Billeder på siden

Victor says, lately, that the Americans have stolen Victor Hugo's works; they have translated them and paid him nothing. Victor's wife improves the occasion by saying that she would not like to make money by stealing; she would rather live on a crust of bread.

This evening, as Victor and I are going to Mr. Carpentier's, we pass a hack-stand, and see a man and woman, probably newly arrived, and for the coming festival. A coachman jumps down from his seat, and with joyful eagerness greets the man, kissing him upon each cheek,—the man thus greeted having gray whiskers. Victor jokes upon the subject with a woman going by,-a woman in a cap, instead of a bonnet.

At Mr. Carpentier's we talk about corporal punishment or whipping, which, I understand, is forbidden in French schools, as well as in the army and navy. One of the gentlemen present makes a remark, which does not quite please me, about his having advised a boy to strike a teacher who should strike him. I have before mentioned that the law grants to a woman a separation from her husband if he strikes her; nevertheless, the shoemaker's wife spoke of husbands beating their wives and Victor says that there are wives who beat their husbands.

Sunday, June 30th.-The day of the great festival, and splendid cool weather after last night's heavy rain. Victor is in very good spirits. On account of the fête he has in his coat an artificial flower,—a three-colored flower, of red, white, and blue: quite an anomaly,—price two sous, and of course cheaper to the citizen than three flowers, a red, a

white, and a blue. This morning I observe that photographs of the Coliseum, etc., are gone from my room. Madame tells me that they are in the dining-room, and I say that they are prettier than the pictures that were there of the battles of Alexander. She replies that those are fine engravings; but that, as they do not love battles, they have hung up these. Victor is a member of the League of Peace and Liberty, and to-day we are celebrating a festival of Peace, which France gives to other nations assembled here.

This afternoon I dine with my American friend. Among other subjects we speak of the theatre, and she says that she should go oftener were it not so expensive. A good seat, she adds, costs from six to ten francs; and if you are much dressed you want a carriage, which, going and returning, costs about eighty-two cents. Then you pay something to the vestière, or woman who takes care of your clothes, gives you a footstool, and hands the programme. At the Théâtre Français secured seats are nine francs; for the second gallery, probably seven; and for gentlemen in the parquet, seven. For the grand opera, secured seats in the amphitheatre are seventeen francs; if not secured, fifteen; and run down to six francs or less as you go upwards in the building. She adds that there are here very nice concerts in the afternoon and evening at two dollars.

I understand from Victor that, although nearly twentyfive years old, he has visited the theatre only five or six times.

When I leave my friend's house, at about ten in the evening, the streets are a beautiful show, with quantities of colored lanterns suspended by private individuals; fire

works, too, by the same; the elegant dome of St. Augustine's church magnificently illuminated with gas; at some distance the illuminated top of the Trinity, and a straight line of light marking the top of the Madeleine. I see a man and woman standing in a doorway, and stop to speak to her. He also speaks very pleasantly; I suppose them to be the concierge and his wife. I ask him whether he has seen the Place de la Concorde (which I had visited at the illumination on the opening of the Exposition). He has not; but he thinks that the Champs Elysées must be ravishing, and that it is desirable for me to see them. I speak of being alone, but he answers, "Do you see this quantity of people? It will be so until two or three in the morning, and no fear." People can be seen walking in the middle of the street (I suppose that most of the carriages have gone to the great centres of attraction): here are three or four young men together; here staid married people; there half a dozen young women, arm-inarm, across the street. It is the festival of Peace which France is giving to foreign nations. I am repeatedly reminded of Campbell's line,—

"And let festive cities blaze,"

and I doubt whether the world ever saw a finer and more general illumination. I am three times as long as is necessary making my way home. There is one spot, to be sure, that already begins to pass into the ludicrous. In a public square there have been erected one or more upright frames; from a distance they are still brilliant, but in coming up to the little park, in many of the tumblers attached to the frames the light is already out, doubtless for want of oil.

To-day I see a handbill upon the street stating that those families whose names are entered for public assistance will receive each two francs by applying at the mayoralty of the ward.

This festival occurs on Sunday, June 30th. The next evening I leave the Lyons station for the south. In order to preserve the connection I will postpone the description of my visit to a farming family, within seventy miles of that city, and will finish the Parisian narrative. It is four o'clock on Sunday morning, July 14th, when I arrive in Paris from the south. This day Paris fêtes the taking of the Bastile, but it does not appear to be a great national festival like our Fourth of July.


July 15th.—One evening before I left Paris, at about eight o'clock, there was good instrumental music in the garden of the Jesuit college, before spoken of; the music seemed to proceed from a brass band, with a drum, and it was applauded by clapping hands. We know nothing of the occasion. I suggest that it is a serenade to some distinguished visitor,-Mr. Dupanloup, for instance; but Victor thinks it more probable that it is the festival of their superior or director.


To-day, when I am out, I observe men at work upon a wall, which makes a long stretch on the Rue d' and I find that this enclosure belongs to the Jesuits. At a distance within is a handsome new building, and there are a number of boys and an ecclesiastic. I suppose this

ground to be a part of the same gift made by a woman to the Jesuits. I walk around to try and see how much property they have here; and in going around a block, I observe in the back of a court-yard a building, and on the gate in front I read Bureau de Contributions. Contribution office, is it? And do the Jesuits thus, in this insidious manner, ask for contributions, too? I enter the courtyard upon a voyage of discovery, and inquire at a low building on the left, "What are these contributions for ?" "They are contributions," says a young woman; "ask there on the right." At the building on the right is a big woman: "For what are these contributions?" With Parisian rapidity she replies, "Contributions for an apartment; for a dog. Do you want to pay?" No, indeed; and it dawns upon my mind that this is an office where you pay taxes.

Soon after my return I call at Mr. Carpentier's, and meet there a gentleman who tells me something about the patois of France. He gives me a specimen of the langue d'Oc, or dialect of Provence, in the south, and says that those who understand it do not understand the patois of Lyons. Among the peasants of France he estimates that there are from six to ten different dialects. Even in the environs of Paris he says that the peasants speak an idiom, probably containing Latin, Gallic, and Frank roots.

The following, which I have abridged, was handed to me upon the street to-day; although I flatter myself that I do not resemble the patrons of the entertainment:

"NOTICE. Thursday, July 18th. From nine in the evening until four in the morning. Great Night Festival

« ForrigeFortsæt »