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[Illustration: Paris: The Seine and Bridges]

Vol. III

Part One

Introduction to Volumes III and IV

France and the Netherlands

The tourist bound for France lands either at Cherbourg, Havre, or
Boulogne. At Cherbourg, he sees waters in which the "Kearsarge" sank
the "Alabama"; at Havre a shelter in which, long before Caesar came to
Gaul, ships, with home ports on the Seine, sought safety from the sea;
and at Boulogne may recall the invading expedition to England, planned
by Napoleon, but which never sailed.

From the Roman occupation, many Roman remains have survived in England,
but these are far inferior in numbers and in state of preservation to
the Roman remains found in France. Marseilles was not only an important
Roman seaport, but its earliest foundations date perhaps from
Phoenician times, and certainly do from the age when Greeks were
building temples at Paestum and Girgenti. Rome got her first foothold
in Marseilles as a consequence of the Punic wars; and in 125 B.C.
acquired a province (Provincia Romana) reaching from the Alps to the
Rhone, and southward to the sea, with Aix as its first capital and
Arles its second. Caesar in 58 B.C. found on the Seine a tribe of men
called Parisii, whose chief village, Lutetia, stood where now rises
Notre Dame.

Lutetia afterward became a residence of Roman emperors. Constantius
Chlorus spent some time there, guarding the empire from Germans and
Britons, while Julian the Apostate built there for himself a palace and
extensive baths, of which remains still exist in Paris. In that palace
afterward lived Pepin le Bref ("mayor of the palace"), son of Charles
Martell, and father of the great Charles. Romans built there an
amphitheater seating ten thousand people, of which remains are still

Lyons was a great Roman city. Augustus first called it into vigorous
life, his wish being to make it "a second Rome." From Lyons a system of
roads ran out to all parts of Gaul. Claudius was born there; Caligula
made it the political and intellectual capital of Provincia; its
people, under an edict of Caracalla, were made citizens of Rome. At
Nimes was born the Emperor Antoninus. In Gaul, Galba, Otho, Vitellius,
Vespasian and Domitian were made emperors. At Arles and Nîmes are Roman
amphitheaters still regularly put to use for combats between men and
wild beasts - but the wild beasts, instead of lions and tigers, are
bulls. At Orange is a Roman theater of colossal proportions, in which a
company from the Théâtre Français annually presents classical dramas.
The magnificent fortress city of Carcassonne has foundation walls that
were laid by Romans. Notre Dame of Paris occupies the site of a temple
to Jupiter.

As with modern England, so with modern France; its people are a mixture
of many races. To the southwest, in a remote age, came Iberians from
Spain, to Provence, Ligurians from Italy; to the northeast, Germanic
tribes; to the northwest, Scandinavians; to the central parts, from the
Seine to the Garonne, in the sixth century B.C., Gauls, who soon became
the dominant race, and so have remained until this day, masterful and
fundamental. When Caesar came, there had grown up in Gaul a martial
nobility, leaders of a warlike people, with chieftains whose names are
familiar in the mouths and ears of all schoolboys - Aricvistus and
Vercingetorix. When Vercingetorix was overthrown at Alesia, Gaul became
definitely Roman. For five hundred years it remained loyal to Rome.
Within its borders, was established the Pax Romana, and in 250 A.D.,
under St. Denis, Christianity. When the disintegration of the empire
set in five centuries afterward, Gaul was among the first provinces to
suffer. With the coming of the Visigoths and Huns from the Black Sea,
the Pranks and Bnrgundians from beyond the Rhine, the Roman fall was
near, but great battles were first fought in Gaul, battles which
rivaled those of Caesar five centuries before. Greatest of all these
was the one with Attila, at Chalons, in 451, where thousands perished.

When the Roman dominion ended, Rome's one great province in Gaul became
seventeen small principalities, and power drifted fast into the hands
of a warlike aristocracy. Then a strong man rose in Clovis, who, in
508, made Lutetia his capital, his successors enriching and adorning
it. From these beginnings, has been evolved, in twelve hundred years,
the great modern state - through Charlemagne and his empire-building,
Louis XI. and his work of consolidating feudal principalities into one
strong state, through a Hundred Years' War, fierce wars of religion, a
long line of Bourbon kings, with their chateaux-building in Touraine
and Versailles, the Revolution of 1789, the Napoleonic era, the
Republic. An historical land surely is this, and a beautiful land, with
her snow-capped mountains of the southeast, her broad vineyards,
unrivaled cathedrals, her Roman remains, ancient olive groves, her art,
her literature, her people.

