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Home and Society:

Light, Heat and Power for the Householder (CharUt Barnard) '-Weuung the Baby (CaiJurme
Owen), 1^5; General Principles of Cookery, I.: Boiling (Catkerme OweM)—'T\ic -Boys of the
Family, VL : How to become a Telegrapher, an Engraver, and an Architect (IViliiam H. Rideing)
«>^: General Principles of Cookery, 11. : Stewing and Making Soups (Catherine Owen) — Two
Kmds of Decoration (iftf. L. £.), ^osj General^PnndplM of Cook^, III. : Roasdng (Catherine

IV. : Frying and Bibi&ng (Catherine Owen), 786 ; Operas for Amateurs (Af. L. £.), 94X.

Culture and Progress:

Haeckd's " Evolution of Man "—Mrs. Burnett's " Haworth's "— Bartlett's ** From E«ypt to Pales-
tine " — Mrs. Doit's " Friar Ansdmo and Other Poems " — A New Translation of the Odyssey —
Dickens's *' Life of Charies James Matthews." 149 ; " A Portfolio of Proof Impressions " fifom
ScRiBNBR and St. Nicholas— Joyce's " Blanid — Baird's " Rise of the Huguenots " — Leland's " life
of Lincoln "—Jules Verne's " Exploration cf the Worid " — Vriarte's " Venice "—Some Recent Books
for Chiklren, 309: Arnold's "Light of Asia"— "The Letters of Charles Dickens "—Taylor's
"Studies in German Literature "—Farrar's "Life of St Paul"— Bret Harte's "Twins of Table
Mountain" — Miss Phelps's "Sealed Orders" — "An Earnest Trifler" — Guernsey's " Thomas Car-
Wle" — AUmtt on John, ^68; "Harper's Latin Dictionary" — ^Two Volumes of "L'Art" —
^Souvenirs of Madame Vig^ Le Brun" — "The Amateur Poacher "-Johnston's "History oi
American Politics" — Roussdfet's "Serpent-Charmer" — "Her Lover's Fnend," by Nora Perry —
•• Dramatic Persons and Moods," by S. M. B. Piatt—" Along the Way," by Mary Mapes Dodge—
" In Berkshire with the Wild Fk>wers," bv Elaine and Dora Goodale— " Risk, and Other Poems,"
by Charlotte F. BatesL 639; Woolsey's "Communism aiKl Socialism" — Gosses "New Poems" —
"His Majesty, Myself" — Higginson's "Short Studies of American Authors" — Linton's "Hints
on Wood-Engravmg " — SmitlTs "Brazil" — The School Experiment at Quincy, 789; James's
" Hawthorne '—Julian Hawthorne's "Sebastian Strom*." — Austin Dobson's Poems— Dr. Wines
and his Last Work — Gardner's "Common Sense in Church-Building" — Du Maurier's "English
Society at Home"— ITie Fourth Quarterly of "L'Art" (1879)— Champlin's "Chiki's Catechism of
Common Things" (illus.), 943.

The World's Work :

Important Advance in Metallurgy — Improved Builder's Platform — Novel Application of the Pendulum
to Useful Work— Memoranda^ 1 sj ; New Stage for Theaters— Influence of Time on Stress— Book-
sewing Machine— New Faradtc Machine— Calcubting Attachments for Weighing-S ca l es Fire-screen
for Forges — Palmelline — Sanitas, 316 : New Drawing Apparatus — New Fube-CTeaner— Steam Pave-
ment-Rammer — Electric Balance— New Uses for the Flexible Shaft — New Method of Obtaining m.
Temporary Blast— Memoranda, 475. New Fruit Press — Bridge Building— Etching Metals— G&ss
Sleepers— The Audiphone— The Steering Screw — Mechanical Fxtraction of Cream — Novd Photo-
Printing Process — Simple Elecbrkal Sigiial, 636; Novel Arrangement of the Interior of a 1 heater
(Qlustrated by Francis Lathro^), 796 ; Progress in EUectric Lignting — Dynamo-Electric Machines in
Telegraphy— Improved Rcfnecrating Process— Experiments with Blast— A New Form of Air-
Injcctor— A New Globe for ScEools, 9sa

