it into songs; comic singers sing it; playwrights dramatise it; novelists 30 and journalists weave it into prose. It is the oldest joke and it is ever new. Nothing can prevent a Parisian laughing at it as if it were as fresh as his roll, his journal or his petit Gervais. For a people with a world-wide reputation for wit, this is very strange; but in some directions the French are incorrigibly juvenile, almost infantine. Personally I envy them for it. I think it must be charming never to grow out of such an affection for indecency that even a nursery mishap can still be always funny.

One of the comic papers must, however, be exempted from these generalisations. Le Rire, Le Journal Amusant, La Vie Parisienne and the scores of cheaper imitations may depend for their living on the one joke; but L'Assiette au Beurre is more serious. L'Assiette au Beurre is first and foremost a satirist. It chastises continually, and its whip is often scorpions. Even its lighter numbers, chiefly given to ridicule, contain streaks of savagery.

At the end of the brief Rue de Lutèce is the great Hôtel Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris, having been founded in the seventh century; and to the left of it is one of the Paris flower markets, where much beautiful colour may be seen very formally and unintelligently arranged. Gardens are among those things that we order (or shall I say disorder?) better than the French do.

And now we will enter Notre Dame.



Pagan Origins and Christian Predecessors—The Beginnings of Notre Dame—Victor Hugo—The Dangers of Renovation—Old Glass and New—A Wedding—The Cathedral's Great Moment—The Hundred Poor Girls and Louis XVI.—The Revolution—Mrs. Momoro, Goddess of Reason—The Legend of Our Lady of the Bird—Coronation of Napoleon—The Communards and the Students—The Treasures of the Sacristy—Three Hundred and Ninety-seven Steps—Quasimodo and Esmeralda—Paris at our Feet—The Eiffel Tower—The Devils of Notre Dame—The Precincts—Notre Dame from the Quai.

If the Ile de la Cité is the eye of Paris, then, to adapt one of Oliver Wendell Holmes' metaphors, Notre Dame is its pupil. It stands on ground that has been holy, or at least religious, for many centuries, for part of its site was once occupied by the original mother church of Paris, St. Etienne, built in the fourth century; and close by, in the Place du Parvis, have been discovered the foundations of another church, dating from the sixth century, dedicated to Sainte Marie; while beneath that are the remains of a Temple of Apollo or Jupiter, relics of which we shall see at the Cluny. The origin of Notre Dame, the fusion of these two churches, is wrapped in darkness; but Victor Hugo roundly 32 states that the first stone of it was laid by Charlemagne (who reigned from 768 to 814, and whose noble equestrian statue stands just outside), and the last by Philip Augustus, who was a friend of our Richard Cœur de Lion. The more usual account of the older parts of the Notre Dame that one sees to-day is that the first stone of it was laid in 1163, in the reign of Louis VII., by Pope Alexander III., who chanced then to be in Paris engaged in the task of avoiding his enemies, the Ghibellines, and that in almost exactly a hundred years, in the reign of Saint Louis, it was completed. (I say completed, but as a matter of fact it is not completed even yet, for each of the square towers was designed to carry a spire, and I remember seeing at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 a number of drawings of the cathedral by young architects, with these spires added. It is, however, very unlikely that they will ever sprout, and I, for one, hope not.)

Victor Hugo is, of course, if not the first authority on Notre Dame, its most sympathetic poet, lover and eulogist; and it seems ridiculous for me to attempt description when every book shop in Paris has a copy of his rich and fantastic romance, Book III. of which is an interlude in the story wholly given to the glory of the cathedral. You may read there not only of what Notre Dame is, but of what it is not and should be: the shortcomings of architects and the vandalism of mobs are alike reported. Mobs! Paris is seared with cicatrices from the hands of her matricidal children, and 33 Notre Dame especially so. Attempts to set her on fire were made not only by the revolutionaries but by the Communards too. These she resisted, but much of her statuary went during the Revolution, the assailants sparing the Last Judgment on the façade, but accounting very swiftly for a series of kings of Israel and Judah (who, however, have since been replaced) under the impression that they were monarchs of native growth and therefore not to be endured.

The statue of the Virgin in the centre of the façade, with Adam and Eve on each side, is not, I may say, the true Notre Dame of Paris: She is within the church—much older and simpler, on a column to the right of the altar as we face it. She is a sweeter and more winning figure than that between our first parents on the façade.

When I first knew Notre Dame it was, to the visitor from the open air, all scented darkness. And then as one grew accustomed to the gloom the cathedral opened slowly like a great flower—not so beautifully as Chartres, but with its own grandeur and fascination. That was twenty years ago. It is not the same since it has been scraped and lightened within. That old clinging darkness has gone. There are times of day now, when the sun spatters on the wall, when it might be almost any church; but towards evening in the gloom it is Notre Dame de Paris again, mysterious and a little sinister. A bright light not only chases the shade from its aisles and recesses but also shows up the garishness of its glass. 34 For the glass of France, usually bad, is here often almost at its worst. That glorious wheel window in the north transept—whose upper wall has indeed more glass than stone in it—could not well be more beautiful, and the rose window over the organ is beautiful too. But for the rest, the glass is either too pretty, as in the case of the window over the altar, so lovely in shape, or utterly trumpery.

The last time I was in Notre Dame I followed a wedding party through the main and usually locked door, but although I was the first after the bride and her father, I was not quick enough to set foot on the ceremonial carpet, which a prudent verger rolled up literally upon their heels. It was a fortunate moment on which to arrive, for it meant a vista of the nave from the open air right up the central aisle, and that, except in very hot weather, is rare, and probably very rare indeed when the altar is fully lighted.

The secret of Notre Dame, both within and without, is to be divined only by loitering in it with a mind at rest. To enter intent upon seeing it is useless. Outside, one can walk round it for ever and still be surprised by the splendid vagaries, humours and resource of its stone; while within, one can, by making oneself plastic, gradually but surely attain to some of the adoration that was felt for this sanctuary by Quasimodo himself. Let us sit down on one of these chairs in the gloom and meditate on some of the scenes which its stones have witnessed.

While it was yet building Raymond VII., Count of 35 Toulouse, was scourged before the principal doorway for heresy, on a spot where the pillory long stood. That was in 1229. In 1248 St. Louis, on his way to the Holy Land, visited Notre Dame to receive his pilgrim's staff and scrip from the Bishop. In 1270 the body of St. Louis lay in state under this roof before it was carried to St. Denis for burial. Henry VI. of England was crowned here as King of France—the first and last English king to receive that honour. One Sunday in 1490, while Mass was being celebrated, a man called Jean l'Anglais (as we should now say, John Bull) snatched the Host from the priest's hand and profaned it: for which crime he was burnt. In 1572 Henri IV. (then Henri of Navarre) was married to Marguerite de Valois, but being a Protestant he was not allowed within the church, and the ceremony was therefore performed just outside. When, however, he entered Paris triumphantly as a conqueror and a Catholic in 1594, he heard Mass and assisted at the Te Deum in Notre Dame like a true Frenchman and ironist. In 1611 his funeral service was celebrated here.

Some very ugly events are in store for us; let something pretty intervene. On February 9th, 1779 (in the narrative of Louise de Grandpré, to whom the study of Notre Dame has been a veritable passion), a large crowd pressed towards the cathedral; the ground was strewed with fresh grass and flowers and leaves; the pillars were decorated with many coloured banners. In the choir the vestments of the saints were displayed: the burning 36 tapers lit up the interior with a dazzling brightness: the organ filled the church with joyful harmony, and the bells rang out with all their might. The whole court was present, the King himself assisting at the ceremony, and the galleries were full to overflowing of ladies of distinction in the gayest of dresses.

Then slowly, through the door of St. Anne, entered a hundred young girls dressed in white, covered with long veils and with orange blossom on their heads. These were the hundred poor girls whom Louis XVI. had dowered in memory of the birth of Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France, afterwards Duchess of Angoulême, and it was his wish to assist personally at their wedding and to seal their marriage licences with his sword, which was ornamented on the handle or pommel with the "fleur de lys".

Through the door of the Virgin entered at the same time one hundred young men, having each a sprig of orange blossom in his button-hole. The two rows advanced together with measured steps, preceded by two Swiss, who struck the pavement heavily with their halberds. They advanced as far as the chancel rails, where each young man gave his hand to a young girl, his fiancée, and marched slowly before the King, bowing to him and receiving a bow in return. They were then married by the Archbishop in person.

A very charming incident, don't you think? Such a royal gift, adds Louise de Grandpré, would be very welcome to-day, when there are so many girls unmarried, 37 for the want of a dot. Every rich young girl who is married ought to include in her corbeille de noces the dot of some poor girl. All women, remarks Louise de Grandpré, have a right to this element of love, which is sanctified by marriage, honoured by men and blessed by God. Christian marriage, says Louise de Grandpré, is a nursery not only of good Catholics but still more of good citizens. It is much to be wished, she concludes, that obstacles could be removed, because one deplores the depopulation of France.



The most fantastic and discreditable episode in the history of Notre Dame occurred one hundred and fifteen years ago, when the Convention decreed the Cult of Reason, and Notre Dame became its Temple. A ballet dancer was throned on the high altar, Our Lady of Paris was taken down, and statues of Voltaire and Rousseau stepped into the niches of the saints. Carlyle was never more wonderful than in the three or four pages that describe this cataclysm. He begins with the revolt of the Curate Parens, followed by Bishop Gobel of Paris clamouring for an honest calling since there was no religion but Liberty.

"The French nation," Carlyle writes, "is of gregarious imitative nature; it needed but a fugle-motion in this matter; and Goose Gobel, driven by Municipality and force of circumstances, has given one. What Curé will be behind him of Boissise; what Bishop behind him of Paris? Bishop Grégoire, indeed, courageously declines; to the sound of 'We force no one; let Grégoire 38 consult his conscience'; but Protestant and Romish by the hundred volunteer and assent. From far and near, all through November into December, till the work is accomplished, come letters of renegation, come Curates who 'are learning to be Carpenters,' Curates with their new-wedded Nuns: has not the day of Reason dawned, very swiftly, and become noon? From sequestered Townships come Addresses, stating plainly, though in Patois dialect, that 'they will have no more to do with the black animal called Curay, animal noir appelé Curay.'

"Above all things, there come Patriotic Gifts, of Church-furniture. The remnant of bells, except for tocsin, descend from their belfries, into the National melting-pot to make cannon. Censers and all sacred vessels are beaten broad; of silver, they are fit for the poverty-stricken Mint; of pewter, let them become bullets, to shoot the 'enemies du genre humain'. Dalmatics of plush make breeches for him who had none; linen albs will clip into shirts for the Defenders of the Country: old-clothesmen, Jew or Heathen, drive the briskest trade. Chalier's Ass-Procession, at Lyons, was but a type of what went on, in those same days, in all Towns. In all Towns and Townships as quick as the guillotine may go, so quick goes the axe and the wrench: sacristies, lutrins, altar-rails are pulled down; the Mass-Books torn into cartridge-papers: men dance the Carmagnole all night about the bonfire. All highways jingle with metallic Priest-tackle, beaten broad; sent to the Convention, to the poverty-stricken Mint. Good 39 Sainte Geneviève's Chasse is let down: alas, to be burst open, this time, and burnt on the Place de Grève. Saint Louis's Shirt is burnt;—might not a Defender of the Country have had it?...

"For the same day, while this brave Carmagnole-dance has hardly jigged itself out, there arrive Procureur Chaumette and Municipals and Departmentals, and with them the strangest freightage: a New Religion! Demoiselle Candeille, of the Opera; a woman fair to look upon, when well rouged; she, borne on palanquin shoulder-high; with red woollen nightcap; in azure mantle; garlanded with oak; holding in her hand the Pike of the Jupiter-Peuple, sails in: heralded by white young women girt in tricolor. Let the world consider it! This, O National Convention wonder of the universe, is our New Divinity; Goddess of Reason, worthy, and alone worthy of revering. Her henceforth we adore. Nay were it too much to ask of an august National Representation that it also went with us to the ci-devant Cathedral called of Notre-Dame, and executed a few strophes in worship of her?

"President and Secretaries give Goddess Candeille, borne at due height round their platform, successively the Fraternal kiss; whereupon she, by decree, sails to the right-hand of the President and there alights. And now, after due pause and flourishes of oratory, the Convention, gathering its limbs, does get under way in the required procession towards Notre-Dame;—Reason, again in her litter, sitting in the van of them, borne, as one 40 judges, by men in the Roman costume; escorted by wind-music, red nightcaps, and the madness of the world....

"'The corresponding Festival in the Church of Saint-Eustache,' says Mercier, 'offered the spectacle of a great tavern. The interior of the choir represented a landscape decorated with cottages and boskets of trees. Round the choir stood tables overloaded with bottles, with sausages, pork-puddings, pastries and other meats. The guests flowed in and out through all doors: whosoever presented himself took part of the good things: children of eight, girls as well as boys, put hand to plate, in sign of Liberty; they drank also of the bottles, and their prompt intoxication created laughter. Reason sat in azure mantle aloft, in a serene manner; Cannoneers, pipe in mouth, serving her as acolytes. And out of doors,' continues the exaggerative man, 'were mad multitudes dancing round the bonfire of Chapel-balustrades, of Priests' and Canons' stalls; and the dancers,—I exaggerate nothing,—the dancers nigh bare of breeches, neck and breast naked, stockings down, went whirling and spinning, like those Dust-vortexes, forerunners of Tempest and Destruction.' At Saint-Gervais Church, again, there was a terrible 'smell of herrings'; Section or Municipality having provided no food, no condiment, but left it to chance. Other mysteries, seemingly of a Cabiric or even Paphian character, we leave under the Veil, which appropriately stretches itself 'along the pillars of the aisles,'—not to be lifted aside by the hand of History.



41 "But there is one thing we should like almost better to understand than any other: what Reason herself thought of it, all the while. What articulate words poor Mrs. Momoro, for example, uttered; when she had become ungoddessed again, and the Bibliopolist and she sat quiet at home, at supper? For he was an earnest man, Bookseller Momoro; and had notions of Agrarian Law. Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best Goddesses of Reason; though her teeth were a little defective.—And now if the Reader will represent to himself that such visible Adoration of Reason went on 'all over the Republic,' through these November and December weeks, till the Church woodwork was burnt out, and the business otherwise completed, he will perhaps feel sufficiently what an adoring Republic it was, and without reluctance quit this part of the subject."

I quote in the following pages freely from Carlyle, because the Revolution is the most important event in the history of Paris and so horribly recent (you may still see the traces of Bonaparte's whiff of grape-shot on the façade of St. Roch), and also because when there is such an historian to borrow from direct, paraphrase becomes a crime. None the less, I feel it my duty to say that the attitude of this self-protective contemptuous superior Scotchman towards the excitable French and their hot-headed efforts for freedom often enrages me as much as his vivid narrative fascinates and moves. 42

In 1794, when the New Religion had died down, the Church became a store for wine confiscated from the Royalists. In the year following, after the whiff of grape-shot, the old religion was re-established. A strange interregnum! How long ago was this?—only one hundred and fifteen years—not four generations. Could it happen again? Will it?...

These revolutionaries, it may be remarked, were not the only licentious rioters that Notre Dame had known, for in its early days it was the scene every year of the Fête des Fous, an orgy of gluttony and conviviality, in which, however, one who was a true believer on all other days might partake.

After these lurid saturnalia it is pleasant again to dip into the gentle pages of Louise de Grandpré, where, among other legends of Notre Dame, is the pretty story of a statue of the Virgin—now known as the Virgin with the bird. In the Rue Chanoinesse there lived a young woman, very devout, who came every day to pray. She brought with her her son, a little fellow, very wide-awake and full of spirits: his mother had taught him to say his prayers. Cyril would close his little hands to say his "Ave Maria," and he would throw a kiss to the little Jesus, his dear friend, complaining sometimes to his mother that the little Jesus would not play with him. "You are not good enough yet," said his mother; "Jesus plays only with the little children in Paradise."

A very severe winter fell and the young mother 43 fell ill and no longer came to church. Cyril never saw the little Jesus now, but he often thought of him as he played at the foot of his mother's bed. On one of those days when the sky was dull and leaden and the air heavy and depressing, and the poor woman was rather worse and more hopeless than usual, she became so weak they thought each moment would be her last.

Cyril could not understand why his mother no longer smiled at him or stroked his hair or called him to her. With his little heart almost bursting and his eyes full of tears, he said, "I will go and tell the little Jesus of my trouble."

While they were attending to the poor mother the child disappeared. He ran as fast as his little legs would carry him and entered the cathedral by the cloister door, crossed the transept, and was soon at the foot of the statue of the Virgin Mary, where he was accustomed to say his prayers with his mother. "Little Jesus," said he, "Thou art very happy, Thou hast Thy Mother; mine, who was so good, is always asleep now and I am alone. Little Jesus, wake my mother up, and I will give you my best toys, morning and evening I will send you the sweetest kiss and say my best prayer. And look, to begin with, I have brought you my favourite bird: he is tame and will eat the golden crumbs of Paradise out of your hand." At the same time he stretched out his little closed hand towards Jesus.

The divine child stretched out His hand and Cyril let 44 his beloved little bird escape. The bird, who had a lovely coloured plumage, flew straight to the hand of the Infant Christ and has remained there to this day. The Virgin smiled on the child, and her white stone robe at that moment became the same colour as the bird's plumage.

Cyril, with his heart very full, got up to go out, but before leaving the church turned round to have one more look at his little bird he loved so dearly: he was struck with delight and astonishment when he heard the favoured bird singing one of its sweetest songs in honour of the Virgin and her Child.

When Cyril returned to his home he went into his mother's room without making the least noise to see if she was still asleep. The young mother was sitting upright in her bed, her head, still very bad, resting on a pillow, but her wide-open eyes were looking for her little one.

"I was quite sure the little Jesus would wake you up," said Cyril, climbing on to her bed. "I took Him my bird this morning to take care of for me in the Garden of Paradise."

Life once more returned to the poor woman and she kissed her boy.

When you next go to Notre Dame, Louise de Grandpré adds, be sure to visit the Vierge à l'oiseau, who always hears the prayers of the little ones.

It was in 1804 that Notre Dame enjoyed one of its most magnificent moments—at the coronation of 45 Napoleon and Josephine Beauharnais. The Duchess d'Abrantès wrote an account of the ceremony which, in French, is both picturesque and rapturous. "The pope was the first to arrive. At the moment of his entering the cathedral, the clergy intoned Tu es Petrus, and this solemn chant made a deep impression on all. Pius the VII. advanced to the end of the cathedral with a majestic yet humble grace.... The moment when all eyes were most drawn to the Altar steps was when Josephine received the crown from the Emperor and was solemnly consecrated by him Empress of the French. When it was time for her to take an active part in the great ceremony, the Empress descended from the throne and advanced towards the altar, where the Emperor awaited her....

"I saw," the Duchess continues, "all that I have just told you, with the eyes of Napoleon. He was radiant with joy as he watched the Empress advancing towards him; and when she knelt ... and the tears she could not restrain fell upon her clasped hands, raised more towards him than towards God: at this moment, when Napoleon, or rather Bonaparte, was for her her true providence, at this instant there was between these two beings one of those fleeting moments of life, unique, which fill up the void of years.

"The Emperor invested with perfect grace every action of the ceremony he had to perform: above all, at the moment of crowning the Empress. This was to be done by the Emperor himself, who after receiving 46 the little closed crown surmounted by a cross, had to place it on his own head first, and then place it on the Empress's head. He did this in such a slow, gracious and courtly manner that it was noticed by all. But at the supreme moment of crowning her who was to him his lucky star, he was almost coquettish, if I may use the term. He placed the little crown, which surmounted the diadem of brilliants, on her head, first putting it on, then taking it off and putting it on again, as if assuring himself that it should rest lightly and softly on her.

"But Napoleon," the Duchess concludes, "when it came to his own crown, hastily took it from the Pope's hands and placed it haughtily on his own head—a proceeding which doubtless startled his Holiness."

Ten years pass and we find Louis XVIII. and his family attending Mass at the same altar. Twenty-six years later, in 1840, a service was held to commemorate the restoration of the ashes of the Emperor to French soil, and in 1853 Napoleon III. and Eugénie de Montijo were married here, under circumstances of extraordinary splendour. And then we come to plunder and lawlessness again. On Good Friday, 1871, while Père Olivier was preaching, a company of Communards entered and from thenceforward for a while the cathedral was occupied by the soldiers. For some labyrinthine reason the destruction of Notre Dame by fire was decided upon, and a huge pile of chairs and other material soaked in petrol was erected (this was only thirty-eight years ago), and no doubt the building would have been seriously 47 injured, if not destroyed, had not the medical students from the Hôtel Dieu, close by, rushed in and saved it.



Among the preachers of Notre Dame was St. Dominic, to whom in the pulpit the Virgin appeared, bringing with her his sermon all to his hand in an effulgent volume; here also preached Père Hyacinthe, but with less direct assistance.

That the Treasury is an object of interest to English-speaking visitors is proved by the notice at the door: "The Persons who desire to visit the Trésor are kindly requested to wait the guide here for a few minutes, himself charged of the visit"; but I see no good reason why any one should enter it. Those, however, that do will see vessels of gold, much paraphernalia of ecclesiastical pride and pomp, and certain holy relics. The crown of thorns is here, given to St. Louis by the King of Constantinople and carried to Notre Dame, on the 18th of August, 1239, by the barefoot king. Here also are pieces of the Cross, for the protection of which St. Louis built Sainte Chapelle, the relics afterwards being transferred to Notre Dame; and here is a nail from the Cross—one of the nails of which even an otherwise sceptical Catholic can be sure, because it was given to Charlemagne by Constantine. Charlemagne gave it to Aix la Chapelle, Charles the Bold brought it from Aix to St. Denis, and from St. Denis it came to Notre Dame, where it is enclosed in a crystal case.

The menace of 397 spiral steps in a narrow, dark and almost airless turret, is no light matter, but it is essential 48 to see Paris from the summit of Notre Dame. That view is the key to the city, and the traveller who means to study this city as it deserves, penetrating into the past as industriously and joyously as into the present, must begin here. He will see it all beneath him and around him in its varying ages, and he will be able to proceed methodically and intelligently. Immediately below is the Parvis, the scene of the interrupted execution of Esmeralda, and it was from one of the galleries below that Quasimodo slung himself down to her rescue. Here, where we are now standing, she must often have stood, looking for her faithless Phœbus. Only one of the bells that Quasimodo rang is still in the tower.

Hugo draws attention to the shape of the island, like that of a ship moored to the mainland by various bridges, and he suggests that the ship on the Paris scutcheon (the ship that is to be seen in the design of the lamps around the Opera) is derived from this resemblance. It may be so. On each side of us, north and south, are the oldest parts of Paris that still stand; in the north the Marais, behind the Tour Saint-Jacques, and in the south the district between the Rue de Bièvre and the Boulevard St. Michel. On the south side of the river lived the students, clerics and professors—Dante himself among them, in this very Rue de Bièvre, as we shall see; while in the Marais, as we shall also see, dwelt the nobility. West of St. Eustache in the Middle Ages was nothing but waste ground and woodland, a kind of Bois, at the edge of which, where the Louvre 49 now spreads itself, was a royal hunting lodge, the germ of the present vast palace.

When the Marais passed out of favour, the aristocracy crossed the river to the St. Germain quarter, which clusters around the twin spires of St. Clotilde that now rise in the south-west. And then the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Grands Boulevards were built, and so the city grew and changed until the two culminating touches were put to it: by M. Eiffel, who built the tower, and M. Abadie, architect of the beautiful and unreal Basilique du Sacré-Coeur that crowns the heights of Montmartre.

The chief eminences that one sees are, near at hand, the needle-spire of Sainte Chapelle, in the north the grey mass of St. Eustache, the Châtelet Theatre (advertising at this moment "Les Pilules du Diable" in enormous letters), the long roofs of the Halles, and the outline of the medieval Tour Saint-Jacques. Farther west the bulky Opera; then, right in front, the Trocadéro's twin towers, with Mont Valérien looming up immediately between them; and so round to the south—to the Invalides and St. Clotilde, the Panthéon and the heights of Geneviève. A wonderful panorama.

Of all the views of Paris I think that from Notre Dame is the most interesting, because the point is most central; but the views from Montmartre, from the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Panthéon and the Arc de Triomphe should be studied too. The Eiffel Tower has dwarfed all those eminences; they lie far below it, mere 50 ant-hills in the landscape, although they seem high enough when one essays their steps; yet, although it makes them so lowly, these older coigns of vantage should not for a moment be considered as superseded, for each does for its immediate vicinage what the Eiffel giant can never do. From the Arc de Triomphe, for example, you command all the luxurious activity of the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne and the wonderful prospect of the Champs Elysées, ending with the Louvre; and from the Panthéon you may examine the roofs of the Latin Quarter and see the children at play in the gardens of the Luxembourg.

The merit of the Eiffel Tower is that he shows you not only Paris to the ultimate edges in every direction save on the northern slopes of Montmartre, but he shows you (almost) France too. How long the Eiffel Tower is to stand I cannot say, but I for one shall feel sorry and bereft when he ceases to straddle over Paris. For though he is vulgar he is great, and he has come to be a symbol. When he goes, he will make a strange rent in the sky. This year (1909) is his twentieth: he and I first came to Paris at the same time; but his life is serene to-day compared with what it was in his infancy. At that time his platforms were congested from morn to dusk; but few visitors now ascend even to the first stage and hardly any to the top. No visitor, however, who wants to synthesise Paris should omit this adventure. Only in a balloon can one get a better view, but in no balloon adrift from this green earth would I, for 51 one, ever trust myself, although I must confess that the procession of those aerial monsters that floated serenely past the Eiffel Tower on the last occasion that I climbed it, suggested nothing but content and security. They rose one by one from the bosky depths of the Bois, five miles away, gradually disentangled themselves from the surrounding verdure, assumed their independent buoyant rotundity and came straight to my waiting eye. In an hour I counted fifteen, and by the time the last was free of the earth the first was away over Vincennes, with the afternoon sun turning its mud-coloured silk to burnished gold. Paris has always one balloon floating above her, but fifteen is exceptional.

Notre Dame remains, however, the most important height to scale, for Notre Dame is interesting in every particular, it is soaked in history and mystery. Notre Dame is alone in the possession of its devils—those strange stone fantasies that Méryon discovered. Although every effort is made to familiarise us with them—although they sit docilely as paper-weights on our tables—nothing can lessen the monstrous diablerie of these figures, which look down on Paris with such greed and cruelty, cunning and cynicism. The best known, the most saturnine, of all, who leans on the parapet exactly by the door at the head of the steps, fixes his inhuman gaze on the dome of the Invalides. Is it to be wondered at that he wears that expression? 52

A small family dwells in a room just behind this chimera, subsisting by the sale of picture-postcards. It is a strange abode, and an imaginative child would have a good start in life there. To him at any rate the demons no doubt would soon lose their terrors and become as friendly as the heavenly host that are posed so radiantly and confidently on the ascent to the flèche—perhaps even more so. But to the stranger they must remain cruel and horrible, creating a sense of disquietude and alarm that it is surely the business of a cathedral to allay. Curious anomaly! Let us descend.

Before leaving the Ile de la Cité, the Rue Chanoinesse, to the north of Notre Dame, leading out of the Rue d'Arcole (near a blackguard pottery shop), should be looked at. The cloisters of Notre Dame once extended to this street and covered the ground between it and the cathedral. The canons, or chanoines, lived here, and there are still a few attractive old houses; but the rebuilder is very busy just now. At No. 10, Fulbert, the uncle of Héloïse, is said to have lived; at No. 18 was the Tour Dagobert, a fifteenth-century building, by climbing which one had an excellent view of Notre Dame, but in the past year it has been demolished and business premises cover its site. At No. 26 are (or were) the ruins of the twelfth-century chapel of St. Aignan, where the faithful, evicted from Notre Dame by the Reign of Reason, celebrated Mass in secret. Saint Bernard has preached here. The adjacent streets—the Rue de Colombe, Rue Massillon, Rue des Ursins 53 and Rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame—have also very old houses.



For the best view of the exterior of Notre Dame one must take the Quai de l'Archevêché, from which all its intricacies of masonry may be studied—its buttresses solid and flying, its dependences, its massive bulk, its grace and strength.



The Morgue—The Ile St. Louis—Old Residents—St. Louis, the King—The Golden Legend—Religious Intolerance—Posthumous Miracles—Statue of Barye—The Quai des Célestins.

On the way from Notre Dame to the Ile St. Louis we pass a small official-looking building at the extreme east end of the Ile de la Cité. It is the Morgue.

But the Morgue is now closed to idle gazers, and you win your way to a sight of that melancholy slab with the weary bodies on it and the little jet of water playing on each, only by the extreme course of having missed a relation whom you suspected of designs upon his own life or whom you imagine has been the victim of foul play. No doubt the authorities were well advised (as French municipal authorities nearly always are) in closing the Morgue; but I think I regret it. The impulse to drift into that low and sinister building behind Notre Dame was partly morbid, no doubt; but the ordinary man sees not only too little death, but is too seldom in the presence of such failure as for the most part governs here: so that the opportunity it gave was good. 55

I still recall very vividly, in spite of all the millions of living faces that should, one feels, have blurred one's prosperous vision, several of the dead faces that lay behind the glass of this forlorn side-show of the great entertainment which we call Paris. An old man with a white imperial; more than one woman of that dreadful middle-age which the Seine has so often terminated; a young man who had been stabbed.... Well, the Morgue is closed to the public now, and very likely no one who reads this book will ever enter it.

The Ile St. Louis, to put it bluntly, is just as commonplace as the Ile de la Cité is imposing. It has a monotony very rare in the older parts of Paris: it is all white houses that have become dingy: houses that once were attractive and wealthy and are now squalid. One of the largest of the old palaces is to-day a garage; there is not a single house now occupied by the kind of tenant for which it was intended. Such declensions are always rather melancholy, even when—as, for example, at Villeneuve, near Avignon—there is the beauty of decay too. But on the Ile St. Louis there is no beauty: it belongs to a dull period of architecture and is now duller for its dirt. Standing on the Quai d'Orléans, however, one catches Notre Dame against the evening sky, across the river, as nowhere else, and it is necessary to seek the Ile if only to appreciate the fitness of the Morgue's position.

The island was first called L'Ile Notre Dame, and was uninhabited until 1614. It was then developed and joined to the Ile de la Cité and the mainland by bridges. 56 The chief street is the Rue St. Louis, at No. 3 in which lived Fénélon. The church of St. Louis is interesting for a relic of the unfortunate Louise de la Vallière. At No. 17 on the Quai d'Anjou is the Hôtel Lauzun, which the city of Paris has now acquired, and in which once lived together for a while the authors of Mademoiselle de Maupin and Les Fleurs de Mal.

Of Saint Louis, or Louis IX., who gives his name to this island, and whose hand is so visible in the Ile de la Cité, it is right to know something, for he was the father of Paris. Louis was born in 1215, the year of Magna Charta, and succeeded to the throne while still a boy. The early years of his reign were restless by reason of civil strife and war with England, in which he was victor (at Tailleburg, at Saintes and at Blaize), and then came his departure for the Holy Land, with 40,000 men, in fulfilment of a vow made rashly on a sick-bed. The King was blessed at Notre Dame, as we have seen, and departed in 1248, leaving his mother Blanche de Castile as regent. But the Crusade was a failure, and he was glad to return (with only the ghost of his army) and to settle down for the first time seriously to the cares of his throne.

He was a good if prejudiced king: he built wisely and well, not only Sainte Chapelle, as we have seen, but the Sorbonne; he devised useful statutes; he established police in Paris; and, more perhaps than all, he made Frenchmen very proud of France. So much for his administrative virtues. When we come to his saintliness 57 I would stand aside, for is he not in The Golden Legend? Listen to William Caxton: "He forced himself to serve his spirit by diverse castigation or chastising, he used the hair many times next his flesh, and when he left it for cause of over feebleness of his body, at the instance of his own confessor, he ordained the said confessor to give to the poor folk, as for recompensation of every day that he failed of it, forty shillings. He fasted always the Friday, and namely in time of lent and advent he abstained him in those days from all manner of fish and from fruits, and continually travailed and pained his body by watchings, orisons, and other secret abstinences and disciplines. Humility, beauty of all virtues, replenished so strong in him, that the more better he waxed, so, as David, the more he showed himself meek and humble, and more foul he reputed him before God.

"For he was accustomed on every Saturday to wash with his own hands, in a secret place, the feet of some poor folk, and after dried them with a fair towel, and kissed much humbly and semblably their hands, distributing or dealing to every one of them a certain sum of silver, also to seven score poor men which daily came to his court, he administered meat and drink with his own hands, and were fed abundantly on the vigils solemn. And on some certain days in the year to two hundred poor, before that he ate or drank, he with his own hands administered and served them both of meat and drink. He ever had, both at his dinner and supper, three ancient poor, which ate nigh to him, to whom he charitably 58 sent of such meats as were brought before him, and sometimes the dishes and meats that the poor of our Lord had touched with their hands, and special the sops of which he fain ate, made their remnant or relief to be brought before him, to the end that he should eat it; and yet again to honour and worship the name of our Lord on the poor folk, he was not ashamed to eat their relief."

Qualities have their defects, and such a frame of mind as that can lead, for all the good motive, to injustice and even cruelty. Christ's lesson of the Roman coin is forgotten as quickly as any. Louis' passion for holiness, which became a kind of self-indulgence, led him into a hard and ugly intolerance and acts of severe oppression against those whom he styled heretics. His short way with the Jews recalled indeed those of our own King John, who was very nearly his contemporary. I know not if he pulled out their teeth, but he once did what must have been as bad, if not worse, for he published an ordinance "for the good of his soul," remitting to his Christian subjects the third of their debts to the Jews; and he also expressed it as his opinion that "a layman ought not to dispute with an unbeliever, but strike him with a good sword across the body," the most practical expression of muscular sectarianism that I know. Louis' religious fanaticism was, however, his end; for he was so ill-advised as to undertake a new Crusade against the unbelievers of Morocco, and there, while laying siege to Tunis, he died of the 59 plague. That was in 1270, when he was only fifty-five.



Twenty-seven years later Pope Boniface the Eighth raised him to the Calendar of Saints, his day being August 25th. But according to The Golden Legend, which I for one implicitly believe (how can one help it, written as it is?), the posthumous miracles of Louis did not wait for Rome. They began at once. "On that day that S. Louis was buried," we there read, "a woman of the diocese of Sens recovered her sight, which she had lost and saw nothing, by the merits and prayers of the said debonair and meedful king. Not long after, a young child of Burgundy both dumb and deaf of kind, coming with others to the sepulchre or grave of the saint, beseeching him of help, kneeling as he saw that the others did, and after a little while that he thus kneeled were his ears opened and heard, and his tongue redressed and spake well. In the same year a woman blind was led to the said sepulchre, and by the merits of the saint recovered her sight. Also that same year two men and five women, beseeching S. Louis of help, recovered the use of going, which they had lost by divers sickness and languors.

"In the year that S. Louis was put or written in the catalogue of the holy confessors, many miracles worthy to be prized befell in divers parts of the world at the invocation of him, by his merits and by his prayers. Another time at Evreux a child fell under the wheel of a water-mill. Great multitude of people came thither, 60 and supposing to have kept him from drowning, invoked God, our Lady and his saints to help the said child, but our Lord willing his saint to be enhanced among so great multitude of people, was there heard a voice saying that the said child, named John, should be vowed unto S. Louis. He then, taken out of the water, was by his mother borne to the grave of the saint, and after her prayer done to S. Louis, her son began to sigh and was raised on life."

We leave the island by the Pont Sully, first looking at the statue of Barye, the sculptor of Barbizon, many of whose best small bronzes are in the Louvre (to say nothing of the shops of the dealers in the Rue Laffitte) and several of his large groups in the public gardens of Paris, one, for example, being near the Orangery in the Tuileries. Barye's monument standing here at the east end of the Ile St. Louis balances Henri IV. at the west end of the Ile de la Cité.

Crossing to the mainland we ought to look at the old houses on the Quai des Célestins, particularly the old Hôtel de la Valette, now the Collège Massillon, into whose courtyard one should boldly peep. At No. 32 we touch very interesting history, for here stood, two and a half centuries ago, Molière's Illustre Théâtre, the stage entrance to which may be seen at 15 Rue de l'Ave Marie.

And now for the Marais.



A £32,000,000 Rebuilding Scheme—Romance and Intrigue—The Temple—The Archives—Illustrious Handwriting—The "Uncle" of Paris—The Wall of Philip Augustus—Old Palaces now Rookeries—The Carnavalet—The Perfect Museum—Latude—Napoleon—Madame de Sévigné—Chained Streets—John Law—The Rue St. Martin.

The Marais is that district of old streets and palaces which is bounded on the south by the Rue St. Antoine, on the east by the Rue du Turenne, on the west by the Rue du Temple, and fades away in the north somewhere below the Rue de Bretagne. The Rue des Francs Bourgeois is its central highway east and west.

It was my original intention to devote a large proportion of this book to this fascinating area—to describe it minutely street by street—and I have notes for that purpose which would fill half the volume alone. But the publication of the £32,000,000 scheme for renovating this and other of the older parts of Paris (one of the principal points in which is the isolation of the Musée Carnavalet, which is the heart of the Marais), coming just at that time, acted like a douche of iced 62 water, and I abandoned the project. Instead therefore I merely say enough (I hope) to impress on every reader the desirability, the necessity, of hastening to the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and its dependencies, and refer them to the two French writers whom I have found most useful in my own researches—the Marquis de Rochegude, author of a Guide Pratique à travers le Vieux Paris (Hachette) and the Vicomte de Villebresme, author of Ce que reste du Vieux Paris (Flammarion). To these I would add M. Georges Cain, the director of the Carnavalet, to whom I refer later.

No matter where one enters the Marais, it offers the same alluring prospect of narrow streets and high and ancient houses, once the abode of the nobility and aristocracy, but now rookeries and factories—and, over all, that sense of thorough insanitation which so often accompanies architectural charm in France and Italy, and which seems to matter so little to Latin people. Hence the additional wickedness of destroying this district. The Municipality, however, having acquired superfine foreign notions as to public health, will doubtless have its way.

Wherever one enters the Marais one finds the traces of splendour, intrigue and romance; howsoever modern conditions may have robbed them of their glory, to walk in these streets is, for any one with any imagination, to recreate Dumas. For the most part one must make one's own researches, but here and there a tablet may be found, such as that over the entrance to a narrow 63 and sinister passage at No. 38 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, which reads thus: "Dans ce passage en sortant de l'hôtel Barbette le Duc Louis d'Orléans frère du Roi Charles VI. fut assassiné par Jean Sans Peur, Duc de Bourgogne, dans la nuit du 23 ou 24 Novembre, 1407". Five hundred years ago! That gives an idea of the antiseptic properties of the air of Paris. The Duke of Orléans, I might remark here, was symmetrically avenged, for his son assassinated Jean Sans Peur on the bridge of Montereau all in due course.

The Marais was at its prime from the middle of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the eighteenth; at which period the Faubourg St. Antoine was abandoned by fashion for the Faubourg St. Germain, as we shall see when the time comes to wander in the Rue de Varenne and the Rue de Grenelle on the other side of the river.

Let us enter the Marais by the Rue du Temple at the Square du Temple, a little south of the Place de la République. One must make a beginning somewhere. The Temple, which has now disappeared, was the head-quarters of the Knight Templars of France before their suppression in 1307: it then became the property of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, who held it until the Revolution, when all property seems to have changed hands. Rousseau found sanctuary here in 1765; and here Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette were imprisoned for a while in 1792. More tragic by far, it was here that the little Dauphin died. Napoleon pulled down 64 the Tower: Louis XVIII. on his accession awarded the property to the Princesse de Condé, and Louis-Philippe, on his, took it back again.

The Rue du Temple has many interesting old houses and associations. Just north of the Square is the church of Elizabeth of Hungary, the first stone of which was laid in 1628 by a less sainted monarch, Marie de Médicis. It is worth entering to see its carved wood scenes from Scripture history. At 193 once lived Madame du Barry; at 153 was, in the reign of Louis XV., the barreau des vinaigrettes—the vinaigrette being the forerunner of the cab, a kind of sedan chair and jinrickshaw; at 62 died Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France, in the Hôtel de Montmorency.



From the Square du Temple we may also walk down the Rue des Archives, parallel with the Rue du Temple on the east. This street now extends to the Rue de Rivoli. It is rich in old palaces, some with very beautiful relics of their grandeur still in existence, such as the staircase at No. 78. The fountain at the corner of the Rue des Haudriettes dates only from 1705. At No. 58 is the gateway, restored, of the old palace of the Constable de Clisson, built in 1371. Later it belonged to the Guise family and then to the Soubise. The Revolution made it the property of the State, and Napoleon directed that the Archives should be preserved here. The entrance is in the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, across the green court; but do not go on a cold day, because there is no heating process, owing to 65 the age of the building and the extraordinary value of the collections. The rooms in themselves are of some interest for their Louis XV. decoration and mural paintings, but one goes of course primarily to see the handwriting of the great. Here is the Edict of Nantes signed by Henri IV.; a quittance signed by Diana de Poictiers, very boldly; a letter to Parliament from Louis XI., in his atrocious hand; a codicil added by Saint Louis to his will on board a vessel on the coast of Sardinia, exquisitely written. The scriveners have rather gone off than improved since those days; look at the "Registre des enquêteurs royaux en Normandie," 1248, for a work of delicate minuteness. Marie Thérèse, wife of Louis XIV., wrote an attractive hand, but Louis XIV.'s own signature is dull. Voltaire is discovered to have written very like Swinburne.

Relics of the Revolution abound. Here is Marie Antoinette's last letter to the Princess Elizabeth, written the night before she was executed; a letter of Pétion, bidding his wife farewell, and of Barbaroux to his mother, both stained with tears. Here also is the journal of Louis XVI., 1766-1792, and the order for his inhumation (as Louis Capet), 21st January, 1793. His will is here too; and so is Napoleon's. I say no more because the collection is so vast, and also because a franc buys a most admirable catalogue, with facsimiles, beginning with the monogram of Charlemagne himself.

On leaving the Archives we may take an easterly 66 course along the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, with the idea of making eventually for the Carnavalet; but it is well to loiter, for this is the very heart of the Marais. One's feet will always be straying down byways that call for closer notice, and it is very likely that the Carnavalet will not be reached till to-morrow after all. Indeed, let "Hasta mañana" be your Marais motto.

One of the first buildings that one notices is the Mont de Piété, the chief of the Paris pawnbroking establishments. I am told that the system is an admirable one; but my own experience is against this opinion, for I was unable on a day of unexpected stress at the end of 1907 to effect an entrance at the very reasonable hour of a quarter past five. The closing of the English pawnbrokers at seven—the very moment at which the ordinary man's financial troubles begin—is sufficiently uncivilised; but to cease to lend money on excellent gold watches at five o'clock in the afternoon (with the bank closed on the morrow, too, being New Year's Day) is a scandal. My adventures in search of relief among French tradesmen who had been at my feet as recently as yesterday, before supplies had broken down, I shall never forget, nor shall I relate them here. This aims at being an agreeable book.

It is interesting to note that one of the entrances to the Mont de Piété is reserved for clients who wish to raise money on deeds, and I have seen cabmen very busy in bringing to it people who quite shamelessly hold their papers in their hands. And why on earth not? And 67 yet your English pawner seldom reaches the Three Brass Balls with such publicity or by any other medium than his poor feet. Our Mont de Piété for the respectable is the solicitor's office. A trace of the wall, and one of its towers, built around Paris by Philip Augustus in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, may be seen in the courtyard of the Mont de Piété; but the wall is better observed in the Rue des Guillemites, at No. 14.