Belgium and Holland were included in the territory known to Rome as
Gaul. Here dwelt a people called the Belgii, and another called the
Nervii - that tribal nation whom Cæsar "overcame" on a summer's day, and
the same evening, "in his tent," "put on" the mantle that was pierced
afterward by daggers in the Senate House. From these lands came the
skilled Batavian cavalry, which followed Caesar in pursuit of Pompey
and forced Pompey's flight at Pharsalia. From here afterward came other
Batavians, who served as the Imperial Guard of Rome from Caasar's time
to Vespasian's. In race, as in geographical position, the Netherlands
have belonged in part to France, in part to Germany, the interior long
remaining Gallic, the frontier Teutonic. From Caesar's time down to the
fifth century, the land was Roman. Afterward, in several periods, it
was in part, or in whole, included in the domain of France - in
Charlemagne's time and after; under Louis XI., who sought, somewhat
unsuccessfully, its complete submission; under Louis XIV., who
virtually conquered it; under the French Revolution, and during
Napoleon's ascendency. On Belgium soil Marlborough fought and won
Ramillies, and Wellington Waterloo.

Belgium and Holland were for long great centers of European
commerce - at Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam - rivals of
English ports, Holland an ancient adversary of England and her valiant
enemy in great wars. A still fiercer struggle came with Spain. Perhaps
an even greater conflict than these two has been her never-ending war
with the sea. Holland has been called a land enclosed in a fortress
reared against the sea. For generations her people have warred with
angry waves; but, as Motley has said, they gained an education for a
struggle "with the still more savage despotism of man." Let me not
forget here Holland's great school of art - comparable only to that of
Spain, or even to that of Italy. F. W. H.

Contents of Volume III

France and the Netherlands - Part One


I - Paris

The City Beautiful - By Anne Warwick
Notre-Dame - By Victor Hugo
The Louvre - By Grant Allen
The Madeline and Champs Elysées - By Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Hotel des Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb - By Augustus J. C. Hare
The Palais de Justice and Sainte Chapelle - By Grant Allen
The Hotel de Ville and the Conciergerie - By Augustus J. C. Hare
Père la Chaise - By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Musée de Cluny - By Grant Allen
The Place de la Bastille - By Augustus J. C. Hare
The Pantheon and St. Etienne du Mont - By Grant Allen
St. Roch - By Augustus J. C. Hare

II - The Environs of Paris

Versailles - By William Makepeace Thackeray
Versailles in 1739 - By Thomas Gray
Fontainebleau - By Augustus J. C. Hare
St. Denis - By Grant Allen
Marly-Le-Roi - By Augustus J. C. Hare
The Village of Auteuil - By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Two Trianons - By Augustus J. C. Hare
Malmaison - By Augustus J. C. Hare
St. Germain - By Leitch Ritchie
St. Cloud - By Augustus J. C. Hare

III - Old Provence

The Papal Palace at Avignon - By Charles Dickens
The Building of the Great Palace - By Thomas Okey
The Walls of Avignon - By Thomas Okey
Villeneuve and the Broken Bridge - By Thomas Okey
Orange - By Henry James
Vaucluse - By Bayard Taylor
The Pont du Guard, - Aigues-Mortes - Nîmes - By Henry James
Arles and Les Baux - By Henry James

IV - Cathedrals and Chateaux

Amiens - By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Rouen - By Thomas Frognall Dibdin
Chartres - By Epiphanius Wilson
Rheims - By Epiphanius Wilson

(_Cathedrals and Chateaux continued in Vol. IV_)

List of Illustrations

Volume III

Paris: The Seine and Bridges

Notre Dame, Paris
Portion of the Louvre, Paris
Church of the Madeleine, Paris
Napoleon's Sarcophagus, Paris
The Burial Place of Napoleon, Paris
Column and Place Vendóme, Paris
Column of July, Paris
The Pantheon, Paris
The House of the Chamber of Deputies, Paris
The Bourse, Paris
Interior of the Grand Opera House, Paris
Front of the Grand Opera House, Paris
The Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Arch Erected by Napoleon Near the Louvre, Paris
The Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Paris
The Church of St. Sulpice, Paris
The Picture Gallery of Versailles
The Bed-Room of Louis XIV., Versailles
The Grand Trianon at Versailles
The Little Trianon at Versailles
The Bed-Room of Catherine de Medici at Chaumont
Marie Antoinette's Dairy at Versailles
Saint Denis
The Bridge at St. Cloud

