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BY THE AUTHOR OF

'BUBBLES FROM THE BRUMEN OF NASSAU.'



" as I pursu'd my journey,
I spy'd a wrinkled Ha^', with Age grown double,
Picking dry Sticks, and mumbling to herself."

Otwa y.



IN TWO VOLUMES.— Vol. I.



LONDON:
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1852.



LONDON : PRINTED BY W. CM^ASD SONS, STAMFORD STREET.



733



PREFACE.



Nearly forty years ago I happened to be in
Paris for three or four months. Lately, on a
very short notice, I had occasion to go to it
again. Being detained there rather more than
three weeks by an ocuHst whose prescriptions
confined me to the house several hours a day, I
eked out the rest of my time by taking a few
notes.

In passing through London I had hastily
obtained eight or ten letters of introduction ;
but as on reading Galignani's excellent guide-
book, I found that everything I could reasonably
desire to see would, on application in writing, or
on the production of my passport, be thrown
open to me — with almost a single exception — I

b2



IV PREFACE.

returned the whole of them, preferring to throw
myself on the hospitality of the public authorities
of Paris, rather than be indebted to, and probably
embarrassed by, private favours.

During my brief residence in the French
metropolis, excepting three days, I dined and
breakfasted by myself. I never entered a
theatre; only once a cafe. I neither paid nor
received visits. In short, I totally abstained
from any other society than that which I had
the happiness to enjoy in the public streets.

My amusements solely consisted in collecting
literary sticks, picked up exactly in the order
and state in which I chanced to find them.
They are thin, short, dry, sapless, crooked,
headless, and pointless. In the depth of winter,
however, a faggot of real French Sticks — al-
though of little intrinsic value — may possibly
enliven for a few moments an English Fireside.
I therefore with great diffidence offer them to
my readers, and, hoping the fuel I have col-



PREFACE. V

lected for them may be deemed worth burning,
I beg leave most cordially to wish them

"A MERRY Christmas and a happy New
Year."



N.B. As the foot-notes in these volumes contain nothing but
translations — for the assistance of those who do not understand
French — of the sentences to which they refer, the general
reader may ride over them without notice.



CONTENTS OF VOL I.



Preface .....








Page

iii


The Start








9


The Stroll








36


Entreprise Generale ties Omnibus .








68


Caf6 de Paris ....








76


Place de la Bastille








84


Horse Establishment








88


The Equarrisseur ....








93


The Poor of Paris








105


Jardin des Plantes , . . ,








119


Message ries GenSrales de France








138


Theatre des Animaux Sauvages








142


Abattoir des Cochons








161


Gardens of the Tuileries








171


Pavilion de I'Horloge








177


La Madeleine ....








181


Preparations for the Fete of the Eepublic








189


Abattoir de Montmartre








198


Great Xorthern Paihvay








208


Sunday, the 4th of May








256



Vlll CONTENTS OF VOL. I.

Page

The Oculist 268

Hotel des Invalides ....... 280

Military Models 309

Musee de I'Artillerie 316

Post-Office 324

Pr^fet de Police 345

The Commissionnaire 368

Halle aiix Vins 387

Versailles 397

Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles . . . 430

Mont de Piete 446

The Chiffonnier 455



A FAGGOT OF FRENCH STICKS.



THE START.

At eleven o'clock of the night of the 29th of
April, A. D. 1851, the London train, after two
or three rejoicing whistles, reached Dover, and,
in a few minutes, I was on the threshold of one
— I know not which — of that long list of
"excellent hotels" whose names, the instant I
stepped out of the train, had been simultaneously
dinned into my ear by every description of voice,
from squeaking treble, apparently just weaned, to
a gruff hoarse double-bass, compounded in about
equal parts of chronic cough, chronic cold,
chronic sore throat, gin, rum, hollands, bitters,
brandy, hot water, and filberts.