All about here once stood a large convent of the Blancs-Manteaux, or Servants of the Virgin Mary, an order which came into being in Florence in the thirteenth century and of whom the doctor Benazzi was the general. After the Blancs-Manteaux came the Hermits of St. Guillaume, or Guillemites, and later the Benedictines took it over. Next the Mont de Piété at the back is the church of the Blancs-Manteaux in its modern form. It is plain and unattractive, but it wears an air of some purpose, and one feels that it is much used in this very popular and not too happy quarter. Just opposite, in a doorway, I watched an old chiffonnière playing with a grey rabbit. Every inch of this neighbourhood offers priceless material to the hand of Mr. Muirhead Bone.

One of the old tavern signs of Paris is to be seen close by, at the corner of the Rue des Blancs-Manteaux and the Rue des Archives: a soldier standing by a cannon, representing l'homme armé. It is a comfortable little retreat and should be encouraged for such antiquarian piety. 68

The pretty turret at the corner of the Rue des Francs Bourgeois and the Rue Vieille du Temple marks the site of the hôtel of Jean de la Balue. Turning to the left up the Rue Vieille du Temple we come at No. 87 to a very beautiful ancient mansion, with a spacious courtyard, built in 1712 for the Cardinal de Rohan. It is now the national printing works: hence the statue of Gutenberg in the midst. Visitors are allowed to see the house itself once a week, but I have not done so. You will probably not be interfered with if you just step to the inside of the second courtyard to see the bas-relief of the steeds of Apollo. Nos. 102 to 108 in the same street mark the remains of another fine eighteenth-century hôtel. There is also a house which one should see in the lower part of the street, on the south side of the Francs Bourgeois—No. 47, where by penetrating boldly one comes to a perfect little courtyard with some beautiful carvings in it, and, above, a green garden, tended, when I was there, by a Little Sister of the Poor. The principal courtyard has a very interesting bas-relief of Romulus and Remus at their usual meal, and also an old sundial. This palace was built in 1638.

Returning to the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, we find at No. 38 the little impasse already referred to, where the Duc d'Orléans was assassinated. At No. 30 is a very impressive red-brick palace with a courtyard, now a nest of offices and factories, once the hôtel of Jean de Fourcy. A bust of Henri IV. has a place there. At 69 No. 25 on the other side (seen better from the Rue Pavée) is an even more splendid abode—now also cut up into a rookery—the Hôtel de Lamoignon, once Hôtel d'Angoulême, built for Diane, Duchess of Angoulême, daughter of Henri II.: hence the symbols of the chase in the ornamentation. The hotel passed to President de Lamoignon in 1655.

And here is the Carnavalet—the spacious building, with a garden and modern additions, on the left—once the Hôtel des Ligneries, afterwards the Hôtel de Kernevenoy, afterwards the Hôtel de Sévigné, and now the museum of the city of Paris. The only way to understand Paris is to make repeated visits to this treasure-house. You will find new entertainment and instruction every time, because every time you will carry thither impressions of new objects of interest whose past you will want to explore. For in the Carnavalet every phase of the life of the city, from the days of the Romans and the Merovingians to our own, is illustrated in one way or another. The pictures of streets alone are inexhaustible: the streets that one knows to-day as they were yesterday and the day before yesterday and hundreds of years ago; the streets one has just walked through on the way here, in their stages of evolution: such, for example, as the picture of the wooden Pont des Meuniers in 1380 with the Tour Saint-Jacques behind it; the streets with dramas of the Revolution in progress, such as the picture of the emblems of Royalty being burned before the statue of 70 Liberty (where the Luxor column now stands) in the Place de la Concorde on August 10th, 1793; such as the picture of the famous "serment" being taken in the court of the Jeu de Paume on June 20th, 1789; such as the picture of the funeral of Marat. For the perfection of topographical drawing look at the series by F. Hoffbauer. But it is impossible and needless to particularise. The visitor with a topographical or historical bent will find himself in a paradise and will return and return. One visit is ridiculous.

The catalogue, I may say, is not good, therein falling into line with the sculpture catalogue at the Louvre. Everything may be in it, but the arrangement is poor. In such a museum every article and every picture should of course have a description attached, if only for the benefit of the poor visitor, the humblest citizen of Paris whose museum it is.

There are a few works of art here too, as well as topographical drawings. Georges Michel, for example, who looked on landscape much as Méryon looked on architecture and preferred a threatening sky to a sunny one, has a prospect from the Plaine St. Denis. Vollon paints the Moulin de la Galette on Montmartre as it was in 1865; Troyon spreads out St. Cloud. Here also are a charming portrait by Chardin of his second wife; the well-known picture of David's Life School; drawings by Watteau; an adorable unsigned "Marchand de Lingerie"; an enchanting leg on a blue pillow by Boucher; a portrait by Prud'hon of an 71 unknown man, very striking; and some exquisite work by Louis Boilly.



The Musée is strong in Henri IV. and the later Louis, but it is of course in relics of the Revolution and Napoleon that the interest centres. A casquette of Liberty; the handle of Marat's bathroom; a portrait of "La Veuve Capet" in the Conciergerie, in the room that we have seen; a painted life-mask of Voltaire, very horrible, and the armchair in which he died; a copy of the constitution of 1793 bound in the skin of a man; Marat's snuff-box; Madame Roland as a sweet and happy child,—these I remember in particular.

Latude is, however, the popular figure—Latude the prisoner of the Bastille who escaped by means of implements which he made secretly and which are now preserved here, near a portrait of the enfranchised gentleman, robust, portly and triumphant, pointing with one hand to his late prison while the other grasps the rope ladder. Latude's history is an odd one. He was born in 1725, the natural son of a poor girl: after accompanying the army in Languedoc as a surgeon, or surgeon's assistant, he reached Paris in 1748 and proceeded to starve. In despair he hit upon an ingenious trick, which wanted nothing but success to have made him. He prepared an infernal machine of infinitesimal aptitude—a contrivance of practically harmless but perhaps somewhat alarming explosives—and this he sent anonymously to the Marquise de Pompadour, and 72 then immediately after waited upon her in person at Versailles to say that he had overheard some men plotting to destroy her by means of this kind of a bomb, and he had come post-haste to warn her and save her life. It was a good story, but Latude seems to have lacked some necessary gifts as an impostor, for his own share was detected and he was thrown into the Bastille on the 1st of May, 1749. A few weeks later he was transferred to the prison at Vincennes, from which he escaped in 1750. A month later he was retaken and again placed in the Bastille, from which he escaped six years later. He got away to Holland, but was quickly recaptured; and then again he escaped, after nine more years. He was then treated as a lunatic and put into confinement at Charenton, but was discharged in 1777. His liberty, however, seems to have been of little use to him, and he rapidly qualified for gaol again by breaking into a house and threatening its owner, a woman, with a pistol, and he was imprisoned once more. Altogether he was under lock and key for the greater part of thirty-five years; but once he was free in 1784 he kept his head, and not only remained free but became a popular hero, and did not a little, by reason of a heightened account of his sufferings under despotic prison rule, to inflame the revolutionaries. These memoirs, by the way, in the preparation of which he was assisted by an advocate named Thiery, were for the most part untruthful, and not least so in those passages in which Latude described his own innocence and ideals. 73 Our own canonised prison-breaker, Jack Sheppard, was a better hero than this man.

The little room devoted to Napoleon is filled with an intimate melancholy. Many personal relics are here—even to a toothbrush dipped in a red powder. His nécessaires de campagne so compactly arranged illustrate the minute orderliness of his mind, and the workmanship of the travelling cases that hold them proves once again his thoroughness and taste. Everything had to be right. One of his maps of la campagne de Prusse is here; others we shall see at the Invalides.

The relics of Madame de Sévigné, who once lived in this beautiful house, are not very numerous; but they exercise their spell. Her salon is very much as she left it, except that the private staircase has disappeared and a china closet takes its place. Within these walls have La Rochefoucauld and Bossuet conversed; here she sat, pen in hand, writing her immortal letters. "Lisons tout Madame de Sévigné" was the advice of Sainte-Beuve, while her most illustrious English admirer, Edward FitzGerald, often quotes her. He came to her late, not till 1875, but she never loosened her hold. "I have this Summer," he wrote to Mrs. W. H. Thompson, "made the Acquaintance of a great Lady, with whom I have become perfectly intimate, through her Letters, Madame de Sévigné. I had hitherto kept aloof from her, because of that eternal Daughter of hers; but 'it's all Truth and Daylight,' as Kitty Clive said of Mrs. Siddons. Her Letters from Brittany are best of all, not 74 those from Paris, for she loved the Country, dear Creature; and now I want to go and visit her 'Rochers,' but never shall." "I sometimes lament," he says (to Mrs. Cowell), "I did not know her before; but perhaps such an acquaintance comes in best to cheer one toward the end." With these pleasant praises in our ears let us leave the Carnavalet.

The Rue de Sévigné itself has many interesting houses, notably on the south side of the Rue des Francs Bourgeois; No. 11, for example, was once a theatre, built by Beaumarchais in 1790. That is nothing; the interesting thing is that he built it of material from the destroyed Bastille and the destroyed church of St. Paul. The fire station close by was once the Hôtel de Perron de Quincy. It was in this street, on the day of the Fête Dieu in 1392, that the Constable de Clisson, whose house we saw in the Rue des Archives, was attacked by Pierre de Craon.

The Rue des Francs Bourgeois is the highway of the Marais, and the Carnavalet is its greatest possession; but, as I have said, the Marais is inexhaustible in architectural and historical riches. We may work our way through it, back to the Rue du Temple by any of these ancient streets; all will repay. The Rue du Temple extends to the Rue de Rivoli, striking it just by the Hôtel de Ville, but the lower portion, south of the Rue Rambuteau, is not so interesting as the upper. There is, however, to the west of it, just north of the Rue de Rivoli, a system of old streets hardly less picturesque 75 (and sometimes even more so) than the Marais proper, in the centre of which is the church of St. Merry, with one of the most wonderful west fronts anywhere—a mass of rich and eccentric decoration. The Saint himself was Abbot of Autun. He came to Paris in the seventh century to visit the shrines of St. Denis and St. Germain. At that time the district which we are now traversing was chiefly forest, in which the kings of France would hunt, leaving their palace in the Ile de la Cité and crossing the river to this wild district—wild though so near. St. Merry established himself in his simple way near a little chapel in the woods, dedicated to St. Peter, that stood on this spot, and there he died. After his death his tomb in the chapel performed such miracles that St. Peter was forgotten and St. Merry was exalted, and when the time came to rebuild, St. Merry ousted St. Peter altogether.



St. Merry's florid west front is in the Rue St. Martin, once the Roman road from Paris to the north and to England, and by the Rue St. Martin we may leave this district; but between it and the Rue du Temple there is much to see—such as, for example, the Rue Verrerie, south of St. Merry's, the head-quarters of the ancient glassworkers; the Rue Brisemiche, quite one of the best of the old narrow Paris streets, with iron staples and hooks still in the walls at Nos. 20, 23, 26 and 29, to which chains could be fastened so as to turn a street into an impasse during times of stress and thus be sure of your man; the Rue Taillepin, also leading out of the Rue 76 du Cloître St. Merry into the Rue St. Merri, which has some fine old houses of its own, notably No. 36 and the quaint Impasse du Bœuf at No. 10.

Parallel with the Rue St. Merry farther north is the Rue de Venise, which the Vicomte de Villebresme boldly calls the most picturesque in old Paris. Now a very low quarter, it was once literally the Lombard Street of Paris, the chief abode of Lombardy moneylenders, while the long and beautiful Rue Quincampoix, into which it runs on the west, was also a financial centre, containing no less an establishment than the famous Banque of John Law, the Scotchman who for a while early in the eighteenth century controlled French finance. When Law had matured his Mississippi scheme, he made the Rue Quincampoix his head-quarters, and houses in it, we read, that had been let for £40 a year now yielded £800 a month. In the winter of 1719-20 Paris was filled with speculators besieging Law's offices for shares. But by May the crash had come and Law had to fly. Many a house in the Rue Quincampoix, which is now sufficiently innocent of high finance, dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There is a fine doorway at No. 34.

We may regain the Rue St. Martin, just to the east, by the Rue des Lombards, which brings us to the flamboyant front of St. Merry's once more. The Rue St. Martin, which confesses its Roman origin in its straightness, is still busy with traffic, but neither itself nor the Rue St. Denis, two or three hundred yards to the west, 77 is one-tenth as busy as it was before the Boulevard Sebastopol was cut between them to do all the real work. It is a fine thoroughfare and no doubt of the highest use, but what beautiful narrow streets of old houses it must have destroyed! We may note in the Rue St. Martin the pretty fountain at No. 122, and the curious old house at No. 164, and leave it at the church of St. Nicholas-des-Champs, no longer in the fields any more than London's St. Martin's is.

And now after so many houses let us see some pictures!



The Winged Victory of Samothrace—Botticelli's Fresco—Luini—Ingres—The Salon Carré—La Joconde—Leonardo da Vinci—Pater, Lowell and Vasari—Early Collectors—Paul Veronese—Copyists—The Salle des Primitifs—The Grande Galerie—Landor's Pictorial Creed—The Great Schools—Rembrandt—Van Dyck and Rubens—Amazing Abundance—The Dutch Masters—The Drawings.

It is on the first landing of the Escalier Daru, at the end of the Galerie Denon, that one of the most priceless treasures of the Louvre—one of the most splendid things in the world—is to be found: it has been before us all the way along the Galerie Denon, that avenue of noble bronzes, the first thing that caught the eye: I mean the "Winged Victory of Samothrace". Every one has seen photographs or models of this majestic and exquisite figure, but it must be studied here if one is to form a true estimate of the magical mastery of the sculptor. The Victory is headless and armless and much mutilated; but that matters little. She stands on the prow of a trireme, and for every one who sees her with any imagination must for all time be the symbol of triumphant and splendid onset. The 79 figure no doubt weighs more than a ton—and is as light as air. The "Meteor" in a strong breeze with all her sails set and her prow foaming through the waves does not convey a more exciting idea of commanding and buoyant progress. But that comparison wholly omits the element of conquest—for this is essential Victory as well.

The statue dates from the fourth century b.c. It was not discovered until 1863, in Samothrace. Paris is fortunate indeed to possess not only the Venus of Milo but this wonder of art—both in the same building.

Before entering the picture galleries proper, let us look at two other exceedingly beautiful things also on this staircase—the two frescoes from the Villa Lemmi, but particularly No. 1297 on the left of the entrance to Gallery XVI., which represents Giovanna Tornabuoni and the Cardinal Virtues, and is by Sandro Filipepi, whom we call Botticelli. For this exquisite work alone would I willingly cross the Channel even in a gale, such is its charm. A reproduction of it will be found opposite page 20, but it gives no impression of the soft delicacy of colouring: its gentle pinks and greens and purples, its kindly reds and chestnut browns. One should make a point of looking at these frescoes whenever one is on the staircase, which will be often.

The ordinary entrance to the picture galleries of the Louvre is through the photographic vestibule on the right of the Winged Victory as you face it, leading to the Salle Duchâtel, notable for such differing works as 80 frescoes by Luini and two pictures by Ingres—representing the beginning and end of his long and austere career. The Luinis are delightful—very gay and, as always with this tender master, sweet—especially "The Nativity," which is reproduced opposite page 16. The Ingres' (which were bequeathed by the Comtesse Duchâtel after whom the room is named) are the "Œdipus solving the riddle of the Sphinx," dated 1808, when the painter was twenty-eight, and the "Spring," which some consider his masterpiece, painted in 1856. He lived to be eighty-six. English people have so few opportunities of seeing the work of this master (we have in oils only a little doubtful portrait of Malibran, very recently acquired, which hangs in the National Gallery) that he comes as a totally new craftsman to most of us; and his severity may not always please. But as a draughtsman he almost takes the breath away, and no one should miss the pencil heads, particularly a little saucy lady, from his hand in the His de la Salle collection of drawings in another part of the Louvre.

In the Salle Duchâtel is also a screen of drawings with a very beautiful head by Botticelli in it—No. 48. From the rooms we then pass to the Salon Carré (so called because it is square, and not, as I heard one American explaining to another, after the celebrated collector Carré who had left these pictures to the nation), and this is, I suppose, for its size, the most valuable gallery in the world. It is doubtful if any other combination 81 of collections, each contributing of its choicest, could compile as remarkable a room, for the "Monna Lisa," or "La Joconde," Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of the wife of his friend Francesco del Giocondo, which is its greatest glory and perhaps the greatest glory of all Paris too, would necessarily be missing.



Paris without this picture would not be the Paris that we know, or the Paris that has been since 1793 when "La Joconde" first became the nation's property—ever more to smile her inscrutable smile and exert her quiet mysterious sway, not only for kings and courtiers but for all. When all is said, it is Leonardo who gives the Louvre its special distinction as a picture gallery. Without him it would still be magnificent: with him it is priceless and sublime. For not only are there the "Monna Lisa" and (also in the Salon Carré) the sweet and beautiful "Madonna and Saint Anne," but in the next, the Grande Galerie, are his "Virgin of the Rocks," a variant of the only Leonardo in our National Gallery, and the "Bacchus" (so like the "John the Baptist") and the "John the Baptist" (so like the "Bacchus") and the portrait of the demure yet mischievous Italian lady who is supposed to be Lucrezia Crivelli, and who (in spite of the yellowing ravages of time) once seen is never forgotten.

The Louvre has all these (together with many drawings), but above all it has the Monna Lisa, of which what shall I say? I feel that I can say nothing. But here are two descriptions of the picture, or rather two 82 descriptions of the emotions produced by the picture on two very different minds. These I may quote as expressing, between them, all. I will begin with that of Walter Pater: "As we have seen him using incidents of sacred story, not for their own sake, or as mere subjects for pictorial realisation, but as a cryptic language for fancies all his own, so now he found a vent for his thought in taking one of these languid women, and raising her, as Leda or Pomona, as Modesty or Vanity, to the seventh heaven of symbolical expression.

"La Gioconda is, in the truest sense, Leonardo's masterpiece, the revealing instance of his mode of thought and work. In suggestiveness, only the Melancholia of Dürer is comparable to it; and no crude symbolism disturbs the effect of its subdued and graceful mystery. We all know the face and hands of the figure, set in its marble chair, in that circle of fantastic rocks, as in some faint light under sea. Perhaps of all ancient pictures time has chilled it least.[1] As often happens with works in which invention seems to reach its limit, there is an element in it given to, not invented by, the master. In that inestimable folio of drawings, once in the possession of Vasari, were certain designs by Verrocchio, faces of such impressive beauty that Leonardo in his boyhood copied them many times. It is hard not to connect with these designs of the elder, by-past master, as with its germinal principle, the unfathomable 83 smile, always with a touch of something sinister on it, which plays over all Leonardo's work. Besides, the picture is a portrait. From childhood we see this image defining itself on the fabric of his dreams; and but for express historical testimony, we might fancy that this was but his ideal lady, embodied and beheld at last. What was the relationship of a living Florentine to this creature of his thought? By what strange affinities had the dream and the person grown up thus apart, and yet so closely together? Present from the first incorporeally in Leonardo's brain, dimly traced in the designs of Verrocchio, she is found present at last in Il Giocondo's house. That there is much of mere portraiture in the picture is attested by the legend that by artificial means, the presence of mimes and flute-players, that subtle expression was protracted on the face. Again, was it in four years and by renewed labour never really completed, or in four months and as by stroke of magic, that the image was projected?

"The presence that rose thus so strangely beside the waters, is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years men had come to desire. Hers is the head upon which all 'the ends of the world are come,' and the eyelids are a little weary. It is a beauty wrought out from within upon the flesh, the deposit, little cell by cell, of strange thoughts and fantastic reveries and exquisite passions. Set it for a moment beside one of those white Greek Goddesses or beautiful women of antiquity, and how would they be troubled by this 84 beauty, into which the soul with all its maladies has passed! All the thoughts and experience of the world have etched and moulded there, in that which they have of power to refine and make expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the mysticism of the middle age with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the Borgias. She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands. The fancy of a perpetual life, sweeping together ten thousand experiences, is an old one; and modern philosophy has conceived the idea of humanity as wrought upon by, and summing up in itself, all modes of thought and life. Certainly Lady Lisa might stand as the embodiment of the old fancy, the symbol of the modern idea."

This was what the picture meant for Pater; whether too much, is beside the mark. Pater thought it and Pater wrote it, and that is enough. To others, who are not as Pater, it says less, and possibly more. This, for example, is what "Monna Lisa" suggested to one 85 of the most distinguished and civilised minds of our time—James Russell Lowell:—

She gave me all that woman can,
Nor her soul's nunnery forego,
A confidence that man to man
Without remorse can never show.

Rare art, that can the sense refine
Till not a pulse rebellious stirs,
And, since she never can be mine,
Makes it seem sweeter to be hers!

Finally, since we cannot (I believe) spend too much time upon this picture, let me quote Vasari's account of it. "For Francesco del Giocondo, Leonardo undertook to paint the portrait of Monna Lisa, his wife, but, after loitering over it for four years, he finally left it unfinished. This work is now in the possession of the King Francis of France, and is at Fontainebleau. Whoever shall desire to see how far art can imitate nature may do so to perfection in this head, wherein every peculiarity that could be depicted by the utmost subtlety of the pencil has been faithfully reproduced. The eyes have the lustrous brightness and moisture which is seen in life, and around them are those pale, red, and slightly livid circles, also proper to nature, with the lashes, which can only be copied, as these are, with the greatest difficulty; the eyebrows also are represented with the closest exactitude, where fuller and where more thinly set, with the separate hairs delineated as they issue from the skin, every turn being followed, and all the pores exhibited in a manner that could not 86 be more natural than it is: the nose, with its beautiful and delicately roseate nostrils, might be easily believed to be alive; the mouth, admirable in its outline, has the lips uniting the rose-tints of their colour with that of the face, in the utmost perfection, and the carnation of the cheek does not appear to be painted, but truly of flesh and blood; he who looks earnestly at the pit of the throat cannot but believe that he sees the beating of the pulses, and it may be truly said that this work is painted in a manner well calculated to make the boldest master tremble, and astonishes all who behold it, however well accustomed to the marvels of art.

"Monna Lisa was exceedingly beautiful, and while Leonardo was painting her portrait, he took the precaution of keeping some one constantly near her, to sing or play on instruments, or to jest and otherwise amuse her, to the end that she might continue cheerful, and so that her face might not exhibit the melancholy expression often imparted by painters to the likenesses they take. In this portrait of Leonardo's, on the contrary, there is so pleasing an expression, and a smile so sweet, that while looking at it one thinks it rather divine than human, and it has ever been esteemed a wonderful work, since life itself could exhibit no other appearance."



King Francis I. (who met our Henry VIII. on the Field of the Cloth of Gold) bought the picture of Monna Lisa from the artist for a sum of money equal now to £20,000. It was on a visit to Francis that 87 Leonardo died. "Monna Lisa" was the most valuable picture in the cabinet of Francis I. and was first hung there in 1545. It is very interesting to think that this work, the peculiar glory of the Gallery, should also be its nucleus, so to speak. The Venus of Milo and the Winged Victory, which I have grouped with "Monna Lisa" as its chief treasures, were not added until the last century.

Among other pictures in the Louvre which date from the inception of a royal collection in the brain of Francis I. are the "Virgin of the Rocks" by Leonardo, Raphael's "Sainte Famille" (No. 1498) and "Saint Michael," Andrea del Sarto's "Charité" and Piombo's "Visitation". Louis XIII. began his reign with about fifty pictures and increased them to two hundred, while under Louis XIV., the Louvre's most conspicuous friend, the royal collection grew from these two hundred to two thousand—assisted greatly by Colbert the financier, who bought for the Crown not only much of the collection of the banker Jabach of Cologne, the Pierpont Morgan of his day, who had acquired the art treasures of our own Charles I., but also the Mazarin bibelots. Under Louis XIV. and succeeding monarchs the pictures oscillated between the Louvre, the Luxembourg and Versailles. The Revolution centralised them in the Louvre, and on 8th November, 1793, the collection was made over to the public. During the first Republic one hundred thousand francs a year were set aside for the purchase of pictures. 88

But we are in the Salon Carré. Close beside "La Joconde" is that Raphael which gives me personally more pleasure than any of his pictures—the portrait, beautiful in greys and blacks, of Count Baldassare Castiglione, reproduced opposite page 52; here is a Correggio (No. 1117) bathed in a glory of light; here is a golden Giorgione; here is an allegory by Titian (No. 1589) not so miraculously coloured as the Correggio but wonderfully rich and beautiful; here is a little princess by Velasquez; and near it a haunting portrait of a young man (No. 1644) which has been attributed to many hands, but rests now as the work of Francia Bigio. I reproduce it opposite page 70. And that is but a fraction of the treasures of the Salon Carré. For there are other Titians, notably the portrait (No. 1592) of a young man with a glove (reproduced opposite page 64) marked by a beautiful gravity; other Raphaels, more characteristic, including "La Belle Jardinière" (No. 1496), filled with a rich deep calm; the sweetest Luini that I remember (No. 1354), and the immense "Marriage at Cana" by Paolo Veronese, which when I saw it recently was being laboriously engraved on copper by a gentleman in the middle of the room. It was odd to watch so careful a piece of translation in the actual making—to see Veronese's vast scene with its rich colouring and tremendous energy coming down into spider-like scratches on two square feet of hard metal. I did not know that such patience was any longer exercised. This picture, by the way, has a double 89 interest—the general and the particular. As Whistler said of Switzerland, you may both admire the mountain and recognise the tourist on the top. It is full of portraits. The bride at the end of the table is Eleanor of Austria; at her side is Francis I. (who found his way into as many pictures as most men); next to him, in yellow, is Mary of England. The Sultan Suliman I. and the Emperor Charles V. are not absent. The musicians are the artist and his friends—Paul himself playing the 'cello, Tintoretto the piccolo, Titian the bass viol, and Bassano the flute. The lady with a toothpick is (alas!) Vittoria Colonna.

It is, by the way, always student-day at the Louvre—at least I never remember to have been there, except on Sundays, when copyists were not at work. Many of the copies are being made to order as altar pieces in new churches and for other definite purposes. Not all, however! A newspaper paragraph lying before me states that the authorities of the Louvre have five hundred unfinished copies on their hands, abandoned by their authors so thoroughly as never to be inquired for again. I am not surprised.

From the Salle Carré we enter the Grande Galerie, which begins with the Florentine School, and ends, a vast distance away, with Rembrandt. But first it is well to turn into the little Salle des Primitifs Italiens, a few steps on the right, for here are very rare and beautiful things: Botticelli's "Madonna with a child and John the Baptist" (No. 1296); Domenico 90 Ghirlandaio's "Portrait of an old man and a boy" (No. 1322), which I reproduce opposite page 136, that triumph of early realism, and his "Visitation" (No. 1321), with its joyful colouring, culminating in a glorious orange gown; Benedetto Ghirlandaio's "Christ on the way to Golgotha" (No. 1323, on the opposite wall), a fine hard red picture; two little Piero di Cosimos (on each side of the door), very mellow and gay—representing scenes in the marriage of Thetis and Peleus; Fra Filippo Lippi's "Madonna and Child with two sainted abbots" (No. 1344), and the "Nativity" next it (No. 1343); a sweet and lovely "Virgin and Child" (No. 1345) of the Fra Filippo Lippi school; another, also very beautiful, by Mainardi (No. 1367); a canvas of portraits, including Giotto and the painter himself, by Paolo Uccello (No. 1272), the very picture described by Vasari in the Lives; and Giotto's scenes in the life of St. Francis, in the frame of which, as we shall see, I once, for historical comparison, slipped the photograph of M. Henri Pol, charmeur des oiseaux. These I name; but much remains that will appeal even more to others.

To walk along the Grande Galerie is practically to traverse the history of art: Italian, Spanish, British, German, Flemish and Dutch paintings all hang here. Nothing is missing but the French, which, however, are very near at hand. Some lines of Landor which always come to my mind in a picture gallery I may quote hereabouts with peculiar fitness, and also with a desire to transfer the haunting—a very good one even if one 91 does not agree with the reference to Rembrandt, which I do not:—

First bring me Raphael, who alone hath seen
In all her purity Heaven's Virgin Queen,
Alone hath felt true beauty; bring me then
Titian, ennobler of the noblest men;
And next the sweet Correggio, nor chastise
His little Cupids for those wicked eyes.
I want not Rubens's pink puffy bloom,
Nor Rembrandt's glimmer in a dirty room
With these, nor Poussin's nymph-frequented woods
His templed heights and long-drawn solitudes.
I am content, yet fain would look abroad
On one warm sunset of Ausonian Claude.

It is no province of this book to take the place of a catalogue; but I must mention a few pictures. The left wall is throughout, I may say, except in the case of the British pictures, the better. Here, very early, is the lovely "Holy Family" of Andrea del Sarto (No. 1515); here hang the four Leonardos which I have mentioned and certain of his derivatives; a beautiful Andrea Solario (No. 1530); a Lotto, very modern in feeling (No. 1350); a very striking "Salome" by Luini (1355), and the same painter's "Holy Family" (No. 1353); Mantegna; a fine Palma; Bellini; Antonello da Messina; more Titians, including "The Madonna with the rabbit" (No. 1578) and "Jupiter and Antiope" (No. 1587); a new portrait of a man in armour by Tintoretto, lately lent to the Louvre, one of his gravest and greatest; and so on to the sweet Umbrians—to Perugino and to Raphael, among whose pictures are two 92 or three examples of his gay romantic manner, the most pleasing of which (No. 1509), "Apollo and Marsyas," is only conjecturally attributed to him.

We pass then to Spain—to Murillo, who is represented here both in his rapturous saccharine and his realistic moods, "La Naissance de la Vierge" (No. 1710) and "Le Jeune Mendicant" (No. 1717); to Velasquez, who, however, is no longer credited with the lively sketch of Spanish gentlemen (No. 1734); and to Zurbaran, the strong and merciless.

The British pictures are few but choice, including a very fine Raeburn, and landscapes by Constable and Bonington, two painters whom the French elevated to the rank of master and influence while we were still debating their merits. Such a landscape as "Le Cottage" (No. 1806) by Constable, with its rich English simplicity, brings one up with a kind of start in the midst of so much grandiosity and pomp. It is out of place here, and yet one is very happy to see it. From Britain we pass to the Flemish and Germans—to perfect Holbeins, including an Erasmus and Dürer; to Rubens, who, however, comes later in his full force, and to the gross and juicy Jordaens.

Then sublimity again; for here is Rembrandt of the Rhine. After Leonardo, Rembrandt is to me the glory of the Louvre, and especially the glory of the Grande Galerie, the last section of which is now hung with twenty-two of his works. Not one of them is perhaps superlative Rembrandt: there is nothing quite so fine 93 as the portrait of Elizabeth Bas at the Ryks, or the "School of Anatomy" at the Mauritshuis, or the "Unjust Steward" at Hertford House; but how wonderful they are! Look at the miracle of the flying angel in the picture of Tobias—how real it is and how light! Look closely at the two little pictures of the philosopher in meditation. I have chosen the beautiful "Venus et L'Amour" and the "Pèlerins d'Emmaus" for reproduction; but I might equally have taken others. They will be found opposite pages 146 and 154.

On the other wall are a few pictures by Rembrandt's pupils and colleagues, such as Ferdinand Bol and Govaert Flinck, who were always on the track of the master; and more particularly Gerard Dou: note the old woman in his "Lecture de la Bible," for it is Rembrandt's mother, and also look carefully at "La Femme Hydropique," one of his most miraculously finished works—a Rembrandt through the small end of a telescope.

From these we pass to the sumptuous Salle Van Dyck, which in its turn leads to the Salle Rubens, and one is again filled with wonder at the productivity of the twain—pupil and master. Did he never tire, this Peter Paul Rubens? Did a new canvas never deter or abash him? It seems not. No sooner was it set up in his studio than at it he must have gone like a charge of cavalry, magnificent in his courage, in his skill and in his brio. What a record! Has Rubens' square mileage ever been worked out, I wonder. He was very like a Frenchman: it is the vigour and spirit of Dumas at work with the brush. 94 In the Louvre there are fifty-four attested works, besides many drawings; and it seems to me that I must have seen as many in Vienna, and as many in Dresden, and as many in Berlin, and as many in Antwerp, and as many in Brussels, to say nothing of the glorious landscape in Trafalgar Square. He is always overpowering; but for me the quieter, gentler brushes. None the less the portrait of Helène Fourment and their two children, in the Grande Galerie, although far from approaching that exquisite picture in the Liechtenstein Gallery in Vienna, when the boys were a little older, is a beautiful and living thing which one would not willingly miss.

Van Dyck was, of course, more austere, less boisterous and abundant, but his record is hardly less amazing, and he seems to have faced life-size equestrian groups, such as the Charles the First here, without a tremor. The Charles is superb in his distinction and disdain; but for me, however, Van Dyck is the painter of single portraits, of which, no matter where I go, none seems more noble and satisfying than our own Cornelius Van Voorst in Trafalgar Square. But the "Dame et sa Fille," which is reproduced on the opposite page, is very beautiful.



All round the Salle Rubens are arranged the little cabinets in which the small Dutch pictures hang—the Jan Steens and the Terburgs, the Hals' and the Metsus, the Ruisdaels and the Karel du Jardins, the Ostades and the golden Poelenburghs. Of these what can I say? There they are, in their hundreds, the least of them 95 worth many minutes' scrutiny. But a few may be picked out: the Jan van Eyck (No. 1986) "La Vierge au Donateur," reproduced opposite page 166, in which the Chancellor Rollin reveres the Virgin on the roof of a tower, and small wild animals happily play around, and we see in the distance one of those little fairy cities so dear to the Flemish painter's imagination; David's "Noce de Cana"; Metsu's "Vierge et Enfant" the Memling and the Rogier van der Weyden, close by; Franz Hals' "Bohémienne," reproduced opposite page 186; Van der Heyden's lovely "Plaine de Haarlem" (No. 2382); Paul Potter's "Bois de La Haye" (No. 2529), almost like a Diaz, and his little masterpiece No. 2526; the Terburgs: the "Music Lesson" (No. 2588) and the charming "Reading Lesson" (No. 2591) with the little touzled fair-haired boy in it, reproduced opposite page 206; Ruisdael's "Paysage dit le Coup de Soleil" (No. 2560); Hobbema's "Moulin à eau" (No. 2404); and, to my eyes, almost first of all, Vermeer of Delft's "Lacemaker" (No. 2456), reproduced opposite page 216. These are all I name.

So much for the paintings by the masters of the world. The Louvre also has drawings from the same hands, which hang in their thousands in a series of rooms on the first floor, overlooking the Rue de Rivoli. Here, as I have said, are other Leonardos (look particularly at No. 389), and here, too, are drawings by Raphael and Rembrandt, Correggio and Rubens (a child's head in particular), Domenico Ghirlandaio and Chardin, 96 Mantegna and Watteau, Dürer and Ingres. I reproduce only one, a study attributed to the school of Fabriano, opposite page 228. Here one may spend a month in daily visits and wish never to break the habit. We have in England hardly less valuable and interesting drawings, but they are not to be seen in this way. One must visit the Print Room of the British Museum and ask for them one by one in portfolios. The Louvre, I think, manages it better.



The Early French Painters—Richard Parkes Bonington—Chardin—Historical Paintings—Bonington again—The Moreau Collection—The Thomy-Thierret Collection—The Chauchard Collection.

French pictures early and late now await us. On our way down the Grande Galerie we passed on the right two entrances to other rooms. Taking that one which is nearer the British School, we find ourselves in Salle IX., leading to Salle X. and so on to Galerie XVI., which completes the series. In Salle X. the beginnings of French art may be studied, and in particular the curious Japanese effects of the Ecole d'Avignon. Here also is very interesting work by Le Maître de Moulins and a remarkable series of drawings in the case in the middle, representing the Siege of Troy. Salle XI. is notable for its portraits by Clouet and others; in Salle XII. we find Le Sueur, and in Salle XIII. the curious brothers Le Nain, of whom there are very interesting examples at the Ionides collection at South Kensington, but nothing better than the haymaking scene here, No. 542.

French painting of the seventeenth century bursts upon us in the great Salle XIV. or Galerie Mollien, 98 of which Nicolas Poussin and Ausonian Claude are the giants, thus completing Landor's pleasant list with which we entered the Grande Galerie in the last chapter. There are wonderful things here, but so crowded are they that I always feel lost and confused. There is, however, compensation and relief, for the room also contains one minute masterpiece which perhaps not more than five out of every thousand visitors have seen, and yet which can be studied with perfect quietness and leisure. This is a tiny water-colour in the revolving screen in the middle. There is much delicate work in this screen, dainty aquatint effects by the Dutchmen Ostade and Van der Heyden, Weenix and Borssom, and so forth; but finest of all (as so often happens) is a little richly-coloured drawing of Nottingham by Bonington, who, as we shall see, has a way of cropping up unsuspectedly and graciously in this great collection—and very rightly, since he owed so much to that Gallery. He was one of the youngest students ever admitted, being allowed to copy there at the age of fifteen, while at the Beaux Arts. That was in the year after Waterloo. There may in the history of the Gallery have been copyists equally young, but there can never have been one more distinguished or who had deeper influence on French art. Paris not only made Bonington's career but ended it, for it was while sketching in its streets ten years or more later that he met with the sunstroke which brought about his death when he was only twenty-seven, and stilled the marvellous hand for ever. 99

Salle XV. is given up to portraits, among them—and shall I say chief of them, certainly chief of them in point of popularity—the adorable portrait of Madame Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and her daughter, painted by herself, which is perhaps the best-known French picture, and of which I give a reproduction opposite page 246. On a screen in this room are placed the latest acquisitions. When last I was there the more noticeable pictures were a portrait by Romney of himself, rich and melancholy, recalling to the mind Tennyson's monologue, and a sweet and ancient religieuse by Memling. There were also some Corot drawings, not perhaps so good as those in the Moreau collection, but very beautiful, and a charming old-world lady by Fragonard. These probably are by this time distributed over the galleries, and other new arrivals have taken their place. I hope so.

Galerie XVI., which leads out of the Salle des Portraits, brings us to French art of the eighteenth century—to Greuze and David, to Fragonard and Watteau, to Lancret and Boucher, and, to my mind, most charming, most pleasure-giving of all, to Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, who is to be seen in perfection here and in the distant room which contains the Collection La Caze. It is probable that no painter ever had quite so much charm as this kindly Frenchman, whose loving task it was to sweeten and refine homely Dutch art. Chardin is the most winsome of all painters: his brush laid a bloom on domestic life. The Louvre has twenty-eight of his canvases, mostly still-life, distributed between the Salle La Caze and Salle No. XVI., where we now are. 100 The most charming of all, which is to be seen in the Salle La Caze, is reproduced opposite page 234.

Having walked down the left wall of the Salle, it is well to slip out at the door at the end for a moment and refresh oneself with another view of Botticelli's fresco, which is just outside, before returning by the other wall, as we have to go back through the Salle des Portraits in order to examine Salle VIII., a vast room wholly filled with French paintings of the first half of the nineteenth century, bringing the nation's art to the period more or less at which the Luxembourg takes it up, though there is a certain amount of overlapping. No room in the Louvre so wants weeding and re-hanging as this, for it is a sad jumble. Search, however, for the magnificent examples by the great plein-airistes. They are lost in this wilderness; but there they are for those that seek—the two vast Troyons; Corot's magic "Souvenir de Castel-Gondolfon"; a great Daubigny, "Les Vendances de Bourgogne," very hard and fine, and the same gigantic painter's large and lovely harvest scene, "Le Moisson"; Rousseau's "Sortie de Forêt," not unlike the Rousseau in the Wallace Collection in London, with its natural archway of branches and rich tenderness of colour; the sublime "La Vague," by Courbet; lastly Millet's "Les Glaneuses," the three stooping women in the cornfield who come to the inward eye almost as readily as the figures in the "Angelus". The red, blue and yellow of their head-kerchiefs alone would make this picture worth a millionaire's ransom.

We leave the room by the door opposite that through 101 which we came and find ourselves again in the Grande Galerie. The way now is to the left, through the Italian Schools, through the Salon Carré (why not stay there and let French art go hang?) through the Galerie d'Apollon (of which more anon), through the Rotunda and the Salle des Bijoux (whither we shall return), to another crowded late eighteenth and early nineteenth century French room chiefly notable for David's Madame Récamier on her joyless little sofa. (Why didn't we stay in the Salon Carré?) In this room also are two large Napoleonic pictures—one by Gros representing General Bonaparte visiting the plague victims at Jaffa in 1799; the other, by David, of the consecration service in Notre Dame, described in an earlier chapter. To see this kind of picture, at which the French have for many years been extremely apt, one must of course go to Versailles, where the history of France is spread lavishly over many square miles of canvas.

From this room—La Salle des Sept Cheminées—we pass through a little vestibule, with Courbet's great village funeral in it, to the very pleasant Salle La Caze, containing the greater part of the collection of the late Dr. La Caze, and notable chiefly for the Chardins of which I have already spoken, and also, by the further door, for a haunting "Buste de femme" attributed to the Milanese School. But there are other admirable pictures here, including a Velasquez, and it repays study.

Leaving by the further door and walking for some distance, we come to the His de la Salle collection of 102 drawings, from which we gain the Collection Thiers, which should perhaps be referred to here, although there is not the slightest necessity to see it at all. The Thiers collection, which occupies two rooms, is remarkable chiefly for its water-colour copies of great paintings. The first President of the Republic employed patient artists to make copies suitable for hanging upon his walls of such inaccessible works as the "Last Judgment" of Michael Angelo and Raphael's Dresden Madonna. The results are certainly extraordinary, even if they are not precisely la guerre. The Arundel Society perhaps found its inspiration in this collection. Among the originals there is a fine Terburg.

On leaving the Thiers collection, one comes to a narrow passage with a little huddle of water-colours, very badly treated as to light and space, and well worth more consideration. These pictures should not be missed, for among them are two Boningtons, a windmill in a sombre landscape, which I reproduce opposite page 274, and next to it a masterly drawing of the statue of Bartolommé Colleoni at Venice, which Ruskin called the finest equestrian group in the world. Bonington, who had the special gift of painting great pictures in small compass (just as there are men who can use a whole wall to paint a little picture on), has made a drawing in which the original sculptor would have rejoiced. It would do the Louvre authorities good if these Boningtons, which they treat so carelessly, were stolen. Nothing could be easier; I worked out the 103 felony as I stood there. All that one would need would be a few friends equally concerned to teach the Louvre a lesson, behind whose broad backs one could ply the diamond and the knife. Were I a company promoter this is how I should spend my leisure hours. Such theft is very nigh virtue.

Among other pictures in these bad little rooms—Nos. XVII. and XVIII.—are some Millets and Decamps.

Three more collections—and these really more interesting than anything we saw in Galeries XIV. or XVI., or the Salle des Sept Cheminées—await us; but two of them need considerable powers of perambulation. Chronology having got us under his thumb we must make the longer journey first—to the Collection Moreau. The Collection Moreau is to be found at the top of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the entrance to which is in the Rue de Rivoli. In the lower part of this building are held periodical exhibitions; but the upper parts are likely at any rate for a long time to remain unchanged, and here are wonderful collections of furniture, and here hang the few but select canvases brought together by Adolphe Moreau and his son, and presented to the nation by M. Etienne Moreau-Nelaton.

In the Thomy-Thierret collection in another top storey of the same inexhaustible palace (to which our fainting feet are bound) are Corots of the late period; M. Moreau bought the earlier. Here, among nearly forty others, you may see that portrait of Corot painted in 1825, just before he left for Rome, which his parents 104 exacted from him in return for their consent to his new career and the abandonment of their rosy dreams of his success as a draper. Here you may see "Un Moine," one of the first pictures he was able to sell—for five hundred francs (twenty pounds). Here is the charming marine "La Rochelle" painted in 1851 and given by Corot to Desbarolles and by Desbarolles to the younger Dumas. Here is the very beautiful Pont de Mantes, reproduced opposite page 252, belonging to his later manner, and here also is an exceptionally merry little sketch, "Bateau de pêche à marée basse". I mention these only, since selection is necessary; but everything that Corot painted becomes in time satisfying to the student and indispensable to its owner. Among the pencil drawings we find this exquisite lover of nature once more, with fifteen studies of his Mistress.