Bric-A-Brac :

Love-Song ( W. M. Brigp)—Reyr. Biddlecomb IngcrsoU Vindkates himself (David S. Foster^ —
The Lory- Lye (A New Translation)^A Microscopic Serenade (Jacoh F. Henrici), with Drawmg
hy F. H. Lungym— The Wail of the " Personally Conducted" (//. C. Bunner)-^Ba\]ad of Blue
China (Andrew Lanr)j 157; Sweet and Low — American Books on the Paris Qtuiys — Wanted: A
Minister — Specimen Bncks fi - . -



Gustav A, £ndiich)-^A Lesson in Mythology (Eliza C. HaWi — Personal— Political-
(L. Frank Tooker), 318; The Star (W. r /V/Irrr;- Dictation Exercises (Virgin.
Les Morts Vont Vitc (/. B. M.)^\ Reply to "Speaking Features" (P. C. 5. J— 5



; frwn the Dictionary of the Future— In the Art Gallery (drawing by

•_ «#—•„. (£/iga C^//aiW— Personal— Political— In November

irginin S. Imlia) —
*.)— Song ( IVillutm
M. Brigg:s)—Efkgnjai (George 'Birdetyt^)^\% Life'WortlT Living? (G. J A.), ^7 1 The Beggar's
Mirror (Joel Benton )^'thc Polyphone (/rwin Russell)— Dtsign for Bicycler's Handkerchief (By
L. Hopkins)— An American Sketch (A^. G. Gww;— Beside Love's Bier (R. T. W. Duke, Jr.)—
Epigrams (C. H, Dennis) — From a Counting-House (H. C. Bunner), •39 ; Verses 1^ rwin
Runell (Rev. Heiuy's War Song— The Romaunt of Sir Kuss — Cosmos— An Exchanji^) — To Irwin
Russell (//. C. ^iwfifrr— reprinted from " Puck "^ Shakespeare in Italian— Poetical Amenides
(Austin Dohon and E. C. Stedman), 798 ; The Princes' Noses ( W. J, Linton)— An International
Episode fElisa C. HaU).



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ScRiBNER's Monthly.



Vol. XIX.



NOVEMBER, 1879.



No. I.



TIN-SHOP IN CREKNB STRBBT.

I CONFESS to finding no little pleasure in
lazy explorations of the region that lies
west of Broadway, south of Washington
Square, and north of Grand street. This
is the Quartier Franfais of New York.
The commonplace, heterogeneous style of
the buildings, and the unswerving rectan-
gular course of the streets are American, but
the people are nearly all French. French,
too, is the language of the signs over the
Vol. XIX.— I.



absinthe and more mnocent beer. Made-
moiselle Berthe, with her little sisters, fabri-
cates roses and violets out of muslin and
wax in the high attics of the tenement
houses. Madame Lange, with her arms
and neck exposed, may be seen ironing
snowy linen in front of an open window.
Here is Triquet, ie charcutier ; Roux, U
dottier; Malvaison, ie marchand de vin ;
Givac, Ie charcutier Aisacien^ and innumer-
able basement restaurants, where dinner.
vin comprisy may be had for the veriest trifle.

[Copyright, Scribncr & Co., 1879. ^ rights reserved. J



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CRiBNER's Monthly.



XIX.



NOVEMBER, i5-iv



f 'frri-^f-i-^-



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK.



The brazen faces of idle and vicious wom-
en stare out of the half-closed lattices at
the passer-by, and there are shady alleys,
unsafe to the stranger unattended; but



of the room were partly concealed by the
long, loaded shelves. There was a per-^
plexingly mixed quantity of small-wares,,
kindling wood, herrings, leather, groceries,.



