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furnish their own meals. This method of washing we can understand to be an economical and well-arranged one for a country where fuel is so scarce, and in a city where space is so desirable. But it seems to me that our housekeepers would not incline to put their family wash into a bundle and send it to be steamed with similar bundles from other families,—all steamed together during the night as sent to the wash; at least, such are not our habits now. Let us beware in our different surroundings of too closely imitating the Parisians. Why should our children be brought up in flats, and not have a bit of mother-earth under their feet?
In speaking lately to an American friend about the volume of compositions and exercises brought from the Philadelphia Exposition and published here, she tells me that some of them have appeared in the Journal des Débats. She likes this paper, but calls it too republican. I ask Victor about it, and about its republicanism; he replies that it is rose-water, and finishes by saying that it is not republican at all. So opinions differ.
One of my Parisian friends will have the tea handed to him on one occasion, made paler; and will have some spirits put into it. Afterwards, when I call at his house, he offers me coffee and rum; perhaps he is in jest.
Riding in the omnibus, I copy the following from a bill put up therein: "For sale, every morning, The People, a daily political journal. It publishes a great popular romance, by Emile Richebourg, author of The Accursed
Daughter and The Two Cradles, having for title The Parisian Lovers,-Les Amoureuses de Paris. Five centimes. the number," being nearly one cent. Profitable, cheap literature! It will be observed that I have not exactly translated the title of the "great popular romance."
Friday, June 28th.-Going down our street this morning, I overtake a woman without a bonnet, in the sun, with a large load in her outside blue apron, held up by having the long corners tied up over her shoulder. In her hands she carries three extremely long loaves, like thick poles, measuring about two yards in length. To rest herself, she occasionally sets the ends of the loaves upon the pavement, or rests them against the wall. Such loaves are cut into bits for customers at restaurants. When I was first at Paris, it seemed strange to see people carrying loaves of bread without a basket or any covering.
Wishing to speak to Mr. Carpentier, I lately called upon him, and found him busily engaged with his friends Mr. B. and Mrs. K. in preparing matter to send by mail,—an article which he has written and published upon an important political subject. The windows of the room were closed, which seemed strange to me in such fine weather. Mr. Carpentier accompanied me into the next room to hear what I had to say, and when we came out I remarked that at home (in America) we should have the doors and win
dows open, Mr. B. wore a cloth coat, and must have been warm enough,—but I perceived that Mr. Carpentier was not pleased with my remark. The sojourner at Paris can scarcely fail to observe how much is said about currents of air. Victor was lately at the furnace in our little kitchen, and the kitchen door was open. For some purpose I also opened the window, when he made a great outcry: "Oh, madame, you make a current of air! I detest currents of air!"
Although it seems close at Mr. Carpentier's, I offer to help direct pamphlets; one is to go to a deputy or an editor, and I ask whether I shall say Monsieur. Mr. Carpentier answers that they do not trouble themselves about that. "But when you were with me that Sunday," I rejoin, “you said, 'Thank you, madame!' to the charcoal-woman." "And why not, if I say it to the queen?" says Mr. C. Mr. B., who is assisting, is a native of Alsace or Germany, and I ask him why the French do not advertise in the papers; I might have said, advertise generally, as we do. Mr. B. replies that he has often asked the question, but it is not the custom to do so. I speak of the amount of money which our papers make by advertisements; and Mr. Carpentier, being perhaps somewhat vexed, asks a question which it is a little difficult to translate for these pages: "Est ce qu'on donne chez vous des rendezvous galants dans les journaux ?" or, "In your country, do lovers make appointments in the papers?" I answer lamely, "The personals in the New York Herald."
Perhaps Mr. Carpentier considers this an overwhelming argument.
Saturday, June 29th.-On this delightful, cool morning, fresh and breezy, at about half-past eight, I meet young Paris going to the public schools.
I pass a house where mourning hangs over the entrance, and within is a bier covered with black, before which are standing candles; a youth who goes by lifts his hat, and two women cross themselves.
Upon a sidewalk sits a man apparently very drunk. In another place a man has a number of tin or iron utensils which look bright, as if just scoured. However, his business is to plate them, or to submit them to a process which I do not understand. He charges five cents for thus dressing up a knife and fork.
To-morrow will be the great festival of Peace. I see my shoemaker making a flag, a tri-color, and ask him. whether he is a republican. He answers that he is of no party, but he wants to maintain the glory of his country. He or his wife says that the main point is to earn their living. I have quite a long opportunity in the shop to talk alone with her, and I ask what wages the men can earn who make the shoes. She answers that, in making shoes, or ladies' boots with leather heels, a good workman, if his wife helps him, can earn eight to ten francs a day. But in shoes with Louis XV. heels, which are made of wood and covered with leather, and which are difficult to make, he can earn on an average ten to twelve francs. "These heels," she says, "are very hurtful to women: they injure the health enormously. Women of bad life, who take away all the husbands and cause them to beat their wives, wear heels extremely high, and these injure their health so much that they cannot live long. I cannot understand," she continues, "how these women can attract husbands from their wives. There are many of them in our quarter, and if you look at them they insult you. Three-fourths of the rich at Paris
have mistresses, who sometimes spend the dowry of their wives. I know a beautiful countess, who tells me when she sees my children, 'Oh, if I could have a baby!' but very often the rich do not have children. Sometimes married women will debauch another household. Paris is very pretty, it is comfortable, but little discreet in its homes, -dans les ménages." In speaking of men's being false to their wives, she asks, "Is it so in your country, madame?” I give her some answer to this effect: that I live in the country, where people are very simple in their way of living, or where such things are almost unknown. She goes on to say that foreigners who come here with their wives must have a great deal of virtue, not to allow themselves to be drawn away by other women, because there will be fifty opportunities. She is a pretty young woman, and she does not see what is the attraction that draws husbands away. I ask her whether there being so many soldiers here is not a cause of this state of affairs, or there being so many public women. She says no; that these women seek persons who are carrying on business, who have money. They might seek the officers; but it is the bonnes (servants) who go with the soldiers; the bonnes are not much. I inquire about servants' wages. She says, "Me, I give to my domestic thirty-five francs and her food,"-doubtless by the month," but there are many persons who give fifty francs, and fed, washed, and lodged.”
At Leblanc's, we are speaking lately of marriage, and Victor speaks thus: "The generation of the Empire was accustomed to flutter like butterflies from one lost woman to another, and did not wish to be burdened with wives and children."