One of the most interesting of the Moreau pictures is Fantin-Latour's "Hommage à Delacroix," with its figures of certain of the great and more daring writers and painters of the day, 1864, the year after Delacroix's death. They are grouped about his framed portrait—Manet, red haired and red bearded, a little like Mr. Meredith in feature; Whistler, with his white feather black and vigorous, and his hand on the historical cane; Legros (the only member of the group who is still living, and long may he live!) and Baudelaire, for all the world like an innocent professor. Manet himself is represented here by his famous "Déjeuner sur l'herbe," which the scandalised Salon of 1863 refused to hang, and three 105 smaller canvases. Among the remaining pictures which gave me most pleasure are Couture's portrait of Adolphe Moreau the younger; Daumier's "La République"; Carrière's "L'enfant à la soupière" (notice the white bowl); Decamps' "La Battue," curiously like a Koninck; and Troyon's "Le Passage du Gué," so rich and sweet.

From the Collection Moreau, with its early Barbizon pictures, one ought to pass to the Chauchard with its middle period, and then to the Collection Thomy-Thierret; but let us go to the Thomy-Thierret now. It needs courage and endurance, for the room which contains these exquisite pictures is only to be reached on foot after climbing many stairs and walking for what seem to be many miles among models of ships and other neglected curiosities on the Louvre's topmost floor. But once the room is reached one is perfectly happy, for every picture is a gem and there is no one there. M. Thomy-Thierret, who died quite recently, was a collector who liked pictures to be small, to be rich in colour, and to be painted by the Barbizon and Romantic Schools. Here you may see twelve Corots, all of a much later period than those bequeathed by M. Moreau, among them such masterpieces as "Le Vallon" (No. 2801), reproduced opposite the next page, "Le Chemin de Sèvres" (No. 2803), "Entrée de Village" (No. 2808), "Les Chaumières" (No. 2809), and "La Route d'Arras" (No. 2810). Here are thirteen Daubignys, including "Les Graves de Villerville" (No. 28,177), and one sombre and haunting English scene—"La Tamise à Erith" (No. 2821). Here are ten Diazes, most beautiful of which to my eyes is "L'Éplorée" (No. 2863). Here are 106 ten Rousseaus, among them "Le Printemps" (No. 2903), with its rapturous freshness, which I reproduce opposite page 120, and "Les Chênes" (No. 2900), such a group of trees as Rousseau alone could paint. Here are six Millets, my favourite being the "Précaution Maternelle" (No. 2894), with its lovely blues, which again reappear in "Le Vanneur" (No. 2893). Here are eleven Troyons, of which "La Provende des poules" (No. 2907), with its bustle of turkeys and chickens around the gay peasant girl beneath a burning sky, reproduced opposite page 266, is one of the first pictures to which my feet carry me on my visits to Paris. Here are twelve Duprés, most memorable of which is "Les Landes" (No. 2871). And here also are Delacroix', Isabeys and Meissoniers.

The Chauchard pictures—140 in number—which are now hanging in five rooms leading from the Salle Rubens, were bequeathed to the nation by M. Alfred Chauchard, proprietor of the Magasins du Louvre (which some visitors to Paris have considered the only Louvre). Among the pictures are twenty-six by Corot, twenty-six by Meissonier, eight by Millet (including "L'Angelus") and eight by Daubigny.


(Louvre: Thomy-Thierret Collection)

I may say at once that the Chauchard Collection does not compare with the Thomy-Thierret in courage. M. Thomy-Thierret liked his pictures to be small and exquisite and happy. Within the limits imposed the Barbizon painters never did anything more delightful or indeed better. The whole collection—and it is beyond price—is homogeneous: it embodies the taste 107 of one man. M. Moreau and his son had a robuster taste, a bolder eye. They wanted strength as well as sweetness, or strength alone. Their collection has not quite the homogeneity of the Thomy-Thierret, but one feels here also that personality has honestly been at work bringing together things of beauty and power that pleased it, and nothing else. But M. Chauchard....

It is perfectly evident in a moment that M. Chauchard had neither knowledge nor taste. He merely had acumen. At a certain moment in his successful life, one feels, M. Chauchard extended himself before the fire-place, stroked his spreading favoris (so like those of our own Whiteley), and announced "I must have some pictures". Other prosperous men saying the same thing have forthwith taken their courage in their hands and bought pictures; but M. Chauchard as I see him (both in his dazzling marble bust and in the portrait by Benjamin Constant), was not like that. "I must have some pictures," he announced, and then quickly reverted to type and cast about as to the best means of discovering whose pictures were most worth buying. That is how the Chauchard Collection came about, if I am not mistaken: it was the venture of an essentially commercial man—an investor-in-grain—who also desired a reputation of virtuosity but did not want to lose money over it.

As it happens M. Chauchard was well advised. But wonderful as they are, beautiful as they are, valuable as they are, there is not a picture here which suggests to the visitor that it ever brought a real gladness to the eyes of its owner in his own home. 108

But I can convince you only too easily that M. Chauchard had no taste. Do you remember when driving out to Longchamp, through the Bois, either to the Races or to Suresnes, just after you pass the Cascade, you come on the left to a windmill overlooking the course, and on the right to a white villa, all alone and unreal? A club house, one naturally thinks it, for the French Jockey Club, or something of that kind. You may have forgotten the villa, but you will recall it when I say that on the very trim vivid lawn in front of it, scattered about, supposed to be counterfeiting life, are various animals in stone—a stag, a doe, some dogs, all white and motionless, in the best mortuary manner, and all, to you and me, outrageous. Well, that was one of M. Chauchard's homes. M. Chauchard was the owner of that lawn and its occupants. The man who looking out of his window could feast his eye on these triumphs of the monumental mason was the same man who bought for his walls sheep by Jacque and Millet, and cattle and dogs by Troyon....

No matter. M. Chauchard acquired pictures and left them to the French Nation, and they are now on view for ever (always excepting the fatal Continental Mondays) for all to rejoice in. The first really compellingly beautiful work as one enters—the first picture to touch the emotions—is Rousseau's "La Charrette". It was painted in 1862, five years before the painter's death, which left the villagers of Barbizon the richer by a studio-chapel. It is a mere trifle and it is as wonderful 109 as a summer day: a forest glade, in the midst of which a tiny wagon and white horse with blue trappings are seen beneath a burning sky, such a picture as ought to have a wall if not a room to itself: such a picture as I should like to see placed above an altar. It is the same subject—a forest wagon—that provided what in some ways is the best or most attractive Corot here. His "La Charrette" is a large easy landscape lit by the gracious light of which he alone had the secret. In the foreground is a deep sandy road with the charrette labouring through it. But before we came to this we had stood before one of the finest of the seven Daubignys, "La Seine à Bezons," a river scene of almost terrible calm, with Mont Valerien in the distance and geese and boats on the near shore, and implicit in it the sincerity, strength and humility of this great man.

At the end of the room hang two large and busy Troyons, one on each side of M. Chauchard himself, the donor of the feast, whose bust in the whitest Carrara, with the whiskers in full fig and the croix de grand officier du Legion d'honneur meticulously carved upon it, stands here, as stipulated in the will. These two Troyons, of which there are eighteen in all, are I think the largest. One represents cows sauntering lazily down to drink; the other the return from the market of a mixed herd of cattle and sheep, with a donkey in panniers, being driven by a man on a white horse. As was his wont, Troyon chose a road on the edge of a cliff with a very green border of turf and an exquisite 110 glimpse of sea to the left. None of the new Troyons perhaps is as fine as those in Salle VIII. of the Louvre proper, but this is a superb thing. The "Boeufs se rendant au labour" and the "Le Retour à la ferme" in Salle VIII. should be visited after the Chauchards.

And so we leave the first and largest room, in the midst of which are two cases of Barye's bronzes—lions and tigers, bears and deer, snakes and birds—and enter the first room on the left as we came in; and here we begin to see for the first time pictures with special knots of people before them. For the Meissoniers begin here. And of Meissonier what am I to say? For Meissonier leaves me cold. He is marvellous; but he leaves me cold. He painted with a fidelity and spirit that border on the magical; but those qualities that I want in a picture, those callings of deep to deep, one seeks in vain. Hence I say nothing of Meissonier, except that he was a master, that there are twenty-six of his masterpieces here, and that the crowd opposite his "1814" extends to the opposite side. How can one spend time over "Le cheval de l'ordonnance" and the "Petit Poste de Grand'-Garde" when Daubigny's "Les Laveuses (effet de soleil couchant)" hangs so near—this great placid green picture, so profoundly true as to be almost an act of God? Corot's "Etang de Ville d'Avray" is here too, liquid and tender.

The little room that leads out of this is usually almost unenterable by reason of the press before Meissonier's "1814". This undoubtedly is one of the little 111 great pictures of the world, and I can understand the enthusiasm of the French sightseer, whose blood is still stirrable by the enduring personality of the saturnine man on the white horse. Neighbouring pictures are a rich cattle piece by Diaz, immediately over "1814"; Rousseau's "La Mare," which is not a little like the Koninck in the Ionides Collection at South Kensington, and the same painter's "La Mare au pied du coteau" with its lovely middle distance. Here too is one of Corot's many pêcheurs, who little knew as they fished on so quietly in the still gentle light that they were being rendered immortal by the quaint little bourgeois with the long pipe, sketching on the bank. One of the finest of the Duprés is also here—"La Vanne," a deep green scene of water.

In the last room we come at last to that painter whose work, next perhaps to Meissonier's, is the magnet which draws such a steady stream of worshippers to this new shrine of art—to Jean François Millet. M. Chauchard had eight Millets, including the "Angelus," but though it is the "Angelus" which is considered of many to be the very core of this collection, I find more pleasure in "La Bergère gardant ses moutons" (reproduced opposite page 308), which I would call, I think, the best picture of all. It has been remarked that no picture containing sheep can ever be a bad picture; but when Millet paints them, and when they are grazing beneath such a sky, and when one of those grave sweet peasant women—a monument of patient acceptance and 112 the humility that comes from the soil—is their shepherdess, why then it is almost too much; and the brave ardent Jacque, whose "Moutons au Pâturage" hangs close by, is half suspected of theatricalism. Millet is so great, so full of large elemental simplicity and truth that one regrets that his eight pictures have not a room to themselves. That they should be elbowed by the neat dancing-master chefs d'œuvre of Meissonier is something of a catastrophe.

Thinking over the collection, I have very strongly the feeling already expressed that it was wrongly assembled. The investor rather than the enthusiast is too apparent. M. Chauchard, it is true, refrained from making money by his acquisitions, since he gave them to the nation, and this is eternally to his credit. None the less I find it difficult to esteem him as perhaps one should even in the light of a generous testator. One so wants pictures to be loved. And of all pictures that are lovable and that long to pass into their owner's being—to engentle his eyes and enrich his experience and deepen his nature—none equal those that were painted by the little group of friends who in the middle of the last century made the white-walled village of Barbizon their head-quarters and the Forest of Fontainebleau their happy hunting-ground and a Wordsworthian passion for nature their creed.

Such pictures deserve the most faithful owners and the most thoughtful hospitality....

But if we cannot get all as we wish it, at least we 113 must be grateful for the next best thing, and to M. Chauchard and the Louvre authorities we must all be supremely grateful.

The Louvre is to-day the most wonderful museum in the world; but what would one not give to be able to visit it as it was in 1814, when it was in some respects more wonderful still. For then it was filled with the spoils of Napoleon's armies, who had instructions always to bring back from the conquered cities what they could see that was likely to beautify and enrich France. It is a reason for war in itself. I would support any war with Austria, for example, that would bring to London Count Czernin's Vermeer and the Parmigianino in the Vienna National Gallery; any war with Germany that would put the Berlin National Gallery at our disposal. Napoleon had other things to fight for, but that comprehensive brain forgot nothing, and as he deposed a king he remembered a blank space in the Louvre that lacked a Raphael, an empty niche waiting for its Phidias. The Revolution decreed the Museum, but it was Napoleon who made it priceless and glorious. After the fall of this man a trumpery era of restitution set in. Many of his noble patriotic thefts were cancelled out. The world readjusted itself and shrank into its old pettiness. Priceless pictures and statues were carried again to Italy and Austria, Napoleon to St. Helena.



A Vanished Palace—The Most Magnificent Vista—Enter Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette—The Massacre of the Swiss Guards—The Blood of Paris—A Series of Disasters—The Growth of Paris—The Napoleonic Rebuilders—The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel—The Irony of History—A Frock Coat Rampant—The Statuary of Paris—The Gardens of the Tuileries—Monsieur Pol, Charmer of Birds—The Parisian Sparrow—Hyde Park—The Drum.

Had we turned our back only thirty-eight years ago on Frémiet's statue of Joan of Arc (which was not there then) in the Place de Rivoli, and walked down what is now the Rue de Tuileries towards the Seine, we should have had on our left hand a beautiful and imposing building—the Palace of the Tuileries, which united the two wings of the Louvre that now terminate in the Pavillon de Marsan just by the Place de Rivoli and the Pavillon de Flore on the Quai des Tuileries. The palace stretched right across this interval, thus interrupting the wonderful vista of to-day from the old Louvre right away to the Arc de Triomphe—probably the most extraordinary and beautiful civilised, or artificial, vista in the world. The palace had, however, a sufficiently fine if curtailed share of it from its own windows. 115

All Parisians upwards of forty-five must remember the Palace perfectly, for it was not destroyed until 1871, during the Commune, and it was some years after that incendiary period before all traces were removed and the gardens spread uninterruptedly from the Carrousel to the Concorde.

The Palace of the Tuileries (so called because it occupied a site previously covered by tile kilns) was begun in 1564 and had therefore lived for three centuries. Catherine de Médicis planned it, but, as we shall read later, she lost interest in it very quickly owing to one of those inconvenient prophecies which were wont in earlier times so to embarrass rulers, but which to-day in civilised countries have entirely gone out. The Tuileries was a happy enough palace, as palaces go, until the Revolution: it then became for a while the very centre of rebellion and carnage; for Louis XVI. and the Royal Family were conveyed thither after the fatal oath had been sworn in the Versailles tennis-court. Then came the critical 10th of August, when the King consented to attend the conference in the Manège (now no more, but a tablet opposite the Rue Castiglione marks the spot) and thus lost everything.

The massacre of the Swiss Guards followed: but here it is impossible, or at least absurd, not to hear Carlyle. Mandal, Commander of the National Guard, I would premise, has been assassinated by the crowd; the Constitutional Assembly sits in the Manège, and the King, 116 a prisoner in the Tuileries, but still a hesitant and an optimist, is ordered to attend it. At last he consents. "King Louis sits, his hands leant on his knees, body bent forward; gazes for a space fixedly on Syndic Rœderer; then answers, looking over his shoulder to the Queen: Marchons! They march; King Louis, Queen, Sister Elizabeth, the two royal children and governess: these, with Syndic Rœderer, and Officials of the Department; amid a double rank of National Guards. The men with blunderbusses, the steady red Swiss gaze mournfully, reproachfully; but hear only these words from Syndic Rœderer: 'The King is going to the Assembly; make way'. It has struck eight, on all clocks, some minutes ago: the King has left the Tuileries—forever.



"O ye stanch Swiss, ye gallant gentlemen in black, for what a cause are ye to spend and be spent! Look out from the western windows, ye may see King Louis placidly hold on his way; the poor little Prince Royal 'sportfully kicking the fallen leaves'. Fremescent multitude on the Terrace of the Feuillants whirls parallel to him; one man in it, very noisy, with a long pole: will they not obstruct the outer Staircase, and back-entrance of the Salle, when it comes to that? King's Guards can go no farther than the bottom step there. Lo, Deputation of Legislators come out; he of the long pole is stilled by oratory; Assembly's Guards join themselves to King's Guards, and all may mount in this case of necessity; the outer Staircase is free, or 117 passable. See, Royalty ascends; a blue Grenadier lifts the poor little Prince Royal from the press; Royalty has entered in. Royalty has vanished for ever from your eyes.—And ye? Left standing there, amid the yawning abysses, and earthquake of Insurrection; without course; without command: if ye perish, it must be as more than martyrs, as martyrs who are now without a cause! The black Courtiers disappear mostly; through such issues as they can. The poor Swiss know not how to act: one duty only is clear to them, that of standing by their post; and they will perform that.

"But the glittering steel tide has arrived; it beats now against the Château barriers and eastern Courts; irresistible, loud-surging far and wide;—breaks in, fills the Court of the Carrousel, blackbrowed Marseillese in the van. King Louis gone, say you; over to the Assembly! Well and good: but till the Assembly pronounce Forfeiture of him, what boots it? Our post is in that Château or stronghold of his; there till then must we continue. Think, ye stanch Swiss, whether it were good that grim murder began, and brothers blasted one another in pieces for a stone edifice?—Poor Swiss! they know not how to act: from the southern windows, some fling cartridges, in sign of brotherhood; on the eastern outer staircase, and within through long stairs and corridors, they stand firm-ranked, peaceable and yet refusing to stir. Westermann speaks to them in Alsatian German; Marseillese plead, in hot Provençal speech and pantomime; stunning hubbub 118 pleads and threatens, infinite, around. The Swiss stand fast, peaceable and yet immovable; red granite pier in that waste-flashing sea of steel.

"Who can help the inevitable issue; Marseillese and all France on this side; granite Swiss on that? The pantomime grows hotter and hotter; Marseillese sabres flourishing by way of action; the Swiss brow also clouding itself, the Swiss thumb bringing its firelock to the cock. And hark! high thundering above all the din, three Marseillese cannon from the Carrousel, pointed by a gunner of bad aim, come rattling over the roofs! Ye Swiss, therefore: Fire! The Swiss fire; by volley, by platoon, in rolling fire: Marseillese men not a few, and 'a tall man that was louder than any,' lie silent, smashed upon the pavement;—not a few Marseillese, after the long dusty march, have made halt here. The Carrousel is void; the black tide recoiling; 'fugitives rushing as far as Saint-Antoine before they stop'. The Cannoneers without linstock have squatted invisible, and left their cannon; which the Swiss seize....

"Behold, the fire slackens not; nor does the Swiss rolling-fire slacken from within. Nay they clutched cannon, as we saw; and now, from the other side, they clutch three pieces more; alas, cannon without linstock; nor will the steel-and-flint answer, though they try it. Had it chanced to answer! Patriot onlookers have their misgivings; one strangest Patriot onlooker thinks that the Swiss, had they a commander, would beat. He is a man not unqualified to judge; the name of him 119 Napoleon Buonaparte. And onlookers, and women, stand gazing, and the witty Dr. Moore of Glasgow among them, on the other side of the River: cannon rush rumbling past them; pause on the Pont Royal; belch out their iron entrails there, against the Tuileries; and at every new belch, the women and onlookers 'shout and clap hands'. City of all the Devils! In remote streets, men are drinking breakfast-coffee; following their affairs; with a start now and then, as some dull echo reverberates a note louder. And here? Marseillese fall wounded; but Barbaroux has surgeons; Barbaroux is close by, managing, though underhand and under cover. Marseillese fall death-struck; bequeath their firelock, specify in which pocket are the cartridges; and die murmuring, 'Revenge me, Revenge thy country!' Brest Fédéré Officers, galloping in red coats, are shot as Swiss. Lo you, the Carrousel has burst into flame!—Paris Pandemonium! Nay the poor City, as we said, is in fever-fit and convulsion: such crisis has lasted for the space of some half hour.

"But what is this that, with Legislative Insignia, ventures through the hubbub and death-hail, from the back-entrance of the Manège? Towards the Tuileries and Swiss: written Order from his Majesty to cease firing! O ye hapless Swiss, why was there no order not to begin it? Gladly would the Swiss cease firing: but who will bid mad Insurrection cease firing? To Insurrection you cannot speak; neither can it, hydra-headed, hear. The dead and dying, by the hundred, 120 lie all around; are borne bleeding through the streets, towards help; the sight of them, like a torch of the Furies, kindling Madness. Patriot Paris roars; as the bear bereaved of her whelps. On, ye Patriots: Vengeance! Victory or death! There are men seen, who rush on, armed only with walking-sticks. Terror and Fury rule the hour.

"The Swiss, pressed on from without, paralysed from within, have ceased to shoot; but not to be shot. What shall they do? Desperate is the moment. Shelter or instant death: yet How, Where? One party flies out by the Rue de l'Echelle; is destroyed utterly, 'en entier'. A second, by the other side, throws itself into the Garden; 'hurrying across a keen fusillade'; rushes suppliant into the National Assembly; finds pity and refuge in the back benches there. The third, and largest, darts out in column, three hundred strong, towards the Champs Elysées: 'Ah, could we but reach Courbevoye, where other Swiss are!' Wo! see, in such fusillade the column 'soon breaks itself by diversity of opinion,' into distracted segments, this way and that;—to escape in holes, to die fighting from street to street. The firing and murdering will not cease; not yet for long. The red Porters of Hôtels are shot at, be they Suisse by nature, or Suisse only in name....

"Surely few things in the history of carnage are painfuller. What ineffaceable red streak, flickering so sad in the memory, is that, of this poor column of red Swiss 'breaking itself in the confusion of opinions'; dispersing, 121 into blackness and death! Honour to you, brave men; honourable pity, through long times! Not martyrs were ye; and yet almost more. He was no King of yours, this Louis; and he forsook you like a King of shreds and patches: ye were but sold to him for some poor sixpence a-day; yet would ye work for your wages, keep your plighted word. The work now was to die; and ye did it. Honour to you, O Kinsmen."


(Louvre: Thomy-Thierret Collection)

Is that too dreadful an association for this spot? It is terrible; but to visit Paris without any historical interest is too materialistic a proceeding, and to have the historical interest in Paris and be afraid of a little blood is an untenable position. Paris is steeped in blood.

The Tuileries had not seen all its riot yet; July 29th, 1830, was to come, when, after another taste of monarchy, revived in 1814 after its murder on that appalling 10th of August (which was virtually its death day, although the date of the birth of the First Republic stands as September 21st, 1793), the mob attacked the Palace, the last Bourbon king, Charles X., fled from it and from France, and Louis-Philippe of Orléans mounted the throne in his stead. But that was not all. Another seventeen and a half years and revengeful time saw Louis-Philippe, last of the Orléans kings, escaping in his turn from another besieging crowd, and the establishment of the Second Republic.

During the Second Empire some of the old splendour returned, and it was here, at the Tuileries, that 122 Napoleon III. drew up many of his plans for the modern Paris that we now know; and then came the Prussian war and the Third Republic, and then the terrible Communard insurrection in the spring of 1871, in which the Tuileries disappeared for ever. Napoleon III., as I have said, assisted by Baron Haussmann, toiled in the great pacific task of renovating Paris, not with the imaginative genius of his uncle, but with an undeniable largeness and sagacity. He it was who added so greatly to the Louvre—all that part in fact opposite the Place du Palais Royal and the Magasins du Louvre as far west as the Rue de Rohan. A large portion of the corresponding wing on the river side was his too. But here is a list, since we are on the subject of modern Paris—which began with the great Napoleon's reconstruction of the ravages (beneficial for the most part) of the Revolutionaries—of the efforts made by each ruler since that epoch. I borrow the table from the Marquis de Rochegude.

"Napoleon I.—Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Vendôme Column, Façade du Corps Legislatif, Commencement of the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, La Bourse, the Bridges d'Austerlitz, d'Iéna, des Arts, de la Cité, several Markets, Quais d'Orsay, de Billy, du Louvre, Montebello, de la Tournelle; the Eastern and Northern Cemeteries; numbering the houses in 1806, begun without success in 1728; pavements in the streets and doing away with the streams or flowing gutters in the middle of the streets." (How like Napoleon to get the 123 houses numbered on a clear system! Throughout Paris the odd numbers occupy one side of the street and the even the other. All are numbered from the Seine outwards.)

"The Restoration.—Chapel Expiatoire, N.D. de Bonne-Nouvelle, N.D. de Lorette, St. Vincent de Paul; Bridges of the Invalides, of the Archbishopric, d'Arcole; Canals of St. Denis and St. Martin; fifty-five new streets; lighting by gas." (It was about 1828 that cabs came in. They were called fiacres from the circumstance that their originator carried on his business at the sign of the Grand St. Fiacre.)

"Louis-Philippe, 1830-1848.—Finished the Madeleine, Arc de Triomphe, erected the Obelisk (Place de la Concorde), Column of July; Bridges: Louis-Philippe, Carrousel; Palace of the Quai d'Orsay; enlarged the Palais de Justice; restored Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle; Fountains: Louvois, Cuvier, St. Sulpice, Gaillon, Molière; opened the Museums of Cluny and the Thermes. In 1843—1,100 streets.

"Napoleon III., 1852-1870.—Embellished Paris—execution of Haussmann's plans, twenty-two new boulevards; Streets Lafayette, Quatre-Septembre, de Turbigo; Bvd. St. Germain; Rues des Ecoles, de Rivoli, the Champs Elysées Quarter, the Avenues Friedland, Hoche, Kléber, the Marceau, de L'Impératrice, many squares; a part of new Louvre; Churches of St. Augustine, The Trinity, St. Ambroise, Ste. Clotilde (finishing of); Theatres, Châtelet, Lyrique, du Vaudeville; Tribunal of Commerce, 124 Hôtel Dieu, Barracks, Central Markets (also the ceinture railway); finishing of the Laribosière hospital, the Fountain of St. Michel, the Bridges of Solferino, L'Alma, the Pont au Change. In 1861, 1,667,841 inhabitants.

"The Commune.—Burning of the Tuileries, the Ministry of Finance, the Louvre Library, the Hôtel de Ville, the Palace of the Legion of Honour, the Palace of the Quai d'Orsay, the Lyric, the Châtelet and the Porte St. Martin theatres, etc.

"The Republic.—Reconstruction of the buildings burnt by the Commune; Avenue de l'Opéra, the Opera House; Streets: Etienne Marcel, Réaumur, Avenue de la République, etc. In 1892, 4,090 streets, in 1902 there were 4,261 streets. The Exhibition 1878 left the Trocadero, and that of 1889 the Eiffel Tower, and that of 1900 the two Palaces of the Champs-Elysées and the bridge Alexander III." (To this one should add the Métro, still uncompleted, which has the advantage over London's Tubes of being only just below the surface, so that no lift is needed.)



The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, at the east end of the gardens, is a mere child compared with the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, which stands there, so serenely and magnificently, at the end of the vista in the west, nearly two amazing miles away; it could be placed easily, with many feet to spare, under that greater monument's arch (as Victor Hugo's coffin was); but it is more beautiful. Both were the work of Napoleon, 125 both celebrate the victories of 1805-06. The Carrousel is surmounted by a triumphal car and four horses; but here again, as in the case of the statue of Henri IV. on the Pont Neuf, there have been ironical changes. Napoleon, when he ordained the arch, which was intended largely to reproduce that of Severus at Rome, ravished for its crowning the quadriga from St. Mark's at Venice: those glorious gleaming horses over the door. That was as it should be: he was a conqueror and entitled to the spoils of conquest. But after his fall came, as we have seen, a pedantic disgorgement of such treasure; the golden team trotted back to the Adriatic, and a new decoration had to be provided for the Carrousel. Hence the present one, which represents—what? It is almost inconceivable; but, Louis XVIII. having commissioned it, it represents the triumph no longer of Napoleon but of the Restoration! Amusing to remember this under the Third Republic, as one looks up at it and then at the bas-reliefs of the battle of Austerlitz, the peace of Tilsit, the capitulation of Ulm, the entry into Munich, the entry into Vienna and the peace of Pressburg. Time's revenges indeed.

Standing under the Arc du Carrousel one makes the interesting but disappointing discovery that the Arc de Triomphe, the column of Luxor in the Place de la Concorde, the fountain, the Arc du Carrousel, the Gambetta monument and the Pavillon Sully of the Louvre do not form a straight line, as by all the laws of French architectural symmetry they should—especially 126 here, where compasses and rulers seem to have been at work on every inch of the ground, and, as I have ascertained, general opinion considers them to do. All is well, from the west, until the Arc du Carrousel; it is the Gambetta and the Pavilion Sully that throw it out.

The Gambetta! This monument fascinates me, not by its beauty nor because I have any especial reverence for the statesman; but simply by the vigour of his clothes, the frock coat and the light overcoat of the flamboyant orator, holding forth for evermore (or until his hour strikes), urgent and impetuous and French. To the frock coat in sculpture we in London are no strangers, for have we not Parliament Square? but our frock coats are quiescent, dead even, things of stone. Gambetta's, on the contrary, is tempestuous—surely the most heroic frock coat that ever emerged from the quarries of Carrara. It might have been cut by the Great Mel himself.

I have never seen a computation of the stone and bronze population of Paris, but the statues must be thousands strong. A Pied Piper leading them out of the city would be worth seeing, although I for one would regret their loss. Paris, I suppose, was Paris no less than now in the days before Gambetta masqueraded as a Frock Coated Victory almost within hail of the Winged Victory of Samothrace; but Paris certainly would not be Paris any more were some new turn of the wheel to whisk him away and leave the Place du Carrousel forlorn and tepid. The loss even of the smug 127 figure of Jules Simon, just outside Durand's, would be something like a bereavement. I once, by the way, saw this statue wearing, after a snowstorm, a white fur cap and cape that gave him a character—something almost Siberian—beyond anything dreamed of by the sculptor.

It is not until one has walked through the gardens of the Tuileries that the wealth of statuary in Paris begins to impress the mind. For there must be almost as many statues as flowers. They shine or glimmer everywhere, as in the Athenian groves—allegorical, symbolical, mythological, naked. The Luxembourg Gardens, as we shall see, are hardly less rich, but there one finds the statues of real persons. Here, as becomes a formal garden projected by a king, realism is excluded. Formal it is in the extreme; the trees are sternly pollarded, the beds are mathematically laid out, the paths are straight and not to be deviated from. None the less on a hot summer's day there are few more delightful spots, with the placid bonnes sitting so solidly, as only French women can sit, over their needlework, and their charges flitting like discreet butterflies all around them; and here are two old philosophers—another Bouvard and Pécuchet—discussing some problem of conduct or science, and there a family party lunching heartily, without shame. Pleasant groves, pleasant people!

But the best thing in the Tuileries is M. Pol. Who is M. Pol? Well, he may not be the most famous man 128 in Paris, but he is certainly the most engaging. M. Pol is the charmer of birds—"Le Charmeur d'oiseaux au Jardin des Tuileries," to give him his full title. There may be other charmers too at their pretty labours; but M. Pol comes easily first: his personality is so attractive, his terms of intercourse with the birds so intimate. His oiseaux are chiefly sparrows, whom he knows by name—La Princesse, Le Loustic, Garibaldi, La Baronne, l'Anglais, and so forth. They come one by one at his call, and he pets them and praises them; talks pretty ironical talk; uses them (particularly the little brown l'Anglais) for sly satirical purposes, for there are usually a few English spectators; affects to admonish and even chastise them, shuffling minatory feet with all the noise but none of the illusion of seriousness; and never ceases the while to scatter his crumbs or seeds of comfort. It is a very charming little drama, and although carried on every day, and for some hours every day, it has no suggestion of routine; one feels that the springs of it are sweetness and benevolence.

He is a typical elderly Latin, this M. Pol, a little unmindful as to his dress, a little inclined to shamble: humorous, careless, gentle. When I first saw him, years ago, he fed his birds and went his way: but he now makes a little money by it too, now and then offering, very reluctantly, postcards bearing pictures of himself with all his birds about him and a distich or so from his pen. For M. Pol is a poet in words as well as deeds: "De nos petits oiseaux," he writes on one card:— 129

"De nos petits oiseaux, je suis le bienfaiteur,
Et je vais tous les jours leur donner la pâture,
Mais suivant un contrat dicté par la nature
Quand je donne mon pain, ils me donnent leur cœur."

I think this true. It is a little more than cupboard love that inspires these tiny creatures, or they would never settle on M. Pol's hands and shoulders as they do. He has charmed the pigeons also; but here he admits to a lower motive:—

"Ils savent, les malins, que leur couvert est mis,
C'est en faisant du bien qu'on se fait des amis."

It amused me one day at the Louvre to fix one of these photographs in the frame of Giotto's picture of St. Francis (in Salle VII.), one of the scenes of which shows him preaching to the birds, thus bridging the gulf between the centuries and making for the moment the Assisi of the Saint and the Paris of M. Briand one.

London has its noticeable lovers of animals too—you may see in St. Paul's churchyard in the dinner hour isolated figures surrounded and covered by pigeons: the British Museum courtyard also knows one or two, and the Guildhall: quite like Venice, both of them, save that no one is excited about it; while in St. James's Square may be seen at all hours of every day the mysterious cat woman with her pensioners all about her on their little mats. Every city has these humorists—shall I say? using the word as it was wont to be used long ago. But M. Pol—M. Pol stands alone. It is not merely that he charms the birds but that he is 130 so charming with them. The pigeon feeders of London whom I have watched bring their maize, distribute it and go. M. Pol is more of a St. Francis than that: as I have shown, he converses, jokes and exchanges moods with his friends.

Although he is acquainted with pigeons, his real friends are the gamins of the air, the sparrows, true Parisians, who have the best news. Pigeons, one can conceive, pick up a fact here and there, but it would have a foreign or provincial flavour. Now if there is one thing which bores a true Parisian it is talk of what is happening outside Paris. The Parisian's horizons do not extend beyond his city. The sun for him rises out of the Bois de Vincennes, and evening comes because it has sunk into the Bois de Boulogne. Hence M. Pol's wisdom in choosing the sparrow for his companion, his oiseau intime.

So far had I written when I chanced to walk into London by way of Hyde Park, and there, just by the Achilles statue, was a charming gentleman in a tall white hat whistling a low whistle to a little band of sparrows who followed him and surrounded him and fluttered up, one by one, to his hand. We talked a little together, and he told me that the birds never forget him, though he is absent for eight months each year. His whistle brings them at once. So London is all right after all. And I have been told delightful things about the friends of the grey squirrels in Central Park; so New York perhaps is all right too.

The Round Pond of Paris is at the Tuileries—not so 131 vast as the mare clausum of Kensington Gardens, but capable of accommodating many argosies. Leaving this Pond behind us and making for the Place de la Concorde, we have on the right the remains of a monastery of the Cistercians, one of the many religious houses which stood all about the north of the Gardens at the time of the Revolution and were first discredited and emptied by the votaries of Reason and then swept away by Napoleon when he made the Rue de Rivoli. The building on the left is the Orangery. It is in this part that the temporary pavilions are erected for the banquets to provincial mayors and such pleasant ceremonies, while in the summer some little exhibition is usually in progress.

But what is that sound? The beating of a drum. We must hasten to the gates, for that means closing time.



A Dangerous Crossing—An Ill-omened Place—Louis the XVI. in Prosperity and Adversity—January 21st, 1793—The End of Robespierre—The Luxor Column—The Congress of Wheels—England and France—The Champs Elysées—The Parc Monceau—A Terrestrial Paradise—Oriental Museums—The Etoile's Tributaries—The Arc de Triomphe—The Avenue du Bois de Boulogne—A Vast Pleasure-ground—Happy Sundays—Longchamp—The Pari-mutuel—Spotting a Winner—Two Crowded Corners—The Rival Salons—The Palais des Beaux-Arts—Dutch Masters—Modern French Painters—Superb Drawing—Fairies among the Statues—The Pont Alexandre III.—The Fairs of Paris—A Vast Alms-house—A Model Museum—Relics of Napoleon—The Second Funeral of Napoleon—The Tomb of Napoleon.

The Place de la Concorde by day is vast rather than beautiful, and by night it is a congress of lamps. By both it is dangerous, and in bad weather as exposed as the open sea. But it is sacred ground and Paris is unthinkable without it. The interest of the Place is summed up in the Luxor column, which may perhaps be said to mark what is perhaps the most critical site in modern history; for where the obelisk now stands stood not so very long ago the guillotine.

The Place's name has been Concorde only since 1830 133 It began in 1763, when a bronze statue of Louis XV. on horseback was erected there, surrounded by emblematic figures, from the chisel of Pigalle, of Prudence, Justice, Force and Peace. Hence the characteristic French epigram:—

"O la belle statue, O le beau piédestal!
Les Vertus sont à pied, le Vice est à cheval."

Before this time the Place had been an open and uncultivated space; it was now enclosed, surrounded with fosses, made trim, and called La Place Louis Quinze. In 1770, however, came tragedy; for on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin, afterwards the luckless Louis XVI., with the equally luckless Marie Antoinette, a display of fireworks was given, during which one of the rockets (as one always dreads at every display) declined the sky and rushed horizontally into the crowd, and in the resulting stampede thousands of persons fell into the ditches, twelve hundred being killed outright and two thousand injured.

Twenty-two years later, kings having suddenly become cheap, the National Convention ordered the statue of Louis XV. to be melted down and recast into cannon, a clay figure of Liberté to be set up in its stead, and the name to be changed to the Place de la Révolution. This was done, and a little later the guillotine was erected a few yards west of the spot where the Luxor column now stands, primarily for the removal of the head of Louis XVI., in whose honour those unfortunate fireworks had been ignited. The day was January 21st, 1793. 134

"King Louis," says Carlyle, "slept sound, till five in the morning, when Cléry, as he had been ordered, awoke him. Cléry dressed his hair: while this went forward, Louis took a ring from his watch, and kept trying it on his finger; it was his wedding-ring, which he is now to return to the Queen as a mute farewell. At half-past six, he took the Sacrament; and continued in devotion, and conference with Abbé Edgeworth. He will not see his Family: it were too hard to bear.

"At eight, the Municipals enter: the King gives them his Will, and messages and effects; which they, at first, brutally refuse to take charge of: he gives them a roll of gold pieces, a hundred and twenty-five louis; these are to be returned to Malesherbes, who had lent them. At nine, Santerre says the hour is come. The King begs yet to retire for three minutes. At the end of three minutes, Santerre again says the hour is come. 'Stamping on the ground with his right-foot, Louis answers: "Partons, Let us go."'—How the rolling of those drums comes in, through the Temple bastions and bulwarks, on the heart of a queenly wife; soon to be a widow! He is gone, then, and has not seen us? A Queen weeps bitterly; a King's Sister and Children. Over all these Four does Death also hover: all shall perish miserably save one; she, as Duchesse d'Angoulême, will live,—not happily.

"At the Temple Gate were some faint cries, perhaps from voices of pitiful women: 'Grâce! Grâce!' Through the rest of the streets there is silence as of the grave. 135 No man not armed is allowed to be there: the armed, did any even pity, dare not express it, each man overawed by all his neighbours. All windows are down, none seen looking through them. All shops are shut. No wheel-carriage rolls, this morning, in these streets but one only. Eighty thousand armed men stand ranked, like armed statues of men; cannons bristle, cannoneers with match burning, but no word or movement: it is as a city enchanted into silence and stone: one carriage with its escort, slowly rumbling, is the only sound. Louis reads, in his Book of Devotion, the Prayers of the Dying: clatter of this death-march falls sharp on the ear, in the great silence; but the thought would fain struggle heavenward, and forget the Earth.

"As the clocks strike ten, behold the Place de la Révolution, once Place de Louis Quinze: the Guillotine, mounted near the old Pedestal where once stood the Statue of that Louis! Far round, all bristles with cannons and armed men: spectators crowding in the rear; D'Orléans Egalité there in cabriolet. Swift messengers, hoquetons, speed to the Townhall, every three minutes: near by is the Convention sitting,—vengeful for Lepelletier. Heedless of all, Louis reads his Prayers of the Dying; not till five minutes yet has he finished; then the Carriage opens. What temper he is in? Ten different witnesses will give ten different accounts of it. He is in the collision of all tempers; arrived now at the black Maelstrom and descent of Death: in sorrow, in indignation, in resignation struggling to be resigned. 136 'Take care of M. Edgeworth,' he straitly charges the Lieutenant who is sitting with them: then they two descend.

"The drums are beating: 'Taisez-vous, Silence!' he cries 'in a terrible voice, d'une voix terrible'. He mounts the scaffold, not without delay; he is in puce coat, breeches of gray, white stockings. He strips off the coat; stands disclosed in a sleeve-waistcoat of white flannel. The Executioners approach to bind him: he spurns, resists; Abbé Edgeworth has to remind him how the Saviour, in whom men trust, submitted to be bound. His hands are tied, his head bare, the fatal moment is come. He advances to the edge of the Scaffold, 'his face very red,' and says: 'Frenchmen, I die innocent: it is from the Scaffold and near appearing before God that I tell you so. I pardon my enemies: I desire that France——' A General on horseback, Santerre or another, prances out, with uplifted hand: 'Tambours!' The drums drown the voice. Executioners, do your duty!' The Executioners, desperate lest themselves be murdered (for Santerre and his Armed Ranks will strike, if they do not), seize the hapless Louis: six of them desperate, him singly desperate, struggling there; and bind him to their plank. Abbé Edgeworth, stooping, bespeaks him: 'Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven'. The Axe clanks down; a King's Life is shorn away. It is Monday the 21st of January, 1793. He was aged Thirty-eight years, four months and twenty-eight days.




"Executioner Samson shows the Head: fierce shout of Vive la République rises, and swells; caps raised on bayonets, hats waving; students of the College of Four Nations take it up, on the far Quais; fling it over Paris. D'Orléans drives off in his cabriolet: the Townhall Councillors rub their hands, saying, 'It is done, It is done'. There is dipping of handkerchiefs, of pike-points in the blood. Headsman Samson, though he afterwards denied it, sells locks of the hair: fractions of the puce coat are long after worn in rings.—And so, in some half-hour it is done; and the multitude has all departed. Pastry-cooks, coffee-sellers, milkmen sing out their trivial quotidian cries: the world wags on, as if this were a common day. In the coffee-houses that evening, says Prudhomme, Patriot shook hands with Patriot in a more cordial manner than usual. Not till some days after, according to Mercier, did public men see what a grave thing it was."

The guillotine for more ordinary purposes worked in the Place du Carrousel, not far from Gambetta's statue to-day; but from May, 1793, until June, 1794, it was back in the Place de la Concorde (then Place de la Révolution) again, accounting during that time for no fewer than 1,235 offenders, including Charlotte Corday, Madame Roland and Marie Antoinette. The blood flowed daily, while the tricoteuses looked on over their knitting and the mob howled.

Another removal, to the Place de la Bastille, and then on 28th July, 1794, the engine of justice or vengeance 138 was back again to end a life and the Reign of Terror in one blow. What life? But listen: "Robespierre," lay in an anteroom of the Convention Hall, while his Prison-escort was getting ready; the mangled jaw bound up rudely with bloody linen: a spectacle to men. He lies stretched on a table, a deal-box his pillow; the sheath of the pistol is still clenched convulsively in his hand. Men bully him, insult him: his eyes still indicate intelligence; he speaks no word. 'He had on the sky-blue coat he had got made for the Feast of the Être Suprême'—O Reader, can thy hard heart hold out against that? His trousers were nankeen; the stockings had fallen down over the ankles. He spake no word more in this world.

"And so, at six in the morning, a victorious Convention adjourns. Report flies over Paris as on golden wings; penetrates the Prisons; irradiates the faces of those that were ready to perish: turnkeys and moutons, fallen from their high estate, look mute and blue. It is the 28th day of July, called 10th of Thermidor, year 1794.

"Fouquier had but to identify; his Prisoners being already Out of Law. At four in the afternoon, never before were the streets of Paris seen so crowded. From the Palais de Justice to the Place de la Révolution, for thither again go the Tumbrils this time, it is one dense stirring mass; all windows crammed; the very roofs and ridge-tiles budding forth human Curiosity, in strange gladness. The Death-tumbrils, with their motley Batch of Outlaws, some twenty-three or so, 139 from Maximilien to Mayor Fleuriot and Simon the Cordwainer, roll on. All eyes are on Robespierre's Tumbril, where he, his jaw bound in dirty linen, with his half-dead Brother and half-dead Henriot, lie shattered; their 'seventeen hours' of agony about to end. The Gendarmes point their swords at him, to show the people which is he. A woman springs on the Tumbril; clutching the side of it with one hand, waving the other Sibyl-like; and exclaims: 'The death of thee gladdens my very heart, m'enivre de joie'; Robespierre opened his eyes; 'Scélérat, go down to Hell, with the curses of all wives and mothers!'—At the foot of the scaffold, they stretched him on the ground till his turn came. Lifted aloft, his eyes again opened; caught the bloody axe. Samson wrenched the coat off him; wrenched the dirty linen from his jaw: the jaw fell powerless, there burst from him a cry;—hideous to hear and see. Samson, thou canst not be too quick!