The narrow outline of the house-lad who,
walking backwards, had been elastically alluring
me onwards, and the bent head of the sturdy
house - porter, who, with my portmanteau on
his back and my blue writing-box pendant in
his right hand, was following me, so clearly

b3



10 THE START.

explained my predicament, that, on entering-
a large coffee-room full of square and oblong
mahogany tables, an over -tired waiter, in a
white neckcloth, dozing in an arm-chair, no
sooner caught a glimpse of the approaching
group, than with the alacrity with which Isaac
Walton would have twitched at his rod the
instant his coloured goose-quill bobbed under
water, whirling a white napkin under his left
arm, he shuffled on his heels towards a large
tawdry chandelier, twisted with his right hand
three or four gaslights to their maximum flare,
and then, with the jabber of a monkey, re-
peating to me the surnames of a variety of
joints of cold meat, he ended by asking me
" What I would please to take ? " In reply to
his comprehensive question, I desired him to
screw back all those lamps which were nearly
blinding me, and, as soon as I had returned to
the enjoyment of comparative darkness sufficient
to be able to look calmly at his jaded face, in
three words I withered all his hopes by quietly
asking him for the very thing in creation which
of all others he would have plucked from my
mind — " a bedroom candle."

After turning on his heels and walking like
a bankrupt towards the door, without the ad-
dition or subtraction of a single letter he tele-



THE START. 1.1

graphically repeated my words ; and accordingly
in less than a minute a very ordinary sort of a
chambermaid, with a face and brass candlestick
shining at each other, conducted me up two or
three steps, then up about half a dozen more —
of the exact number in both instances she care-
fully admonished me — then along a carpeted
passage that sounded hollow as I trod upon it,
then sharp to the left, and eventually, after all
this magnificent peroration, into a very little
room, almost entirely occupied by a large family
four-post bed, the convex appearance of which
corroborated what was verbally explained to me
— that the feathers were uppermost. As soon as
my conductress had deposited her candle on a
little table, which, excepting a tiny washing-
stand in the corner, was the only companion
in the way of furniture the bed had in the
room, she wished me good night ; in reply to
which I asked her to promise me most faith-
fully that I should be called in time to " cross "
by the first packet. " I will go and put it down
on the slate, Sir !" she replied ; and as she seemed
to have implicit confidence as to the result, I
soon divested my mind and its body of all un-
necessary incumbrances, and, in a few minutes,
lost to the world and to myself, I sank into
oblivion and feathers.



12 THE START.

I had been dead and buried for an unknown
period, when I was gradually and rather un-
comfortably awaked by the repetition of an
unpleasant noise, which, on opening my ears
and eyes, I discovered to be the pronunci-
ation at intervals, from the mouth of a short,
thin, pale, wiry young man, on whose pensive
face, jacket, and trowsers were various little
spots of blacking, of the words " Four o'clock,
Sir!"

As the packet was not to sail till five, I had
plenty of time to prepare, and yet I should have
preferred to have been more hurried. As long as
I was employed in washing I got on very well ;
but when in my secluded little aerial chamber I
sat down to whet my razor, soap my chin, brush
it, turn it all white, and then look at it in a
small swing- glass, I could not help feeling that
the next time those serious operations were per-
formed, I should be out of old England, vaga-
bondizing in a foreign land !

It was as dull a morning as I ever remember
to have beheld, and everything seemed to be
conspiring to make it so. From the chimneys
of the diminutive houses that appeared before
me — one, if possible, more insigniticant-looking
than the other — there exuded no smoke. At
the Custom-house there was nothing to cheer or



THE START. 13

excite me ; nothing in my baggage that elicited
the smallest remark. The searcher looked as
if he knew it would be perfectly miinteresting,
and it was so. There was no sunshine, rain,
hail, or sleet ; only a very little wind, and that
foul.

On stepping on board the packet, the deck of
which having been just washed was shining with
wet, I found it contained four passengers be-
sides myself. There was no calling, hallooing,
taking leave, or crying, but at a few minutes
past five the paddles began to move slowly ;
revolve; splash. Without any one to watch us,
follow us, or even from a little window wave a
handkerchief at us, we glided away from the
little houses, through the little harbour, along-
side of the little pier — at the end of which stood
a little man with a large spy-glass under his
arm — and thus, taking leave of Great Britain,
in a few minutes we were in the Channel.