[Illustration: Notre Dame, Paris]

[Illustration: Church of the Madeleine]

[Illustration: Portion of the Louvre]

[Illustration: Paris: Column and Place Vendome]

[Illustration: Burial Place of Napoleon]

[Illustration: Napoleon's Sarcophagus]

[Illustration: Paris: Column of July in the Place de la Bastille]

[Illustration: Pantheon, Paris]

[Illustration: House of the Chamber of Deputies]

[Illustration: Bourse, Paris]



The City Beautiful

By Anne Warwick

[Footnote: From "The Meccas of the World." By permission of the
publisher, John Lane. Copyright, 1913.]

The most prejudiced will not deny that Paris is beautiful; or that
there is about her streets and broad, tree-lined avenues a graciousness
at once dignified and gay. Stand, as the ordinary tourist does on his
first day, in the flowering square before the Louvre; in the foreground
are the fountains and bright tulip-bordered paths of the
Tuileries - here a glint of gold, there a soft flash of marble statuary,
shining through the trees; in the center the round lake where the
children sail their boats. Beyond spreads the wide sweep of the Place
de la Concorde, with its obelisk of terrible significance, its larger
fountains throwing brilliant jets of spray; and then the trailing,
upward vista of the Champs Elysées to the great triumphal arch; yes,
even to the most indifferent, Paris is beautiful.

To the subtler of appreciation, she is more than beautiful; she is
impressive. For behind the studied elegance of architecture, the
elaborate simplicity of garden, the carefully lavish use of sculpture
and delicate spray, is visible the imagination of a race of passionate
creators - the imagination, throughout, of the great artist. One meets
it at every turn and corner, down dim passageways, up steep hills,
across bridges, along sinuous quays; the masterhand and its "infinite
capacity for taking pains." And so marvelously do its manifestations of
many periods through many ages combine to enhance one another that one
is convinced that the genius of Paris has been perennial; that St.
Genevieve, her godmother, bestowed it as an immortal gift when the city
was born.

From earliest days every man seems to have caught the spirit of the man
who came before, and to have perpetuated it; by adding his own
distinctive yet always harmonious contribution to the gradual
development of the whole. One built a stately avenue; another erected a
church at the end; a third added a garden on the other side of the
church, and terraces leading up to it; a fourth and fifth cut streets
that should give from the remaining two sides into other flowery
squares with their fine edifices. And so from every viewpoint, and from
every part of the entire city, to-day we have an unbroken series of
vistas - each one different and more charming than the last.

History has lent its hand to the process, too; and romance - it is not
an insipid chain of flowerbeds we have to follow, but the holy warriors
of Saint Louis, the roistering braves of Henry the Great, the gallant
Bourbons, the ill-starred Bonapartes. These as they passed have left
their monuments; it may be only in a crumbling old chapel or ruined
tower, but there they are, eloquent of days that are dead, of a spirit
that lives forever staunch in the heart of the fervent French people.

It comes over one overwhelmingly sometimes, in the midst of the
careless gaiety of the modern city, the old, ever-burning spirit of
rebellion and savage strife that underlies it all, and that can spring
to the surface now on certain memorable days, with a vehemence that is
terrifying. Look across the Pont Alexandre, at the serene gold dome of
the Invalides, surrounded by its sleepy barracks. Suddenly you are in
the fires and awful slaughter of Napoleon's wars. The flower of France
is being pitilessly cut down for the lust of one man's ambition; and
when that is spent, and the wail of the widowed country pierces heaven
with its desolation, a costly asylum is built for the handful of
soldiers who are left - and the great Emperor has done his duty!

Or you are walking through the Cité, past the court of the Palais de
Justice. You glance in, carelessly - memory rushes upon you - and the
court flows with blood, "so that men waded through it, up to the
knees!" In the tiny stone-walled room yonder, Marie Antoinette sits
disdainfully composed before her keepers; tho her face is white with
the sounds she hears, as her friends and followers are led out to swell
that hideous river of blood.

A pretty, artificial city, Paris; good for shopping, and naughty
amusements, now and then. History? Oh yes, of course; but all that's so
dry and uninspiring, and besides it happened so long ago.