"Samson's work done, there bursts forth shout on shout of applause. Shout, which prolongs itself not only over Paris, but over France, but over Europe, and down to this generation. Deservedly, and also undeservedly. O unhappiest Advocate of Arras, wert thou worse than other Advocates? Stricter man, according to his Formula, to his Credo and his Cant, of probities, benevolences, pleasures-of-virtue, and suchlike, lived not in that age. A man fitted, in some luckier settled age, to have become one of those incorruptible barren Pattern-Figures, and have had marble-tablets and funeral-sermons. 140 His poor landlord, the Cabinet-maker in the Rue Saint-Honoré, loved him; his Brother died for him. May God be merciful to him and to us!

"This is the end of the Reign of Terror."

In 1799 the Place won its name Concorde. The next untoward sight that it was to see was Prussian and Russian soldiers encamping there in 1814 and 1815, and in 1815 the British. By this time it had been renamed Place Louis Quinze, which in 1826 was changed to Place Louis Seize, and a project was afoot for raising a monument to that monarch's memory on the spot where he fell. But the Revolution of 1830 intervened, and "Concorde" resumed its sway, and in 1836 Louis-Philippe, the new king (whose father, Philippe Egalité, had perished on the guillotine here), erected the Luxor column, which had been given to him by Mohammed Ali, and had once stood before the great temple of Thebes commemorating on its sides the achievements of Rameses II. Since then certain symbolic statues of the great French cities (including unhappy Strassburg) have been set up, and the Place is a model of symmetry; and at the time that I write (1909) a great part of it is enclosed within hoardings for I know not what purpose, but I hope a subway for the saving of the lives of pedestrians, for it must be the most perilous crossing in the world. One has but to set foot in the roadway and straightway motor-cars and cabs spring out of the earth and converge upon one from every point of the compass, in the amazing French way. Concorde, indeed!



141 If the Place de la Concorde may be called at night a congress of lamps, the Champs-Elysées in the afternoon may be said to be a congress of wheels. Wheels in such numbers and revolving at such a pace are never seen in England, not even on the Epsom road on Derby Day. For there is no speed limit for the French motor-car. Nor have we in England anything like this superb roadway, so wide and open, climbing so confidently to the Arc de Triomphe, with its groves on either side at the foot, and the prosperous white mansions afterwards. It is not our way. We English, with our ambition to conquer and administer the world, have neglected our own home; the French, with no ambition any longer to wander beyond their own borders, have made their home beautiful. The energy which we as a nation put into greater Britain, they have put into buildings, into statues, into roads. The result is that we have the Transvaal, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India, but it is the French, foregoing such possessions and all their anxieties, who have the Champs-Elysées.

The Champs-Elysées were planned and laid out by Marie de Médicis in 1616, and the Cours la Reine, her triple avenue of trees, still exists; but Napoleon is the father of the scheme which culminates so magnificently in the Arc de Triomphe. The particular children's paradise of Paris is in the gardens between the main road and the Elysée, where they bowl their hoops and spin their Diabolo spools, and ride on the horses of minute round-abouts turned by hand, and watch the 142 marionettes, with the tired eyes of Alphonse Daudet, who sits for ever, close by, in very white stone, watching them. Here also are the open-air cafés, the Ambassadeurs and the Alcazar, while on the other, the river, side are the Jardin de Paris, a curiously Lutetian haunt, and Ledoyen's, one of the pleasantest of restaurants in summer.

Just above this point we ought to turn to the left to visit the Petit Palais and cross the Pont Alexandre III., but since we are on the way let us now climb to the Etoile, and on to the Bois, first, however, just turning off the Rond-Point for a moment to look at No. 3 Avenue Matignon, where Heine (beside whose grave we are to stand on Montmartre) suffered and died.

The Place de l'Etoile might be called a kind of gilt-edged Seven Dials, since so many roads lead from it. Aristocratic Paris comes to a head here. On the right runs from it the Avenue de Friedland, leading to the Boulevard Haussmann, which meets with so inglorious an end at the Rue Taitbout, but is perhaps to be cut through to join the Boulevard Montmartre. Next on the right is the Avenue Hoche, running directly into the Parc Monceau, a terrestrial paradise to which good mondaines certainly go when they die. A little appartement overlooking the Parc Monceau—there is tangible heaven, if you like!

The Parc itself is small but perfect, elegant and expensive and verdant. The children (one feels) are all titled, the bonnes are visibly miracles of distinction and the babies masses of point lace; the ladies on the chairs 143 must be Comtesses or Baronnes, and the air is carefully scented. That is the Parc Monceau. It needed but one detail to make it complete, and that was supplied a few years ago: a statue of Guy de Maupassant, consisting of a block of the most radiant marble to be procured, with the novelist as its apex, and at the base a Parisienne reading one of his stories. Other statues there are: of Ambroise Thomas the composer, to whom Mignon offers a floral tribute; of Pailleron the dramatist, attended by an actress; of Gounod surrounded by Marguerite, Juliet, Sappho and a little Love; and of Chopin seated at the piano, with the figures of Night and Harmony to inspire him. These are only a few; but they are typical. Every statue in the Parc has a damsel or two, according to his desire. It is the mode. There is also a minute lake, on the edge of which have been set up a number of Corinthian columns; and before you have been seated a minute, an old woman appears from nowhere and demands twopence for what she poetically calls an armchair, the extra penny being added as a compliment to the two uncomfortable wires at the side which you had been wishing you could break off. Such is the Parc Monceau, the like of which exists not in London: the ideal pleasaunce of the wealthy. Through it, I might add, you may drive; but only at a walking pace—au pas. If the horse were to trot he might shake some petals off.

At the western gate is the Musée Cernuschi, containing a collection of oriental pottery and bronzes. I am 144 no connoisseur of these beautiful things, but I advise all readers of this book to visit both this museum and the Guimet in the Place d'Iéna, which is a treasury of Japanese and Chinese art.

Returning to the Etoile, the next avenue is the Avenue de Wagram, running north to the Porte d'Asnières, while that which continues the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in a straight line west by north is the Avenue de la Grande Armée, running to the Porte Maillot and Neuilly. On the left the first avenue is the Avenue Marceau, which leads to the Place de l'Alma; the next the Avenue d'Iéna, leading to the Place d'Iéna; the next, the Avenue Kléber, running straight to the Trocadéro (into which I have never penetrated) and Passy, where the English live; the next, the Avenue Victor Hugo, which never stops; and finally the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, the most beautiful roadway in new Paris, along which we shall fare when we have examined the Arc de Triomphe.

This trophy of success was begun, as I have said, by Napoleon to celebrate the victories of 1805 and 1806; Louis-Philippe finished it in 1836. Why Louis XVIII. did not destroy it or complete it as a further memorial of the Restoration, I cannot say. Napoleon's original idea was, however, tampered with by his successors, who allowed a bas-relief representing the Blessings of Peace in 1815 to be included. The sculptures are otherwise wholly devoted to the glorification of war, Napoleon and the French army; but they are not to be studied 145 without serious inconvenience. My advice to the conscientious student would be to buy photographs or picture postcards, and examine them at home: the Arc de Triomphe is too great and splendid for such detail. From the top one can see all round Paris, and though one cannot look down on it all as from the Eiffel Tower, or see, beneath one, such an interesting district as from Notre Dame, it is yet a wonderfully interesting view.

The Avenue du Bois de Boulogne has the finest road in what is, so to speak, the Marais of the present day; that is to say, in the modern quarter of the aristocratic and wealthy. We have seen riches and rank moving from the Marais to the Faubourg St. Germain and from the Faubourg St. Germain to the Faubourg St. Honoré, and now we find them here, and here they seem likely to remain. And indeed to move farther would be foolish, for surely there never was, and could not be, a more beautiful city site than this anywhere in the world—with its wide cool lawns on either side, and its gay colouring, and the Bois so near. Here too, on the heads of the comfortable complacent bonnes, are the most radiant caps you ever saw.

The Bois de Boulogne, which takes its name from the little town of Boulogne to the south of it, now a suburb of Paris, began its life as a Paris park in the eighteen-fifties. Before that it was a forest of great trees, which indeed remained until the Franco-Prussian war, when they were cut down in order that they might not give cover to the enemy. That is why the present groves 146 are all of a size. I cannot describe the Bois better than by saying that it is as if Hyde Park, Sandown Park, Kempton Park, and Epping Forest were all thrown together between Shepherd's Bush, Acton and the river. London would then have something like the Bois; and yet it would not be like the Bois at all, because it would rapidly become a desert of newspapers and empty bottles, whereas, although in the summer populous with picnic parties, the Bois is always clean and fresh.

There are several gates to the Bois, but the principal ones are the Porte Maillot at the end of the Avenue de la Grande Armée, and the Porte Dauphine at the end of the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, and it is through the latter that the thousands of vehicles pass on their way to the races on happy Sundays in the spring and autumn. Most English people visiting the Bois merely drive to the races and back again; it is quite the exception to find any one who really knows the Bois—who has walked round the two lakes, Lac Inférieur, which feeds the cascade under which one may walk (as at Niagara), and Lac Supérieur; who has seen a play in the Théâtre de Verdure, or an exhibition at Bagatelle, the villa of the late Sir Richard Wallace, who gave the Champs-Elysées its drinking fountains and London the Wallace Collection. Bagatelle now belongs to Paris. Every English visitor, however, remembers the stone animals, dogs and deer, in the lawn of the Villa de Longchamp on the right as one approaches the race-course, and the windmill on the left, one of the several 147 inoperative windmills of Paris, which marks the site of the old Abbey of Longchamp, founded by Isabella, the sister of Saint Louis.



The Bois has two restaurants of the highest quality and price—Armenonville, close to the Porte Maillot, a favourite dining-place when the Fête de Neuilly is in progress, in the summer, and the Pré Catelan, near Lac Inférieur and close to the point where the Allée de la Reine-Marguerite and the Allée de Longchamp cross. In the summer it is quite the thing for the young bloods who frequent the night cafés on Montmartre to drive into the Bois in the early morning and drink a glass of milk in the Pré Catelan's dairy, perhaps bringing the milkmaids with them.

The Bois has two race-courses, but it is at Longchamp that the principal races are run—the Grand Prix and the Conseil Municipal. Racing men tell me that the defect of the pari-mutuel system is that one cannot arrange one's book, since the odds are always more or less of a surprise; but to one who does not bet on horses anywhere but in Paris, and who views an English bookmaker with alarm, if not positive terror, the pari-mutuel seems perfect in its easy and silent workings and the dramatic unfolding of its surprises. For first you have the fun of picking out your horse; then quietly putting your money on him, to win or for a place; and then, after the race is run and your horse is a winner, you have those five to ten delightfully anxious minutes while the actuaries are working out the odds. 148

An experience of my own will illustrate not only the method of the system but the haphazard principles on which a stranger's modest gambling can be done. On the morning of the races I had visited the Louvre with Mr. Dexter, the artist of this book. We had not much time, and were therefore proposing to look only at the Leonardos and the Rembrandts, which are separated by a considerable stretch of gallery hung with other pictures. On leaving the Leonardos we walked briskly towards the Dutch end; Mr. Dexter, however, loitered here and there, and I was some distance ahead when he called me back to see a Holbein. It was worth going back for. In the afternoon at Longchamp, when the time came before the race to pick out the horses who were to have the honour of carrying my money, I noticed that one of them was named Holbein. Having already that day been pleased with a Holbein, I accepted the circumstance as a line of guidance, and placed a five-franc piece on the brave animal. He came in first, and being an outsider his price was 185.50.

The Longchamp course is perfectly managed. There are three places where one may go—to the pesage, which costs twenty francs for a cavalier and ten francs for a dame; to the pavillon, which is half that price; or to the pelouse, where the people congregate, which costs a franc. Perfect order reigns everywhere.

For the wanderer who has no carriage awaiting him and no appointments to hurry him there are two entertaining things to do when the races are over on a fine 149 Sunday afternoon. One is to cross the Seine to Suresnes by the adjacent bridge and sitting at the café that faces it, watch the crowd and the traffic, for this is on a main road from Paris to the country; or walking the other way, one may enjoy a similar spectacle at the Café du Sport outside the Porte Maillot and study at one's ease the happy French in holiday mood—the husbands with their wives and their two children, and the Sunday lovers arm in arm.

And now we return to the Champs-Elysées in order to look at some pictures and admire a beautiful bridge. For the Avenue Alexandre III., as for the Pont Alexandre III., Paris is indebted to the 1900 Exhibition. These are her permanent gains, and very valuable they are. Of the two white palaces on either side of this green and spacious Avenue, that on the right, as we face the golden dome of the Invalides, is the home of the Salon and of various exhibitions. I say Salon, but Paris now has many Salons, two of which, in more or less amicable rivalry, occupy this building at the same time. In one, the Salon proper, the Salon of the old guard, the Royal Academicians of France, there are miles of paint but few experiments; in the other, where the more independent spirits—the New Englishers, so to speak—hang their works in personal groups, there are fewer miles but more outrages. For outrages, however, pure and simple (or even impure and complex), I recommend the Salon that is now held in the early spring in some of the old Exhibition buildings on the 150 banks of the river, close to the Pont d'Alexandre III. I have seen pictures there—nudities, in the manner of Aztec decorations, by the youngest French artists of the moment—which made one want to scream. It was said once that the French knew how to paint but not what to paint, and the English what to paint but not how to paint it. Since then there has been such a fusing of nationalities, such increased and humble appreciation on the part of the English painters of the best French methods, that one can no longer talk in that kind of cast-iron epigram; but it is impossible to see some of the crude innovating work now being done without the reflection that France is rapidly and successfully creating a school of artists who not only know not what to paint but how to paint too.

The Palais des Beaux-Arts, which was built for the collection of pictures at the Exhibition of 1900, is now a permanent gallery for the preservation of the various works of art acquired from time to time by the municipality of Paris, thus differing from the Luxembourg collections, which are national. The Palais has become a kind of brother of the Carnavalet, the one being the historical museum of Paris and the other—the Palais—the artistic museum of Paris. The Palais undoubtedly contains much that is not of the highest quality, but no one who is interested in modern French painting and drawing can afford to neglect it, while the recent acquisition of the Collection Dutuit, consisting chiefly of small but choice pictures of the Dutch masters, including 151 a picture of Rembrandt with his dog, from his own hand, has added a rather necessary touch of antiquity.

One of the special rooms is devoted to pictures of the opulent Félix Ziem, painter of Venetian sunsets and the sky at its most golden, wherever it may be found, who is still (1909) living in honourable state on those slopes of the mountain of fame which are reserved for the few rare spirits that become old masters before they die, and who presented his pictures to Paris a few years ago; another room is filled with the works of the late Jean Jacques Henner, whose pallid nudities, emerging from voluptuous gloom, still look yearningly at one from the windows of so many Paris picture dealers. Henner, I must confess, is not a painter whom I greatly esteem; but few modern French artists were more popular in their day. He died in 1905, and this gift of his work was made by his son. Other French artists to have rooms of their own in the Palais are Jean Carriès the sculptor, who died in 1894 at the age of thirty-nine, after an active career in the modelling of quaint and grotesque and realistic figures, one of the best known and most charming of his many works being "La Fillette au Pantin" (No. 1338 in the collection); and Jules Dalou (1838-1902), also a sculptor, a man of more vigour although of less charm than his neighbour in the Palais. That strange gift of untiring abundant creativeness which the French have so notably, Dalou also shared, his busy fingers having added thousands of new figures to those that already congest life, while he 152 modelled also many a well-known head. I think that I like best his "Esquisses de Travailleurs". Nothing here, however, is so fascinating as Dalou's own head by Rodin in the Luxembourg.

Of the picture collection proper I am saying but little, for it is in a fluid state, and even in the catalogue before me, the latest edition, there is no mention of several of its finest treasures: among them Manet's portrait of Théodore Duret, a sketch of an old peasant woman's hand by Madame David, a Rip Van Winkle by that modern master of the grotesque and Rabelaisian, Jean Véber, and one of Mr. Sargent's Venetian sketches—the racing gondoliers. For the most part it is like revisiting the past few Salons, except that the pictures are more choice and less numerous; but one sees many old friends, and all the expected painters are here. It is of course the surprises that one remembers—the three Daumiers, for example, particularly "L'Amateur d'Estampes," reproduced opposite page 286, and "Les Joueurs d'Echecs," and the fine collection of the drawings of Puvis de Chavannes and Daniel Vierge. I was also much taken with some topographical drawings by Adrian Karbowski—No. 494 in the catalogue. Other pictures and drawings which should be seen are those by Cazin (a sunset), Pointelin, Steinlen (some work-girls), Sisley, Lebourg, and Harpignies, who exhibits water-colours separated in time by fifty-nine years, 1849 to 1908. The drawings on a whole are far better than the paintings.

In the collection Dutuit look at Ruisdael's "Environs 153 de Haarlem," Terburg's "La Fiancée," Hobbema's "Les Moulins" and a woodland scene, Pot's "Portrait of a Man," Van de Velde's landscape sketches, and the Rembrandt. The rooms downstairs are not worth visiting.

Among the statuary, some of which is very good, particularly a new unsigned and uncatalogued Joan of Arc, is a naked Victor Hugo holding a MS. in his hand; while Frémiet of course confronts the door, this time with a really fine George and the Dragon, George having a spear worthy of the occasion, and not the short and useless broadsword which he brandishes on the English sovereign.

On my last visit to this thinly populated gallery I was for some time one of three visitors, until suddenly the vast spaces were humanised by the gracious and winsome presence of a band of Isidora Duncan's gay little dancers, with a kindly companion to tell them about the pictures, and—what interested them more—the statues. These tiny lissome creatures flitting among the cold rigid marbles I shall not soon forget.

And so we come to the Pont Alexandre III., the bridge whose width and radiance are an ever fresh surprise and joy, and make our way to the Invalides, at the end of the prospect, across the great Esplanade des Invalides, so quiet to-day, but for a month of every year, so noisy and variegated with round-abouts and booths. It is, by the way, well worth while, whenever one is in Paris, to find out what fair is being held. For somewhere or other a fair is always being held. You can 154 get the particulars from the invaluable Bottin or Bottin Mondain, which every restaurant keeps, and which is even exposed to public scrutiny on a table at the Gare du Nord, and for all I know to the contrary, at the other stations too. This is one of the lessons which might be learned from Paris by London, where you ask in vain for a Post Office Directory in all but the General Post Office. Bottin, who knows all, will give you the time and place of every fair. The best is the Fête de Neuilly, which is held in the summer, just outside the Porte Maillot, but all the arrondissements have their own. They are crowded scenes of noisy life; but they are amusing too, and their popularity shows you how juvenile is the Frenchman's heart.

One should enter the Invalides from the great Place and round off the inspection of the Musée de l'Armée by a visit to Napoleon's tomb; that, at least, is the symmetrical order. The Hôtel des Invalides proper, which set the fashion in military hospitals, was built by Louis XIV., who may be seen on his horse in bas-relief on the principal façade. The building once sheltered and tended 7,000 wounded soldiers; but there are now only fifty. From its original function as a military hospital for any kind of disablement it has dwindled to a home for a few incurables; while the greater portion of the building is now given up to collections and to civic offices. There could be no greater contrast than that between the imposing architecture of the main structure and the charming domestic façade in the Boulevard des Invalides, 155 which is one of the pleasantest of the old Paris buildings and has some of the simplicity of an English almshouse.



It is not until we enter the great Court of Honour that we catch sight of Napoleon, whose figure dominates the opposite wall. Thereafter one thinks of little else. Louis XIV. disappears.

Passing some dingy frescoes which the weather has treated vilely, we enter the Musée Historique on the left—unless one has an overwhelming passion for artillery, armour and the weapons of savages, in which case one turns to the right. I mention the alternative because there is far too much to see on one visit, and it is well to concentrate on the more interesting. For me guns and armour and the weapons of savages are without any magic while there are to be seen such human relics as have been brought together in the Musée Historique on the opposite side of the Court. The whole place, by the way, is a model for the Carnavalet, in that everything is precisely and clearly labelled. This, since it is a favourite resort of simple folk—soldiers and their parents and sweethearts—is a thoughtful provision.

The Musée Historique has at every turn something profoundly interesting, and incidentally it tells something of the men from whom numbers of Paris streets take their names; but the real and poignant interest is Napoleon. The Longwood room is to me too painful. The project of the admirable administrator has been to illustrate the whole pageant of French arms; but the Man of Destiny quickly becomes all-powerful, and one 156 finds oneself looking only for signs and tokens of his personality. So it should be, under the shadow of the Dome which covers his ashes. I would personally go farther and collect at the Invalides all the Napoleonic relics that one now must visit so many places to see—the Carnavalet, Fontainebleau, the Musée Grévin, our own United Service Museum in Whitehall (as if we had the right to a single article from St. Helena!), Madame Tussaud's, and Versailles. There is even a room at the Arts Décoratifs devoted nominally to Napoleon, but it has few articles of personal interest and none of any intimacy—merely splendid costumes for occasions and ceremonials of State, with a few of Josephine's lace caps among them. Its purpose is to illustrate the Empire rather than the Emperor, but the Invalides should have what there is.

At the Invalides you may, I suppose, see in three or four rooms more Napoleonic relics of a personal character than anywhere else. In Whitehall is the chair he died in; but here is his garden-seat from St. Helena, one bar of which was removed to allow him as he sat to pass his arm through and be more at his ease as he looked out to the ocean that was to do nothing for him. At Whitehall is the skeleton of his horse Marengo; here is the saddle. Here are his grey redingote and more than one of his hats. Among the relics in the special Napoleonic rooms those of his triumph and his fall are mixed. Here is the bullet that wounded him at Ratisbon; here are his telescopes and his maps, his travelling desks and his pistols; here are the toys of the little Duke 157 of Reichstadt; here is the walking stick on which Napoleon leaned at St. Helena, his dressing-gown, his bed, his armchair and his death-mask. Here are the railings of the tomb at St. Helena, and a case of leaves and stones and pieces of wood and other natural surroundings of the same spot. Here also is the pall that covered his coffin on the way to its final burial under the Dome close by.

It is a fitting end to the study of these storied corridors to pass to the tomb of the protagonist of the drama we have been contemplating. The Emperor's remains were brought to Paris in 1840, nineteen years after his death at St. Helena. Thackeray, in his Second Funeral of Napoleon, wrote a vivid, although to my mind hateful, description of the ceremonial: a piece of complacent flippancy, marked by the worst kind of French irreverence, which shows him in his least admirable mood, particularly when he is pleased to be amusing over the difference between the features of the Emperor dead and living. None the less it is an absorbing narrative.

One looks down upon the sarcophagus, which lies in a marble well. It is simple, solemn and severe, and to a few persons, not Titmarshes, inexpressibly melancholy. The Emperor's words from his will, "Je désire que mes cendres reposent sur les bords de la Seine, au milieu de ce peuple français que j'ai tant aimé," are placed at the entrance to the crypt. He had not the Invalides in mind when he wrote them; but one feels that the Invalides is as right a spot for him as any in this land of short memories and light mockeries.



An Aristocratic Quarter—Adrienne Lecouvreur—A Grisly Museum—A Changeless City—The Pasteur Institute—The Golden Key—The Stoppeur—Sterne—The Beaux Arts—A Wilderness of Copies—Voltaire Clad and Naked—The Mint—An Inquisitive Visitor—Bad Money.

From the Invalides the Boulevard St. Germain, the west to east highway of the Surrey side of Paris, is easily gained; but it is not in itself very interesting. The interesting streets either cross it or run more or less parallel with it, such as the old and winding Rue de Grenelle, which we come to at once, the home of the Parisian aristocracy after its removal from the Marais. The houses are little changed: merely the tenants; and certain Embassies are now here. No. 18 was once the Hôtel de Beauharnais, the home of the fair Joséphine; at the Russian Embassy, No. 79, the Duchesse d'Estrées lived. In an outhouse at No. 115 was buried in unconsecrated ground Adrienne Lecouvreur, the tragedienne who made tragedy, the beloved of Maréchal Saxe. Scribe's drama has made her story 159 known—how her heart was too much for her, and how Christian burial was refused her by a Christian priest.

The Rue St. Dominique, parallel with the Rue de Grenelle nearer the river, is equally old and august. At No. 13 lived Madame de Genlis, the monitress of French youth. Still nearer the river runs the long Rue de l'Université, which also has an illustrious past and a picturesque present, some great French noble having built nearly every house.

One of the first old streets to cross the Boulevard St. Germain is the Rue du Bac, a roadway made when the Palace of the Tuileries was building, to convey materials from Vaugiraud to the bac (or ferry boat) which crossed the Seine where the Pont Royal now stands. This street also is full of ancient palaces and convents. Chateaubriand died at 118-120. At 128 is the Séminaires des Missions Etrangères, with a terrible little museum called the Chambre des Martyrs, very French in character, displaying instruments of torture which have been used upon missionaries in China and other countries inimical (like poor Adrienne's priest) to Christianity. The Rue des Saints-Pères resembles the Rue du Bac, but is more attractive to the loiterer because it has perhaps the greatest number of old curiosity shops of any street in Paris. They touch each other: perhaps they take in each other's dusting. I never saw a customer enter; but that of course means nothing. One might be sure of finding a case made of peau de chagrin here and be equally sure that Balzac had trodden 160 this pavement before you. You will see, however, nothing or very little that is beautiful, because Paris does not care much for sheer beauty.

The Rue des Saints-Pères runs upwards into the Rue de Sèvres, where old convents cluster and the Bon Marché raises its successful modern bulk. It was in the Abbaye-aux-Bois, once at the corner of the Rue de Sèvres and the Rue de la Chaise, but now buried beneath a gigantic block of new flats, that Madame Récamier lived from 1814 until her death in 1849, visited latterly every day by the faithful Chateaubriand. M. Georges Cain has a charming chapter on this friendship and its scene in his Promenades dans Paris, of which an English translation, entitled Walks in Paris, has recently been published.

Returning to the Boulevard St. Germain, which we leave as often as we touch it, I remember that, on the south side, between the Invalides end and the statue of the inventor of the semaphore, used to be a little shop devoted to the sale of trophies of Joan of Arc. And since it used to be there, it follows that it is there still, for nothing in Paris ever changes. One of the great charms of Paris is that it is always the same. I can think of hardly any shop that has changed in the last ten years. This means, I suppose, that the French rarely die. How can they, disliking as they do to leave Paris? It is the English and the Scotch, born to forsake their homes and live uncomfortably foreign lives, who die.



If one is interested in seeing the Pasteur Institute, 161 now is the time, for it is not far from the Rue de Sèvres, in the Rue Falguière, named after Falguière the sculptor of the memorial to Pasteur in the Place Breteuil: one of the best examples of recent Paris statuary, with a charming shepherd boy playing his pipe to his flock on one side of the pediment, and grimmer scenes of disease on the others. This monument, however, is some distance from the Institute, the Place Breteuil being the first carrefour in that vast and endless avenue which leads southwards from Napoleon's tomb. The Institute itself has a spirited statue of Jupille the shepherd, one of its first patients, in his struggle with the wolf that bit him. Pasteur's tomb is here, but I have not seen it, as I arrived on the wrong day.

One of the most attractive of the Boulevard St. Germain's byways is entered just round the corner of the Rue de Rennes. This is the Cour du Dragon, which is not only a relic of old Paris, but old Paris is still visible hard at work in it. The Cour du Dragon is a narrow court gained by an archway over which a red dragon perches, holding up the balcony with his vigorous pinions. It was the Hôtel Taranne in the reigns of Charles VI. and VII. and Louis XI.; later it became a famous riding and fencing school. It is now a cheerful nest of artisans—coppersmiths, locksmiths, coal merchants and the like, who fill it with brisk hammerings, while at the windows above, with their green shutters, the songs of caged birds mingle in the symphony. 162

As in all Parisian streets or courts where signs are hung, the golden key is prominent. (There is one in Mr. Dexter's picture of the Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville.) What the proportion of locksmiths is to the population of Paris I cannot say; but their pretty symbol is to be seen everywhere. The reason of their numbers is not very mysterious when we recollect that practically every one that one meets in this city, and certainly all the people of the middling and working classes, live in flats, and all want keys. The streets and streets of the small houses with which East London is covered are unknown in Paris, where every façade is but the mask which hides vast tenements packed with families. No wonder then that the serrurier is so busy.

Another sign which probably puzzles many English people is that of the stoppeur. Bellows' dictionary does not recognise the word. What is a stoppeur and what does he stop? I discovered the answer in the most practical way possible; for a Frenchman, in a crowd, helped me to it by pushing his lighted cigar into my back and burning a hole in it, right in the middle of the coat, where a patch would necessarily show. I was in despair until the femme de chambre reassured me. It was nothing, she said: all that was needed was a stoppeur. She would take the coat herself. It seems that the stoppeur's craft is that of mending holes so deftly that you would not know there had been any. He ascertains the pattern by means of a magnifying glass, and then extracts threads from some part of the garment that 163 does not show and weaves them in. I paid three francs and have been looking for the injured spot ever since, but cannot find it. It is a modern miracle.

Diagonally opposite the Court of the Dragon is the Church of St. Germain—not the St. Germain who owns the church at the east end of the Louvre, but St. Germain des Prés, a lesser luminary. It has no particular beauty, but a number of frescoes by Flandrin, the pupil of Ingres, give it a cachet. Flandrin's bust is to be observed on the north wall. The frescoes cannot be seen except under very favourable conditions, and therefore for me the greatness of Flandrin has to be sought in his drawings at the Luxembourg and the Louvre—sufficient proof of his exquisite hand.

Before descending the Rue Bonaparte to the river, let us ascend it to see the great church of St. Sulpice and its paintings by Delacroix in the Chapel of the Holy Angels. Under the Convention St. Sulpice was the Temple of Victory, and here General Bonaparte was feasted in 1799. The church is famous for its music and an organ second only to that of St. Eustache. And now let us descend the Rue Bonaparte to the quais, where several buildings await us, beginning with the Beaux-Arts at the foot of the street; but first the Rue Jacob, which bisects the Rue Bonaparte, should be looked at, for it has had many illustrious inhabitants, including our own Laurence Sterne, who lodged here, at No. 46, in the Hôtel of his friend Madame Rambouillet (of the easy manners) when he was studying the 164 French for A Sentimental Journey. It was here perhaps that he penned the famous opening sentence: "'They order,' said I, 'these things better in France'"—which no other writer on Paris has succeeded in forgetting. At No. 20 lived Adrienne Lecouvreur, and hither Voltaire must often have come, for he greatly admired her. At No. 7 is a fine old staircase and an old well in the court.

The Palais des Beaux-Arts, where the Royal Academy Schools of Paris are situated, is an unexhilarating building containing a great number of unexciting paintings. Indeed, I think that no public edifice of Paris is so dreary: within and without one has a sense not exactly of decay but certainly of neglect. This is not the less odd when one thinks of the purpose of the institution, which is to foster the arts, and when one thinks also of the spotless perfection in which the Petit Palais, the latest of the Parisian picture galleries, is maintained. The spirit, however, is willing, if the flesh is weak, for in the first and second courts are examples of the best French architecture, and a bust of Jean Goujon is let into the wall of the Musée des Antiques. The building contains a number of casts of the best sculptures and an amphitheatre with Delaroche's pageant of painters on the hemicycle and Ingres' Victory of Romulus over the Sabines opposite it; but there is not always enough light to see either well. For the best view of Delaroche's great work one must go upstairs to the Gallery. The library also is upstairs, with many thousand of valuable 165 works on art and a collection of drawings by the masters, access to which is made easy to genuine students.

By returning to the first court we come to the Musée de la Renaissance, which now occupies an old chapel of the Couvent des Petits-Augustins, on the site of which the Palais de Beaux-Arts was built. Here are more casts and copies, and there are still more in the adjoining Cour du Mûrier, where stands the memorial of Henri Regnault, the painter, and the students who died with him during the defence of Paris in 1870-71.

We then enter the Salle de Melpomène, so called from the dominating cast of the Melpomene at the Louvre, and are straightway among what seem at the first glance to be old friends from all the best galleries of the world but too quickly are revealed as counterfeits. Rembrandt's School of Anatomy and the Syndics, our own National Gallery Correggio, the Dresden Raphael, the Wallace Collection Velasquez (the Lady with a Fan), one of Hals' groups of arquebusiers, and Paul Potter's Bull: all are here, together with countless others, all the work of Beaux-Arts students, and some exceedingly good, but also (like most copies) exceedingly depressing.

In other rooms almost pitch dark are modelled studies of expression and paintings which have won the Grand Prix of Rome during the past two hundred years. It is odd to notice how few names one recognises: it is as though, like the Newdigate, this prize were an end in itself.

Having contemplated the statue of Voltaire in his 166 robes outside the Institut, the next building of importance after the Beaux Arts, you may, if you so desire, gaze upon the same philosopher in a state of nature by entering the Institut itself, and ascending to its Bibliothèque. There he sits, the skinny cynic, among the books which he wrote and the books which he read and the books which would not have been written but for him. I was glad to see him thus, for it showed me where our own Arouet, Mr. Bernard Shaw, found his inspiration when he too subjected recently his economical frame to the maker of portraits. Mr. Shaw sat, however, only to a photographer (although a very good one, Mr. Coburn); when he visited Rodin it was for the head, a replica of which may be seen at the Luxembourg. Speaking of heads, the Institut is a wilderness of them: heads line the stairs; heads line the walls not only of its own Bibliothèque but of the Bibliothèque de Mazarin, which also is here, a haven for every student that cares to seek it: heads of the great Frenchmen of all time and of the Cæsars too.

The Pont des Arts, which leads direct from the old Louvre to the Institut (a connection, if ever, no longer of any importance), is for foot passengers only. One is therefore more at ease there in observing the river than on the noisy bridge of stone. But it is inexcusably ugly and leaves one continually wondering what Napoleon was about to allow it to be built—and of iron too—in his day of good taste. Looking up stream, the Pont Neuf is close by with the thin green end of the Cité's 167 wedge protruding under it and, in winter, Henri IV. riding proudly above. In summer, as Mr. Dexter's drawing shows, he is hidden by leaves. A basin has been constructed at this point from which the tide is excluded, and here are washing houses and swimming baths; for Parisians, having a river, use it.



The Hôtel des Monnaies, close by the Beaux Arts, is another surprise. One would expect in such a country as France, with its meticulously exact control of its public offices, that its Mint, the institution in which its money was made, would be a miracle of precision and efficiency. Efficiency it may have; but its proceedings are casual beyond belief: the workmen in the furnaces loaf and smoke and stare at the visitors and exchange comments on them; the floors are cluttered up with lumber; the walls are dirty; the doors do not fit. A very considerable amount of work seems to be accomplished—there are machines constantly in movement which turn out scores of coins a minute, not only for France but for her few and dispiriting colonies and for other countries; and yet the feeling which one has is that France here is noticeably below herself.

I was shown round by a very charming attendant, who handled the new coins as though he loved them and took precisely that pride in the place that the Government seems to lack. The design on the French franc, although it ought to be cut, I think, a little deeper, a little more boldly, is very attractive, both obverse and reverse, and it is a pleasant sight to see the 168 bright creatures tumbling out of the machine as fast as one can count. Pleasanter still is it to the frail human eye when the same process is repeated with golden Louis'—baskets full of which stand negligently about as though it were the cave of the Forty Thieves.

An Englishman's perhaps indiscreet questions as to what precautions were taken to prevent leakage amused the guide beyond all reason. "It is impossible," he said; "the coins are weighed. They must correspond to the prescribed weight." "But who," my countryman went on, in the relentless English way, "checks the weigher?" "Another," said the guide. "But a time must come," continued the Briton, who probably had a business of his own and had suffered, "when there is no one left to check—when the last man of all is officiating: how then?" Our guide laughed very happily, and repeated that there were no thieves there; and I daresay he is right. "Perhaps," I said, to the English inquisitor, "perhaps, like assistants in sweet shops, they are allowed at first to help themselves so much that they acquire a disgust for money." He looked at me with eyes of stone. I think he had Scotch blood. "Perhaps," he said at last.

My own contribution to the guide's entertainment was the production, before a machine that was shooting five-franc pieces into a bowl at the rate of one a second, of the four bad (démonétisé) coins of the same value which had been forced upon me during the few days I had then been in Paris. They gave immense delight. 169 Several mintners (or whatever they are called) stopped working in order to join in the inspection. It was the general opinion that I had been badly treated: although, of course, I ought to have known. Three of the coins were simply those of other nations no longer current in France, and for them I could get from two to three francs each at an exchange. Unless, of course, a man of the world put in, I liked to sell them to a waiter, and then I should get perhaps a slightly better price. "Be careful, however," said he, "that he does not give them back to you in the next change." The fourth coin was frankly base metal and ought not to have taken in a child. That, by the way, was given to me at a Post Office, the one under the Bourse, and I find that Post Offices are notorious for this habit with foreigners. The mintners generally agreed that it was a scandal, but they did so without heat—bearing indeed this misfortune (not their own) very much as their countryman La Rochefoucauld had observed men to do.

After the coins we saw the medal-stampers at work, each seated in a little hole in the ground before his press. The French have a natural gift for the designing of medals, and they are interested in them as souvenirs not only of public but of private events—such as silver weddings, birthdays and other anniversaries. Upstairs there is a collection of medals by the best designers—such as Roty, Patey, Carial, Chaplain, Dupuis, Dupré—many of them charming. Here also are collections of the world's coinage and of historical French medals.



Old Prints—Procope, Tortoni, and Le Père Lunette—The Luxembourg Palace—Rodin—Modern Paintings—A Sinister Crypt—A Garden of Sculpture—The Students of the Latin Quarter—The Sorbonne—A Beautiful Museum—The Cluny's Treasures—Marat and Danton—Old Streets and Dirty—The River Bièvre—Inspired Topography—Dante in Paris.

The high road from the centre of Paris to the Latin Quarter is across the Pont du Carrousel and up the narrow Rue Mazarine, which skirts the Institut. We have seen on the Quai des Célestins the site of one of Molière's theatres: here, at Nos. 12-14, is the house in which he established his first theatre, on the last day of 1643. The Rue Mazarin runs into the Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie Française, at No. 14 in which was that theatre, whose successor stands at the foot of the Rue Richelieu. Parallel with the Rue Mazarin is the Rue de Seine, interesting for its old print shops, not the least interesting department of which is the portfolios containing students' sketches, some of them very good. (I might equally have said some of them very bad.)

Crossing the Boulevard St. Germain we climb what 171 is now the Rue de l'Odéon to the Place and theatre of that name, with the statue of Augier the dramatist before it. The Place de l'Odéon demands some attention, for at No. 1, now the Café Voltaire, was once the famous Café Procope, very significant in the eighteenth century, the resort of Voltaire and the Encyclopædists, and later of the Revolutionaries. Camille Desmoulins indeed made it his home. You may see within portraits of these old famous habitués. Procopio, a Sicilian who founded his establishment for the shelter of poor actors and students (whom Paris then loathed in private life), was the father of all the Paris cafés.

The Café Procope was to men of intellect what some few years later Tortoni's was to men of fashion. The Café Tortoni was in the Boulevard des Italiens. Let Captain Gronow tell its history: "About the commencement of the present [nineteenth] century, Tortoni's, the centre of pleasure, gallantry, and entertainment, was opened by a Neapolitan, who came to Paris to supply the Parisians with good ice. The founder of this celebrated café was by name Veloni, an Italian, whose father lived with Napoleon from the period he invaded Italy, when First Consul, down to his fall. Young Veloni brought with him his friend Tortoni, an industrious and intelligent man. Veloni died of an affection of the lungs, shortly after the café was opened, and left the business to Tortoni; who, by dint of care, economy, and perseverance, made his café renowned all over Europe. Towards the end of the first Empire, and during the 172 return of the Bourbons, and Louis Philippe's reign, this establishment was so much in vogue that it was difficult to get an ice there; after the opera and theatres were over, the Boulevards were literally choked up by the carriages of the great people of the court and the Faubourg St. Germain bringing guests to Tortoni's.

"In those days clubs did not exist in Paris, consequently the gay world met there. The Duchess of Berri, with her suite, came nearly every night incognito; the most beautiful women Paris could boast of, old maids, dowagers, and old and young men, pouring out their sentimental twaddle, and holding up to scorn their betters, congregated here. In fact, Tortoni's became a sort of club for fashionable people; the saloons were completely monopolised by them, and became the rendez-vous of all that was gay, and I regret to add, immoral.

"Gunter, the eldest son of the founder of the house in Berkeley Square, arrived in Paris about this period, to learn the art of making ice; for prior to the peace, our London ices and creams were acknowledged, by the English as well as foreigners, to be detestable. In the early part of the day, Tortoni's became the rendez-vous of duellists and retired officers, who congregated in great numbers to breakfast; which consisted of cold pâtés, game, fowl, fish, eggs, broiled kidneys, iced champagne, and liqueurs from every part of the globe.

"Though Tortoni succeeded in amassing a large fortune, he suddenly became morose, and showed evident signs of insanity: in fact, he was the most unhappy 173 man on earth. On going to bed one night, he said to the lady who superintended the management of his café, 'It is time for me to have done with the world'. The lady thought lightly of what he said, but upon quitting her apartment on the following morning, she was told by one of the waiters that Tortoni had hanged himself."

Some one should write a book—but perhaps it has been done—on the great restaurateurs. Paris would, of course, provide the lion's share; but there would be plenty of material to collect in other capitals. The life of our own Nicol of the Café Royal, for example, would not be without interest; and what of Sherry and Delmonico?

While on the subject of meeting-places of remarkable persons, I might say that a latter-day resort of intellectuals who have allowed the world and its temptations to be too much for them is not so very far away from us at this point—the cabaret of Le Père Lunette at No. 4 Rue des Anglais. I do not say that this is a modern Procope, but it has some of the same characteristics: men of genius have met here and illustrious portraits are on the wall; but they are not frescoes such as could be included in this book, for old Father Spectacles puts satire before propriety.

In the colonnade round the Odéon theatre are bookstalls, chiefly offering new books at very low rates. We emerge on the south side in the Rue Vaugiraud, with the Médicis fountain of the Luxembourg just across the road. The Luxembourg Palace was built by Marie de Médicis, the widow of Henri IV., and it fulfilled the 174 functions of a palace until the Revolution, when, prisons being more important than palaces, it became a prison. Among those conveyed hither were the Vicomte de Beauharnais and his wife Joséphine, who was destined one day to be anything but a prisoner. After the Revolution the Luxembourg became the Palace of the Directoire and then the Palace of the First Consul. In 1800 Napoleon moved to the Tuileries, and a little while afterwards he established the Senate here, and here it is still. I cannot describe the Palace, for I have never been in it, but the Musée I know well.

The Luxembourg galleries are dedicated to modern art. They have nothing earlier than the nineteenth century, and may be said to carry on the history of French painting from the point where it is left in Room VIII. at the Louvre, while little is quite so modern as the permanent portion of the Petit Palais. One plunges from the street directly into a hall of very white sculpture, which for the moment affects the sight almost like the beating wings of gulls. The difference between French and English sculpture, which is largely the difference between nakedness and nudity, literally assaults the eye for the moment; and then the more beautiful work quietly begins to assert itself—Rodin's "Pensée," on the left, holding the attention first and gently soothing the bewildered vision. Rodin indeed dominates this room, for here are not only his "Pensée" (the "Penseur" is not so very far away, two hundred yards or so, at the Panthéon), but his "John the Baptist," gaunt and 175 urgent in the wilderness (with Dubois' "John the Baptist as a boy" near by, to show from what material prophets are evolved) and the exquisite "Danaïdes" and the "Age d'Airain," and the giant heads of Hugo and Rochefort, and the little delicate sensitive Don Quixotic head of Dalou the sculptor, which has just been added, and the George Wyndham and the G.B.S. and other recent portraits; while through the doorway to the next room one sees the "Baiser," immense and passionate. I reproduce both the "Baiser," opposite page 294, and the "Pensée," opposite page 46.