RESTAURANT DU GRAND VATBL IN BLEECKBR STREET.



the denizens of the quarter are mostly
industrious, thrifty and honest. They earn
little and spend less. They talk French,
and retain many of the customs of the
motherland. It is notable how insular and
exclusive they are; for Broadway, with its
assimilative influence, is the eastern limit
of the district.

Turning down Grand street into Greene
one day, with half a dozen steps my friend
and I were transported in imagination to
France. At No. ^5 we descended into a
basement, the specialties of which were indi-
cated by the sign over the door : " Sabots et
Galoches — Chaussons de Strasbourg,*' but
the specialties were not immediately visible
in an abundance of the varied merchandise
of a general store. The small panes in the
window were not made to admit an abun-
dance of light, and that which would have
come in was obstructed by the sample articles
displayed along the sashes. The roof was
low, the counter wide and the proportions



and other preparations, the wrappers of
which bore the marks of French exportation.
Probably the neighbors had no alimentary
want that could not have been satisfied out
of the multiplicious stock. The delicate
drab pots of pdte de foie gras were visible
among much grosser articles of plebeian
diet ; but despite the array of wares and
the sufficiency, no customer was there when
we entered, and none came in while we
remained. A bell attached to a spring over
the door tinkled violently to announce us
and subsided with a nervous quiver. All
was so quiet and antique in the little store
that we dreamily thought of Miss Hepzibah
Pyncheon, and half expected to see her
come out of the inner room, which was open
to inspection through a windowed door.
But instead of the tall, angular, forbidding
shop-keeper of Salem, a courtly old lady
issued forth in a white Normandy cap, and
saluted us with a charmingly dignified
courtesy : ^^ Bon Jour, Messieurs.^* She was



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK,



old and white-haired, but her manners and
face had a lavender-like reminiscence of the
queen of a long-ago rosiere. That was a
fancy of my friend's, who asked to see some
sabots, ^^ Ahy oui T^ said Madame, and
suspecting that customers so unusual as we
were could only want them for private
theatricals, or, perhaps, a fancy dress ball,
she brought out of a recess a pair with red
tops and a garniture of bright-headed nails.
My friend shook his head ; we wanted the
real sabots des pay sans ^ and she laughed at the
idea as she showed us a pair of the coarse
wooden shoes with stiflf uppers that may
be seen on the feet of the plodders in agri-
cultural France. She told us that there was
very little demand for them ; that they cost
a great deal to import, and that the lowest
price at which she could sell them was
seventy-five cents! They did not seem
dear, and my friend, who is an artist, bought
them in expectation of finding a future use
for them in one of his pictures. " We
make smaller ones to order," Madame told
him. He replied he might require a pair,
and when she inquired about the size and



he exhibited his hand, she laughed again,
and perhaps thought of the rosiere with
whom he had associated her. " Ah, yes,"
she answered, " but ladies always wear them
padded with cotton wool." We then asked
her for one of her business cards. " It is quite
unnecessary, messieurs J' she remarked : " I
am known all over Ihe quartier'^ This was
said with a delicious air of mock dignity
and another profound courtesy. Through
the glass-door separating it from the shop,
we could see into the further room, where
by the light of a strong lamp a man was
putting together the parts of some delicate
machinery; and this was Madame's husband,
who adds to the profits of the store his
earnings as a watch-maker. The humble
scene was so essentially foreign that, having
said '•^Bon jour " to Madame, we went into
the street with more than tliree thousand
miles of distance imagined between us and
our actual situation. Just then, too, while
the bell over the door was still audible in
dying pulsations, a man brushed past us with
a bristling crop of black hair, a coarse black
mustache, small black eyes, and a sallow



LANDLADY OF THE "CRA1«> VATKL" AND HER PARROTS.