Did it? In your stroll along the Rue Royale, among the jewellers' and
milliners' shops and Maxim's, glance up at the Madeleine, down at the
obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. Little over a hundred years ago,
this was the brief distance between life and death for those who one
minute were dancing in the "Temple of Victory," the next were laying
their heads upon the block of the guillotine.


By Victor Hugo

[Footnote: From Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris." Translated by A.L. Alger.
By permission of Dana, Estes & Co. Copyright, 1888.]

The church of Notre-Dame at Paris is doubtless still a sublime and
majestic building. But, much beauty as it may retain in its old age, it
is not easy to repress a sigh, to restrain our anger, when we mark the
countless defacements and mutilations to which men and time have
subjected that venerable monument, without respect for Charlemagne, who
laid its first stone, or Philip Augustus, who laid its last....

Upon the face of this aged queen of French cathedrals, beside every
wrinkle we find a scar. "Tempus edax, homo edacior;" which I would fain
translate thus: "Time is blind, but man is stupid." Had we leisure to
study with the reader, one by one, the various marks of destruction
graven upon the ancient church, the work of Time would be the lesser,
the worse that of Men, especially of "men of art," since there are
persons who have styled themselves architects during the last two

And first of all, to cite but a few glaring instances, there are
assuredly few finer pages in the history of architecture than that
facade where the three receding portals with their pointed arches, the
carved and denticulated plinth with its twenty-eight royal niches, the
huge central rose-window flanked by its two lateral windows as is the
priest by his deacon and subdeacon, the lofty airy gallery of
trifoliated arcades supporting a heavy platform upon its slender
columns, and lastly the two dark and massive towers with their
pent-house roofs of slate, harmonious parts of a magnificent whole, one
above the other, five gigantic stages, unfold themselves to the eye,
clearly and as a whole, with their countless details of sculpture,
statuary, and carving, powerfully contributing to the calm grandeur of
the whole; as it were, a vast symphony in stone; the colossal work of
one man and one nation, one and yet complex, like the Iliad and the old
Romance epics, to which it is akin; the tremendous sum of the joint
contributions of all the force of an entire epoch, in which every stone
reveals, in a hundred forms, the fancy of the workman disciplined by
the genius of the artist - a sort of human creation, in brief, powerful
and prolific as the Divine creation, whose double characteristics,
variety and eternity, it seems to have acquired.

And what we say of the façades, we must also say of the whole church;
and what we say of the cathedral church of Paris must be said of all
the Christian churches of the Middle Ages. Everything is harmonious
which springs from spontaneous, logical, and well-proportioned art. To
measure a toe, is to measure the giant.

Let us return to the façade of Notre-Dame as we see it at the present
day, when we make a pious pilgrimage to admire the solemn and mighty
cathedral, which, as its chroniclers declare, inspires terror. This
façade now lacks three important things: first, the eleven steps which
formerly raised it above the level of the ground; next, the lower
series of statues which filled the niches over the doors; and lastly,
the upper row of the twenty-eight most ancient kings of France, which
adorned the gallery of the first story, from Childebert down to Philip
Augustus, each holding in his hand "the imperial globe."

The stairs were destroyed by Time, which, with slow and irresistible
progress, raised the level of the city's soil; but while this
flood-tide of the pavements of Paris swallowed one by one the eleven
steps which added to the majestic height of the edifice, Time has
perhaps given to the church more than it took away, for it is Time
which has painted the front with that sober hue of centuries which
makes the antiquity of churches their greatest beauty.

But who pulled down the two rows of statues? Who left those empty
niches? Who carved that new and bastard pointed arch in the very center
of the middle door? Who dared to insert that clumsy, tasteless, wooden
door, carved in the style of Louis XV., side by side with the
arabesques of Biscornette? Who but men, architects, the artists of our

And if we step into the interior of the edifice, who overthrew that
colossal figure of Saint Christopher, proverbial among statues by the
same right as the great hall of the palace among halls, as the spire of
Strasburg among steeples? And those myriad statues which peopled every
space between the columns of the choir and the nave, kneeling,
standing, on horseback, men, women, children, kings, bishops,
men-at-arms - of stone, of marble, of gold, of silver, of copper, nay
even of wax - who brutally swept them away? It was not the hand of Time.