The water and the clouds were slate-colour ;
there were no waves, no white breakers, no sign
of life in the sea except a sort of snoring heaving
movement, as if, under the influence of chloro-
form, it were in a deep lethargic sleep. My fellow
passengers, I saw at a glance, were nothing in
the whole world but two married couples ; and
as I paced up and down the deck, while, on the



14 THE START.

contrary, they took up positions from which
during the passage they never moved, I vibrated
between them. One young woman, apparently
the wife of a London tradesman, sat on the
wrong side of tlie vessel in the wrong place.
Her little husband kept very kindly advising
her to move away from the sprinkling of the
paddle-wheel. She would catch cold; — she
would get her bonnet wet; — she would be
more comfortable if she would sit anywhere
else. She looked him full in the face, listened
to every letter, every syllable, every word as
he pronounced it : but no, there she sat, with
red cheeks, bright eyes, and curly hair, as
inanimate as a doll. My other compagnons
de voyage were a pair of well-dressed young
persons of rank, apparently but lately married.
On all subjects they seemed to think exactly
alike, and on none more so than in being both
equally uncomfortably affected by some slight
smells and movements which assailed them.
For a short time the young bride sat up, — then
reclined a little, — then a very little more, — then
— with a carpet-bag as a pillow — lay almost flat
on the bench ; her well-formed features gradually
losing colour until, shrouded by a large blue
cloth cloak, for the rest of the passage they
disappeared altogether from view. The husband



THE START. 15

in mute silence sat sentinel over her ; but, long
before her face had been hid, not only had his
mustachios assumed a very mournful look, but
his face had become a mixture of pipe-clay and
tallow.

As, without a human being to converse with, I
continued walking backwards and forwards — a
small circular space round the engine was the
only dry spot on the deck — assailed sometimes
by a hot puff, then by a cold one, then by a
smoky one, and then by one rather warm and
greasy, I observed, lying perfectly idle and close
to the cabin stairs, a pile of about a dozen white
washhand-basins, one placidly resting in the other.
Pointing to them, I thought it but kind in-
quisitively to look at the young sentinel ; and
although with a slight bow he faintly and appa-
rently rather gratefully shook his head, there
was legibly imprinted on his countenance the
answer which, in the Arabian Nights, the slave
Morgiana gave to the question of the forty
thieves — " Not yet, but presently."

In the brief fleeting space of three-quarters of
an hour, diversified only by the few events I have
recorded, we had quietly scufiled as nearly as
possible half way across the defensive ditch on
which Old England so insecurely rests for pro-
tection from invasion. Our course was here



16 " THE START.

enlivened by small flights of wild fowl flying but
a few inches above the water, with necks out-
stretched, as stiff as if they had been spitted ;
indeed, so straight was their course and so regu-
lar was the flapping of their wings, that a tiny
column of smoke from each would have given
them the appearance of flying by steam.

The little low sand-hills which, in contradis-
tinction to the chalky cliffs of Albion, form the
maritime boundary of France, were now clearly
delineated. In about ten minutes the church and
lighthouse of Calais became visible, and in a few
more we approached the extreme point of the
long pier. On entering the harbour we passed
a few soldiers and pedestrians so rapidly that,
as they dropped astern, they appeared, although
evidently leaning forwards, to be in fact stepping
backwards. The steep roofs and upper windows
of houses were now to be seen peeping over the
green ramparts that surrounded them ; and I had
hardly time to look at them, and at the picturesque
costumes, strange uniforms, and foreign faces
above us, when the words were given — " Ease
her — stop her — back her ;" a rope coiled in the
hand of one of our sailors was heaved aloft,
secured round a post, and thus in exactly one
hour and forty -five minutes we made our passage
from the pier of Dover to that from whence



THE START. 17

a number of bearded and smooth -chinned
faces were looking down upon us. Although
some twenty feet beneath them, it is the pro-
perty of an Englishman, as it is that of water,
to find his own level, and, accordingly, no sooner
was a long wooden staircase lowered from the
pier to the deck, than I slowly ascended, until
I found first one foot and then the other firmly
planted on the continent of Europe and in the
republic of France.

I was returning as well as I could the momen-
tary glance of a great variety of eyes, and was
trying to satiate my curiosity by looking at them
all at once, when I observed approaching me a
venerable-looking gentleman, as grey-headed as
myself, who, in a confidential tone of voice,
amounting almost to a whisper, delivered him-
self of a speech which, coming out of him with
the utmost fluency, appeared to explain most
clearly the innumerable little advantages I
should derive by giving over to him immediately,
all my English gold in exchange for French
money.