Other work here that one recalls is the charming group by Frémiet, "Pan and the Bear Cubs," Dubois' fascinating "Florentine Singing-boy of the Fifteenth Century," a peasant by Dalou, a Great Dane and puppies by Le Courtier, and the very beautiful head in the doorway to Room I.—"Femme de Marin," by Cazin the painter. But other visitors, other tastes, of course.

Before entering Room I. there are two small rooms on the right of the sculpture gallery which should be entered, one given up to the more famous Impressionists and one to foreign work. The chief Impressionists are Degas, Renoir, Monet, Sisley and their companions, almost all of whom seem to me to have painted better elsewhere than here. Monet's "Yachts in the River" rise before me, as I write, with the warm sun upon them, and I still see in the mind's eye the torso of a young woman by Legros: but this room always depresses me, the effect largely I believe of the antipathetic Renoir. The 176 other room has a floating population. Recently the painters have been Belgian: but at another time they may be German or English, when the Belgians will recede to the cellars or be lent to provincial galleries.

The pictures in the Luxembourg are many, but the arresting hand is too seldom extended. Cleverness, the bane of French art, dominates. In the first room Rodin's "Baiser" is greater than any painting; but Harpignies' "Lever de Lune" is here, and here also is one of Pointelin's sombre desolate moorlands. In a glass case some delicate bowls by Dammouse are worth attention; but I think his work at the Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre is better. The second room is notable for the Fantin-Latour drawings in the middle, with others by Flandrin and Meissonier; the third for Carolus-Duran's "Vieux Lithographe" and a case of drawings by modern black and white masters, including Legros and Steinlen; here also is another Pointelin. In Room IV. is a coast scene—"Les Falaises de Sotteville," in a lovely evening light, by Bouland, which falls short of perfection but is very grateful to the eyes. In Room V. is a portrait group by Fantin-Latour recalling the "Hommage à Delacroix," which we saw in the Collection Moreau, but less interesting. The studio is that of Manet at Batignolles. Here also is a beautiful snow scene by Cazin—an oasis indeed. In Room VI. we find Cazin again with "Ishmael," and two sweet and misty Carrières, a powerful if hard Legros, Carolus-Duran's portrait of the ruddy Papa Français the painter, 177 Blanche's vivid group of the Thaulow family, with the gigantic Fritz bringing the strength of a bull-fighter to the execution of one of his tender landscapes, and finally Whistler's portrait of his mother, which I reproduce on the opposite page—one of the most restful and gentlest deeds of his restless, irritable life.



Room VII. is remarkable for Rodin's "Bellona" and Tissot's curious exercises in the genre of W. P. Frith—the story of the Prodigal Son. But the picture which I remember most clearly and with most pleasure is Victor Mottez's "Portrait of Madame M.," which has a deep quiet beauty that is very rare in this gallery. In the same room, placed opposite each other, although probably not with any conscious ironical intention, are a large scene in the Franco-Prussian War by De Neuville, and Carrière's "Christ on the Cross". In Room VIII. are a number of meretricious Moreaus, Caro-Delvalle's light and, to me, oddly attractive, group, "Ma Femme et ses Sœurs," and the portrait of Mlle. Moréno of the Comédie Française by Granié, which is reproduced opposite page 308, a picture with fascination rather than genius.

In the doorway between Room VIII. and Room IX. hangs a small water-colour by Harpignies, but in Room IX. itself is nothing that I can recollect. Room X. has Picard's charming "Femme qui passe," Harpignies' Coliseum, very like a Moreau Corot, and a Flandrin; and in Room XI. are Bastien Lepage's "Portrait of M. Franck," Le Sidaner's "Dessert," Vollon's "Port of 178 Antwerp," very beautiful, and Carolus-Duran's famous portrait of "Madame G. F. and her children".

On leaving the Musée it is worth while to take a few steps more to the left, for they bring us to another sinister souvenir of the Reign of Terror—to St. Joseph des Carmes, the Chapel of the Carmelite monastery in which, in September, 1792, the Abbé Sicard and other priests who had refused to take the oath of the Constitution were imprisoned and massacred, as described by Carlyle in Book I., Chapters IV. and V. of "The Guillotine," with the assistance of the narrative of one of the survivors, Mon Agonie de Trente-Huit Heures, by Jourgniac Saint-Méard. In the crypt one is shown not only the tombs but traces of the massacre.

A walk in the Luxembourg gardens would, if one had been nowhere else, quickly satisfy the stranger as to the interest of the French in the more remarkable children of their country. In these gardens alone are statues, among many others, in honour of Chopin, Watteau, Delacroix, Sainte-Beuve, Le Play the economist, Fabre the poet, George Sand, Henri Murger, the novelist of the adjacent Latin Quarter, and Théodore de Banville, the modern maker of ballades and prime instigator of some of the most charming work in French form by Mr. Lang and Mr. Dobson and W. E. Henley. There are countless other statues of mythological and allegorical figures, some of them very striking. One of the most interesting of all is the "Marchand de Masques" by Astruc, among the masks offered for sale being those of Corot, Dumas, Berlioz and Balzac. 179

The Luxembourg gardens lead to the Avenue de l'Observatoire, a broad and verdant pleasaunce with a noble fountain at the head, in the midst of which an armillary sphere is held up by four undraped female figures representing the four quarters of the globe, at whom a circle of tortoises spout water from the surface of the basin. Beneath the upholders of the sphere are eight spirited sea horses by Frémiet, the sculptor who designed "Pan and the Bear Cubs" in the Luxembourg.

A few yards to the west of this fountain is one of the simplest and most satisfying of Parisian sculptured memorials, at the corner of the Rue d'Assas and the Boulevard de l'Observatoire—the bas-relief on the Tarnier maternity hospital, representing the benevolent Tarnier in his merciful work.

Let us now descend the Boulevard St. Michel to the Sorbonne, which is the heart of the Latin Quarter (or perhaps the brain would be the better word), disregarding for the moment the Panthéon, and turning our backs on the Observatoire and the Lion de Belfort, in the streets around which, every September, the noisiest of the Parisian fairs rages, and on the Bal Bullier, where the shop assistants of this neighbourhood grasp each other in the dance every Thursday and Sunday night. Not that this high southern district of Paris is not interesting; but it is far less interesting than certain parts nearer the Seine, and this book may not be too long.

The Sorbonne is not exciting, but it is not unamusing to watch young France gaining knowledge. I have called it the heart of the Latin Quarter, although when 180 one thinks of the necessitous, irresponsible youthful populace of these slopes, it is rather in a studio than in a lecture centre that one would fix its cardiac energy. That, however, is the fault of Du Maurier and Murger; for I suppose that for every artist that the Latin Quarter fosters it has scores of other students. But here I am in unknown territory. This book, which describes (as I warned you) Paris wholly from without, is never so external as among the young bloods who are to be met at night in the Café Harcourt, or who dance at the annual ball of the Quatz'-Arts, or plunge themselves into congenial riots when unpopular professors mount the platform. I know them not; I merely rejoice in their existence, admire their long hair and high spirits and happy indigence, and wish I could join them among Jullien's models, or in the disreputable cabaret of Le Père Lunette, or at a solemn disputation, such as that famous one in which the sophist Buridan, after being thrown into the Seine in a sack and rescued, "maintained for a whole day the thesis that it was lawful to slay a Queen of France".

The Sorbonne takes its name from Robert de Sorbon, the confessor of St. Louis, who had suffered much as a theological student and wished others to suffer less; for students in his day existed absolutely on charity. St. Louis threw himself into his confessor's scheme, and the Sorbonne, richly endowed, was opened in 1253, in its original form occupying a site in a street with the depressing name of Coupe-Gueule. From a hostel it soon 181 became the Church's intellect, and for five and a half centuries it thus existed, almost continually, I regret to say, pursuing what Gibbon calls "the exquisite rancour of theological hatred". Its hostility to Joan of Arc and the Reformation were alike intense. Richelieu built the second Sorbonne, on the site of the present one. The Revolution in its short sharp way put an end to it as a defender of the faith, and in 1808, under Napoleon, it sprang to life again with a broader and humaner programme as the Université de France.



Although arriving on the wrong day (a very easy thing to do in Paris) I induced the concierge to show me Puvis de Chavannes' vast and beautiful fresco in the Sorbonne's amphitheatre, entitled "La Source"—which is, I take it, the spring of wisdom. Thursday is the right day. In the chapel is the tomb of Richelieu, a florid monument with the dying cardinal and some very ostentatious grief upon it. Near by stands an elderly gentleman who charges twice as much for postcards as the dealers outside; but one must not mind that. The church is not impressive, nor has a recent meretricious work by Weerts, representing the Love of Humanity and the Love of Country—the crucified Christ and a dead soldier—done it much good. Before it is a monument to Auguste Comte.

And now let us descend the hill and cheer and enrich our eyes in one of the most remarkable museums in the world—the Cluny. Paris is too fortunate. To have the Louvre were enough for any city, but Paris also has 182 the Carnavalet. To have the Carnavalet were enough, but Paris also has the Cluny. The Musée de Cluny is devoted chiefly to applied art, and is a treasury of mediæval taste. It is an ancient building, standing on the site of a Roman palace, the ruins of whose baths still remain. The present mansion was built by a Benedictine abbot in the fifteenth century: it became a storehouse of beautiful and rare objects in 1833, when the collector Alphonse du Sommerard bought it; and on his death the nation acquired both the house and its treasures, which have been steadily increasing ever since. Without, the Cluny is a romantic blend of late Gothic and Renaissance architecture: within, it is like the heaven of a good arts-and-craftsman; or, to put it another way, like an old curiosity shop carried out to the highest power. I do not say that we have not as good collections at South Kensington; but it is beyond doubt that the Cluny has a more attractive setting for them.

To particularise would merely be to convert these pages into an incomplete catalogue (and what is duller than that?), but I may say that one passes among sculpture and painting, altar-pieces and knockers, pottery and tapestry, Spanish leather and lace, gold work and glass, enamel and musical instruments, furniture (the state bed of Francis I.) and ivories (note those by Van Opstal), ironwork and jewels, fireplaces and exquisite slippers. The old keys alone are worth hours: some of them might almost be called jewels; be sure to look at Nos. 6001 and 6022. Everything is remarkable. Writing in London, in a thick fog, at some distance of time 183 since I saw the Cluny last, I remember most vividly those keys and a banc d'orfèvre near them; a chimney-piece, beautiful and vast, from an old house at Châlons-sur-Marne; certain carvings in wood in the great room next the Thermes: the "Quatre Pleurants" of Claus de Worde; a dainty Marie Madeleine by a Fleming, about 1500 (there is another Marie Madeleine, in stone, in an adjacent room, kneeling with her alabaster box of ointment, but by no means penitent); and the Jesus on the Mount of Olives with the sleeping disciples. I remember also, in one of the faience galleries, two delightful groups by Clodion—a "Satyre mâle" with two baby goat-feet playing by him, and a "Satyre femelle," very charming, also with two little shaggy mites at her knees. The "Fils de Rubens," in his little chair, is also a pleasant memory; and there is one of those remarkable Neapolitan reconstructions of the Nativity, of which the museum at Munich has such an amazing collection—perhaps the prettiest toys ever made.

But as I have said, the Cluny is wonderful throughout, and it is almost ridiculous to particularise. It is also too small for every taste. For the lover of the hues that burn in Rhodian ware it is most memorable for its pottery; while of the many Parisians who visit it in holiday mood a large percentage make first for the glass case that contains its two famous ceintures.

The Curator of the Carnavalet, as we have seen, is a topographer and antiquary of distinction; the Director of the Cluny, M. Haraucourt, is a poet, one of whose ballads will be found in English form in a later chapter. 184 He is in a happy environment, although his Muse does not look back quite as, say, Mr. Dobson's loves to do. The singer of the "Pompadour's Fan" and the "Old Sedan Chair" would be continually inspired at the Cluny.

In the Gardens of the Musée we can feel ourselves in very early times; for the baths are the ruins of a Roman palace built in 306, the home for a while of Julian the Apostate; a temple of Mercury stood on the hill where the Panthéon now is; and a Roman road ran on the site of the Rue St. Jacques, just at the east of the Cluny, leading out of Paris southwards to Italy.

On leaving the Cluny let us take a few steps westward along the Rue de l'Ecole de Médicine, and stop at No. 15, where the Cordeliers' Club was held, whither Marat's body was brought to lie in state. His house, in which Charlotte Corday stabbed him, was close by, where the statue of Broca now stands. In the Boulevard St. Germain, at the end of the street, we come to Danton's statue and more memories of the Revolution. "What souvenirs of the past," says Sardou, "does the statue of Danton cast his shadow upon. At No. 87 Boulevard St. Germain—where the woman Simon keeps house! it was there 31st March, 1793—at six o'clock in the morning, the rattling of the butt ends of muskets was heard on the pavement in the midst of wild cries and protestations of the crowd, they had dared to arrest Danton, the Titan of the Revolution, the man of the 10th of August!—at the same time on the Place de l'Odéon, at the corner of the Rue Crébillon, Camille Desmoulins had been arrested. An hour later they were both in 185 the Luxembourg prison, and it was there Camille heard of the death of his mother.

"The Passage du Commerce still exists. It is a most picturesque old quarter, rarely visited by Parisians. At No. 9 is Durel's library, where Guillotin in 1790 practised cutting off sheep's heads with 'his philanthropic beheading machine'. It is generally given out that he was guillotined himself, but 'Lemprière' says he died quietly in his bed, of grief at the infamous abuse his instrument was put to. In the shop close by was the printing office of the l'Ami du Peuple, and Marat in his dressing-gown (lined with imitation panther skin) used to come and correct the proofs of his bloody journal."

Between the Cluny and the river is a network of very old, squalid and interesting streets. Here the students of the middle ages found both their schools and their lodgings: among them Dante himself, who refers to the Rue de Fouarre (or straw, on which, following the instructions of Pope Urban V., the students sat) as the Vico degli Strami. It has now been demolished. The two churches here are worth a visit—St. Severin and St. Julien-le-Pauvre, but the reader is warned that the surroundings are not too agreeable. In the court adjoining St Julien's are traces of the wall of Philip Augustus, of which we saw something at the Mont de Piété.

All these streets, as I say, are picturesque and dirty, but I think the best is the Rue de Bièvre, which runs up the hill of St. Etienne from the Quai de Montebello, opposite the Morgue, and can be gained from St. Julien's by the dirty Rue de la Boucherie, of which this street 186 and its westward continuation, the Rue de la Huchette, Huysmans, the French novelist and mystic, writes—as of all this curious district—in his book, La Bièvre et Saint Severin, one of the best examples of imaginative topography that I know. Let us see what he says of the Bièvre, the little river which gives the street its name and which once tumbled down into the Seine at this point, but is now buried underground like the New River at Islington.

"The Bièvre," he writes, "represents to-day one of the most perfect symbols of feminine misery exploited by a big city. Originating in the lake or pond of St. Quentin near Trappes, it runs quietly and slowly through the valley that bears its name. Like many young girls from the country, directly it arrives in Paris the Bièvre falls a victim to the cunning wide-awake industry of a catcher of men.... To follow all her windings, it is necessary to ascend the Rue du Moulin des Prés and enter the Rue de Gentilly, and then the most extraordinary and unsuspected journey begins."

Inspired by the passage of which these are the opening words, I set out one day to trace the Bièvre to daylight, but it was a cheerless enterprise, for the Rue Monge is a dreary street, and the new Boulevards hereabouts are even drearier because they are wider. I found her at last, by peeping through a hoarding in the Boulevard Arago, with tanneries on each side of her; and then I gave it up.



At the Cluny we saw the Thermes, a visible sign of Roman occupation; just off the Rue Monge is another, the 187 amphitheatre, still in very good condition, with the grass growing between the crevices of the great stone seats. You will find it in the Place des Arènes, a vestige of Roman manners and pleasures now converted into an open space for children and bonnes and surrounded by flats. But save for the desertion that the ages have brought it, the arena is not so very different, and standing there, one may easily reconstruct the spectators and see again the wild beasts emerging from the underground passages, which still remain.

And now for the Panthéon, which rises above us.



A Church's Vicissitudes—St. Geneviève—A Guardian of Paris—Illustrious Converts—The Golden Legend—A Sabbath-breaker—Geneviève's Sacred Body—Her Tomb—The Panthéon Frescoes—Joan of Arc—The Panthéon Tombs—Mirabeau and Marat—Voltaire's Funeral—The Thoughts of the Thinker—From the Dome—St. Etienne-du-Mont—The Fate of St. Geneviève—The Relic-hunters—The Mystery of the Wine-press.

The Panthéon, like the Madeleine, has had its vicissitudes. The new Madeleine, as we shall see, was begun by Napoleon as a splendid Temple of military glory and became a church; the new Panthéon was begun by Louis XV. as a splendid cathedral and became a Temple of Glory, not, however, military but civil. Louis XV., when he designed its erection on the site of the old church, intended it to be the church of St. Geneviève, whose tomb was its proudest possession; when the Revolution altered all that, it was made secular and dedicated "aux grands hommes la patrie reconnaissante," and the first grand homme to be buried there was Mirabeau (destined, however, not to remain a grand homme very long, as we shall see), and the next Voltaire. In 1806 Napoleon made it a church again; 189 in 1830 the Revolutionaries again secularised it; in 1851 it was consecrated again, and in 1885 once more it became secular, to receive the body of Victor Hugo, and secular it has remained; and considering everything, secular it is likely to be, for whatever of change and surprise the future holds for France, an excess of ecclesiastical ecstasy is hardly probable.

So much of Louis XV.'s idea remains, in spite of the perversion of his purpose, that scenes from the life of St. Geneviève are painted on the Panthéon's walls and sculptured on its façade; while in its last sacred days the church was known again as St. Geneviève's. Possibly there are old people in the neighbourhood who still call it that. I hope so.

The life of St. Geneviève, as told in The Golden Legend, is rather a series of facile miracles than a human document, as we say. She was born in the fifth century at Nanterre, and early became a protégée of St. Germain, who vowed her to chastity and holiness, from which she never departed. Her calling, like that of her new companion on the canon, St. Joan, was that of shepherdess, and one of Puvis de Chavannes' most charming frescoes in the Panthéon represents her as a shadowy slip of a girl kneeling to a crucifix while her sheep graze about her. I reproduce it opposite the next page. Her mother, who had, like most mothers, a desire that her daughter should marry and have children, once so far lost her temper as to strike Geneviève on the cheek; for which offence she became blind. (A 190 very comfortable corner of heaven is, one feels, the due of the mothers of saints.) She remained blind for a long time, until remembering that St. Germain had promised for her daughter miraculous gifts, she sent for Geneviève and was magnanimously cured. After the death of her parent, Geneviève moved to Paris, and there she lived with an old woman, dividing the neighbourhood into believers and unbelievers in her sanctity, as is ever the way with saints. Here the Devil persecuted and attacked her with much persistence and ingenuity, but wholly without effect.

During her long life she made Paris her principal home, and on more than one occasion saved it: hence her importance not only to the Parisians, who set her above St. Denis (whom she reverenced), but to this book. Her power of prayer was gigantic; she literally prayed Attila the Hun out of his siege of Paris, and later, when Childeric was the besieger and Paris was starving, she brought victuals into the city by boat in a miraculous way: another scene chosen by Puvis de Chavannes in his Panthéon series. Childeric, however, conquered, in spite of Geneviève, but he treated her with respect and made it easy for her to approach Clovis and Clotilde and convert them to Christianity—hence the convent of St. Geneviève, which Clovis founded, remains of which are still to be seen by the church of St. Etienne-du-Mont, in the two streets named after those early Christians—the Rue Clovis and the Rue Clotilde. Christianity had been introduced into Paris by Saint 191 Denis, Geneviève's hero, in the third century; but then came a reaction and the new faith lost ground. It was St. Geneviève's conversion of Clovis that re-established it on a much firmer basis, for he made it the national religion.



"This holy maid," says Caxton, "did great penance in tormenting her body all her life, and became lean for to give good example. For sith she was of the age of fifteen years, unto fifty, she fasted every day save Sunday and Thursday. In her refection she had nothing but barley bread, and sometime beans, the which, sodden after fourteen days or three weeks, she ate for all delices. Always she was in prayers in wakings and in penances, she drank never wine ne other liquor, that might make her drunk, in all her life. When she had lived and used this life fifty years, the bishops that were that time, saw and beheld that she was over feeble by abstinence as for her age, and warned her to increase a little her fare. The holy woman durst not gainsay them, for our Lord saith of the prelates: Who heareth you heareth me, and who despiseth you despiseth me, and so she began by obedience to eat with her bread, fish and milk, and how well that, she so did, she beheld the heaven and wept, whereof it is to believe that she saw appertly our Lord Jesus Christ after the promise of the gospel that saith that, Blessed be they that be clean of heart for they shall see God; she had her heart and body pure and clean."

Caxton also tells quaintly the story of one of the 192 first miracles performed by Geneviève's tomb: "Another man came thither that gladly wrought on the Sunday, wherefor our Lord punished him, for his hands were so benumbed and lame that he might not work on other days. He repented him and confessed his sin, and came to the tomb of the said virgin, and there honoured and prayed devoutly, and on the morn he returned all whole, praising and thanking our Lord, that by the worthy merits and prayers of the holy virgin, grant and give us pardon, grace, and joy perdurable."

To St. Geneviève's tomb we shall come on leaving the Panthéon, but here after so much about her adventures when alive I might say something about her adventures when dead. She was buried in 511 in the Abbey church of the Holy Apostles, on the site of which the Panthéon stands. Driven out by the Normans, the monks removed the saint's body and carried it away in a box; and thereafter her remains were destined to rove, for when the monks returned to the Abbey they did not again place them in the tomb but kept them in a casket for use in processions whenever Paris was in trouble and needed supernatural help. Meanwhile her tomb, although empty, continued to work miracles also.

Early in the seventeenth century her bones were restored to her tomb, which was made more splendid, and there they remained until the Revolution. The Revolutionists, having no use for saints, opened Geneviève's tomb, burned its contents on the Place de Grève, and melted the gold of the canopy into money. They also 193 desecrated the church of St. Etienne-du-Mont (which we are about to visit) and made it a Temple of Theophilanthropy. A few years later the stone coffer was removed to St. Etienne-du-Mont, where it now is, gorgeously covered with Gothic splendours; but as to how minute are the fragments of the saint that it contains which must have been overlooked by the incendiary Revolutionaries, I cannot say. They are sufficient, however, still to cure the halt and the lame and enable them to leave their crutches behind.

The Panthéon is a vast and dreary building, sadly in need of a little music and incense to humanise it. The frescoes are interesting—those of Puvis de Chavannes in particular, although a trifle too wan—but one cannot shake off depression and chill. The Joan of Arc paintings by Lenepveu are the least satisfactory, the Maid of this artist carrying no conviction with her. But when it comes to that, it is difficult to say which of the Parisian Maids of art is satisfactory: certainly not the audacious golden Amazon of Frémiet in the Place de Rivoli. Dubois' figure opposite St. Augustin's is more earnest and spiritual, but it does not quite realise one's wishes. I think that I like best the Joan in the Boulevard Saint-Marcel, behind the Jardin des Plantes.

The vault of the Panthéon may be seen only in the company of a guide, and there is a charge. To be quite sure that Rousseau is in his grave is perhaps worth the money; but one resents the fee none the less. Great Frenchmen's graves—especially Victor Hugo's—should 194 be free to all. There is no charge at the Invalides. You may stand beside Heine's tomb in the Cimetière de Montmartre without money and without a guide, but not by Voltaire's in the Panthéon; Balzac's grave in Père Lachaise is free, Zola's in the Panthéon costs seventy-five centimes.

The guide hurries his flock from one vault to another, at one point stopping for a while to exchange badinage with an echo. Rousseau, as I have said, is here; Voltaire is here; here are General Carnot, President Carnot with a mass of faded wreaths, Soufflot—who designed the Panthéon, thinking his work was for St. Geneviève, and who died of anxiety owing to a subsidence of the walls; Victor Hugo, and, lately moved hither, not without turmoil and even pistol shots, the historian of the Rougon-Macquart family and the author of a letter of accusation famous in history.

Not without turmoil! which reminds one that the Panthéon's funerals have been more than a little grotesque. I said, for example, that Mirabeau was the first prophet of reason to be buried here, amid a concourse of four hundred thousand mourners; yet you may look in vain for his tomb. And there is a record of the funeral of Marat, in a car designed by David; yet you may look in vain for Marat's sarcophagus also. The explanation (once more) is that we are in France, the land of the fickle mob. For within three years of the state burial of Mirabeau, with the National Guard on duty, the Convention directed that he should be 195 exhumed and Marat laid in his place. Mirabeau's body therefore was removed at night and thrown into the earth in the cemetery of Clamart. Enter Marat. Marat, however, lay beneath this imposing dome only three poor months, and then off went he, a discredited corpse, to the graveyard of St. Etienne-du-Mont close by. Voltaire, however, and Rousseau held their own, and here they are still, as we have seen.

Voltaire came hither under circumstances at once tragic and comic. The cortège started from the site of the Bastille, led by the dead philosopher in a cart drawn by twelve horses, in which his figure was being crowned by a young girl. Opposite the Opera house of that day—by the Porte St. Martin—a pause was made for the singing of suitable hymns (from the Ferney Hymnal!) and on it came again. Surrounding the car were fifty girls dressed by David for the part; in the procession were other damsels in the costumes of Voltaire's characters. Children scattered roses before the horses. What could be prettier for Voltaire? But it needed fine weather, and instead came the most appalling storm, which frightened all the young women (including Fame, from the car) into doorways, and washed all the colour from the great man's effigy.

Remembering all these things, one realises that Rodin's Penseur, who was placed before the Panthéon in 1906, has something to brood over and break his mind upon.

I noticed also among the graves that of one Ignace Jacqueminot, and wondering if it were he who gave his 196 name to the rose, I was so conscious of gloom and mortality that I hastened to the regions of light—to the sweet air of the Mont du Paris and the blue sky over all. And later I climbed to the lantern—a trifle of some four hundred steps—and looked down on Paris and its river and away to the hills, and realised how much better it was to be a live dog than a dead lion.

For the tomb of St. Geneviève we have only a few steps to take, since it stands, containing all of her that was not burned, in the church of St. Etienne-du-Mont. The first martyr, although he gives his name to the church and is seen suffering the stone-throwers in the relief over the door, is, however, as nothing. St. Geneviève is the true patron.

St. Etienne's is one of the most interesting churches in Paris, without and within. The façade is bizarre and attractive, with its jumble of styles, its lofty tower and Renaissance trimmings, and the sacristan's prophet's-house high up, on the northern side of the odd little extinguisher. You see this best, and his tiny watchdog trotting up and down his tiny garden, by descending the hill a little way and then turning. Within, the church is fascinating. The pillars of the very lofty nave and aisles are slender and sure, the vaulting is delicate and has a unique carved marble rood-loft to divide the nave from the choir, stretching right along the church, with a rampe of great beauty. The pulpit is held up by Samson seated upon his lion and grasping the jawbone of an ass. 197

The last time I saw this pulpit was during the Fête of St. Geneviève, which is held early in January, when it contained a fluent nasal preacher to whom a congregation that filled every seat was listening with rapt attention. At the same time a moving procession of other worshippers was steadily passing the tomb, which was a blaze of light and heat from some hundreds of candles of every size. The man in front of me in the queue, a stout bourgeois, with his wife and two small daughters, bought four candles at a franc each. He was all nervousness and anxiety before then, but having watched them lighted and placed in position, his face became tranquil and gay, and they passed quickly out, re-entered their motor-cab and returned to the normal life.

Outside the church was a row of stalls wholly given up to the sale of tokens of the saint—little biographies, medals, rosaries, and all the other pretty apparatus of the long-memoried Roman Catholic Church. I bought a silver pendant, a brief biography, and a tiny metal statue. I feel now that had I also bought a candle, as I was minded to, I should have escaped the cold that, developing two or three days later, kept me in bed for nearly a fortnight. One must be thorough.

The church not only has agreeable architectural features and the tomb of this good woman, it has also some admirable glass, not exactly beautiful but very quaint and interesting, including a famous window by the Pinaigriers, representing the mystery of the wine-press, as drawn from Isaiah: "I have trodden the wine-press 198 alone, and of the people there was none with me". The colouring is very rich and satisfying, even if the design itself offends by its literalism and want of imagination—Christianity being figured by the blood of Christ as it gushes forth into barrels pressed from his body as relentlessly as ever was juice of the grape. All this is horrible, but one need not study it minutely. There are other windows less remarkable but not less rich and glowing.

Other illustrious dust that lies beneath this church is that of Racine and Pascal.



The Tour d'Argent—Frédéric's Homage to America—A Marquis Poet—The Halle des Vins—A Free Zoo—Peacocks in Love—A Reminiscence—The Museums of the Jardin des Plantes—A Lifeless Zoo—Babies in Bottles—The Jardin d'Acclimatation—The Cheerful Gallas—A Pretty Stable—Dogs on Velvet—A Canine Père Lachaise—The Sunday Sportsmen—Panic at the Zoos—The Besieged Resident—The Humours of Famine.

On the day of one of my visits to the Jardin des Plantes I lunched at the Tour d'Argent, a restaurant on the Quai de la Tournelle, famous among many dishes for its delicious canard à la presse. No bird on this occasion passed through that luxurious mill for me: but the engines were at work all around distilling essential duck with which to enrich those slices from the breast that are all that the epicure eats. Over a simpler repast I studied a bewildering catalogue of the "Créations of Frédéric"—Frédéric being M. Frédéric Delair, a venerable chef with a head like that of a culinary Ibsen, stored with strange lore of sauces.

By what means one commends oneself to Frédéric I cannot say, but certain it is that if he loves you he 200 will immortalise you in a dish. Americans would seem to have a short cut to his heart, for I find the Canapé Clarence Mackay, the Filet de Sole Loië Fuller, the Filet de Sole Gibbs, the Fondu de Merlan Peploe, the Poulet de Madame J. W. Mackay, and the Poire Wanamaker. None of these joys tempted me, but I am sorry now that I did not partake of the Potage Georges Cain, because M. Georges Cain knows more about old Paris than any man living; and who knows but that a few spoonfuls of his Potage might not have immensely enriched this book! The Noisette de Pré-Salé Bodley again should have been nourishing, for Mr. Bodley is the author of one of the best of all the many studies of France. Instead, however, I ate very simply, of ordinary dishes—foundlings, so to speak, named after no one—and amused myself over my coffee in examining the Marquis Lauzières de Thémines' poésie sur les Créations de Frédéric (to the air of "la Corde Sensible"). Two stanzas and two choruses will illustrate the noble poet's range:—

Que de filets de sole on y consomme!
Sole Néron, Cardinal, Maruka.
Dosamentès, Edson ... d'autres qu'on nomme
Victor Renault, Saintgall, Hérédia.
La liste est longue! rognons, côtelettes,
Poulet Sigaud et Canard Mac-Arthur,
Filets de lièvre Arnold White et Noisettes
De Pré-salé, Langouste Wintherthur.

Ce que je fais n'est pas une réclame,
Je vous le dis pour être obligeant.
Je m'en voudrais d'encourir votre blâme
Pour avoir trop vanté La Tour D'Argent.
Les noms des Œufs de cent façons s'étalent,
Œufs Bûcheron, œufs Claude Lowther.
Œufs Tuck, Rathbone, œufs Mackay que n'égalent
Que les chaud-froids de volaille Henniker.
Que d'entremets ont nom de "la Tournelle"!
Et plus souvent, le vocable engageant
Du restaurant, car plus d'un plat s'appelle
(Gibier, beignets, salade) "Tour d'Argent".

Ami lecteur, pour faire bonne chère,
Ecoute-moi, ne sois pas négligent,
Va-t-en dîner, si ta santé t'est chère,
Au Restaurant nommé La Tour D'Argent.

(Odd work for Marquises!)



On the way to the Jardin des Plantes from this restaurant it is not unamusing to turn aside to the Halles des Vins and loiter a while in these genial catacombs. Here you may see barrels as the sands of the sea-shore for multitude, and raw wine of a colour that never yet astonished in a bottle, and I hope, so far as I am concerned, never will: unearthly aniline juices that are to pass through many dark processes before they emerge smilingly as vins, to lend cheerfulness to the windows of the épicier and gaiety to the French heart.

Even with the most elementary knowledge of French one would take the Jardin des Plantes to be the Parisian Kew, and so to some small extent it is; but ninety-nine per cent. of its visitors go not to see the flora but the fauna. It is in reality the Zoo of the Paris proletariat. Paris, unlike London, has two Zoos, both of which hide beneath names that easily conceal their zoological 202 character from the foreigner—the Jardin des Plantes, where we now find ourselves, which is free to all, and the Jardin d'Acclimatation, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, near the Porte Maillot, which costs money—a franc to enter and a ridiculous supplément to your cabman for the privilege of passing the fortifications in his vehicle: one of Paris's little mistakes. To the Jardin d'Acclimatation we shall come anon: just now let us loiter among the wild animals of the Jardin des Plantes, which is as a matter of fact a far more thorough Zoo than that selecter other, where frivolity ranks before zoology. Our own Zoo contains a finer collection than either, and our animals are better housed and ordered, but this Parisian people's Zoo has a great advantage over ours in that it is free. All zoological gardens should of course be free.

The Jardin des Plantes has another and a dazzling superiority in the matter of peacocks. I never saw so many. They occur wonderfully in the most unexpected places, not only in the enclosures of all the other open-air animals, but in trees and on roofs and amid the bushes—burning with their deep and lustrous blue. But on the warm day of spring on which I saw them first they were not so quiescent. Regardless of the proprieties they were most of them engaged in recommending themselves to the notice of their ladies. On all sides were spreading tails bearing down upon the beloved with the steady determination of a three-masted schooner, and now and then caught like that vessel in a shattering breeze (of 203 emotion) which stirred every sail. In England one might feel uncomfortable in the midst of so naked a display of the old Adam, but in Paris one becomes more reconciled to facts, and (like the new cat in the adage) ceases to allow "I am ashamed" to wait upon "I would". The peahens, however, behaved with a stolid circumspection that was beyond praise. These vestals never lifted their heads from the ground, but pecked on and on, mistresses of the scene and incidentally the best friends of the crowds of ouvriers and ouvrières ("V'là le paon! Vite! Vite!") at every railing. But the Parisian peacock is not easily daunted. In spite of these rebuffs the batteries of glorious eyes continued firing, and wider and wider the tails spread, with a corresponding increase of disreputable déshabillé behind; and so I left them, recalling as I walked away a comic occurrence at school too many years ago, when a travelling elocutionist, who had induced our headmaster to allow him to recite to the boys, was noticed to be discharging all his guns of tragedy and humour (some of which I remember distinctly at the moment) with a broadside effect that, while it assisted the ear, had a limiting influence on gesture and by-play, and completely eliminated many of the nuances of conversational give and take. Never throughout the evening did we lose sight of the full expanse of his shirt front; never did he turn round. Never, do I say? But I am wrong. Better for him had it been never: for the poor fellow, his task over and his badly needed guinea earned, forgot under our salvoes of applause the 204 need of caution, and turning from one side of the platform to the other in stooping acknowledgment, disclosed a rent precisely where no man would have a rent to be.

My advice to the visitor to the Jardin des Plantes is to be satisfied with the living animals—with the seals and sea-lions, the bears and peacocks, the storks and tigers; and, in fair weather, with the flowers, although the conditions under which these are to be observed are not ideal, so formally arranged on the flat as they are, with traffic so visibly adjacent. But to the glutton for museums such advice is idle. Here, however, even he is like to have his fill.

Let him then ask at the Administration for a ticket, which will be handed to him with the most charming smile by an official who is probably of all the bureaucrats of Paris the least deserving of a tip, since zoological and botanical gardens exist for the people, and these tickets (the need for which is, by the way, non-existent) are free and are never withheld—but who is also of all the bureaucrats of Paris the most determined to get one, even, as I observed, from his own countrymen. Thus supplied you must walk some quarter of a mile to a huge building in which are collected all the creatures of the earth in their skins as God made them, but lifeless and staring from the hands of taxidermic man. It is as though the ark had been overwhelmed by some such fine dust as fell from Vesuvius, and was now exhumed. One does not get the same effect from the Natural 205 History Museum in the Cromwell Road; it is, I suppose, the massing that does it here.

Having walked several furlongs amid this travesty of wild and dangerous life, one passes to the next museum, which is devoted to mineralogy and botany, and here again are endless avenues of joy for the muséephile and tedium for others. Lastly, after another quarter of a mile's walk, the palatial museum of anatomy is reached, the ingenious art of the late M. Frémiet once more providing a hors d'œuvre. At the Arts Décoratifs we find on the threshold a man dragging a bear cub into captivity; at the Petit Palais, St. George is killing the dragon just inside the turnstile; and here, near the umbrella-stand, is a man being strangled by an orang-outang. Thus cheered, we enter, and are at once amid a very grove of babies in bottles: babies unready for the world, babies with two heads, babies with no heads at all, babies, in short, without any merit save for the biologist, the distiller, and the sightseer with strong nerves. From the babies we pass to cases containing examples of every organ of the human form divine, and such approximations as have been accomplished by elephants and mice and monkeys—all either genuine, in spirits, or counterfeited with horrible minuteness in wax. Also there are skeletons of every known creature, from whales to frogs, and I noticed a case illustrating the daily progress of the chicken in the egg.

And now for the other Zoo, the Zoo of the classes. Perhaps the best description is to call it a playground 206 with animals in it. For there are children everywhere, and everything is done for their amusement—as is only natural in a land where children persist through life and no one ever tires. In the centre of the gardens is an enclosure in which in the summer of 1908 were encamped a colony of Gallas, an intelligent and attractive black people from the border of Abyssinia, who flung spears at a target, and fought duels, and danced dances of joy and sorrow, and rounded up zebras, and in the intervals sold curiosities and photographs of themselves with ingratiating tenacity. It was a strange bizarre entertainment, with greedy ostriches darting their beaks among the spectators, and these shock-headed savages screaming through their diversions, and now and again a refined slip of a black girl imploring one mutely to give a franc for a five centimes picture postcard, or murmuring incoherent rhapsodies over the texture of a European dress.

All around the enclosure the Parisian children were playing, some riding elephants, others camels, some driving an ostrich cart, and all happy. But the gem of the Jardin is the Ecurie, on one side for ponies—scores of little ponies, all named—the other for horses; on one side a riding school for children, on the other side a riding school for grown-up pupils, perhaps the cavalry officers of the future. The ponies are charming: Bibiche, landaise, Volubilité, cheval landais, Céramon, cheval finlandais, Farceur, from the same country, Columbine, née de Ratibor, and so forth. 207 There they wait, alert and patient too, in the manner of small ponies, and by-and-by one is led off to the Petit manège for a little Monsieur Paul or Etienne to bestride. The Ecurie is a model of its kind, with its central courtyard and offices for the various servants, sellier, piqueur and so forth.



Near by is a castellated fortress which might belong to a dwarf of blood but is really a rabbit house. Every kind of rabbit is here, with this difference from the rabbit house in our Zoo, that the animals are for sale; and there is a fragrant vacherie where you may learn to milk; and in another part is a collection of dogs—tou-tous and lou-lous and all the rest of it—and these are for sale too. This is as popular a department as any in the Jardin. The expressions of delight and even ecstasy which were being uttered before some of the cages I seem still to hear.

The Parisians may be kind fathers and devoted mothers: I am sure that they are; but to the observer in the streets and restaurants their finest shades of protective affection would seem to be reserved for dogs. One sees their children with bonnes; their dogs are their own care. The ibis of Egypt is hardly more sacred. An English friend who has lived in the heart of Paris for some time in the company of a fox terrier tells me that on their walks abroad in the evening the number of strangers who stop him to pass friendly remarks upon his pet or ask to be allowed to pat it—or who make overtures to it without permission—is beyond 208 belief. No pink baby in Kensington Gardens is more admired. Dogs in English restaurants are a rarity: but in Paris they are so much a matter of course that a little pâtée is always ready for them.

It was of course a French tongue that first gave utterance to the sentiment, "The more I see of men the more I like dogs"; but I cannot pretend to have observed that the Frenchman suffers any loss in prestige or power from this attention to the tou-tou and the lou-lou. Nothing, I believe, will ever diminish the confidence or success of that lord of creation. He may to the insular eye be too conscious of his charms; he may suggest the boudoir rather than the field of battle or the field of sport; he may amuse by his hat, astonish by his beard, and perplex by his boots; but the fact remains that he is master of Paris, and Paris is the centre of civilisation.

The Parisians not only adore their dogs in life: they give them very honourable burial. We have in London, by Lancaster Gate, a tiny cemetery for these friendly creatures; but that is nothing as compared with the cemetery at St. Ouen, on an island in the Seine. Here are monuments of the most elaborate description, and fresh wreaths everywhere. The most striking tomb is that of a Saint Bernard who saved forty persons but was killed by the forty-first—a hero of whose history one would like to know more, but the gate-keeper is curiously uninstructed.[2]


I walked among these myriad graves, all very recent in date, and was not a little touched by the affection that had gone to their making. I noted a few names: Petit Bob, Espérance (whose portrait is in bas-relief accompanied by that of its master), Peggie, Fan, Pincke, Manon, Dick, Siko, Léonette (aged 17 years and 4 months), Toby, Kiki, Ben-Ben ("toujours gai, fidèle et caressant"—what an epitaph to strive for!), Javotte, Nana, Lili, Dedjaz, Trinquefort, Teddy and Prince (whose mausoleum is superb), Fifi (who saved lives), Colette, Dash (a spaniel, with a little bronze sparrow perching on his tomb), Boy, Bizon (who saved his owner's life and therefore has this souvenir), and Mosque ("regretté et fidèle ami"). There must be hundreds and hundreds altogether, and it will not be long before another "Dog's Acre" is required.

Standing amid all the little graves I felt that the one thing I wanted to see was a dog's funeral. For surely there must be impressive obsequies as a preparation to such thoughtful burial. But I did not. No melancholy cortège came that way that afternoon; Fido's pompes funèbres are still a mystery to me.

But to my mind the best dogs in Paris are not such toy pets as for the most part are here kept in sacred memory, but those eager pointers that one sees on Sunday morning at the Gare du Nord, and indeed at all the big stations, following brisk, plump sportsmen with all the opéra bouffe insignia of the chase—the leggings and the belt and the great satchel and the gun. For the Frenchman who is going to shoot likes the world 210 to know what a lucky devil he is: he has none of our furtive English unwillingness to be known for what we are. I have seen them start, and I have waited about in the station towards dinner time just to see them return, with their bags bulging, and their steps springing with the pride and elation of success, and the faithful pointers trotting behind.

Everything is happy at the Jardins des Plantes and d'Acclimatation to-day: but it was not always so. During a critical period of 1870 and 1871 the cages were in a state of panic over the regular arrival of the butcher—not to bring food but to make it. Mr. Labouchere, the "Besieged Resident," writing on December 5th, 1870, says: "Almost all the animals in the Jardin d'Acclimatation have been eaten. They have averaged about 7 f. a lb. Kangaroo has been sold for 12 f. the lb. Yesterday I dined with the correspondent of a London paper. He had managed to get a large piece of mufflon, and nothing else, an animal which is, I believe, only found in Corsica. I can only describe it by saying that it tasted of mufflon, and nothing else. Without being absolutely bad, I do not think that I shall take up my residence in Corsica, in order habitually to feed upon it."