And who replaced the old Gothic altar, with its splendid burden of
shrines and reliquaries, by that heavy marble sarcophagus adorned with
clouds and cherubs, looking like a poor copy of the Val-de-Grâce or the
Hôtel des Invalides? Who was stupid enough to fasten that clumsy stone
anachronism into the Carlovingian pavement of Hercandus? Was it not
Louis XIV., fulfilling the vow of Louis XIII.?

And who set cold white panes in place of that stained glass of gorgeous
hue, which led the wondering gaze of our fathers to roam uncertain
'twixt the rose-window of the great door and the ogives of the chancel?
And what would a precentor of the sixteenth century say if he could see
the fine coat of yellow wash with which our Vandal archbishops have
smeared their cathedral? He would remember that this was the color with
which the executioner formerly painted those buildings judged
"infamous;" he would recall the hotel of the Petit-Bourbon, bedaubed
with yellow in memory of the Constable's treason; "a yellow of so fine
a temper," says Sauval, "and so well laid on, that more than a hundred
years have failed to wash out its color." He would fancy that the
sacred spot had become accursed, and would turn and flee.

And if we climb higher in the cathedral, without pausing to note a
thousand barbarous acts of every kind, what has become of that
delightful little steeple which rested upon the point of intersection
of the transept, and which, no less fragile and no less daring than its
neighbor, the spire of the Sainte-Chapelle, (also destroyed), rose yet
nearer heaven than the towers, slender, sharp, sonorous, and daintily

An architect of good taste (1787) amputated it, and thought it quite
enough to cover the wound with that large leaden plaster which looks
like the lid of a stewpan. Thus was the marvelous art of the Middle
Ages treated in almost every land, but particularly in France. We find
three sorts of injury upon its ruins, these three marring it to
different depths; first, Time, which has made insensible breaches here
and there, mildewed and rusted the surface everywhere; then, political
and religious revolutions, which, blind and fierce by nature, fell
furiously upon it, rent its rich array of sculpture and carving,
shivered its rose-windows, shattered its necklaces of arabesques and
quaint figures, tore down its statues - sometimes because of their
crown; lastly, changing fashion, even more grotesque and absurd, from
the anarchic and splendid deviations of the Renaissance down to the
necessary decline of architecture.

Fashion did more than revolutions. Fashion cut into the living flesh,
attacked the very skeleton and framework of art; it chopped and hewed,
dismembered, slew the edifice, in its form as well as in its symbolism,
in its logic no less than in its beauty. But fashion restored, a thing
which neither time nor revolution ever pretended to do. Fashion, on the
plea of "good taste," impudently adapted to the wounds of Gothic
architecture the paltry gewgaws of a day, - marble ribbons, metallic
plumes, a veritable leprosy of egg-shaped moldings, of volutes,
wreaths, draperies, spirals, fringes, stone flames, bronze clouds,
lusty cupids, and bloated cherubs, which began to ravage the face of
art in the oratory of Catherine de Medici, and destroyed it, two
centuries later, tortured and distorted, in the Dubarry's boudoir.

There are thus, to sum up the points to which we have alluded, three
sorts of scars now disfiguring Gothic architecture; wrinkles and warts
upon the epidermis - these are the work of time; wounds, brutal
injuries, bruises, and fractures - these are the work of revolution,
from Luther to Mirabeau; mutilations, amputations, dislocations of the
frame, "restorations," - these are the Greek, Roman barbaric work of
professors according to Vitruvius and Vignole. Academies have murdered
the magnificent art which the Vandals produced. To centuries, to
revolutions which at least laid waste with impartiality and grandeur,
are conjoined the host of scholastic architects, licensed and sworn,
degrading all they touch with the discernment and selection of bad
taste, substituting the tinsel of Louis XV. for Gothic lace-work, for
the greater glory of the Parthenon. This is the donkey's kick at the
dying lion. It is the old oak, decaying at the crown, pierced, bitten
and devoured by caterpillars.

How different from the time when Robert Cenalis, comparing Notre Dame
at Paris to the famous temple of Diana at Ephesus; "so loudly boasted
by the ancient pagans," which immortalized Herostratus, held the
cathedral of the Gauls to be "more excellent in length, breadth,
height, and structure!"

Notre Dame at Paris is not, however, what can be called a complete,

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Online LibraryVariousSeeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 France and the Netherlands, Part 1 → online text (page 1 of 13)