The bold comprehensive view he took of the
whole subject was quite unanswerable. There
was, however, uppermost in my mind, an
antagonist idea, as vigorous, as self-interested,
and, if possible, as incontrovertible, as that which



18 THE START.

had just given locomotion to his legs and move-
ment to his lips. In answer, therefore, to his
auriferous and argentine proposals, I eagerly,
and 1 fear rather greedily, asked him in about
half a dozen words where I could get some
breakfast ? With great politeness he kindly
pointed to the railway station close before us,
and, with a continuation of the smile which had
adorned his countenance from the first moment
he had addressed me, he was resuming his
speech on the currency question, when away I
hurried on the scent on which he had laid me,
and in about half a minute found myself in a
room which evidently contained all the things in
this world I most wanted.

As I had slightly interested myself in Eng-
land on the subject of railway management, I
should, I feel quite certain, if I had had time, have
observed with considerable curiosity the interest-
ing details of the scene before me. The wolf
within me was, however, growling so fiercely,
scratching with its fore paws so violently, biting
and gnawing so voraciously, and behaving alto-
gether so unmannerly, that with a faint glimmer-
ing of a kind excellent lady seated between an
assortment of bottles as elegant if possible as her-
self, I have a distinct recollection of nothing but
— I think I see them now — two very nice light



THE START. 19

rolls, a miserable insufficiency of exceeding:ly
sweet butter, and a thick white china cup brim-
full of cafe au lait.

I remember quite well, on the sudden ringing
of a . bell, throwing on the table two English
shillings; then, as I was hurrying and munching
along a platform, depositing in my coat pocket
half a handful of copper coin of odd-looking
sizes ; then the purchase of a ticket to Paris ;
then an assurance in French from several
mouths all at once that I need not think about
my baggage, that it had not even been at the
Douane, that it would not be examined till
I got to Paris, that I had better take my
seat; and I had scarcely done so, when a bell
took up the lecture, rang farewell, — bonjour, —
adieu ; — at last the engine finished it by ex-
claiming, by one very loud whistle in plain
English, "Hold on, my lads, for we're off! ....
blow me !"

The day, which had promised nothing, turned
out most beautiful. The sunshine gave to every
object its most cheerful colours, and for many
years of my life I do not remember to have had
more placid enjoyment than I experienced in
viewing and reviewing the objects that appeared
to be successively flying past me, and which had
a double attraction, first from their novelty,



20 THE START,

and then from the series of recollections they
awakened from the grave of oblivion, in which
for nearly forty years they had lain buried.

After quitting Calais, for many leagues the
country was not only flat, but appeared as if in a
few hours it could all be put under water ; and
as we flew along I observed, running at right
angles to our course, and at intervals seldom
exceeding 100 yards, a series of ditches from
4 to 10 and 12 feet broad, the water in each of
which flashed in the sun as we crossed it.

At most of the towns and even villages we
passed, ages ago I had either been quartered or
for a night or two had been billeted. Some I
had entirely forgotten, others I remembered
more or less vividly. All of a sudden the
innumerable windmills around Lille, — which
on horseback I had often in vain endeavoured
to count and which I had never since thought
of — appeared before me grinding, revolv-
ing, and competing one against another, just
as they used to do, and so they vanished.
Next came flitting by the fortifications of
Douay I had so often inspected. From the
department of the Pas de Calais to Paris, ex-
cepting a few trees that appeared to encircle
every town and village, the whole country is
totally unenclosed, exactly as it was when I



THE START. 21

used to hunt and course over it without a single
impediment for a horse even to look at, except-
ing now and then a few hollow roads, which I
now beheld again meandering through the in-
terminable landscape just as they used to do.