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK,



FRENCH BAKERY IN GREENE STREET.



complexion ; he wore a blue blouse, and car-
ried his hands in his pockets; this surely
was Jacques, unalienated from the idle
crowds around the wine-shops of Belleville.
While, as we have said, most of the people
in the quarter are of the industrial or crim-
inal classes, there js also a scattering of im-
pecunious music-teachers and professors of
languages, who maintain themselves with a
frosty air of shabby- gentility on a very, very
slender income. Literature and art have
devotees in a peculiar condition of allied
mental exaltation and bodily penury domi-
ciled in the dismal-looking houses, over the
doors of which a sign proclaims " Chambres
Meubl^es et Pension," — men whose lives
have no fruition, and whose occupations
do not embitter them by their futility, but
are held in higher esteem than by much
more successful votaries. After his unprofit-
able labor of the day, the poor professor
repairs to a restaurant, where he sits down
to a dinner of five or six courses ; he bows
profoundly to the landlady, who is cordial
or severe in her recognition according to
the items on the little slate which records
her accounts; he waves his hand airily to



some acquaintance, and leisurely begins his
meal. He has soupe aux croutons ^ veau h la
Marengo^ pommes /rites, a small portion of
Gruyere and a bottle of wine. He eats ap-
preciatively after the manner of a bon vivant;
he uses his napkin gently and frequently;
he glances blandly at the surroundings;
watching him, you would suppose the viands
were the choicest of the season, exquisitely
prepared, while in reality tliey are poor and
unsubstantial stuff, the refuse, perhaps, of
better restaurants. Having finished the edi-
bles, he calls for a " gloria," that is, black
coffee and cognac, and sipping this, he com-
munes with his fancies which come and
vanish in the blue waves of cigarette smoke.
His aspect bespeaks perfect complacency —
" Fate cannot harm me ; I have dined to-
day." It is the happy knack of his kind
and country to extract the fullest enjoyment
from the least considerable materials, and
he returns to his attic, or seeks some cafi
for the rest of the evening, in a mood of
blissful contentment.

It is in the restaurants and cafis of the
region that we learn the frugality of the
denizens. Here in Bleecker street, at the



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK,



comer of an intersecting thoroughfare, is
die ** Restaurant du Grand Vatel," named
after the celebrated and heroic cook of Louis
the Fourteenth, wlio, utterly chagrined at the
failure of a certain fish to arrive in time for
one of his dinners, ended his life by run-
ning a sword through his body. The sign
of this restaurant indicates an exceedingly
moderate tariff, thus : Tons les plats^ eight
cents; plats extra varies; cafe supMeur^
three cents, and cafe au lait, five cents ; but
the menu is such a marvel that it is worth
reproducing. A dish of soup and a plate
of beef and bread are ten cents ; soupe aux
croiHtons, that is, with toasted crusts, costs
five cents ; bcBuf legumes^ ten cents ; veau h
la Marengo^ twelve cents ; mouton h la Ravi-
gotte, ten cents; ragout de moutons aux
pommeSy eight cents; bctuf braise aux aig-
fions, ten cents; macaroni au gratin^ six
cents; celeri salade^ six cents; compote de
pommeSy four cents ; fromage Neufchdtely three
cents; Limbourg, four cents, and Gruyere
three cents. Bread is one cent extra.
Think how far fifty cents will go in so rea-
sonable an establishment! The professor's
dinner, wine included, costs him the extrav-
agant sum of forty cents, and with five cents
added for a roll and a cup of coffee in the
morning, that sum covers his daily expendi-
ture for. food.

The floor is sanded, and the little tables
are covered with oil-cloth, each having a