On December 18th Mr. Labouchere was at Voisin's. The bill of fare, he says, was ass, horse and English wolf from the Zoological Gardens. According to a Scotch friend, the English wolf was Scotch fox. Mr. Labouchere could not manage it and fell back on the patient ass. Voisin's, by the way, was the only restaurant 211 which never failed to supply its patrons with a meal. If you ask Paul, the head waiter, he will give you one of the siege menus as a souvenir.

Mr. Labouchere's description of typical life during the siege may be quoted here as offering material for reflection as we loiter about this city so notable to-day for pleasure and plenty. "Here is my day. In the morning the boots comes to call me. He announces the number of deaths which have taken place in the hotel during the night. If there are many he is pleased, as he considers it creditable to the establishment. He then relieves his feelings by shaking his fist in the direction of Versailles, and exits growling 'Canaille de Bismarck'. I get up. I have breakfast—horse, café au lait—the lait chalk and water—the portion of horse about two square inches of the noble quadruped. Then I buy a dozen newspapers, and after having read them discover that they contain nothing new. This brings me to about eleven o'clock. Friends drop in, or I drop in on friends. We discuss how long it is to last—if friends are French we agree that we are sublime. At one o'clock get into the circular railroad, and go to one or other of the city gates. After a discussion with the National Guards on duty, pass through. Potter about for a couple of hours at the outposts; try with glass to make out Prussians; look at bombs bursting; creep along the trenches; and wade knee-deep in mud through the fields. The Prussians, who have grown of late malevolent even towards civilians, occasionally send a ball far 212 over one's head. They always fire too high. French soldiers are generally cooking food. They are anxious for news, and know nothing about what is going on. As a rule they relate the episode of some combat d'avant-poste which took place the day before. The episodes never vary. 5 p.m.—Get back home; talk to doctors about interesting surgical operations; then drop in upon some official to interview him about what he is doing. Official usually first mysterious, then communicative, not to say loquacious, and abuses most people except himself. 7 p.m.—Dinner at a restaurant; conversation general; almost every one in uniform. Still the old subjects—How long will it last? Why does not Gambetta write more clearly? How sublime we are; what a fool every one else is. Food scanty, but peculiar.... After dinner, potter on the Boulevards under the dispiriting gloom of petroleum; go home and read a book. 12 p.m.—Bed. They nail up the coffins in the room just over mine every night, and the tap, tap, tap, as they drive in the nails, is the pleasing music which lulls me to sleep."

Here is another extract illustrating the pass to which a hungry city had come: "Until the weather set in so bitter cold, elderly sportsmen, who did not care to stalk the human game outside, were to be seen from morning to night pursuing the exciting sport of gudgeon fishing along the banks of the Seine. Each one was always surrounded by a crowd deeply interested in the chase. Whenever a fish was hooked, there was as much excitement 213 as when a whale is harpooned in more northern latitudes. The fisherman would play it for some five minutes, and then, in the midst of the solemn silence of the lookers-on, the precious capture would be landed. Once safe on the bank, the happy possessor would be patted on the back, and there would be cries of 'Bravo!' The times being out of joint for fishing in the Seine, the disciples of Izaak Walton have fallen back on the sewers. The Paris Journal gives them the following directions how to pursue their new game: 'Take a long strong line, and a large hook, bait with tallow, and gently agitate the rod. In a few minutes a rat will come and smell the savoury morsel. It will be some time before he decides to swallow it, for his nature is cunning. When he does, leave him five minutes to meditate over it; then pull strongly and steadily. He will make convulsive jumps; but be calm, and do not let his excitement gain on you, draw him up, et voilà votre dîner.'"

There is still hardly less excitement when a fish is landed by a quai fisherman, but the emotion is now purely artistic.



From Temple to Church—Napoleon the Christian—The Chapelle Expiatoire—More Irony of History—Mi-Carême—The Art of Insolence—Spacious Streets—The Champions of France—Marius—Letter-boxes and Stamps—The Facteur at the Bed—Killing a Guide no Murder—The Largest Theatre in the World—A Theatrical Museum.

The Madeleine has had a curious history. The great Napoleon built it, on the site of a small eighteenth-century church, as a Temple of Glory, a gift to his soldiers, where every year on the anniversaries of Austerlitz and Jena a concert was to be held, odes read, and orations delivered on the duties and privileges of the warrior, any mention of the Emperor's own name being expressly forbidden. That was in 1806. The building was still in progress when 1815 came, with another and more momentous battle in it, and Napoleon and his proposal disappeared. The building of the Temple of Glory was continued as a church, and a church it still is; and the memory of Jena and Austerlitz is kept alive in Paris by other means (they have, for example, each a bridge), no official orations are delivered on the soldier's calling, no official odes recited. It was 215 a noble idea of the Emperor's, and however perfunctorily carried out, could not have left one with a less satisfied feeling than some of the present ceremonials in the Madeleine, which has become the most fashionable Paris church. Napoleon, however, is not wholly forgotten, for in the apse, I understand, is a fresco representing Christ reviewing the chief champions of Christianity and felicitating with them upon their services, the great Emperor being by no means absent. Herr Baedeker says that the fresco is there, but I have not succeeded in seeing it, for the church is lit only by three small cupolas and is dark with religious dusk.

Within, the Madeleine is a surprise, for it does not conform to its fine outward design. One expects a classic severity and simplicity, and instead it is paint and Italianate curves. The wisest course for the visitor is to avoid the steps and the importunate mendicants at the railings, and slip in by the little portal on the west side where the discreet closed carriages wait.

Louis XVIII., with his passion—a very natural one—to obliterate Napoleon and the revolutionaries and resume monarchical continuity, wished to complete the Madeleine as a monument to Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette; but he did not persevere with the idea. He built instead, on the site of the old cemetery of the Madeleine, where Louis XVI. and the Queen had been buried, the Chapelle Expiatoire. It is their memory only which is preserved here, for, after Waterloo, their bones were carried to St. Denis, where the other French 216 kings lie. Their statues, however, are enshrined in the building (which is just off the Boulevard Haussmann, isolated solemnly and impressively among chestnut trees and playing children), the king being solaced by an angel who remarks to him in the words used by Father Edgeworth on the scaffold, "Fils de St. Louis, montez au ciel!" and the queen by religion, personified by her sister-in-law, Madame Elizabeth. The door-keeper, who conducted me as guide, was in raptures over Louis XVI.'s lace and the circumstance that he was hewn from a single block of marble. I liked his enthusiasm: these unfortunate monarchs deserve the utmost that sculptor and door-keeper can give them.

Paris has changed its mind more completely and frequently than any city in the world—and no illustration of that foible is better than this before us. Consider the sequence: first the king; then the prisoner; then the execution—the body and head being carried to the nearest cemetery, the Madeleine, where the guillotine's victims were naturally flung, and carelessly buried. Ten months later the queen's body and head follow. (It is said that the records of the Madeleine contain an entry by a sexton, which runs in English, "Paid seven francs for a coffin for the Widow Capet".) That was in 1793. Not until 1815 do they find sepulture befitting them, and then this chapel rises in their honour and they become saints.



Among other bodies buried here was that of Charlotte Corday. Also the Swiss Guards, whom we saw meeting 217 death at the Tuileries. A strange place, and to-day, in a Paris that cares nothing for Capets, a perfect example of what might paradoxically be called well-kept neglect.

To me the Madeleine has always a spurious air: nothing in it seems quite true. Externally, its Roman proportions carry no hint of the Christian religion; within, there is a noticeable lack of reverence. Every one walks about, and the Suisses are of the world peculiarly and offensively worldly. Standing before the altar with its representation of the Magdalen, who gives the church its name, being carried to Heaven, it is difficult to realise that only thirty-eight years ago this very spot was running red with the blood of massacred Communards.

I remember the Madeleine most naturally as I saw it once at Mi-Carême, from an upper window at Durand's, after lunch. It was a dull day and the Madeleine frowned on the human sea beneath it; for the Place before it and the Rue Royale were black with people. The portico is always impressive, but I had never before had so much time or such excellent opportunity to study it and its relief of the Last Judgment, an improbable contingency to which few of us were giving much thought just then. Not only were the steps crowded, but two men had climbed to the green roof and were sitting on the very apex of the building.

The Mi-Carême carnival in Paris, I may say at once, is not worth crossing the Channel for. It is tawdry 218 and stupid; the life of the city is dislocated; the Grands Boulevards are quickly some inches deep in confetti, all of which has been discharged into faces and even eyes before reaching the ground; the air is full of dust; and the places of amusement are uncomfortably crowded. The Lutetian humours of the Latin Quarter students and of Montmartre are not without interest for a short time, but they become tedious with extraordinary swiftness and certainty as the morning grows grey.

Each side of the Madeleine has its flower markets, and they share the week between them. Round and about Christmas a forest of fir-trees springs up. At the back of the Madeleine omnibuses and trams converge as at the Elephant.

For a walk along the Grands Boulevards this temple is the best starting-point; but I do not suggest that the whole round shall be made. By the Grands Boulevards the precisian would mean the half circle from the Madeleine to the Place de la République and thence to the Place de la Bastille; or even the whole circle, crossing the river by the Pont Sully to the Boulevard St. Antoine, which cuts right through the Surrey side and crosses the river by the Pont de la Concorde and so comes to the Rue Royale and the Madeleine again. Those are the Grands Boulevards; but when the term is conversationally used it means nothing whatever but the stretch of broad road and pavement, of vivid kiosques and green branches, between the Madeleine and the Rue Richelieu: that is the Grands Boulevards for the flâneur 219 and the foreigner. All the best cafés to sit at, all the prettiest women to stare at, all the most entertaining shop windows, are found between these points.

The prettiest women to stare at! Here I touch on a weakness in the life of Paris which there is no doubt the Boulevards have fostered. Staring—more than staring, a cool cynical appraisement—is one of the privileges which the Boulevardier most prizes. I have heard it said that he carries staring to a fine art; but it is not an art at all, and certainly not fine; it is just a coarse and disgusting liberty. It is nothing to him that the object of his interest is accompanied by a man; his code ignores that detail; he is out to see and to make an impression and nothing will stop him. One must not, however, let this ugly practice offend one's sensibility too much. Foreigners need not necessarily do as the Romans do, but it is not their right to be too critical of Rome; and liberty is the very air of the Boulevards. Live and let live. If one is going to be annoyed by Paris, one had better stay at home.

The Grands Boulevards might be called the show-rooms of Paris: it is here that one sees the Parisians. In London one may live for years and never see a Londoner; not because Londoners do not exist, but because London has no show-rooms for their display. There is no Boulevard in London; the only streets that have a pavement capable of accommodating both spectators and a real procession of types are deserted, such as Portland Place and Kingsway. The English, who 220 conquer and administer the world, dislike space; the French, a people at whose alleged want of inches we used to mock, rejoice in space. Think of the Champs-Elysées and the Bois, and then think of Constitution Hill and Hyde Park, and you realise the difference. Take a mental drive by any of the principal Boulevards—from the Madeleine eastward to the Place de la République and back to the Madeleine again by way of the Boulevards de Magenta and Clichy and down the Boulevard Malesherbes, and then take a mental drive from Hyde Park Corner by way of Piccadilly, the Strand, Fleet Street, Cannon Street, Lombard Street, Cheapside, Holborn, Oxford Street and Park Lane to Hyde Park Corner again and you realise the difference. In wet weather in Paris it is possible to walk all day and not be splashed. Think of our most fashionable thoroughfare, just by Long's Hotel, when it is raining—our Rue de la Paix. The only street in London of which a Frenchman would not be ashamed is the Mile End Road.

At the Taverne Olympia—just past the old houses standing back from the pavement, on the left, which are built on the wall of the old moat, when this Boulevard really was a bulwark or fortification—at the Taverne Olympia, upstairs, is one of the few billiard saloons in Paris in which exhibition games are continually in progress, and in which one can fill many amusing half-hours and perhaps win a few louis. Years ago I used to frequent the saloon in a basement under the Grand Café, a few doors east of the Olympia, but it has lost 221 some of its prestige. The best play now is at Olympia and at Cure's place in the Rue Vivienne. Every day of the year, for ever and ever, a billiard match is in progress. So you may say is, in the winter, the case in London at Burroughs and Watts', or Thurston's, but these are very different. In London the match is for a large number of points and it may last a week or a fortnight. Here there are scores of matches every afternoon and evening and the price of admission is a consommation. By virtue of one glass of coffee you may sit for hours and watch champion of France after champion of France lose and win, win and lose.

The usual game is played by three champions of France and is for ten cannons off the red. The names of the players, on cards, are first flung on the table, and the amateur of sport advances from his seat and stakes five francs on that champion of France whom he favours. Five francs is the unit. On my first visit, years ago, the champion whom I, very unsoundly but not perhaps unnaturally, supported, was one Lucas. Poor fellow, on that afternoon he did his best, but he never got home. The great Marius was too much for him. Marius in those days was a very fine player and the hero of the saloon at the Grand Café. A Southerner I should guess; for I have seen his doubles by the score in the cafés of Avignon and Nîmes. He was short and thick, with a bald head and a large sagacious nose and a saturnine smile and a heavy moustache. Winning and losing were all one to him, although it is understood 222 that fifty centimes are contributed by each of his backers to a champion of France when he brings it off. Marius looked down his nose in the same way whatever happened. He was no Roberts; he had none of the Cæsarian masterfulness, none of the Napoleonic decision, of that king of men. The modern French game does not lend itself to such commanding excellence, such Alpine distinction. The cannon is all: there is no longer any of the quiet and magical disappearance of the ball into a pocket which makes the English game so fascinating.

Such was Marius when I first saw him, and quite lately I descended to his cellar again and found him unaltered, except that he was no longer a master except very occasionally, and that he had grown more sardonic. I do not wonder at it. It may not be, in Paris, "a lonely thing to be champion," as Cashel Byron says, but it must be a melancholy thing to be no longer the champion that you were. A home of rest for ex-champions would draw my guinea at once.

The ten or eight cannons off the red, I might add, are varied now and then. Sometimes there is a match between two players for a hundred points. Sometimes three players will see which can first make eight cannons, each involving three cushions (trois bandes). This is a very interesting game to watch, although it may be a concession to decadence.



We come next to the Rue Scribe, and crossing it, are at "Old England," a shop where the homesick may buy such a peculiarly English delicacy as marmalade, 223 beneath the shadow of the gigantic Grand Hotel, notable not only for its million bedrooms but for marking the position of one of the few post offices of Paris, and also the only shop in the centre of the city which keeps a large and civilised stock of Havana cigars. One can live without Havana cigars, but post offices are a necessity, and in Paris they conceal themselves with great success; while, as for letter-boxes, it has been described as a city without one. To a Londoner accustomed to the frequent and vivid occurrence at street corners of our scarlet obelisks, it is so. Quite recently I heard of a young Englishman, shy and incorrigibly one-languaged, who, during a week in Paris, entrusted all his correspondence to a fire-alarm. But, as a matter of fact, Paris has letter-boxes in great number, only for the most part they are so concealed as to be solely for the initiated. Directly one learns that every tobacconist also sells stamps and either secretes a letter-box somewhere beneath his window, or marks the propinquity of one, life becomes simple.

Although normally one never has, in France, even in the official receptacle of one of the chief of the Bureaux des Postes, any of that confidence that one reposes in the smallest wall-box in England; yet one must perforce overcome this distrust or use only pneumatiques. The French do not carry ordinary letters very well, but if you register them nothing can keep the postman from you. A knock like thunder crashes into your dreams, and behold he is at your bedside, alert and 224 important, be-ribboned with red tape, tendering for your signature a pen dipped in an inkstand concealed about his person. Every one who goes to France for amusement should arrange to receive one registered letter.

Its letter-boxes may be a trifle farcical, but in its facilities given to purchasers of stamps France makes England look an uncivilised country. Why it should be illegal for any one but a postal official to supply stamps in my own land, I have never been informed, nor have any of the objections to the system ever been explained away. In France you may get your stamps anywhere—from tobacconists for certain; from waiters for certain; from the newspaper kiosques for certain; and from all tradespeople almost for certain: hence one is relieved of the tiresome delays in post offices that are incident to English life. But I am inclined to think that when it comes to the post office proper, England has the advantage. The French post office (when you have found it) is always crowded and always overheated; and you remember what I told the men in the Mint.

To return to the Grand Hotel, I am minded to express the wish that something could be done to rid its pavement of the sly leering detrimental with an umbrella who comes up to the foreigner and offers his services as a guide to the night side of Paris. Not until an Englishman has killed one of these pests will this part of Paris be endurable. But from what I have observed I should say that few murders are less likely to occur....

And so we come to the Café de la Paix, and turning 225 to the left, the Opera is before us. The Opera is one of the buildings of Paris that are taken for granted. We do not look at it much: we think of it as occupying the central position, adjacent to Cook's, useful as a place of meeting; we buy a seat there occasionally, and that is all. And yet it is the largest theatre in the world (the work of that Charles Garnier whose statue is just outside), and although it is not exactly beautiful, its proportions are agreeable; it does not obtrude its size (and yet it covers three acres); it sits very comfortably on the ground, and an incredible amount of patient labour and thought went to its achievement, as any one may see by walking round it and studying the ornamentation and the statuary, among which is Carpeaux's famous lively group "La Danse". One very pleasant characteristic of the Opera is the modesty with which it announces its performances: nothing but a minute poster in a frame, three or four times repeated, giving the information to the passer-by. Larger posters would impair its superb reserve.

The Opera has a little museum, the entrance to which is in the Rue Auber corner, by the statue of the architect (with his plan of the building traced in bronze below his bust). This museum is a model of its kind—small but very pertinent and personal in character. Here are one of Paganini's bows and his rosin box; souvenirs of Malibran presented to her by some Venetian admirers in 1835; Berlioz' season ticket for the Opera in 1838, and a page of one of his scores; Rossini in 226 a marble statuette, asleep on his sofa, wearing that variety of whisker which we call a Newgate fringe; Rossini on his death-bed, drawn by L. Roux, and a page of a score and a cup and saucer used by him; a match box of Gounod's, a page of a score, and his marble bust; Meyerbeer on his death-bed, drawn by Mousseaux, a decoration worn by that composer, and a page of his score; two of Cherubini's tobacco boxes and a page of his score; Danton's clay caricature of Liszt—all hair and legs—at the piano, and a caricature of Liszt playing the piano while Lablache sings and Habeneck conducts; a bust of Fanny Cerrito, danseuse, in 1821—with a mischievous pretty face—that Cerrito of whom Thomas Ingoldsby rhymed; and a bust of Emma Livry, a danseuse of a later day, who died aged twenty-three from injuries received from fire during the répétition génerale of the "Muette de Portici" on November 15th, 1862. In a little coffer near by are the remains of the clothes the poor creature was wearing at the time. What else is there? Many busts, among them Delibes the composer of "Coppélia," whose grave we shall see in the Cimetière de Montmartre: here bearded and immortal; autograph scores by Verdi, Donizetti, Victor Massé, Auber, Spontini (whose very early piano also is here), and Hérold; a caricature by Isabey of young Vestris bounding in mid-air, models of scenes of famous operas, and a host of other things all displayed easily in a small but sufficient room. If all museums were as compact and single-minded!



The Green Hour—In the Stalls of Life—National Contrasts and the Futility of Drawing Them—The Concierge—The Bénéfice Hunters—The Claque—The Paris Theatre—The Paris Music Hall—The Everlasting Joke—The Real French—A Country of Energy—A City of Waiters—Ridicule—Women—Cabmen—The Levelling of the Tourist—French Intelligence—The Chauffeurs—The Paris Spectacle.

And now since it is the "green hour"—since it is five o'clock—let us take a chair outside the Café de la Paix and watch the people pass, and meditate, here, in the centre of the civilised world, on this wonderful city of Paris and this wonderful country of France.

I am not sure but that when all is said it is not these outdoor café chairs of Paris that give it its highest charm and divide it from London with the greatest emphasis. There are three reasons why one cannot sit out in this way in London: the city is too dirty; the air is rarely warm enough; and the pavements are too narrow. But in Paris, which enjoys the steadier climate of a continent and understands the æsthetic uses of a pavement, and burns wood, charcoal or anthracite, it is, when dry, always possible; and I, for one, rejoice in the privilege. This "green hour"—this quiet recess between five and 228 six in which to sip an apéritif, and talk, and watch the world, and anticipate a good dinner—is as characteristically French as the absence of it is characteristically English. The English can sip their beverages too, but how different is the bar at which they stand from the comfortable stalls (so to speak) in the open-air theatres of the Boulevards in which the French take their ease.

At every turn one is reminded that these people live as if the happiness of this life were the only important thing; while if we subtract a frivolous fringe, it may be said of the English that (without any noticeable gain in such advantages as spirituality confers) they are always preparing to be happy but have not yet enough money or are not yet quite ready to begin. The Frenchman is happy now: the Englishman will be happy to-morrow. (That is, at home; yet I have seen Englishmen in Paris gathering honey while they might, with both hands.)

But the French and English, London and Paris, are not really to be compared. London and Paris indeed are different in almost every respect, as the capitals of two totally and almost inimically different nations must be. For a few days the Englishman is apt to think that Paris has all the advantages: but that is because he is on a holiday; he soon comes to realise that London is his home, London knows his needs and supplies them. Much as I delight in Paris I would make almost any sacrifice rather than be forced to live there; yet so long as inclination is one's only master how pleasant are her vivacity and charm. But comparisons between nations 229 are idle. For a Frenchman there is no country like France and no city like Paris; for an Englishman England is the best country and London the most desirable city. For a short holiday for an Englishman, Paris is a little paradise; for a short holiday for a Frenchman, London is a little inferno.



Each country is the best; each country has advantages over the other, each country has limitations. The French may have wide streets and spacious vistas, but their matches are costly and won't light; the English, even in the heart of London, may be contented with narrow and muddy and congested lanes, but their sugar at least is sweet.

The French may have abolished bookmakers from their race-courses and may give even a cabman a clean napkin to his meals, but their tobacco is a monopoly. The English may fill their streets with newspaper posters advertising horrors and scandals, but they are permitted now and then to forget their vile bodies. The French may piously and prettily erect statues of every illustrious child of the State, but their billiard tables are now without pockets. London may have a cleaner Tube railway system than Paris, but Paris has the advantage of no lifts and a correspondence ticket at a trifling cost which will take you everywhere, whereas London's Tubes belonging to different companies the correspondence is expensive. Again with omnibuses, London may have more and better, but here again the useful correspondence system is to be found only in Paris. 230

London may be in darkness for most of the winter and be rained upon by soot all the year round; but at any rate the Londoner is master in his own house or flat and not the cringing victim of a concierge, as every Parisian is. That is something to remember and be thankful for. Paris has an atmosphere, and a climate, and good food, and attentive waiters, and a cab to every six yards of the kerb, and no petty licensing tyrannies, and the Champs-Elysées, and immunity from lurid newspaper posters, and good coffee, and the Winged Victory, and Monna Lisa; but it also has the concierge. At the entrance to every house is this inquisitive censorious janitor—a blend in human shape of Cerberus and the Recording Angel. The concierge knows the time you go out and (more serious) the time you come in; what letters and parcels you receive; what visitors, and how long they stay. The concierge knows how much rent you pay and what you eat and drink. And the worst of it is that since the concierge keeps the door and dominates the house you must put a good face on it or you will lose very heavily. Scowl at the concierge and your life will become a harassment: letters will be lost; parcels will be delayed; visitors will be told you are at home; a thousand little vexations will occur. The concierge in short is a rod which, you will observe, it is well to kiss. The wise Parisian therefore is always amiable, and generous too, although in his heart he wishes the whole system at the devil.

And here I ought to say that although one is thus 231 conscious of certain of the defects and virtues of each nation, I have no belief whatever in any large interchange of characteristics being possible. Nations I think can borrow very little from each other. What is sauce for the goose is by no means necessarily sauce for the oie, and the meat of an homme can easily be the poison of a man.

The French and the English base life on such different premises. To put the case in a nutshell, we may say that the French welcome facts and the English avoid them. The French make the most of facts; the English persuade themselves that facts are not there. The French write books and plays about facts, and read and go to the theatre to see facts; the English write books and plays about sentimental unreality, and read and go to the theatre in order to be diverted from facts. The French live quietly and resignedly at home among facts; the English exhaust themselves in games and travel and frivolity and social inquisitiveness, in order to forget that they have facts in their midst.

One always used to think that the English were the most willing endurers of impositions and monopolies; but I have come to the conclusion that a people that can continue to burn French matches and use French ink and blotting-paper, bend before the concierge and suffer the claque and the French theatre attendant, must be even weaker. Only a people in love with slavery would continue to endure the black bombazined harpies who turn the French theatres into infernos, first 232 by their very presence and secondly by their clamour for a bénéfice. They do nothing and they levy a tax on it. So far from exterminating them, this absurd lenient French people has even allowed them to dominate the cinematoscope halls which are now so numerous all over Paris. I sit and watch them and wonder what they do all day: in what dark corner of the city they hang like bats till the evening arrives and they are free to poison the air of the theatres and exact their iniquitous secret commission. The habit of London managers to charge sixpence for a programme—an advertisement of his wares such as every decent and courteous tradesman is proud to give away—is sufficiently monstrous; but I can never enough honour them for excluding these bénéfice hunters.

Whatever may be said of French acting and French plays there is no doubt that our theatres are more comfortable and better managed. A Frenchman visiting a theatre in London has no difficulties: he buys his seat at the office, is shown to it and the matter ends. An Englishman visiting a theatre in Paris has no such ease. He must first buy his ticket (and let him scrutinise the change with some care and despatch); this ticket, however, does not, as in London, carry the number of his seat: it is merely a card of introduction to the three gentlemen in evening dress and tall hats who sit side by side in a kind of pulpit in the lobby. One of them takes his ticket, another consults a plan and writes a number on it, and the third hands it back. Another 233 difficulty has yet to come, for now begins the turn of the harpies. Why the English custom is not followed, and a clean sweep made of both the men in the pulpit and the women inside, one has no notion; for in addition to being a nuisance they must reduce the profits.

I mentioned the claque just now. That is another of the Frenchman's darling bugbears which the English would never stand. Every Frenchman to whom I have spoken about it shares my view that it is an abomination, but when I ask why it is not abolished he merely shrugs his shoulders: "Why should it be?—one can endure it," is the attitude; and that indeed is the Frenchman's attitude to most of the things that he finds objectionable. They are, after all, only trimmings; the real fabric of his life is not injured by them; therefore let them go on. Yet while one can understand the persistence of certain Parisian defects, the long life of the claque remains a mystery. Upon me the periodical and mechanical explosions of this body of hirelings have an effect little short of infuriation. One is told that the actors are responsible rather than the managers, and this makes its continuance the more unreasonable, for the result has been that in their efforts to acquire the illusion of applause, they have lost the real thing. French audiences rarely clap any more.

When it comes to the consideration of the French stage, there is again no point in making comparisons. It is again a conflict of fact and sentiment. The French are intensely interested in the manifestations of 234 the sexual emotion, and they have no objection to see the calamities and embarrassments and humours to which it may lead worked out frankly on the boards or in literature: hence a certain sameness in their plays and novels. The majority of the English still think that physical matters should be hidden: hence our dramatists and novelists having had to find other themes, adventure, eccentricity and character have won their predominant place. That is all there is to it. The French stage is the best—to a Frenchman or a gallicised Englishman; the English stage is the best—to the English. The English go rather to see; the French to hear. In other words a blind Frenchman would be better pleased with his national stage than a blind Englishman with his. The blind Frenchman would at any rate not miss the jokes, which, though he knew them all before, he could not resist; whereas the Englishman would be deprived of the visible touches of which the personæ of our drama are largely built up. In a drama of passion, whether treated seriously or lightly, words necessarily are more than idiosyncrasies.



In the Paris music halls the comic singers merely sing—they have little but words to give. London music hall audiences may have an undue affection for red noses and sordid domestic details; but they do expect a little character, even if it is coarse character, during the evening, and they get it. There is little in the French hall. Personality is discouraged here; richness, quaintness, unction, irresponsibility, eccentricity—such 235 gifts as once pleased us in Dan Leno and now are to be found in a lesser degree but very agreeably in Wilkie Bard—these are superfluities to a French comic singer. All that is asked of him is that he shall be active, shall have a resonant voice, and shall commit to memory a sufficient number of cynical reflections on life. A gramophone producing any rapid indecent song would please the French more than a hundred Harry Lauders. (And yet when all is said it must be far easier to live in a country where decency, as we understand and painfully cultivate it, has not everywhere to be considered. The life at any rate of the French author, publisher, editor and magistrate, to name no others, is immensely simplified.)

But from my point of view the worst characteristic of the French music hall and variety stage is the revue. The revue is indeed a standing proof of the incontrovertible fact that however the hotel proprietors may feel about it, the Parisian does not want English people in his midst. (Why should he?) The revue in its quiddity is a device for excluding foreigners from theatres; for it is not only dull and monotonous, but being for the most part a satire on Parisian politics is incomprehensible too. I am not here to defend the English pantomime, but not all its agonies (as Ruskin called them) reach such a height of tedium as a revue can achieve. A Frenchman ignorant of English at Drury Lane on Boxing Night might be bewildered and even stunned; but he would at any rate know something of what was happening and his eyes would be kept busy. 236 An Englishman at a revue knows nothing, for there is no story, and very little money is spent on the stage picture: it is just a steady cataract of topical talk. I have endured many revues, always hoping against hope that some one would be witty or funny, that some ingenious satirical device would occur. But I have never been rewarded. No matter what the nominal subject, the jokes have been the same: the old old mots à double entente, the old old outspoken indecency....

The stream of people continues to be incessant and of incredible density—all walking at the same pace, all talking as only the French can talk, rich and poor equally owners of the pavement. Now and then a camelot offers a toy or a picture postcard; boys bring La Patrie or La Presse; a performer bends and twists a piece of felt into every shape of hat, culminating in Napoleon's famous chapeau à cornes....

One thing that one notices is the absence of laughter. The French laugh aloud very seldom. Even in their theatres, at the richest French jokes, their approval is expressed rather in a rippling murmur counterfeiting surprise than a laugh. Animation one sees, but on these Boulevards behind that is often a suggestion of anxiety. The dominant type of face seen from a chair at the Café de la Paix is not a happy one....

It is when one watches this restless moving crowd, or the complacent audiences at the farces, or the diners in restaurants eating as if it were the last meal, and when one looks week after week at the comic papers of Paris, 237 with their deadly insistence on the one and apparently only concern of Parisian life, that one has most of all to remind oneself that these people are not the French, and that one is a superficial tourist in danger of acquiring very wrong impressions. This is the fringe, the froth. One has only to remember a very few of the things we have seen in Paris to realise the truth of this. Never was a harder working people. Look at the early hours that Paris keeps: contrast them with London's slovenly awakening. Look at the amazing productivity of a notoriously idle and careless set—the artists: the old Salon with its miles of pictures twice a year, and the other Salons, hardly less crowded, and the minor exhibitions too. Look at the industry of the Paris stage: the new plays that are produced every week, involving endless rehearsals day and night. Look at the energy of the French authors, dramatic as well as narrative, of the journalists and printers. Think of the engineers, the motor-car manufacturers, the gardeners and the vintners. Think of the bottle-makers. (But one cannot: such a thought causes the head to reel in this city of bottles.) No, we are not seeing France, we foreign visitors to "the gay capital". Don't let us labour under any such mistake. The industrious, level-headed, cheerful French people do not exhibit themselves to the scrutinising eyes of the Café de la Paix, do not spend all their time as Le Rire would have us believe, do not over eat and over drink.

Around and about one all the time, as one watches 238 this panorama, the swift and capable waiters are busy. Every one carries away from Paris one mastering impression upon the inward eye: I am not sure that mine is not a blur of waiters in their long white aprons. At the Paris Exhibition of 1900, over the principal entrance at the south-west corner of the Place de la Concorde, was the gigantic figure of a young and fashionable woman in the very heyday of her vivacity, allurement and smartness. She personified Paris. But not so would I symbolise that city. In any coat of arms of Paris that I designed would certainly be a capable young woman, but also a waiter, sleek, attentive and sympathetic.

Paris may be a city of feminine charm and domination; but to the ordinary foreigner, and especially the Englishman, it is far more a city of waiters. Women we have in England too: but waiters we have not. There are waiters in London, no doubt, but that is the end of them: there are, to all intents and purposes, no waiters in the provinces, where we eat exclusively in our own houses. And even in London we must brace ourselves to find such waiters as there are: we must indulge in heroic feats of patience, and, once the waiter comes into view, exercise most of the vocal organs to attract his notice and obtain his suffrages. In other words, there is in London perhaps one waiter to every five thousand persons; whereas in Paris there are five thousand waiters, more or less, to every one person. Or so it seems. It is a city of waiters; it is the city of waiters.

Still the people stream by, and one wonders whence the idea comes that the French are a particularly 239 small race. It is not true. Look at that tall boulevardier with some one else's hat (why do so many Frenchmen seem to be wearing other men's hats?) and the immense beard. Look at those two long-haired artists from the Latin Quarter, in velvet clothes and black sombreros. In England they would be stared at and laughed at; but here no one is laughed at at all, and only the women are stared at. It is interesting to note how little street ridicule there is in France. The Frenchman mocks, but he does not, as I think so many of the English do, search for the ridiculous; or at any rate it is not the same kind of ridiculousness that we pillory. In England we bring such sandpaper of prejudice and public opinion to bear upon eccentricity that every one becomes smooth and ordinary—like every one else. But in France—to the superficial observer, at any rate—individuality is encouraged and nourished; in France either no one is ridiculous or every one is.

Some one once remarked to me that never in Paris do you see a woman with any touch of the woods. It is true. The Parisian women suggest the boudoir, the theatre, the salon, the sewing-room, the kitchen, and now and then even the fields; but never the woods....

One misses also in Paris the boy of from fifteen to eighteen. Younger boys there are, and young men abound, but youths of that age one does not much see, and very rarely indeed a father and son together. In fact the generations seem to mix very little: in the restaurants men of the same age are usually together: beards lunch with beards.... 240

And the road is dense too. There is a block every few minutes, while the agents in the centre of the carrefour do their best to control the four streams of traffic. It is odd that a people with so much sense of order and red tape should fail so signally to produce an organiser of traffic. Certain it is that the stupidest Kentish giant who joins the Metropolitan police force has a better idea of such a duty than any of these polished gentlemen in caps. Partly perhaps because in London the police are feared and obeyed, and in Paris the drivers, particularly the cabmen, care for no one. The words Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité are not stencilled all over our churches and public buildings, you see.

The cabmen! My impression now is, writing here in England, that the Paris cochers are all exactly alike. They have white hats and blue coats and bad horses and black moustaches, and their backs entirely fill the landscape. They beat their horses and shout at them all the time. One seldom sees an accident, although they never look as if they were going to avoid one. That is partly because they are a weary and cynical folk, and partly because in France the roads belong to vehicles, and not, as in England, to foot-passengers. In England if you are run over, you can prosecute the driver and get damages; in France if you are run over, the driver (one has always heard) can prosecute you for being in the way.



No matter with what fervour is the entente fostered and nourished, the Parisian cabman will see to it that 241 the hatchet is never too deeply interred, that the racial excrescences are not too smoothly planed. Polite hotel managers, obsequious restaurateurs, smiling sommeliers and irradiated shopkeepers may do their best to assure the Anglo-Saxon that he is among a people that exist merely to do him honour and adore his personality; but directly he hails a cab he knows better. The truth is then his. Not that the Parisian cocher hates a foreigner. Nothing so crude as that. He merely is possessed by a devil of contempt that prompts him to humiliate and confound us. To begin with he will not appear to want you as a fare; he will make it a favour to drive you at all. He will then begin his policy of humorous pin-pricks. Though you speak with the accent of Mounet-Sully himself he will force you to pronounce the name of your destination not once but many times, and then very likely he will drive you somewhere else first. You may step into his cab with a feeling that Paris is becoming a native city: you will emerge wishing it at the bottom of the sea. That is the cocher's special mission in life—subtly and insidiously to humiliate the tourist. He does it like an artist and as an artist—for his own pleasure. It is the only compensation that his dreary life carries.

The French, I fancy, are not less capable of stupidity than any other people. There is an idea current that they are the most intelligent of races, but I believe this to be a fallacy, proceeding from the fact that the French language lends itself to epigrammatic expression, and that every French child dips his cup into the common 242 reservoir of engaging idioms and adroit phrases. This means that French conversation, even among the humblest, is better than English conversation under similar and far more favourable conditions; but it means no more. It gives no real intelligence. The incapacity of the ordinary Frenchman to get enough imagination into his ear (so fine that it can distinguish between the most delicate vowel sounds in his own language) to enable it to understand a foreign pronunciation is partly a proof of this. But take him at any time off his regular lines, present a new idea to him, and he can be as stupid as a Sussex farm labourer. It is the same with America. Just as the French language imposes wit on its user, so is every American, man or woman, fitted at birth with the mechanism of humour. Yet how few are humorous!

But the cocher is not the only cabman of Paris: there remains the driver of the auto. The motor cab has not elbowed out the horse cab in Paris as it has in London, nor probably will it, for the Parisians are not in a hurry; but for Longchamp and such excursions the auto is indispensable, and the motor cabman becomes more and more a characteristic of the streets. Our London chauffeurs are sufficiently implacable, blunt and churlish, but the Parisian chauffeur is like fate. There is no escape if you enter his car: he lights his cigarette, sinks his back into his seat, and his shoulders into his back, and his head into his shoulders, and drives like the devil. He seems to have no life of his own at all: he exists merely to urge his car wherever 243 he is told. The foreigner has no hold whatever upon the chauffeur; he arranges the meter to whatever tariff he pleases, and before you can examine the dial at the end of the journey he has jerked up the flag. When you keep him waiting his meter devours your substance. Always terrible, he is worst in winter, when he is dressed entirely in hearth-rugs. The old cocher for me.

But it grows chilly and it is dinner time. Let us go. Yet first I would remind you that we chose the Café de la Paix for our reverie only because it is the centre, and we were intent upon the centre. But the pavement chairs of all the cafés of Paris are interesting, and it is equally good to sit in any populous bourgeois quarter where one can watch the daily indigenous life of this city, which the visitor who remains for the most part in the visitors' districts can so easily miss. The busy, capable girls and women shopping—their pretty uncovered heads all so neatly and deftly arranged, and their bags and baskets in their hands; the chair mender blowing his horn; the teams of white horses, six or eight in single file, with high collars and bells, drawing blocks of stone or barrels of wine; the tondeur de chiens, with his mournful pipe and box of scissors; the brisk errand boys; the neat little milliners with their band-boxes; now and then a slovenly soldier and a well-groomed erect agent. Paris as a spectacle is perpetually new and amusing.



The Christmas Baraques—The Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin—The Rue Laffitte—La Musée Grévin—The Bibliothèque Nationale—The Roar of Finance—Tailors as Cartoonists—A Bee-hive Street—Cities within the City—Pompes Funèbres—The Church as Advertiser—The Great Marguery—Gates which are not Gates—The Life of St. Denis—Highways from Paris—The First Theatre—St. Martin's Act of Charity—The Arts et Métiers; a Modern Cluny—Statues of the Republic.

From the Place de l'Opéra to the Place de la République is an interesting and instructive walk, but at no time of the day a very easy one; and between five o'clock and half-past six, and eight and ten, on the north pavement, it is always almost a struggle; but when the baraques are in full swing around Christmas and the New Year, it is a struggle in earnest, at any rate as far as the Rue Drouot. Indeed Christmas and New Year, but especially Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, are great times in France, and presents are exchanged as furiously as with us.

On Christmas Eve—Réveillon as it is called—no one would do anything so banal as to go to bed. The restaurants obtain a special permission to remain open, 245 and tables are reserved months in advance. Montmartre, never very sleepy, takes on a double share of wakefulness.

The first street on our left, the Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin, is one of the busiest in Paris, with excellent shops and many interesting associations. Madame Récamier lived at No. 7, the site of the Hôtel d'Antin. So also did Madame Necker and Madame Roland, and for a while Edward Gibbon. Chopin lived at No. 5. This street, by the way, has suffered almost more than any other from the Parisian fickleness in nomenclature. It began as the Rue de la Chaussée Gaillon, then Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, then Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin, from Richelieu's Hôtel d'Antin, then the Rue Mirabeau, from the revolutionary who lodged and died at No. 42, then, when Mirabeau's body was removed ignominiously from the Panthéon, the Rue Mont Blanc, and in 1815 it became once again the Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin.

At the foot of the Rue Laffitte one should stop, because one gets there a glimpse of Montmartre's white and oriental cathedral, hanging in mid-air, high above Paris and the church of Notre Dame de Lorette. This street is, to me, one of the most entertaining in the city, for almost every other shop is a picture-dealer's, and to loaf along it, on either side, is practically to visit a gallery. Two or three of these shops keep as a continual sign the words "Bronzes de Barye". The Rue Laffitte was named after the banker Jacques Laffitte, whose bank was in the Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin. Cerutti, who delivered Mirabeau's funeral oration, set up his revolutionary 246 journal La Feuille Villageoise here. At the Hôtel Thelusson at the end of the street the Incroyables and the Merveilleuses assembled. Among the guests was General Buonaparte, and it was here that he first met Joséphine Beauharnais.

The Musée Grévin, to which we soon come on the left, is the Parisian Tussaud's; and it is as much better than Tussaud's as one would expect it to be. Tussaud's is vast and brilliant; the Musée Grévin is small and mysterious. There is so little light that every one seems wax, and one has to look very narrowly and anxiously at all motionless figures. The particular boast of the Grévin is its groups: not so much the Pope and his pontifical cortège, the coulisses of the Opera (a scene of coryphées and men about town), and the Fête d'Artistes, as the admirable tableaux of the Revolution. To the untutored eye of one who, like myself, avoids waxworks, the Grévin figures and grouping are good and, what is perhaps more important, intelligent. Pains have been taken to make costumes and accessories historically accurate, and in many cases the actual articles have been employed, notably in the largest tableau of all—"Une Soirée à Malmaison"—which was arranged under the supervision of Frédéric Masson, the historian, an effigy of whom stands near by. Among these scenes the historical sense of the French child can be really quickened. There are also tableaux of Rome in the time of the early Christians—very clever and painful.



At the Rue Drouot, at the conjunction of the Boulevards 247 des Italiens and de Montmartre, there is an angle. Hitherto we have been walking west by north; we now shall walk west by south. From this point we shall also observe a difference in the character of the street, which will become steadily more bourgeois. At this corner, where the traffic is always so congested, owing largely to the omnibuses with the three white horses abreast that cross to and from the Rue Richelieu, all the best cafés are behind us.

If that £32,000,000 reconstruction scheme of which I have already spoken comes to pass, this point will be unrecognisable, for among the items in that programme is the uniting of the Boulevard Haussmann, which now comes to an abrupt end at the Rue Taitbout, with the Boulevard de Montmartre, which, as a glance at the map will show, is in a line with it. But my hope is that the improvement will be long deferred.

It is in the Rue Richelieu that the Bibliothèque Nationale stands, where the foreign resident in Paris may read every day, precisely as at the British Museum, provided always that he is certified by his Consul to be worthy of a ticket, and the visitor may on certain days examine priceless books and autographs, prints and maps and cameos and wonderful antiquities. Here once lived Cardinal Mazarin, and it is in the galerie that bears his name that the rarest bindings are to be seen—some from Grolier's own shelves. Among the MSS. is that of Pascal's Pensées. The library, which is now perhaps the finest in existence, has been built up steadily by the 248 kings of France, even from Charlemagne, but Louis XII. was the first of them who may really be called a bibliophile, to be worthily followed by François I. It was not until 1724, in the reign of Louis XV., that the royal collection was removed to this building. The Revolution greatly added to its wealth by transferring hither the libraries of the destroyed convents and monasteries. The treasures in the Cabinet de Médailles I cannot describe; all I can say is that they ought not to be missed. They may be called an extension of the Galerie d'Apollon in the Louvre.