On the surface of the republic not an animal
of any sort was to be seen at liberty. In the
vicinity even of every cow that was grazing
there was, if one would but take the trouble to
look for it, somewhere or other to be discovered
a dark-coloured lump on the ground — the little
girl, woman, or boy that was not only guarding
it, but sometimes tethered to it. On land on
which there seemed nothing to eat, sheep, as in
old times, were browsing close to rich crops of
clover, &c., whose only boundary was a tem-
porary fence composed of two or three lean dogs
that kept running backwards and forwards at
right angles to each other. Herds of half-
starved pigs were guarded in the same way.
Indeed the only animal that had not at least one
human or canine attendant was a goat, occa-
sionally to be seen by itself — tethered.

As we proceeded, I was surprised to observe
into what a series of very small fields the ocean
of country through which the train was flying
had, since I last beheld it, by the operation of
the late laws of France against primogeniture,



22 THE START.

been subdivided. It appeared as if I was tra-
velling through Lilliput, or through a region of
charitable allotments for children ; and when I
considered that the legal security of these little
properties has diminished with their dimensions,
I could not help feeling that, if poor Goldsmith
had been in the train, he would have admitted
the fallacy of those beautiful lines —

" 111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay."

Excepting occasionally a slated high-roofed
chateau, in bad repair, and now and then a
picturesque cemetery, the whole population
appeared to present one uniform character.
Everybody — men, women, and children,
whether riding, walking, ploughing, harrowing,
digging, washing, or doing nothing — were all
dressed in blue ; and yet this single colour,
representing human nature, was everywhere
contrasted with bright yellow rape in blossom,
beautiful greens of various shades, patches of
glittering water, and here and there diminu-
tive rectangular spaces of brown fallow land.
It was a peaceful placid scene ; nevertheless I
could not help every now and then involuntarily
recollecting the fair surface of France a battle-
field, leaving around, before, behind it, and



THE START. 23

especially on both sides of the great paves,
broad furrows of desolation and of trampled
crops, such as had marked the retreat of the
French, and the advance of the allied army,
from Waterloo to Paris.

After flying along for about 200 miles through
a uniform but highly interesting picture, there
began to appear in the fields, like brilliant
flowers, women, young and old, dressed in pink
or crimson bodices. They were weeding, and
even digging ; in fact, they were at what might
truly be called hard labour. The train, however,
as it passed, seemed beneficently to emancipate
them ; and thus for many seconds, with scorched
sunburnt faces, and with the implements of hus-
bandry in their hands, they stood, for as long
as we could see them, gazing at it, in various
attitudes of repose.

At about ten leagues from Paris we rapidly
passed the remains of a railway-station that had
been burnt in the revolution of 1848 ; and again,
in about four leagues more, the black charred
ruins of the station at Pontoise. That the con-
flagration had not attained its object, namely,
liberty, equality, and fraternity, was strikingly
illustrated to my mind, by the appearance, in
the middle of a field, of a woman working hard
with a pickaxe !



24 THE START.

Throughout the region of little fields I had
traversed, it was, however, but too evident that
equality had very nearly been attained ; or, in
other words, that everybody had succeeded in
preventing any one from possessing much more
than was necessary for bare existence, thereby
excluding those fine reaping-machines, plough-
ing-machines, and other economical mechanical
powers which Science is gradually introducing,
and which our Socialists, Red-Republicans, and
ultra-levellers would do well to recollect can
only be applied to farms covering a great breadth
of land, and worked by considerable capital; and
I was moreover reflecting on the intellectual
poverty of such a state of rural existence, and,
morally speaking, how true was the observation
that "Paris is France," when a young man with
mustachios, who had entered the carriage at the
last station, politely offered me " Le National"
newspaper of that morning. The important sub-
ject before my mind, and the real scene before my
eyes, were so much more interesting than any-
thing I could read in print, that I would will-
ingly have declined his offer. I, however, did
not like to do so, and accordingly, still rumi-
nating on the picture I had witnessed, of an
agricultural population living from hand to
mouth, with probably no better instructor than



THE START. 25

the village cure, I opened the newspaper, and
read as follows : —

Translation. — " The vacation (Easter holidays) of the Na-
tional Assembly terminates to-day. A great number of the
representatives of the Majority have profited by the congd
which has just expired to visit their departments, where they
have been able to consult the spirit {Tesprit) and the desire
of the population."

The newspaper, of course, proceeded to state
that " the desire of the population " was " in
favour of universal suffrage, and the non-eligi-
bility of the President."

With the newspaper in my hand, and with



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