pewter cruet in the center. A placard flut-
ters from the wall, announcing a grand fes-
tival, banquet, ball and artistic tombola in
celebration of the eighth anniversary of the
bloody revolution of March i8th, 187 1,
under the auspices of the " Society des
R^fugi^s de la Commune," — **Family tick-
ets, twenty-five cents ; hat-room checks, ten
cents" — ^from which we gather that the
" Restaurant du Grand Vatel " has some
queer patrons. The landlady sits behind a
little desk in a comer. She is a woman of
enormous girth, with short petticoats which
reveal her thick, white woolen socks; her
complexion is dark, her eyes are black and
deep, and large golden rings dangle fi-om
her ears. A little man with red hair, and
loose, slovenly slippers, who shuffles un-
tidily about, is Leroy, le propri^taire. Two
revolutionary parrots are perched over
Madame's head, and break Uie silence by
their horrid cries. ^^Tranguille /^^ cries she,
tapping them with a cane, and they remain
quiet for a few minutes, to resume their
shrieks until she again admonishes them.
No customers are present, and the cuisinier
is staring idly out of the window. His
hands and arms are very dirty, but his head
is crowned by a toque of unsurpassable
whiteness. The gargon also is unoccupied,
and stares wonderingly at my friend and me,
who are trying a six-cent dish of macaroni
au gratin, which proves to be not altogether
unpalatable. By and by a faded litde gen-
recognize
acquaint-



TAVBRNB ALSACIBNNB, INSIDE AND OUT.



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK,



ances that beconfe familiar to us in the
passing throngs of a great city — we see
them day after day and year after year,
until every peculiarity of their features is



fitting as exactly as an epidermis ; a silk hat
with an obsolete flat brim, and a pair of
prunellos ; conspicuously pinned to the
lapel of his coat were the ribbon and silver



MAKING ARTIFICIAL LEAVES.



impressed upon our memory ; we see them
growing older and grayer, with the fluctua-
tions of fortune manifest in the shabbiness
or fashionableness of their attire; but we
never know them, and always pass with a
greeting that is mute. This little gentle-
man who enters the " Restaurant du Grand
Vatel," — ^how many years is it since we first
saw him ? Long as the time is, we do not
detect the least change in him. What he
was, strolling out of the quartier into the
leafy quiet of Washington Square one morn-
ing in spring six years ago, he is still.
There is a degree of impenshability about
him. We were struck then by the elasticitjr
of his diminutive but graceftil figure, his
military bearing, and the superlative neat-
ness of his dress. He wore a suit of dark
blue cloth, the double-breasted frock coat



cross of some foreign order ; the cloth was
thread-bare, the hat no longer glossy, and
the boots were by no means water-proof;
he walked erect and with a measured tread
and his black mustache was fastidiously
curled. In every particular he is unaltered
to-day; his clothing shows precisely the
same degree of wear ; his step is as buoyant,
his face as fi-esh, and his mustache as black
as ever. If his life had been suspended im-
mediately after our first meeting, and his
garments packed in camphor, secure firom
moth and sunshine, neither animation nor
garments being resumed until now, the res-
toration could not have shown completer
immutability. The genteel poverty of his
dress and the dignity of his manners are
combined with a placid reserve and an au-
tomatic precision of movement. " He is



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THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK.



probably an old soldier and adherent of
the Empire," said my friend, " and above a
soldier a beau : punctilious in points of
honor and Quixotically exalted in ideas.
Truly, this is a pitiable exile for him. I
<:an see a yearning for Paris and his old-
time haunts in his eyes, but mixed with the
bitterness of his fate is a sweet resignation."

The door opened, and a half-intoxicated,
l>lear-eyed fellow entered with a great noise.
Leroy tried to put him out, but he became
-effusively affectionate. "A good fellow,"
said the proprietor tp us, " but he received a
fortune from France a month ago and has
been drunk ever since." Extremes meet at
the "Restaurant du Grand Vatel." The
poor professor and the gentlemanly old
soldier set their " glorias " on tlie same
benches with sottish artisans to whom labor
is a demur ressort.