Before leaving the Bibliothèque I should add that in certain of its rooms, with an entrance in the Rue Vivienne, exhibitions are periodically held, and it is worth while to ascertain if one is in progress. In the spring of 1908 I saw there a most satisfying display of Rembrandt's etchings.

It was in one of the old book-shops in the neighbourhood of the Bibliothèque that I received my first impression of the Paris Bourse. I was turning over little pocket editions of Voltaire's Pucelle and naughty Crébillons and such ancient boudoir fare, when I began to be conscious of a sound as of a thousand boys' schools in deadly rivalry. On hurrying out to learn the cause I found Paris in its usual condition of self-containment and intent progress; no one showed any sign of inquisitiveness or excitement; but on the steps of the Bourse I observed a shouting, gesticulating mob of men who must, I thought, be planning a new Reign of Terror. But no; they were merely financiers engaged in the 249 ordinary work of life. The Bourse is free, and I climbed the steps, pushed through the money-makers, and entered. Never again. I have seen men engaged in the unlovely task of acquiring lucre by more or less improper means in various countries, but I never saw anything so horrible as the rapacity expressed upon the faces of this heated Bourse populace.

Capel Court is not indifferent to the advantages of a successful coup, but Capel Court differs from the Bourse not only in a comparative retention of its head, but also in a certain superficial appearance of careless aristocracy. Capel Court dresses well and keeps time for a practical joke now and then. The Bourse is shabby and in the grip of avarice. Wall Street and the Chicago pit, I am told, are worse: I have not seen them; but no race-course scramble for odds could exceed the horrors of that day in the Bourse. The home, by the way, of this daily vociferous service of Mammon, was built on the site of the old convent of the Filles de St. Thomas. During the Revolution the connection between the Bourse and Heaven was even closer, for the church of the Petits Pères was then set apart for Exchange purposes.

Returning to the point where we left the Boulevard—at the Rue Richelieu—I am moved to ask what would happen in London if Messrs. Baker in the Tottenham Court Road or Messrs. Gardiner in Knightsbridge were suddenly to break out into caricature and embellish their windows with scarifying cartoons of Kings, Kaisers, Presidents and Premiers? The question may sound odd, 250 but it is simple enough if you visit the High Life tailor at the corner of the Rue Richelieu, or, farther east, a similar establishment at the corner of the Rue de Rougemont, for it then becomes obvious that it is quite part of the duties of the large Parisian clothier to do his part in forming public opinion. These cartoons are always bold and clever, although often too municipal for the foreigner's apprehension.

I have said somewhere that one of my favourite streets in Paris is the Rue Montorgeuil. That is largely, as I have explained, because it is old and narrow, and the people swarm in it, and the stalls are so many, and the houses are high and white and take the sun so bravely, and it smells of Paris; and also, of course, because the Compas d'Or is here, bringing the middle ages so nigh. Another favourite is the Rue du Faubourg Montmartre (which is now the next on the left eastward) for its busy happy shops and its moving multitudes. In its own narrow way it is almost as crowded as the Grands Boulevards.

A little way up this street, on the right, is a gateway leading into a very curious backwater, as noticeably quiet as the highways are noisy and restless: the Cité Bergère, the largest of those cités within a cité of which Paris has several, to be compared in London only with St. Helen's Place in Bishopsgate or Park Row at Knightsbridge. The Cité Bergère is practically nothing but hotels—high and narrow, with dirty white walls and dirty green shutters—very cheap, and very incurious as to the occupations 251 of their guests, whether male or female. It has a gate at each end which is closed at night and penetrated thereafter only at the goodwill of the concierge, whom it is well to placate. The Cité Bergère leads into the Cité Rougemont (hence offering an opportunity to an innkeeper between the two to hang out the imposing sign of the Hôtel des Deux Cités), and from the Cité Rougemont you gain that district of Paris where the woollen merchants congregate.

Returning to the Grands Boulevards, the next street on the left is the Rue Rougemont, and if we take this we come in a few moments to the Conservatoire, where so many famous musicians have been taught, and where Coquelin and Sarah Bernhardt learned the art of elocution. There is a little museum at the Conservatoire in which every variety of musical instrument is preserved, together with a few personal relics, such as a cast of Paganini's nervous magical hand, with its long sharply pointed fingers, and the death-mask of Chopin.

Close to the Conservatoire is the darkest church in Paris—Saint Eugène, a favourite spot for funeral services. I chanced once to stay in a room overlooking this church, until the smell of mortality became too constant. There was a funeral every day: every morning the undertakers' men were busy in the preparations for the ceremony—draping the façade with heavy curtains of a blackness that seemed to darken the circumambient air: every afternoon removing it, together with the other trappings of the ritual—the candlesticks and 252 furniture. It is not without reason that the French undertaker ambushes beneath the imposing style of Pompes Funèbres.

It was, by the way, on the walls of Saint Eugène, each side of the door, that I first saw any of those curious affiches, made, I suppose, necessary, or at any rate prudent, by recent events in France, directing notice to—advertising, I almost wrote, and indeed why not?—the advantages of religion. Religion (this is what the notice came to in essence), religion has its points after all. When President Fallières' daughter was married, it remarked, where was the ceremony performed? In a church. (Ha, Ha!) Who, it asked, is called to visit a man on his death-bed, no matter how wicked he has been? A priest. (Touché!) And so forth. Surely a strange document.

In the same street is an old book-stall whose shelves are fastened to the wall, giving the appearance of an open-air library for all—the Carnegie idea at its best. There used to be one on the side of the Hôtel Chatham in the Rue Volney (opposite Henry's excellent American Bar) but it has now gone.

We may regain the Boulevards by turning down the long Rue du Faubourg Poissonière, which leads direct, through the Rue Montorgeuil, to the Halles and the Pont Neuf—a very good walk. Passing Marguery's great restaurant on the left, famous for its filet de sole in a special sauce, which every one should eat once if only to see the great Marguery on his triumphant progress through the rooms, bending his white mane over 253 honoured guests, we come to a strange thing—a massive archway in the road, parallel with the pavements, which I think needs a little explanation. It will take us far from the Grands Boulevards: as far, in fact, as The Golden Legend; for the arch is the Porte St. Denis, and St. Denis is the patron saint of Paris.


(Louvre: Moreau Collection)

St. Denis was not a Frenchman but an Athenian, who was converted by St. Paul in person, after considerable discussion. Indeed, discussion was not enough: it needed a miracle to win him wholly. "And as," wrote Caxton, "S. Denis disputed yet with S. Paul, there passed by adventure by that way a blind man tofore them, and anon Denis said to Paul: If thou say to this blind man in the name of thy God: See, and then he seeth, I shall anon believe in him, but thou shalt use no words of enchantment, for thou mayst haply know some words that have such might and virtue. And S. Paul said: I shall write tofore the form of the words, which be these: In the name of Jesu Christ, born of the virgin, crucified and dead, which arose again and ascended into heaven, and from thence shall come for to judge the world: See. And because that all suspicion be taken away, Paul said to Denis that he himself should pronounce the words. And when Denis had said those words in the same manner to the blind man, anon the blind man recovered his sight. And then Denis was baptized and Damaris his wife and all his meiny, and was a true Christian man and was instructed and taught by S. Paul three years, and was ordained bishop of 254 Athens, and there was in predication, and converted that city, and great part of the region, to christian faith."

Denis was sent to France by Pope Clement, and he converted many Parisians and built many churches, until the hostile strategy of the Emperor Domitian prevailed and he was tortured, the scene of the tragedy being Montmartre. "The day following," says Caxton, "Denis was laid upon a gridiron, and stretched all naked upon the coals of fire, and there he sang to our Lord saying: Lord thy word is vehemently fiery, and thy servant is embraced in the love thereof. And after that he was put among cruel beasts, which were excited by great hunger and famine by long fasting, and as soon as they came running upon him he made the sign of the cross against them, and anon they were made most meek and tame. And after that he was cast into a furnace of fire, and the fire anon quenched, and he had neither pain ne harm. And after that he was put on the cross, and thereon he was long tormented, and after, he was taken down and put into a dark prison with his fellows and many other Christian men.

"And as he sang there the mass and communed the people, our Lord appeared to him with great light, and delivered to him bread, saying: Take this, my dear friend, for thy reward is most great with me. After this they were presented to the judge and were put again to new torments, and then he did do smite off the heads of the three fellows, that is to say, Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius, in confessing the name of the holy Trinity. And this was done by the temple of 255 Mercury, and they were beheaded with three axes. And anon the body of S. Denis raised himself up, and bare his head between his arms, as the angel led him two leagues from the place, which is said the hill of the martyrs, unto the place where he now resteth, by his election, and by the purveyance of God. And there was heard so great and sweet a melody of angels that many of them that heard it believed in our Lord."

Any one making the pilgrimage from, say, Notre Dame to the town of St. Denis to-day, can follow the saint's footsteps, for the Rue St. Denis at the foot of Montmartre leads out into the Rue du Faubourg St. Denis, and that street right over Montmartre, Caxton's hill of the martyrs, to St. Denis itself. I do not pretend that the legend as it is thus given has not been subjected to severe criticism; but when one has no certain knowledge, the best story can be considered the best evidence, and I like Caxton better than the others, even though it conflicts a little with the legend of St. Geneviève. It is she, I might add, who is credited with having inaugurated the pilgrimage to St. Denis's bones.

The Rue St. Denis was more than the road to the saint's remains: it was the great north road out of Paris to the sea. Just as the old Londoners bound for the north left by the City Road and passed through the village of Highgate, so did the French traveller leave by the Rue St. Denis and pass through the village of St. Denis. Similarly the Rue St. Martin was the high-road to Germany. In the old days, when this street was a highway, the Porte St. Denis had some meaning, 256 for it stood as a gateway between the city and the country; but to-day, when the course of traffic is east and west, it stands (like the Porte St. Martin) merely as an obstruction in the Grand Boulevard—not quite so foolish as our own revised Marble Arch, but nearly so. The Porte St. Denis dates from 1673 and celebrates, as the bas-reliefs indicate, the triumphs of Louis XIV. in Germany and Holland; the Porte St. Martin (to which we are just coming) belongs to the same period and commemorates other successes of the same monarch.

The Rue St. Denis is one of the most entertaining of the old streets of Paris, although adulterated a little by omnibuses and a sense of commerce. But to have boundless time before one, and no cares, and no fatigue, and starting at the Porte St. Denis to loiter along it prepared to penetrate every inviting court and alluring by-street—that is a great luxury. The first theatre in Paris, and indeed in France, was in the Hospital of the Trinity in the Rue St. Denis. That was early in the fifteenth century, and it was designed for the performance of Mystery plays in which the protagonist was, of course, Jesus Christ. Paris has now many theatres, with other ideals; but whatever their programmes may be, they proceed from that early and pious spring.

We come next to the Boulevard de Strasbourg, running north to the Gare de l'Est, and the Boulevard de Sébastopol, running south to the Ile de la Cité; and then to the second archway, the Porte St. Martin. 257 St. Martin (who was Bishop of Tours) lived in Paris for a while, and it was here that he performed the miracle of healing a leper by embracing him—an act commemorated by Henri I. in the founding of the Priory of St. Martin, which stood a little way down the Rue St. Martin on the left, on a site on which the Musée des Arts et Métiers now stands. But it was at Amiens that the saint's most beautiful act—the gift of his cloak to a beggar—was performed, and perhaps I may be allowed to quote here, from another book of mine, the translation of a poem by M. Haraucourt, the curator of the Cluny museum, celebrating that deed:—


Because so bitter was the rain,
Saint Martin cut his cloak in twain,
And gave the beggar half of it
To cover him and ease his pain.

But being now himself ill clad,
The Saint's own case was no less sad.
So piteously cold the night;
Though glad at heart he was, right glad.

Thus, singing, on his way he passed,
While Satan, grim and overcast,
Vowing the Saint should rue his deed,
Released the cruel Northern blast.

Away it sprang with shriek and roar,
And buffeted the Saint full sore,
Yet never wished he for his cloak;
So Satan bade the deluge pour.

Huge hail-stones joined in the attack,
And dealt Saint Martin many a thwack,
"My poor old head!" he smiling said,
Yet never wished his cape were back.

"He must, he shall," cried Satan, "know
Regret for such an act," and lo,
E'en as he spoke the world was dark
With fog and frost and whirling snow.

Saint Martin, struggling toward his goal,
Mused thoughtfully, "Poor soul! poor soul!
What use to him was half a cloak?
I should have given him the whole."

The cold grew terrible to bear,
The birds fell frozen in the air:
"Fall thou," said Satan, "on the ice
Fall thou asleep, and perish there."

He fell, and slept, despite the storm,
And dreamed he saw the Christ Child's form
Wrapped in the half the beggar took,
And seeing Him, was warm, so warm.

The Arts et Métiers is a museum devoted to the progress of mechanics and the useful crafts: a kind of industrial exhibition, a modern utilitarian Cluny. It is a memorial of the world's ingenuity and the ingenuity of France in particular, and one cannot have a much better reminder that the frivolity of the Grands Boulevards is not all. Apropos, however, of the frivolity of the Grands Boulevards, I may say that the case that was attracting most interest on the Sunday that I was here contained a collection of all the best mechanical toys of the past dozen years, with their dates affixed. The only article in the vast building which seemed to serve no useful purpose was a mirror cracked during the Commune by a bullet, with the bullet still in it. In the square opposite the Musée is the statue of Béranger, who for many years made the ballads of the French nation.



259 Returning to the Grands Boulevards once more, we pass first the Porte St. Martin theatre, where the great Coquelin played Cyrano, and where he was rehearsing Chantecler when he died, and then the Ambigu, home of sensational melodrama, and come very shortly to the Place de la République, with its great central monument. The Republic thus celebrated is not merely the Third and present Republic, but all the efforts in that direction which the French have made, as the twelve reliefs round the base will show, for they begin with the scene in the Jeu de Paume in 1789, and end with the National Fête on July 14th, 1880. Paris would still have statues of the République if this were to go, for there is one by Dalou, the sculptor of these bas-reliefs, in the Place de la Nation, and another by Soitoux at the Institut. Dalou (whose work we saw in such profusion at the Little Palace in the Champs-Elysées) made a very spirited and characteristic group, with the Republic standing high on a chariot being drawn by lions and urged forward by an ouvrier and an ouvrière.

There is another and hardly less direct walk eastward to the Place de la République, which, taken slowly and amusedly, instructs one as fully in the manners of the busy small Parisian as the Boulevards in those of the flâneur. This route is by the Rue de Provence, the Rue Richer, the Rue des Petites-Ecuries and the Rue Château-d'Eau—practically a straight line, and in the old days a highway. You see the small Parisian at his busiest—at her busiest—this way.



Steep Streets—The Musée Moreau—The Sacré-Cœur—Françoise-Marguerite—Paris and Her Beggars—A Ferocious Cripple—The Communard Insurrection—The Maison Dufayel—Heinrich Heine—The Cimetière de Montmartre—The Boulevard de Clichy—Cabarets Good and Bad—An Aged Statesman is Entertained—Three Bals—Paris and Late Hours—The Night Cafés—The Tireless Dancers—A Coat-tail—The Dead Maître d'Hôtel.

One may gain Montmartre by every street that runs off the Grands Boulevards on the left, between the Opéra and the Place de la République; but when the night falls and the tide begins to turn that way, it is the Rue Blanche and the Rue Pigalle that do most of the work. All are very steep. To the wayfarer climbing the hill in no hurry, I recommend for its interest the Rue des Martyrs (Balzac once lived at No. 47), leading out of the Rue Laffitte; or, starting from the Boulevards at a more easterly point, one may gain it by the Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, which runs into the Rue des Martyrs at Notre Dame de Lorette and is full of activity and variety.

By taking the Rue de la Rochefoucauld one may spend a few minutes in a little white building there 261 which was once the home and studio of the painter Gustave Moreau and is now left to the nation as a permanent memorial of his labours. In industry the man must have approached Rubens and Rembrandt, for this, though a large house, is literally filled with paintings and drawings and studies, which not only cover the walls but cover screens built into the walls, and screens within screens, and screens within those. The menuisier and Moreau together have contrived to make No. 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld the most tiring house in Paris—at least to me, who do not admire the work of this painter, or at any rate do not want to see more of it than is in the Luxembourg, where may be seen several of his pictures, including the most famous of all, the Salome. Herr Baedeker considers that Moreau's works have a charm of their own, but I do not find it. I find a striving after the grandiose and startling, with only occasional lapses into sincerity and good colour. It is better than Wiertz, no doubt; but less entertaining, because less shocking.

Montmartre's life may for our purpose be divided into three distinct periods: day, evening, and the small hours. By day one may roam its streets of living and of dead and study Paris from its summit; in the evening its cabarets are in full swing; and then comes midnight when its supper cafés open, not to close or cease their melodies until the shops are doing business again.

Montmartre (so called because it was here that St. Denis and his associates were put to death) really is a 262 mountain, as any one who has climbed to the Sacré-Cœur can tell. The last two hundred yards are indeed nearly as steep as the Brecon Beacons; but the climb is worth it if only for the view of Paris. (There is, however, a funicular railway.) As for the cathedral, that seems to me to be better seen and appreciated from the distance: from the train as one enters Paris in the late afternoon, with the level sun lighting its pure walls; from the heights on the south side of the river; from the Boulevard des Italiens up the Rue Laffitte; and from the Buttes-Chaumont, as in Mr. Dexter's exquisite drawing. For the cathedral itself is not particularly attractive near at hand, and within it is cold and dull and still awaiting its glass. It was, however, one of the happiest thoughts that has come to Rome in our time to set this fascinating bizarre Oriental building here. It gave Paris a new note that it will now never lose.

Before leaving, one ought perhaps to have a peep at Françoise-Marguerite, for one is not likely to see her equal again. Françoise-Marguerite, otherwise known as La Savoyarde de Montmartre, is the great bell given to the cathedral by the province of Savoy. She weighs nineteen tons, is nine feet tall, and her voice has remarkable timbre.

Behind the new cathedral lies the old church of St. Pierre-de-Montmartre, on the side of which, it is said, once stood a temple of Mars. (Hence, for some lexicographers, Mont-Mars and Montmartre; but I prefer to 263 think of St. Denis wandering here without his head.) It was in the crypt of this church, I have somewhere read, that Ignatius Loyola, with Xavier and Laine, founded the order of Jesuits.

I attended early mass at the Sacré-Cœur church on January 1st, 1908. It was snowing lightly and very cold, and as I came away, at about eight, and descended the hill towards Paris, I was struck by the spectacle of the lame and blind and miserable men and women who were appearing mysteriously from nowhere to descend the hill too, groping and hobbling down the slippery steepnesses. Such folk are an uncommon sight in Paris, where every one seems to be, if not robust, at any rate active and capable, and where, although it eminently belongs to the poor as much as to the rich, extreme poverty is rarely seen. In London, where the poor convey no possessive impression, but, except in their own quarters, suggest that they are here on sufferance, one sees much distress. In Paris none, except on this day, the first of the year—and on one or two others, such as July 14th—when beggars are allowed to ask alms in the streets. For the rest of the year they must hide their misery and their want, although I still tremble a little as I remember the importunities of the Montmartre cripple of ferocious aspect and no legs at all, fixed into a packing-case on wheels, who, having demanded alms in vain, hurls himself night after night along the pavement after the hard-hearted, urging his torso's chariot by powerful strokes of his 264 huge hands on the pavement, as though he rowed against Leander, with such menacing fury that I for one have literally taken to my heels. He is the only beggar I recollect meeting except on the permitted days, and then Paris swarms with them.

Standing on the dome of the cathedral one has the city at one's feet, not as wonderfully as on the Eiffel Tower, but nearly so. From the Buttes-Chaumont we see Montmartre: here we see the Buttes-Chaumont, which, before it was a park, shared with Montmartre the gypsum quarries from which plaster of Paris is made. Beyond the Buttes-Chaumont is Père Lachaise, a hill strangely mottled by its grave-stones, while immediately below us is the Cimetière du Nord, which we are about to visit for the sake of certain very interesting tombs.

One realises quickly the strategical value of this mountain. Paris has indeed been bombarded from it twice—by Henri IV., and again, only thirty-eight years ago. It was indeed on Montmartre that the Communard insurrection began, for it was the cannon on these heights that the rebel soldiers at once made for after the assassination of their officers. They held them for a while, but were then overpowered and forced to take up their quarters in the Buttes-Chaumont and Père Lachaise, which were shelled by the National Guard from Montmartre until the brief but terrible mutiny was over.

The great dome, close by us on the left, which might be another Panthéon, crowns the Maison Dufayel. Who 265 is Dufayel? you ask. Well, who is Wanamaker, who was Whiteley? M. Dufayel is the head of the gigantic business in the Boulevard Barbès, a northern continuation of the Boulevard de Magenta. His advertisements are on every hoarding. I think the Maison Dufayel is well worth a visit, especially as there is no need to buy anything: you may instead sip an apéritif, listen to the band or watch the cinematoscope. One also need have none of that fear of what would happen were there to be a sudden panic which always keeps me nervous if ever I am lured into the Magasins du Louvre or the Galeries Lafayette; for at Dufayel's there is space, whereas at those vast shopping centres there is a congestion that, in a time of stress would lead to perfectly awful results. The Maison Dufayel is not so varied a repository as Wanamaker's or Whiteley's: but in its way it is hardly less remarkable. Its principal line is furniture, and I never saw so many beds in my life. It was M. Dufayel who brought to perfection the deposit system of payment, and his agents continually range the otherwise pleasant land of France, collecting instalments.

Since I had wandered into this monstrous establishment, which may not be as large as Harrod's Stores but feels infinitely vaster, I determined to buy something, and decided at last upon a French picture-book for an English child. Buying it was a simple operation, but I then made the mistake of asking that it might be sent to England direct. One should never do that in a bureaucratic country. The lady led me for what seemed 266 several miles through various departments until we came late in the day to rows and rows of Frenchmen and Frenchwomen each in a little glass box. These boxes were numbered and ran to hundreds. We stopped at last before, say, 157, where my guide left me. The Frenchman in the box denied at once that the book could go by post. It was too large. It must go by rail. For myself, I did not then care how it went or if it went at all: I was tired out. But feeling that such an act as to abandon the parcel and run would be misconstrued and resented in a home of such perfect mechanical order, I waited until he had written for a quarter of an hour in a fine flowing hand with a pen sharper than a serpent's tooth, and then I paid the required number of francs and set out on the desperate errand of finding the street again. The book was a week on its journey. Go to Dufayel's, I say, most certainly, for it is quite amusing; but go when you are young and strong.

To me the most interesting thing on Montmartre is the grave of Heinrich Heine in the Cimetière du Nord, a strange irregular city of dead Parisians all tidily laid away in their homes in its many streets, over which a busy rumbling thoroughfare has been carried on a viaduct. I had Heine's Salon with me when I was last in Paris, and I sought his grave again one afternoon with an increased sense of intimacy. A medallion portrait of the mournful face is cut in the marble, and on the grave itself are wistful echoes of the Buch der Lieder. A little tin receptacle is fixed to the stone, and I looked at the 267 cards which in the pretty German way visitors had left upon the poet and his wife; for Frau Heine lies too here. All were German and all rain-soaked (or was it tears?)


(Louvre: Thomy-Thierret Collection)

Matthew Arnold in his poem called Heine's grave black: the present one is white. How do the lines run?

"Henri Heine"——'tis here!
That black tombstone, the name
Carved there—no more! and the smooth,
Swarded alleys, the limes
Touch'd with yellow by hot
Summer, but under them still,
In September's bright afternoon,
Shadow, and verdure, and cool.
Trim Montmartre! the faint
Murmur of Paris outside;
Crisp everlasting-flowers,
Yellow and black, on the graves.

Half blind, palsied, in pain,
Hither to come, from the streets'
Uproar, surely not loath
Wast thou, Heine!—to lie
Quiet, to ask for closed
Shutters, and darken'd room,
And cool drinks, and an eased
Posture, and opium, no more;
Hither to come, and to sleep
Under the wings of Renown.

Ah! not little, when pain
Is most quelling, and man
Easily quell'd, and the fine
Temper of genius so soon
Thrills at each smart, is the praise,
Not to have yielded to pain
268 No small boast, for a weak
Son of mankind, to the earth
Pinn'd by the thunder, to rear
His bolt-scathed front to the stars;
And, undaunted, retort
'Gainst thick-crashing, insane,
Tyrannous tempests of bale,
Arrowy lightnings of soul

Ah! as of old, from the pomp
Of Italian Milan, the fair
Flower of marble of white
Southern palaces—steps
Border'd by statues, and walks
Terraced, and orange-bowers
Heavy with fragrance—the blond
German Kaiser full oft
Long'd himself back to the fields,
Rivers, and high-roof'd towns
Of his native Germany; so,
So, how often! from hot
Paris drawing-rooms, and lamps
Blazing, and brilliant crowds,
Starr'd and jewell'd, of men
Famous, of women the queens
Of dazzling converse—from fumes
Of praise, hot, heady fumes, to the poor brain
That mount, that madden—how oft
Heine's spirit outworn
Long'd itself out of the din,
Back to the tranquil, the cool
Far German home of his youth

See! in the May-afternoon,
O'er the fresh, short turf of the Hartz,
A youth, with the foot of youth,
Heine! thou climbest again.


But something prompts me: Not thus
Take leave of Heine! not thus
Speak the last word at his grave!
Not in pity, and not
With half censure—with awe
Hail, as it passes from earth
Scattering lightnings, that soul!

The Spirit of the world,
Beholding the absurdity of men—
Their vaunts, their feats—let a sardonic smile,
For one short moment wander o'er his lips.
That smile was Heine!—for its earthly hour
The strange guest sparkled; now 'tis passed away.

That was Heine! and we,
Myriads who live, who have lived,
What are we all, but a mood,
A single mood, of the life
Of the Spirit in whom we exist,
Who alone is all things in one?
Spirit, who fillest us all!
Spirit, who utterest in each
New-coming son of mankind
Such of thy thoughts as thou wilt!
O thou, one of whose moods,
Bitter and strange, was the life
Of Heine—his strange, alas,
His bitter life!—may a life
Other and milder be mine!
May'st thou a mood more serene,
Happier, have utter'd in mine!
May'st thou the rapture of peace
Deep have embreathed at its core;
Made it a ray of thy thought,
Made it a beat of thy joy!

Heine has many illustrious companions. If you would stand by the grave of Berlioz and Ambroise Thomas, of Offenbach, who set all Europe humming, of Delibes the 270 composer of Genée's "Coppélia," of the brothers Goncourt, of Renan, who wrote the Life of Christ, or of Henri Murger, who discovered Bohemia, of De Neuville, painter of battles, of Halévy and Meilhac the playwrights, or of Théophile Gautier the poet, you must seek the Cimetière du Nord.

Montmartre in the evening centres in the Boulevard de Clichy—a high-spirited thoroughfare. Many foreigners visit it only then, and the Boulevard spreads its wares accordingly, and very tawdry some of them are. Here, for example, is a garish façade labelled "Ciel," in which a number of grubby blackguards dressed as saints and angels first bring refreshments at a franc a glass, and then offer the visitor a "prêche humoristique" followed by variations of Pepper's ghost in what are called "scènes paradisiaques," the whole performance being cold, tawdry and very stupid. Next door is "Enfer," where similar delights are offered, save that here the suggestion is not of heaven but hell. Instead therefore of grubby blackguards as saints we have grubby blackguards as devils. On the opposite side of the road is the Cabaret du Néant, where you are received with a mass for the dead sung by the staff, and sit at tables made of coffins.

It is hardly necessary to say that very few Parisians enter these places. The singing cabarets, however, are different: they are genuine, and one needs to be not only a Parisian but a very well-informed Parisian to appreciate them, for the songs are palpitatingly topical and political. The Quatz'-Arts, the Lune-Rousse and 271 the Chat-Noir (once so famous, but now lacking in the genius either of Salis, its founder, or of Caran d'Ache, Steinlen or Willette, who helped to make it renowned) are all in the Boulevard de Clichy. So also is Aristide Bruant's cabaret, where an organised shout of welcome awaits every visitor, and Aristide—in costume a cross between a poet and a cowboy—sings his realistic ballads of Parisian street life. Here also is the Moulin-Rouge, which in the old days of the elephant was in its spurious way amusing, but is now rebuilt and redecorated out of knowledge, and for all the words you hear might be on Broadway.

Here also, at the extreme western end of the Boulevard, is the Hippodrome, now a hippodrome only in name and given up to the popular cinematoscope. I regret the loss of the real Paris Hippodrome. Paris still has her permanent circuses, but the Hippodrome is gone. It was there that, one night, in 1889, I chanced to sit very near the royal box, into which, with much bowing and scraping of managers, a white-haired old gentleman with the features of a lion and an eagle harmoniously blended was ushered. He was only seventy-nine, this old gentleman, and he was in the thick of such duties as fall to the Leader of the Opposition and promoter of Home Rule for Ireland; but he followed every step of the performance like a schoolboy, and now and then he sent for an official to have something explained to him, such as, on one occasion, the workings of the artificial snow-storm which overwhelmed Skobeleff's army. That 272 ill-fated Russian general was the hero of the spectacle, a remarkable one in its way; but to me the restless animation and whole-hearted enjoyment of Mr. Gladstone was the finer entertainment.

Montmartre has also three dancing halls, two of which are genuine and one a show-place. The genuine halls are the Moulin-de-la-Galette, high on the hill on the steepest part of it above the Moulin-Rouge, and the Elysée in the Boulevard de Rochechouart, which are open only two or three times a week and which are thronged by the shop-assistants and young people of the neighbourhood. The spurious hall is the Bal Tabarin, which is open every evening and is a spectacle. It is, however, by no means unamusing, and I have spent many pleasant idle hours there. Willette's famous fresco of the apotheosis of the Parisian leg decorates a wall-space over the bar with peculiar fitness. At all the bals the men who dance retain their hats and often their overcoats, and for the most part leave their partners with amazing abruptness at the last step. Some of the measures are conspicuous for a lack of restraint that would decimate an English ballroom; but one must not take such displays "at the foot of the letter": they do not mean among these Latin romps and frolics what they would mean with us, whose emotions are less facile and sense of fun less physical.

And so we come to midnight, when Montmartre enters its third, and, to a Londoner exasperated by the grandmotherly legislation of his own city, its most 273 entertaining phase. The idea that Paris is a late city is an illusion. Paris is not a late city: it is a city with a few late streets. Paris as a whole goes to bed as early as London, if not earlier, as a walk in the residential quarters will prove. Montmartre is late, and the Boulevards des Capucines and des Italiens are late, although less so; and that is about all. When it is remembered that Paris rises and opens its shops some hours earlier than London, and that the Parisians value their health, it will be recognised that Paris could not be a late city. One must remember also that the number of all-night cafés is very small, so small that by frequenting them with any diligence one may soon come to know by sight most of the late fringe of this city, both amateurs and professionals. One is indeed quickly struck by their numerical weakness.

There is a fashion in night cafés as in hats; change is made as suddenly and as inexplicably. One month every one is crowding into, let us say, the Chat Vivant, and the next the Chat Vivant kindles its lamps and tweaks its mandolins in vain: all the world passes its doors on the way to the Nid de Nuit. What is the reason? No one knows exactly; but we must probably once again seek the woman. A new dancer (or shall I say attachée?) has appeared, or an old dancer or attachée transferred her allegiance. And so for a while the Nid has not a free table after one o'clock, and on a special night—such as Mi-Carême, or Réveillon, or New Year's Eve—it is the head-waiter and the door-keeper of the Nid 274 into whose hands are pressed the gold coins and bank notes to influence them to admit the bloods and their parties and find them a table. A year ago the douceur (often fruitless) would have gone to the officials of the Chat Vivant.

They remain, when all has been said against them, simple and well-mannered places, these half-dozen famous cafés on which the sun always rises. To think so one must perhaps graduate on the Boulevards, but once they are accepted they can become an agreeable habit. Sleepiness is as unknown there as the writings of Thomas à Kempis. Not only the dancers de la maison but the visitors too are tireless. There may be ways of getting ennui into a Parisian girl, but certainly it is not by dancing. Nor does the band tire either, one excellent rule at all of them being that there should be no pause whatever between the tunes, from the hour of opening until day.



There lies before me as I write an amusing memorial of the innocent high spirits that can prevail on such a special all-night sitting as Réveillon: one of the tails of a dress coat, lined with white satin on which a skilful hand has traced with a fountain pen (my own) two very intimate scenes of French life. These drawings were made between five and six in the morning in the intervals of the dance, the artist, lacking paper, having without a word taken a table knife and shorn off his coat-tails for the purpose. His coat, I may say, was already being worn inside out, with one of the leather buckles of his 275 braces as a button-hole. A tall burly man, with a long red Boulevard beard, he had thrown out signs of friendliness to me at once, and we became as brothers. He drew my portrait on the table-cloth; I affected to draw his. He showed me where I was wrong and drew it right. He then left me, in order to walk for a while on an imaginary tight-rope across the floor, and having safely made the journey and turned again, with infinite skill in his recoveries from falling and the most dexterous managing of a balancing-pole that did not exist, he leaped lightly to earth again, kissed his hand to the company, and again sat by me and resumed his work; finally, after other diversions, completing the chef d'œuvre that is now lying on my desk and lending abandon to what is otherwise a stronghold of British decorum. We parted at seven. I have never seen him since, but I find his name often in the French comic papers illustrating yet other phases of their favourite pleasantry for the entertainment of this simple and tireless people.

Another incident I recall that is equally characteristic of Montmartre. "Ça ne fait rien," said a head-waiter when we had expressed regret on hearing of the death of the maître d'hotel, for whom (an old acquaintance) we had been asking. "Ça ne fait rien: it is necessary to order supper just the same." True. True indeed everywhere, but particularly true on Montmartre.



The Most Interesting Streets—Pet Aversions—The Rue de la Paix—The Vendôme Column—A Populous Church—The Whiff of Grapeshot—Alfred de Musset—The Molière Quarter—A Green and White Oasis—Camille Desmoulins at the Café de Foy—Charles Lamb in Paris—The Cloître de St. Honoré—The Massacre of St. Bartholomew—St. Germain of Auxerre—A Satisfied Corpse—Catherine de Médicis' Observatory—St. Eustache—A Wonderful Organ-The Halles—French Economy and English Want of It—The Goat-herd—The Assassination of Henri IV.—The Tour St. Jacques-Pascal, Theologian and Inventor of Omnibuses—A Sinister Spot—The Paris Town-hall—A Riot of Frescoes—Etienne Marcel—The Hôtel de Ville and Politesse—An Ancient Palace—Old Streets—Madame de Beauvais' Mansion—A Quiet Courtyard—The Church of St. Paul and St. Louis—Rabelais' Grave.

The Elysée, the official home of the French president—Paris's White House and Buckingham Palace—is situated in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is one of the most entertaining streets in the whole city in which to loiter; that is, if you like, as I do, the windows of curiosity dealers and jewellers and print shops. Not that bargains are to be obtained here: far from it: it is not like the Rue des Saints Pères or the Rue Mazarine across the river; but merely as a series of windows it is fascinating. I like it as much as 277 I dislike the Rue Lafayette, which has always been my aversion, not only because it is interminable and commercial and noisy, but because it leads back to England and work; yet since, however, when one arrives in Paris it leads from England and work, I must be a little lenient, and there is also a café in it where the diamond merchants compare gems quite openly.

Remembering these extenuating circumstances I unhesitatingly award the palm for undesirability in a Paris street to the Rue du Quatre-Septembre and the Rue Réaumur, which are sheer Shaftesbury Avenue, and, as in Shaftesbury Avenue, cause one to regret the older streets and houses whose place they have usurped. The Rue de Rivoli I dislike too: that strange mixture of very good hotels (the Meurice, for instance, is here) and rubbishy shops full of tawdry jewellery to catch the excursionist. How it happened that such a site should have been allowed to fall into such hands is a mystery. An additional objection to the Rue de Rivoli is that the one English acquaintance whom one least wishes to meet is always there.

The Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré becomes the Rue Saint-Honoré at the Rue Royale. The Rue Saint-Honoré is also a good street for shop windows, but not the equal of its more aristocratic half; just as that is surpassed here by the Rue de la Paix, to which we now come on the left, and which contains more things that I can do without, made to perfection, than any street I ever saw. At its foot is the Place Vendôme, with the 278 beautiful column in the midst on which Napoleon's campaign of 1805 is illustrated in a bronze spiral that constitutes at once, I suppose, the most durable and the longest picture in the world. The bronze came very properly from the melted Russian and Austrian cannons. Napoleon stands at the top, imperially splendid; but as we saw in the chapter on the "Ile de la Cité," it was not always so: for his first statue was removed by Louis XVIII. to be used for the new Henri IV. In its stead a fleur-de-lys surmounted the column. Then came Louis-Philippe, who erected a new statue of the Emperor, not, however, imperially clad; and then Napoleon III., who substituted the present figure. But in 1870 the Communards succeeded in bringing the column down, and it has only been vertical again since 1875. Thus it is to be a Paris monument!

Returning to the Rue Saint-Honoré, in which, by the way, are several old and interesting houses, such as No. 271, the Cabaret du Saint-Esprit, a great resort in the Reign of Terror of spectators wishing to see the tumbrils pass, and No. 398, where Robespierre lodged, we come to St. Roch's church, on the left, interesting both in itself and in history. It has been called the noisiest church in Paris, and certainly it is difficult to find a time when feet are silent there. The attraction is St. Roch's wealth of shrines, of a rather theatrical character, such as the wise poor love: an entombment, a calvary and a nativity, all very effective if not beautiful. Beauty does not matter, for on Good Friday the entombment 279 holds thousands silent before it. The church, which is in the baroque style that it is so easy to dislike, is too florid throughout. Among the many monuments are memorials of Corneille and Diderot, both of whom are buried here. The music of St. Roch is, I am told, second only to that of the Madeleine.

So much for St. Roch within. Historically it chances to be of immense importance, for it was here, and in the streets around and about the church, that the whiff of grapeshot blew which dispersed the French Revolution into the air. That was on October 5th, 1795, and it was not only the death of the Revolution but it was the birth of the conquering Buonaparte. Carlyle is superb: "Some call for Barras to be made Commandant; he conquered in Thermidor. Some, what is more to the purpose, bethink them of the Citizen Buonaparte, unemployed Artillery-Officer, who took Toulon. A man of head, a man of action: Barras is named Commandant's-Cloak; this young Artillery-Officer is named Commandant. He was in the Gallery at the moment, and heard it; he withdrew, some half-hour, to consider with himself: after a half-hour of grim compressed considering, to be or not to be, he answers Yea.

"And now, a man of head being at the centre of it, the whole matter gets vital. Swift, to Camp of Sablons; to secure the Artillery, there are not twenty men guarding it! A swift Adjutant, Murat is the name of him, gallops; gets thither some minutes within time, for Lepelletier was also on march that way: the Cannon 280 are ours. And now beset this post, and beset that; rapid and firm: at Wicket of the Louvre, in Cul-de-sac Dauphin, in Rue Saint-Honoré, from Pont-Neuf all along the north Quays, southward to Pont ci-devant Royal,—rank round the Sanctuary of the Tuileries, a ring of steel discipline; let every gunner have his match burning, and all men stand to their arms!

"Lepelletier has seized the Church of Saint-Roch; has seized the Pont-Neuf, our piquet there retreating without fire. Stray shots fall from Lepelletier; rattle down on the very Tuileries Staircase. On the other hand, women advance dishevelled, shrieking, Peace; Lepelletier behind them waving his hat in sign that we shall fraternise. Steady! The Artillery-Officer is steady as bronze; can, if need were, be quick as lightning. He sends eight-hundred muskets with ball-cartridges to the Convention itself; honourable Members shall act with these in case of extremity: whereat they look grave enough. Four of the afternoon is struck. Lepelletier, making nothing by messengers, by fraternity or hat-waving, bursts out, along the Southern Quai Voltaire, along streets and passages, treble-quick, in huge veritable onslaught! Whereupon, thou bronze Artillery-Officer—? 'Fire!' say the bronze lips. And roar and thunder, roar and again roar, continual, volcano-like, goes his great gun, in the Cul-de-sac Dauphin against the Church of Saint-Roch; go his great guns on the Pont-Royal; go all his great guns;—blow to air some two-hundred men, mainly about the Church of Saint-Roch! 281 Lepelletier cannot stand such horse-play; no Sectioner can stand it; the Forty-thousand yield on all sides, scour towards covert. 'Some hundred or so of them gathered about the Théâtre de la République; but,' says he, 'a few shells dislodged them. It was all finished at six.'



"The Ship is over the bar, then; free she bounds shoreward,—amid shouting and vivats! Citoyen Buonaparte is 'named General of the Interior, by acclamation'; quelled Sections have to disarm in such humour as they may; sacred right of Insurrection is gone forever! The Sieyes Constitution can disembark itself, and begin marching. The miraculous Convention Ship has got to land;—and is there, shall we figuratively say, changed, as Epic Ships are wont, into a kind of Sea Nymph, never to sail more; to roam the waste Azure, a Miracle in History!

"'It is false,' says Napoleon, 'that we fired first with blank charge; it had been a waste of life to do that.' Most false: the firing was with sharp and sharpest shot: to all men it was plain that here was no sport; the rabbets and plinths of Saint-Roch Church show splintered by it to this hour.—Singular: in old Broglie's time, six years ago, this Whiff of Grapeshot was promised; but it could not be given then; could not have profited then. Now, however, the time is come for it, and the man; and behold, you have it; and the thing we specifically call French Revolution is blown into space by it, and become a thing that was!—" 282

Crossing the Place du Théâtre-Français we come to that historic home of the best French drama, where Molière is still played frequently, and one has some respite from the theme of facile promiscuity which dominates most of the other theatres of Paris. A new statue of Alfred de Musset has lately been set up under the Comédie Française. I copy from a writer very unlike him a passage of criticism to remember as one stands by this monument: "Give a look, if you can, at a Memoir of Alfred de Musset written by his Brother. Making allowance for French morals, and Absinthe (which latter is not mentioned in the Book), Alfred appears to me a fine Fellow, very un-French in some respects. He did not at all relish the new Romantic School, beginning with V. Hugo, and now alive in —— and Co.—(what I call the Gargoyle School of Art, whether in Poetry, Painting, or Music)—he detested the modern 'feuilleton' Novel, and read Clarissa!... Many years before A. de M. died he had a bad, long, illness, and was attended by a Sister of Charity. When she left she gave him a Pen with 'Pensez à vos promesses' worked about in coloured silks: as also a little worsted 'Amphore' she had knitted at his bedside. When he came to die, some seventeen years after, he had these two little things put with him in his Coffin." That, by Edward FitzGerald, no natural friend to the de Mussets of the world, is very pretty.

The Rue de Richelieu runs up beside the Comédie Française. We have already been in this street to see 283 the Bibliothèque Nationale, entering it from the Boulevard, but let us now walk up it, first to see the Molière monument, so appropriate just here, and also to glance at No. 50, a house still unchanged, where once lived an insignificant couple named Poisson, whose daughter Jeanne Antoinette Poisson lived to become famous as Madame La Pompadour. In souvenirs of Molière Paris is still rich. We are coming soon to No. 92 Rue Saint-Honoré, where he was born; we are coming to the church of St. Eustache, where he was christened on January 15th, 1622, and where his second son was christened too. We are coming also to the church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, where he was married and where his first son was baptised. In St. Roch he once stood as a godfather; and close to us now, at the corner of the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Rue Valois, was one of his theatres. And he died close to his monument, at No. 40 Rue de Richelieu. This then is the Molière quarter.

We now enter the Palais Royal, that strange white and green oasis into which it is so simple never to stray. When I first knew Paris the Palais Royal was filled with cheap restaurants and shops to allure the excursionist and the connoisseur of those books which an inspired catalogue once described as very curious and disgusting. It is now practically deserted; the restaurants have gone and few shops remain; but in the summer the band plays to happy crowds, and children frolic here all day. I have, however, never succeeded in shaking off a feeling of depression. 284

The original palace was built by Richelieu and was then the Palais Cardinal. After his death it became the Palais Royal and was enlarged, and was the scene of notorious orgies. Camille Desmoulins made it more serious, for it was here that he enflamed the people by his words on July 12th, 1789, and started them on their destroying career. That was in the Café de Foy. Carlyle thus describes the scene: "But see Camille Desmoulins, from the Café de Foy, rushing out, sibylline in face; his hair streaming, in each hand a pistol! He springs to a table: the Police satellites are eyeing him; alive they shall not take him, not they alive him alive. This time he speaks without stammering:—Friends! shall we die like hunted hares? Like sheep hounded into their pinfold; bleating for mercy, where is no mercy, but only a whetted knife? The hour is come; the supreme hour of Frenchman and Man; when Oppressors are to try conclusions with Oppressed; and the word is, swift Death, or Deliverance forever. Let such hour be well-come! Us, meseems, one cry only befits: To Arms! Let universal Paris, universal France, as with the throat of the whirlwind, sound only: To arms—To arms! yell responsive the innumerable voices; like one great voice, as of a Demon yelling from the air: for all faces wax fire-eyed, all hearts burn up into madness. In such, or fitter words, does Camille evoke the Elemental Powers, in this great moment.—Friends, continues Camille, some rallying sign! Cockades; green ones;—the colour of Hope!—As with the flight of locusts, these green tree-leaves; green 285 ribands from the neighbouring shops; all green things are snatched, and made cockades of. Camille descends from his table, 'stifled with embraces, wetted with tears'; has a bit of green riband handed him; sticks it in his hat. And now to Curtius' Image-shop there; to the Boulevards; to the four winds; and rest not till France be on fire!"

Desmoulins in bronze now stands in the garden, near this spot. It is an interesting statue by Boverie, who showed great courage in his use of a common chair, dignified here into a worthy adjunct of liberation.

Under Napoleon the Tribunate sat in the Palais Royal, and after Napoleon the Orleans family made it their home. The Communards, always thorough, burned a good deal of it in 1871, and it is now a desert and the seat of the Conseil d'Etat. Let us leave it by the gateway leading to the Rue de Valois and be happier again.

The Rue de Valois is an interesting and picturesque street, but its greatest attraction to me is its association with Charles Lamb. His hotel—the Europe, just opposite the gateway—has recently been rebuilt and is now called the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal et de l'Europe, and the polished staircase on which his infinitesimal legs slipped about so comically on his late and not too steady returnings (and how could he be steady when Providence ordained that the waiter of whom in his best stammering French he ordered an egg, on his first visit to a restaurant, should have so misunderstood the order as to bring in its place a glass of eau de vie—an error, we are told, 286 which gave Lamb much pleasure?) the polished staircase has now gone; but the hotel stands exactly where it did, and every thing else is the same—the Bœuf à la Mode is still close by and still one of the best restaurants in Paris, and the Place de Valois is untouched, with its most attractive archway leading to the Rue des Bons-Enfants and giving on to the vista of the Rue Montesquieu, with its hundred signs hanging out exactly as in 1823.

We now return to the Rue Saint-Honoré. The three old houses, 180, 182 and 184, opposite the Magasins du Louvre, belonged before the Revolution to the Canons of Saint-Honoré. The courtyard here—the Cloître du Saint-Honoré—is one of the most characteristic examples of dirty Paris that remain, but very picturesque too. To peep in here is almost certainly to be rewarded by some Hogarthian touch, and to walk up the Rue des Bons-Enfants yields similar experiences and some very pleasant glimpses of old Paris.

Still going east we turn down past the Oratoire on the right, with Coligny's monument on its south side, into the Rue de Rivoli, and across the Rue du Louvre obliquely to the old church we see there, opposite the east end of the Louvre and Napoleon's iron gates. This church is that of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, not to be confounded with the St. Germain of St. Germain des Prés across the river. St. Germain l'Auxerrois is historically one of the most interesting of the Paris churches, for it was St. Germain's bell that gave the signal for 287 the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572. Charles IX. is said to have fired at the Huguenots (doubtless with Catherine de Médicis at his shoulder, anxious for the success of his aim) from one of the windows in the Louvre overlooking this space.


(Palais des Beaux Arts)

St. Germain of Auxerre began as a layman—the ruler of Burgundy. Divine revelation, however, indicated that the Church was his true calling, and he therefore succeeded Saint Amadour as Bishop, "gave," in Caxton's words, "all his riches to poor people, and changed his wife into his sister". He took to the new life very thoroughly. He fasted every day till evening and then ate coarse bread and drank water and used no pottage and no salt. "In winter ne summer he had but one clothing, and that was the hair next his body, a coat and a gown, and if it happed so that he gave not his vesture to some poor body, he would wear it till it were broken and torn. His bed was environed with ashes, hair, and sackcloth, and his head lay no higher than his shoulders, but all day wept, and bare about his neck divers relics of saints. He ware none other clothing, and he went oft barefoot and seldom ware any girdle. The life that he led was above man's power. His life was so straight and hard that it was marvel and pity to see his flesh, and was like a thing not credible, and he did so many miracles that, if his merits had not gone before, they should have been trowed phantasms."

St. Germain's miracles were more interesting than those of, say, his convert Sainte Geneviève. He conjured 288 devils; he forbade fire to burn him; having fed his companions on the only calf of a friendly cow-herd, he put the bones and the skins together and life returned to it; he also raised one of his own disciples from the dead and conversed with him through the walls of his tomb, but on the disciple saying that in his late condition "he was well and all things were to him soft and sweet," he permitted him to remain dead. He also found his miraculous gifts very useful in the war; but his principal interest to us is that he is supposed to have visited England and organised the Establishment here. St. Germain's church has a little old glass that is charming and much bad new. The south transept window, although sheer kaleidoscope, is gay and attractive.

At the back of the church runs the narrow and medieval Rue de l'Arbre-Sec, extending to the Rue Saint-Honoré. At No. 4 is, or was, the Hôtel des Mousquetaires, where, when it was the Belle Etoile, d'Artagnan drank and swaggered. Let us take this street and come to St. Eustache by way of another and less terrible souvenir of Catherine de Médicis. The Rue de l'Arbre-Sec leads to the Rue Sauval and to the circular Rue de Viarmes surrounding the Bourse de Commerce. Here we see a remarkable Doric column, all that remains of the palace which Catherine built in order to avoid the fate predicted for her by a soothsayer—that she would perish in the ruins of a house near St. Germain's. The Tuileries, which she was then building, being far too near 289 St. Germain's to be comfortable after such a remark, she erected the Hôtel de la Reine, the tower being designed for astrological study in the company of her Italian familiar, Ruggieri. All else has gone: the tower and the stars remain.

A few steps down the Rue Oblin and we are at St. Eustache, which has to my eyes the most fascinating roof of any church in Paris and a very attractive nave. The interior, however, is marred by the presence of what might be called a church within a church, destroying all vistas, and it is only with great difficulty that one can see the exquisite rose window over the organ. It is a church much used by the poor—who even call it Notre Dame des Halles—but its music on festival days brings the rich too. Like most other Paris churches of any importance, St. Eustache had its secular period. The Feast of Reason was held here in 1793; in 1795 it was the Temple of Agriculture. In 1791 Mirabeau, the first of the illustrious, as we saw, to be buried in the Panthéon, was carried here in his coffin for a funeral service, at which guns were fired that brought down some of the plaster. Voiture the poet was buried here. The church has always been famous for the splendour of its festivals and for its music, its present organ, once much injured by Communard bombs, being one of the finest in the world. No reader of this book who cares for solemn music should fail to ascertain the St. Eustache festivals. On St. Cecilia's day entrance is very difficult, but an effort should be made. 290

Eustache, or Eustace, the Saint, had no direct association with Paris, as had our friends St Germain and St. Geneviève and St. Denis and St. Martin and St. Merry; but he had an indirect one, having been a Roman soldier under the Emperor Trajan, whose column was the model for the Vendôme column. In the Sacristy, however, are preserved some of the bones not only of himself but of his wife and family, brought hither from St. Denis. One of his teeth is here too, and one special bone, the gift of Pope Alexander VII. to an influential Catholic.

Why our London markets should be so dull and unattractive and the Halles so entertaining is a problem which would perhaps require an ethnological essay of many pages to elucidate. But so it is. Smithfield, Billingsgate, Leadenhall, Covent Garden—one has little temptation or encouragement to loiter in any of them; but the Halles spread welcoming arms. I have spent hours there, and would spend more. In the very early morning it is not too agreeable a neighbourhood for the idle spectator, nor is he desired, although if he is prepared to endure a little rough usage with tongue and elbow he will be vastly amused by what he sees; but later, when all the world is up, the Halles entreat his company. Their phases are three: the first is the arrival of the market carts with their merchandise, very much as in our own Covent Garden, but multiplied many times and infinitely more vocal and shattering to the nerves. (I once occupied a bedroom within range 291 of this pandemonium.) The second phase, a few hours later, sees the descent upon the market of the large caterers—buyers for the restaurants, great and small, the hotels and pensions. That is between half-past five and half-past seven. And then come the small buyers, the neat servants, the stout housewives, all with their baskets or string bags. This is our time; we may now loiter at our ease secure from the swift and scorching sarcasms of the crowded dawn.

The Halles furnish another proof of the quiet efficiency of Frenchwomen. At every fruit and vegetable stall—and to me they are the most interesting of all—sits one or more of these watchful creatures, cheerful, capable and always busy either with the affairs of the stall or with knitting or sewing. The Halles afford also very practical proof of the place that economy is permitted to hold in the French cuisine: as much being done for the small purse as for the large one.

In England we are ashamed of economy; by avoiding it we hope to give the impression that we are not mean. The wise French either care less for their neighbour's opinions or have agreed together to dispense with such insincerities; and the result is that if a pennyworth of carrots is all that your soup requires you need not buy two pennyworth, and so forth. Little portions of vegetables for one, two or more persons, all ready for the pot, can be bought, involving no waste whatever, and with no faltering or excuse on the part of the purchaser to explain so small an order. In France a customer is a 292 customer. There are no distinctions; although I do not deny that in the West End of Paris, where the Americans and English spend their money, subtle shades of courtesy (or want of it) have crept in. I have been treated like a prince in a small comestible shop where I wanted only a pennyworth of butter, a pennyworth of cheese and a pennyworth of milk. It is pennies that make the French rich; no one can be in any doubt of that who has taken notice of the thousands of small shops not only in Paris but in the provinces.

Any one making an early morning visit to the Halles should complete it by seeing my goat-herd, who leads his flocks thereabouts and eastward. He is the prettiest sight I ever saw in Paris. There are several goat-herds—even Passy knows them—but my goat-herd is here. By eight o'clock he has done; his flock is dry. He wears a blue cloth tam-o'-shanter (if there can be such a thing: it is really the cap of the romantic mountaineer of comic opera) and he saunters carelessly along, piping melancholy notes on a shepherd's pipe—not unlike the lovely wailing that desolates the soul in the last act of Tristan und Isolde. When a customer arrives he calls one of his goats, sits down on the nearest doorstep—it may be a seventeenth-century palace—and milks a cupful; and then he is off again, with his scrannel to his lips, the very type of the urban Strephon.

We may leave les Halles (pronounced lay al, and not, as one would think, lays all: one of the pitfalls for the English in Paris) by the Rue Berger, and enter the 293 Square des Innocents to look at its decorative fountain. The next street below the Rue des Innocents is the Rue de la Ferronnerie, where, on May 14th, 1610, Henri IV. was assassinated by Ravaillac before the door of No. 3. And so by the Rue St. Denis, which one is always glad to enter again, and the Rue de Rivoli, we come to Saint-Jacques, that grey aged isolated tower which we have seen so often from the heights and in the distance. It is a beautiful Gothic building, at the summit of which is the figure of St. James with his emblems, the originals of which are at the Cluny. The tower belonged to the church of St. Jacques-la-Boucherie, but that being in the way when Napoleon planned the Rue de Rivoli, it had to go.

The tower has not lately been open to the climbers, and I have never seen Paris from St. James's side, but I hope to. Blaise Pascal experimented here in the density of air; hence the presence of his statue below. It was also to Pascal, of whom we now think only as an ironist and wistful theologian, that Paris owes her omnibuses, for it was he that devised the first, which began to run on March 18th, 1662, from the Luxembourg to the Bastille. Pascal owed his conversion to his escape from a carriage accident on the Pont Neuf. His grave we saw at St. Etienne-du-Mont.

In crossing the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville one must not forget that this was once the terrible Place de Grève, the site of public executions for five centuries. Here we meet Catherine de Médicis again, for it was by her 294 order that after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew the Huguenots Briquemont and Cavagnes were hanged here, and here also was executed Captain Montgomery, whom we are to meet in the next chapter. The foster-sister of Marie de Médicis was burned alive in the Place de Grève as a sorcerer; and Ravaillac, after assassinating Henri IV., here met his end. Among later victims was the famous Cartouche, of whom Thackeray wrote so entertainingly.

The Hôtel de Ville is not a building that I for one should choose to revisit, nor do I indeed advise others to bother about it at all; but externally at any rate it is fine, with its golden sentinels on high. Its chief merit is bulk; but there is a certain interest in observing a Republican palace of our own time, if only to see how near it can come to the real thing. A saturnine guide displays a series of spacious apartments, the principal attraction of which is their mural painting. All the best French Royal Academicians (so to speak) of twenty years ago had a finger in this pie, and their fantasies sprawl over ceilings and walls. With the exception of one room, the history of Paris is practically ignored, allegory being the master vogue. Poetry, Song, Inspiration, Fame, Ambition, Despair—all these undraped ladies may be seen, and many others. Also Electricity and Steam, Science and Art, distinguishable from their sisters only by the happy chance that although they forgot their clothes they did not forget their symbols.



One beautiful thing only did I see, and that was a 295 large design, perhaps the largest there, of Winter, by Puvis de Chavannes. But to say that I saw it is an exaggeration: rather, I was conscious of it. For the architect of the salon in which Puvis was permitted to work forgot to light it.

In the historical room there are crowded scenes by Laurens of the past of Paris—the hero of which is Etienne Marcel, whose equestrian statue may be seen from the windows, under the river façade of the building. Etienne Marcel, Merchant Provost, controlled Paris after the disastrous battle of Poictiers, where the King and the Dauphin were both taken prisoners. Power, however, made him headstrong, and he was killed by an assassin.

It is from the Hôtel de Ville that the city of Paris is administered, with the assistance of the Préfecture de Police on the island opposite. The Hôtel de Ville contains, so to speak, the Paris County Council, and I have been told that no building is so absurdly over-staffed. That may or may not be true. The high officials do not at any rate allow business to exclude the finer graces of life, for in the great hall in which I waited for the cicerone were long tables on which were some twenty or thirty baskets containing visiting cards, and open books containing signatures, and before each basket was a card bearing the name of an important functionary of the Hôtel de Ville—such as the Préfet de la Seine, and the Sous-Préfet, and their principal secretaries, and so forth. Every minute or so some one came in, found the basket 296 to which he wished to contribute, and dropped a card in it. I wondered to what extent the social machinery of Paris bureaucracy would be disorganised if I were to change a few baskets, but I did not embark upon an experiment the results of which I should have had no means of contemplating and enjoying.

After leaving the Hôtel de Ville and its modern splendours, we may walk eastward along the Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, one of the narrowest and dirtiest relics of old Paris, and so come to the Hôtel de Sens. But first notice, at the corner of the Rue des Nonnains-d'Hyères, at the point at which Mr. Dexter made his drawing, the very ancient stone sign of the knife-grinder. The Hôtel de Sens, in the Place de l'Ave Maria, at the end of the Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, is almost if not quite the most attractive of the old palaces. Although it has been allowed to fall into neglect, it is still a wonderfully preserved specimen of fifteenth-century building. The turrets are absolutely beautiful. The Archbishop of Sens built it, and for nearly three centuries it remained the home of power and wealth, among its tenants being Marguerite of Valois. Then came the Revolution and its decline into a coach office, from which it is said the Lyons mail, made familiar to us by the Irvings, started. During a later revolution, 1830, a cannon ball found a billet in the wall, and it may still be seen there, I am told, although these eyes missed it. The Hôtel is now a glass factory. The city of Paris ought to acquire it before it sinks any lower. 297

It is at the foot of the Rue de l'Ave Maria, hard by, that Molière's theatre, which we saw from the Quai des Célestins in an earlier chapter, is found. Here Molière was arrested at the instance of the unpaid tallow chandler. Our way now is by the Rue Figuier, of which the Hôtel de Sens is No. 1, to the Rue François-Miron, all among the most fascinating old architecture and association. At No. 8 Rue Figuier, for instance, Rabelais is said to have lived, and what could be better than that? At No. 17, we have what the Vicomte de Villebresme calls a "jolie niche du XVe siècle". This street leads into the Rue de Jouy, also exceedingly old, with notable buildings, such as No. 7, the work of Mansard père, and No. 9, and on the left of the Impasse Guépine, which existed in the reign of Saint Louis.

In the Rue François-Miron, if you do not mind exhibiting a little inquisitiveness, enter the doorway of No. 68, and look at the courtyard and the staircase. Here you get an excellent idea of past glories, while the outer doors or gates give an excellent idea of past danger too. For life in Paris in the days in which this street was built must have been very cheap after dark. It is not dear even now in certain parts. This was an historic mansion. It was built for Madame de Beaumaris, femme de chambre of Anne of Austria, and on its balcony, now removed, on August 20th, 1660, Anne stood with Mazarin and others when Louis XIV. entered Paris. No. 82 still retains a balcony of great charm.

We now enter the very busy Rue St. Antoine at its 298 junction with the Rue de Rivoli. Almost immediately on our right is a gateway leading into a very charming courtyard, which is not open to the public, but into which one may gently trespass; it is the school of the Frères Chrétiens, founded by Frère Joseph, the good priest with the sweet and sad old face whose bust is on the wall. A few steps farther bring us to the church of St. Paul and St. Louis, a florid and imposing fane, to which Victor Hugo (to whose house we are now making our way) carried his first child to be christened, and presented to the church two holy water stoops in commemoration. Here also Richelieu celebrated his first mass. One of Delacroix's best early works (we saw the picture called "Hommage à Delacroix," you will remember, in the Moreau collection at the Louvre) is in the left transept, "Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane". On no account miss the Passage Charlemagne (close to the St. Paul Station on the Métro) for it is a curious, busy and very French by-way, and it possesses the remains of a palace of the fourteenth century. In the Passage de St. Pierre is the site of the old cemetery of St. Paul's in which Rabelais was buried.



A Beautiful Square—The Palais des Tournelles—Revolutionary Changes—Madame de Sévigné and Rachel—Hugo's Crowded Life—A Riot of Relics—Victorious Versatility—Dumas' Pen—The Age of Giants—Dickens—"Les Trois Dumas".

Were we to walk a little farther along the busy Rue St. Antoine towards the Place de la Bastille, we should come, on the left, a few yards past the church of St. Louis, to the Rue de Birague, at the head of which is the beautiful red gateway of which Mr. Dexter has made such a charming picture. This is the southern gateway of the Place des Vosges, a spacious green square enclosed by massive red and white houses of brick and stone which once were the abode, when the Place des Vosges was the Place Royale, of the aristocracy of France.

Before that time the courtyard of the old Palais des Tournelles was here, where Henri II. was killed in a tournament in 1559, through an accident for which Captain Montgomery of the Scotch Guard, whose fault Catherine de Médicis deemed it to be, was executed, as we have just seen, in the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville. 300 Catherine de Médicis, not content with thus avenging her husband's death, demolished the Palais des Tournelles, and a few years later Henri IV., to whom old Paris owes so much, built the Place Royale, just as it is now. His own pavilion was the centre building on the south side, comprising the gateway which Mr. Dexter has drawn; the Queen's was the corresponding building on the north side.

Around dwelt the nobles of the Court—such at any rate as were not living in the adjoining Marais. Richelieu's hotel embraced Nos. 21-23 as they now are. It was in front of that mansion that the famous duel between Montmorency-Bouteville and Des Chapelles against Bussy and Beuvron was fought. The spirit of the great Dumas, one feels, must haunt this Place: for it is peopled with ghosts from his brave romances.

The decay of the Place des Vosges began, of course, when the aristocracy moved over to the Faubourg St. Germain, although it never sank low. The Revolution then took it in hand, and naturally began by destroying the statue of Louis XIII. in the centre, which Richelieu had set up, while its name was changed from Place Royale to its present style in honour of the Department of the Vosges, the first to contribute funds to the new order. In 1825, under Charles X., Louis XIII. in a new stone dress returned to his honoured position in the midst of the square, and all was as it should be once more, save that no longer did lords and ladies ruffle it here or in the Marais. 301



The most picturesque associations of the Place des Vosges are historical; but it has at any rate three houses which have an artistic interest. At No. 1 was born that gifted and delightful lady in whose home in later years we have spent such pleasant hours—Madame de Sévigné, or as she was in those early days (she was born in 1626) Marie de Rabutin-Chantal. At No. 13 lived for a while Rachel the tragedienne. According to Herr Baedeker, who is not often wrong, she died here too: but other authorities place her death at Carmet, near Toulon. I like to think that this rare wayward and terrible creature of emotion was once an inhabitant of these walls. The third house is No. 6, in the south-eastern corner, the second floor of which, from 1833 to 1848, was the home of Victor Hugo. It is now a Hugo museum. Although Hugo occupied only a small portion, the whole house is now dedicated to his spreading memory. Let us enter.

There is nothing in England like the Hugo museum. I have been to Carlyle's house in Cheyne Row; to Johnson's house at Lichfield; to Wordsworth's house at Grasmere; to Milton's house at Chalfont St. Giles; to Leighton's House at Kensington; and the impression left by all is that their owners lived very thin lives. The rooms convey a sense of bareness: one is struck not by the wealth of relics but by the poverty of them; while for any suggestion that these men were pulsating creatures of friendship one seeks in vain. But Hugo—Hugo's house throbs with life and energy and warm 302 prosperous amities. Every inch is crowded with mementoes of his vigour and his triumphs, yes, and his failures too.

Here are portraits of him by the hundred, at all ages, caricatures, lampoons, play bills, first editions, popular editions, furniture by Hugo, decorations by Hugo, drawings by Hugo, scenes in Hugo's life in exile, wreaths, busts, portraits of his grandchildren (who taught him the exquisite art of being a grandfather), his death-bed, his death-mask, the cast of his hands. Hugo, Hugo, everywhere, always tremendous and splendid and passionate and French.

Among the more valuable possessions of this museum are Bastien-Lepage's charcoal drawing of the master; Besnard's picture of the first night of Hernani with the young romantic on the stage taking his call and hurling defiance at the gods; Steinlen's oil painting (there are not many oil paintings by this great draughtsman and great Parisian) "Les Pauvres Gens"; Daumier's cartoon "Les Châtiments"; Henner's "Sarah la Baigneuse" from Les Orientales; allegories by Chifflart; beautiful canvases by Carrière and Fantin-Latour; and Devambez's "Jean Valjean before the tribunal of Arras," in which Jean is curiously like Gladstone in a bad coat; Vierge's drawing of the funeral of Georges Hugo, during the siege; and Yama Motto's curious scene of Hugo's own funeral, of which there are many photographs, including one of the coffin as it lay in state for two days under the Arc de Triomphe. There are also a number 303 of Hugo relics which the camelots of that day were selling to the crowds.

Hugo, it is well known, nursed a private ambition to be a great artist, and in my opinion he was a great artist. There are on these walls drawings from his hand which are magnificent—mysterious and sombre fortresses on impregnable cliffs, scenes in enchanted lands with more imagination than ever Doré compassed, and some of the sinister cruelty and power of Méryon. Hugo was ingenious too: he decorated a room with coloured carvings in the Chinese manner and he made the neatest folding table I ever saw—hinged into the wall so that when not in use it takes up no floor-space whatever.

It is amusing to follow Hugo's physiognomy through the ages, at first beardless, looking when young rather like Bruant, the chansonnier of to-day; then the coming of the beard, and the progress of it until the final stage in which the mental eye now always sees the old poet—white and strong and benevolent—the Hugo, in short, of Bonnat's famous portrait.

On a table is a collection of literary souvenirs of intense interest: Hugo's pen and inkstand, and the great Dumas' pen presented to Hugo in 1860 after writing with it his last "15 or 20" volumes (fifteen or twenty—how like him!); Lamartine's inkstand, offered "to the master of the pen"; George Sand's match-box for those endless cigarettes, and with it her travelling inkstand. In another room upstairs are the six pens used by Hugo in writing Les Humbles. Dumas' pen is 304 not by any means the only Dumas relic here; portraits of him are to be seen, one of them astonishingly negroid. Had he too worked for liberty and carried in his breast or even on his sleeve a great heart that, like Hugo's, responded to every call and beat furiously at the very whisper of the word injustice, he too would have his museum to-day not less remarkable than this. But to write romances was not enough: there must be toil and suffering too.

Dumas and Hugo were born in the same year, 1802: Balzac was then three. In 1809 came Tennyson and Gladstone; in 1811 Thackeray and in 1812 Browning and Dickens. What was the secret of that astounding period? Why did the first twelve years of the last century know such energy and abundance? To walk through the rooms of this Hugo museum, however casually, is to be amazed before the vitality and exuberance not only of this man but of the French genius. It is truly only the busy who have time. I wish none the less that there was a museum for Alexandre the Great. I would love to visit it: I would love to see his kitchen utensils alone. The generous glorious creature, "the seven and seventy times to be forgiven"! As it was, no one being about, I kissed the pen with which he had written his last "15 or 20" novels (the splendid liar!).

I wish too that we had a permanent Dickens' museum in London—say at his house in Devonshire Terrace, which is now a lawyer's office. What a fascinating memorial of Merry England it might become, and what 305 a reminder to this attenuated specialising day of the vigour and versatility and variety and inconquerable vivacity of that giant! Just as no one can leave Hugo's house without a quickening of imagination and ambition, so no one could leave that of Charles Dickens.

In addition to this museum Hugo has his monument in the Place Victor Hugo, far away in a residential desert in the north-west of Paris, a bronze figure of the poet as a young man seated on a rock, with Satire, Lyric Poetry and Fame attending him; while on the façade of the house where he died, No. 124 Avenue Victor Hugo, is a medallion portrait. He figures also in a fresco in the Hôtel de Ville. Dumas' monument is in the garden of the Place Malesherbes in the Avenue de Villiers. Doré designed it, as was perhaps fitting. The sturdy Alexandre sits, pen in hand, on the summit, his West Indian hair curling vigorously into the sky, with d'Artagnan and three engrossed readers at the base. It is not quite what one would have wished; but it is good to visit. His son, the dramatist, the author of that adorable joke against his father's vanity—that he was capable of riding behind his own carriage to persuade people that he kept a black servant—has a monument close by; and the gallant general of whom one reads such brave stories in the first volume of the Mémoires is to be set there too, and then the Place, I am told, will be re-named the Place des Trois Dumas.



A Thoughtful Municipality—The Fall of the Bastille—Revolt and Revolution—The Column of July—A Paris Canal—Deliberate Building—The Buttes-Chaumont—A City of the Dead—Père la Chaise—Bartholomé's Monument—The Cimetière de Mont Parnasse—The Country round Paris—What we have Missed—Conclusion.

The Place des Vosges is close to the Place de la Bastille, which lies to the east of it along the Rue St. Antoine. The prison has gone for ever, but one is assisted by a thoughtful municipality to reconstruct it, a task of no difficulty at all if one remembers with any vividness the models in the Carnavalet or the Archives, or buys a pictorial postcard at any neighbouring shop. The contribution of the pious city fathers is a map on the façade of No. 36 Place de la Bastille, and a permanent outline of the walls of the dreadful building inlaid in the road and pavement, which one may follow step by step to the satisfaction of one's imagination and the derangement of the traffic until it disappears into cafés and shops. One has to remember, however, that the surface of the ground was much lower, the prison being surrounded by a moat and gained only by bridges. 307 For the actual stones one must go to the Pont de la Concorde, the upper part of which was built of them in 1790.

The Bastille's end came in 1789, at the beginning of the Revolution, on the day after the National Guard was established, when the people of Paris rose under Camille Desmoulins and captured it, thus not only displaying but discovering their strength. Carlyle was never more scornful, never more cruelly vivid, than in his description of this event. I must quote a little, it is so horribly splendid: "To describe this Siege of the Bastille (thought to be one of the most important in History) perhaps transcends the talent of mortals. Could one but, after infinite reading, get to understand so much as the plan of the building! But there is open Esplanade, at the end of the Rue Saint-Antoine; there are such Forecourts, Cour Avanceé, Cour de l'Orme, arched Gateway (where Louis Tournay now fights); then new drawbridges, dormant-bridges, rampart-bastions, and the grim Eight Towers: a labyrinthic Mass, high-frowning there, of all ages from twenty years to four hundred and twenty;—beleaguered, in this its last hour, as we said, by mere Chaos come again! Ordnance of all calibres; throats of all capacities; men of all plans, every man his own engineer: seldom since the war of Pygmies and Cranes was there seen so anomalous a thing. Half-pay Elie is home for a suit of regimentals; no one would heed him in coloured clothes: half-pay Hulin is haranguing Gardes Françaises in the 308 Place de Grève. Frantic Patriots pick up the grapeshots; bear them, still hot (or seemingly so), to the Hôtel-de-Ville:—Paris, you perceive, is to be burnt! Flesselles is 'pale to the very lips'; for the roar of the multitude grows deep. Paris wholly has got to the acme of its frenzy; whirled, all ways, by panic madness. At every street-barricade, there whirls simmering a minor whirlpool,—strengthening the barricade, since God knows what is coming; and all minor whirlpools play distractedly into that grand Fire-Maelstrom which is lashing round the Bastille.

"And so it lashes and it roars. Cholat the wine-merchant has become an impromptu cannoneer. See Georget, of the Marine Service, fresh from Brest, ply the King of Siam's cannon. Singular (if we were not used to the like): Georget lay, last night, taking his ease at his inn; the King of Siam's cannon also lay, knowing nothing of him, for a hundred years. Yet now, at the right instant, they have got together, and discourse eloquent music. For, hearing what was toward, Georget sprang from the Brest Diligence, and ran. Gardes Françaises also will be here, with real artillery: were not the walls so thick!—Upwards from the Esplanade, horizontally from all neighbouring roofs and windows, flashes one irregular deluge of musketry, without effect. The Invalides lie flat, firing comparatively at their ease from behind stone; hardly through portholes show the tip of a nose. We fall, shot; and make no impression! 309


(Louvre, Chauchard Collection)

"Let conflagration rage; of whatsoever is combustible! Guard-rooms are burnt, Invalides mess-rooms. A distracted 'Perukemaker with two fiery torches' is for burning 'the saltpetres of the Arsenal';—had not a woman run screaming; had not a Patriot, with some tincture of Natural Philosophy, instantly struck the wind out of him (butt of musket on pit of stomach), overturned barrels, and stayed the devouring element. A young beautiful lady, seized escaping in these Outer Courts, and thought falsely to be De Launay's daughter, shall be burnt in De Launay's sight; she lies swooned on a paillasse: but again a Patriot, it is brave Aubin Bonnemère the old soldier, dashes in, and rescues her. Straw is burnt; three cartloads of it, hauled thither, go up in white smoke: almost to the choking of Patriotism itself; so that Elie had, with singed brows, to drag back one cart; and Réole the 'gigantic haberdasher' another. Smoke as of Tophet; confusion as of Babel; noise as of the Crack of Doom!

"Blood flows; the aliment of new madness. The wounded are carried into houses of the Rue Cerisaie; the dying leave their last mandate not to yield till the accursed Stronghold fall. And yet, alas, how fall? The walls are so thick! Deputations, three in number, arrive from the Hôtel-de-Ville; Abbé Fauchet (who was of one) can say, with what almost superhuman courage of benevolence. These wave their Town-flag in the arched Gateway; and stand, rolling their drum; but to no purpose. In such Crack of Doom De Launay cannot 310 hear them, dare not believe them: they return, with justified rage, the whew of lead still singing in their ears. What to do? The Firemen are here, squirting with their fire-pumps on the Invalides cannon, to wet the touchholes; they unfortunately cannot squirt so high; but produce only clouds of spray. Individuals of classical knowledge propose catapults. Santerre, the sonorous Brewer of the Suburb Saint-Antoine, advises rather that the place be fired, by a 'mixture of phosphorus and of oil-of-turpentine spouted up through forcing-pumps': O Spinola-Santerre, hast thou the mixture ready? Every man his own engineer! And still the fire-deluge abates not: even women are firing, and Turks; at least one woman (with her sweetheart), and one Turk. Gardes Françaises have come: real cannon, real cannoneers. Usher Maillard is busy; half-pay Elie, half-pay Hulin rage in the midst of thousands.

"How the great Bastille Clock ticks (inaudible) in its Inner Court there, at its ease, hour after hour; as if nothing special, for it or the world, were passing! It tolled One when the firing began; and is now pointing towards Five, and still the firing slakes not.—Far down, in their vaults, the seven Prisoners hear muffled din as of earthquakes; their Turnkeys answer vaguely.

"Wo to thee, De Launay, with thy poor hundred Invalides! Broglie is distant, and his ears heavy: Besenval hears, but can send no help. One poor troop of Hussars has crept, reconnoitering, cautiously along the Quais, as far as the Pont Neuf. 'We are come to 311 join you,' said the Captain; for the crowd seem shoreless. A large-headed dwarfish individual, of smoke-bleared aspect, shambles forward, opening his blue lips, for there is sense in him; and croaks: 'Alight then, and give up your arms!' The Hussar-Captain is too happy to be escorted to the Barriers, and dismissed on parole. Who the squat individual was? Men answer, It is M. Marat, author of the excellent pacific Avis au Peuple! Great truly, O thou remarkable Dogleech, is this thy day of emergence and new-birth: and yet this same day come four years—!—But let the curtains of the Future hang."

After some hours the deed is done and Paris re-echoes to the cries "La Bastille est prise!" "In the Court, all is mystery, not without whisperings of terror; though ye dream of lemonade and epaulettes, ye foolish women! His Majesty, kept in happy ignorance, perhaps dreams of double-barrels and the Woods of Meudon. Late at night, the Duke de Liancourt, having official right of entrance, gains access to the Royal Apartments; unfolds, with earnest clearness, in his constitutional way, the Job's-news. 'Mais,' said poor Louis, 'c'est une révolte, Why, that is a revolt!'—'Sire,' answered Liancourt, 'it is not a revolt,—it is a revolution.'"

That was July 14th, 1789; but it is not the July that the Colonne de Juillet in the centre of the Place celebrates. That July was forty-one years later, not so late but that many Parisians could remember both events. July 27th to 29th, 1830, the Second Revolution, which 312 overturned the Bourbons and set Louis-Philippe of Orleans in the siège périlleux of France. Louis-Philippe himself erected this monument in memory of the six hundred and fifteen citizens who fell in his interests and who are buried beneath. Their names are cut in the bronze of the column, on the summit of which is the beautiful winged figure of Liberty.

Beneath the vault of the Colonne, and immediately beneath the Colonne itself, runs the great canal which brings merchandise into Paris from the east, entering the Seine between the Pont Sully and the Pont d'Austerlitz. At this point it is not very interesting, but from the Avenue de la République, where it re-emerges again into the light of day, and thence right away to the Abattoirs de Villette, it is very amusing to stroll by. The Paris Daily Mail, which in its eager paternal way has taken English and American visitors completely under its wing, is diurnally anxious that its readers should make a tour of these abattoirs. But not I. That a holiday in Paris should include the examination of a slaughter-house strikes me as a joyless proposition, putting thoroughness far before pleasure. But the Daily Mail is like that; it also does its best on the second and fourth Wednesdays in every month to get its compatriots down the Paris sewers. And I suppose they go. Strange heart of the tourist! We never think of penetrating either to the sewers or the slaughter-houses of our native land; we have no theories of sewers, no data for comparison; we love the upper air and the sun. But being 313 in a foreign city we cheerfully give the second or fourth Wednesday to such delights.

Having taken the Daily Mail's advice and visited the abattoirs (which I have not done), one cannot do better than return to Paris by way of the canal, sauntering beside it all the way to the Rue Faubourg du Temple, where one passes into the Place de la République and the stir of the city once more. The canal descends from the heights of La Villette in a series of long steps, as it were (or, to take the most dissonant simile possible to devise, like the lakes at Wootton), built up by locks. Idling by this canal one sees many agreeable phases of human toil. Many commodities and materials reach Paris by barge, and it is on these quais and in the Villette basin that the unloading is done; while the barges themselves are pleasant spectacles—so long and clean and broad—very Mauretanias beside the barges of Holland—with spacious deck-houses that are often perfect villas, the wife and children watering the flowers at the door.

One quai is given up wholly to lime. This arrives in thousands of little solid sacks which stevedores whiter than millers transfer to the carts, that, in their turn, creak off to disorganise the traffic of a hundred streets and provoke the contempt of a thousand drivers before they reach their destined building, on which the workmen have already been engaged for two years and will be engaged for two years more. There is no hurry in constructional work in Paris—except of course on 314 Exhibitions, which spring up in a night. The same piece of road that was up in the Rue Lafayette for some surface trouble in a recent April, I found still up in October. But they have the grace, when rebuilding a house in the city, to hide their deliberate processes behind a wooden screen—such a screen as was opposite the Café de la Paix, at the south-east corner of the Boulevard des Capucines, for, it seems to me, years.

If, however, one is walking beside the canal in the other direction, up the hill instead of down, one will soon be nearer the Victoria Park of Paris, the park of the east end, than at any other time, and this should be visited as surely as the abattoirs should be avoided: unless, of course, one is a well-informed or thoughtful butcher. We have seen the Parc Monceau; well, the antithesis of the Parc Monceau, which has no counter-part in London, is the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Both are children's paradises, the only difference in the children being social position. The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is sixty acres of trees and walks and perpendicular rocks and water, the special charm of which is its diversified character, rising in the midst to an immense height made easy for carriages and perambulators by a winding road. It has a deep gorge crossed by a suspension bridge, a lake for boats, a cascade, and thousands of chairs side by side, touching, lining the roads, on which the maids and matrons of La Villette and Belleville sew and gossip, while the children play around. The parc was made in the sixties: before then it had been a 315 waste ground and gypsum quarry—hence its attractive irregularities. How wonderful the heights and cathedral of Montmartre can appear from one of the peaks of the Buttes-Chaumont, Mr. Dexter's drawing shows.

The Buttes-Chaumont is the most easterly point we have yet reached; but there is another parc more easterly still awaiting us, not unlike the Buttes-Chaumont in its acclivities, but unlike it in this particular, that it is a parc not of the living but the dead. I mean Père Lachaise. Père Lachaise! What kind of an old man do you think gave his name to this cemetery? Most persons, I imagine, see him as white-haired and venerable: not twinkling, like Papa Gontier, but serene and noble and sad. As a matter of fact he was a père only by profession and courtesy. Père Lachaise was Louis XIV.'s fashionable confessor (Landor has a diverting imaginary conversation between these two), and the cemetery took its name from his house, which chanced to occupy the site of the present chapel. The ground was enclosed as a burial ground as recently as 1804, which means of course that the famous tomb of Abélard and Héloise, to which all travellers find their way, is a modern reconstruction. The remains of La Fontaine and Molière and other illustrious men who died before 1804 were transferred here, just as Zola's were recently transferred from the cemetery of Montmartre to the Panthéon, but with less excitement.

Père Lachaise cannot be taken lightly. The French live very thoroughly, but when they die they die 316 thoroughly too, and their cemeteries confess the scythe. There may be, to our thinking, too much architecture; but it is serious. There is no mountebanking (as at Genoa), nor is there any whining, as in some of our own churchyards. Death to a Frenchman is a fact and a mystery, to be faced when the time comes, if not before, and to be honoured. On certain festivals of the year there are a thousand mourners to every acre of Père Lachaise.

The natural entrance is by the Rue de la Roquette, but it is less fatiguing to enter at the top, at the new gate in the Avenue du Père Lachaise, and walk downhill; for the paths are steep and the cemetery covers a hundred acres and more. The objection to this course is that one loses some of the sublimity of Bartholomé's Monument aux Morts at the foot of the mountain on which the chapel stands. This monument faces the principal entrance with the careful design of impressing the visitor, and its impact can be tremendous. We approach it by the Avenue Principale, in which lies Alfred de Musset, with the willow waving over his tomb and his own lines upon it.

And then one enters seriously upon this strange pilgrimage among names and memories. Chopin lies here, his music stilled, and Talma the tragedian; Beaumarchais and Maréchal Ney; Cherubini and Alphonse Daudet; Balzac, his pen for ever idle, and Delacroix; Béranger, who made the nation's ballads, and Brillat-Savarin, all his dinners eaten; Michelet, the historian, and Planquette, the composer of Les Cloches de Corneville; 317 Daumier, the great artist who saw to the heart of things, and Corot, who befriended Daumier's last years; Daubigny and Rosa Bonheur, Thiers and Scribe; Rachel, once so very living, and many Rothschilds now poorer than I.


(Père la Chaise)

Paris has other cemeteries, as we know, for we have walked through that of Montmartre; but there is also the Cimetière de Montparnasse, where lie Sainte-Beuve and Leconte de Lisle, Théodore de Banville, master of vers de société, and Fantin-Latour, Baudelaire (lying beneath a figure of the Genius of Evil), and Barbey d'Aurevilly, the dandy-novelist. There are also the cemeteries of Passy and Picpus, but into these I have never wandered. Lafayette lies at Picpus, which is behind a convent in the Rue de Picpus, and costs fifty centimes to see, and there also were buried many victims of the guillotine besides those whose bodies were flung into the earth behind the Madeleine.

All the space at my disposal has been required by Paris itself; and such is the human interest that at any rate in the older parts clings to every stone and saturates the soil, that I do not know that I have had any temptation to rove beyond the fortifications. But that of course is not right. No one really knows the Parisians until he sees them in happy summer mood in one of the pleasure resorts on the Seine, or winning money at Enghien, or lunching in one of the tree-top restaurants at Robinson. We have indeed been curiously unenterprising, 318 and it is all owing to the fascination of Paris herself and the narrow dimensions of this book. We have not even been to St. Denis, to stand among the ashes of the French kings; we have not descended the formal slopes of St. Cloud; we have not peeped into Corot's little chapel at Ville d'Avray; we have not seen the home of Sèvres porcelain; we have not scaled Mont-Valérien; we have not taken boat for Marly-le-Roi; we have not wandered marvelling but weary amid the battle scenes of Versailles, or smiled at the pretty fopperies of the hamlet of the Petit Trianon. We have not known the groves either of the Bois de Vincennes or the Bois de Meudon.

Much less have we fed those guzzling gourmands, the carp of Chantilly, or lost ourselves before the little Raphael there, or the curious Leonardo sketch for La Joconde, or the sweet simplicities of the pretty Jean Fouquet illuminations, particularly the domestic solicitude of the ladies attending upon the birth of John the Baptist; less still have we forgotten the restlessness and urgency of Paris amid the allées and rochers of the Forest of Fontainebleau, and the still white streets of Barbizon, or even on the steps of the château where the Great Emperor, thoughts of whom are never very distant—are indeed too near—bade farewell to his Old Guard in 1814.

Greater Paris, it will be gathered, is hardly less interesting than Paris herself; and indeed how pleasant it would be to write about it! But not here. 319

Of Paris within the fortifications have I, I wonder, conveyed any of the fascination, the variety, the colour, the self-containment. I hope so. I hope too that at any rate these pages have implanted in a few readers the desire to see this beautiful and efficient city for themselves, and even more should I value the knowledge that they had excited in others who are not strangers to Paris the wish to be there again. To do justice to such a city, with such a history, is of course an impossibility. What, however, should not be impossible is to create a goût.





[1]Yet for Vasari there was further magic of crimson in the lips and cheeks, lost for us. Pater's note.

[2]I have since learned that this is the same dog, Barry by name, who has a monument on the St. Bernard Pass, and is stuffed in the Natural History Museum at Berne. But I know nothing of his connexion with Paris.




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