At the ** Taveme Alsacienne " in Greene
street, a lower and more vicious class is to
be seen. We enter a gloomy basement with
an impoverished bar at one side and a
much-worn billiard table at the end. It
matters not what the hour is, whether it be
in the forenoon, afternoon, or past midnight.
A circle of men is gathered around the
tables absorbed in piquet, ^cart6 or vingt-
et-un. Most of them are without coats,
and the shabbiness of their other garments
is lit up by a brilliant red bandanna kerchief
•or a crimson overshirt. Keen glances are
shot at us; for the tavern has a certain
^Uen^U outside of which it has few custom-
ers, and suspicion is rife at our invasion.
A stranger in the " Taveme Alsacienne " is
very likely to be a spy or a detective, and
the hahituis are sensitive under inspection.
They are drinking wine, vermouth, and
greenish-opal ine draughts of absin th e. Stag-
gering in unnerved and stupefied from the
previous night's debauch, they show few
signs of vitality until four or five glasses of
the absinthe have been drunk, and then
they awaken ; their eyes brighten and their
tongues are loosened — the routine of play,
smoke and alcohol is resumed.

Besides the ordinary trades — the butcher's,
the baker's, the grocer's, and the carpenter's
— ^which are supported by all communities,
and which in the French quarter have na-
tional representatives, the industries of the
colony are limited, with a few exceptions,
to artificial flower-making, leaf-making and
feather-dyeing. In the attics of the tene-
ment houses entire families are found en-
gaged in one of these occupations. The
materials are supplied by the large manu-



facturing firms, and out of muslin and wire
roses, lilies and daisies grow in cheap pro-
fusion for the unfashionable trade. Some-
times one woman hires a number of chil-
dren, paying each fifty cents a week, and
the little hands are employed on the sim-
plest details. Again, Mademoiselle Julie
and her sister, Marie, work all alone in their
" sky-parl9r," and manage to live comfort-
ably and decently on very small earnings,
indeed. Embroidery is also largely engaged
in, giving employment to both men and
women ; and sweetmeats are manufactured
which rival in appearance the most appe-
tizing imported bon-bons. Onef little shop
is kept by an ingenious person, who devotes
himself to repairing damaged bric-k-brac
and art treasures; he promises to renew
pictures blistered by fire, to put together a
broken statuette so that not a trace of the
operation can be seen, or to restore a
precious meerschaum suffering from an ag-
gravated fracture. All the occupations of
the quarter are " light," requiring taste and
adroitness rather than physical strength.
Among others in the colony are large num-
bers of skilled artisans, who are brought
from France for a term of years by such
firms as Tiffany's, and who are handsomely
paid.

It is not easy to form an exact estimate
of the whole number of French in the city.
We had been informed that it was about
twenty thousand, and we visited the shabby
little consular office in Bowling Green to
verify the statement. But the consular
agents did not know; the archives of a con-
sidar office are usually indeterminate or una-
vailable. M. Munier, editor of the " Cou-
rier des fitats Unis," fixed upon twenty-four
thousand as the probable number, ctuiously
divided by him as follows: about eight
thousand permanent residents of the city,
who have made it their final home ; about
eight thousand who, like the imported
workmen of Tiffany's, have come here to
stay a period of from five to ten years, and
eight thousand who are here " prospecting,"
and do not usually remain more than two or
three years. The names of eight thousand are
in the city directory. At least one-half of the
whole number do not speak English fluently,
or at all among themselves, and about one-
third are ignorant of the language. Neither
the proprietor of the " Restaurant du Grand
Vatel," nor he of the " Taveme Alsacienne,"
nor the polite old dame who sells sabots^ can
talk except in their native tongue. But a
school for teaching English to French adults



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8



THE FRENCH QUARTER OF NEW YORK.



has been opened by the Board of Educa-
tion, the female department in Marion street,
and the male department in West Thirteenth
street ; these are well filled. There are four



homes, and giving money to others or find-
ing employment for them. Two daily news-
papers are published in the French language,
the largest of which is the " Courier," a



TUB COOK OP THB GRAND VATSL.



French churches in the city,— K)ne Roman
Catholic and three Protestant, — and at least
twenty French benevolent societies, one of
which, the "Soci6t6 Cuhnaire Philanthro-
pique," is very wealthy. The " Soci6t6 de
Bienfaisance" fills a position of varied use-
fulness in helping the sick and penniless,
sending the old and infirm to their former



member of the Associated Press. Many
years ago, the late James Gordon Bennett



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