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was a true Bohemian. The Montmartrois was
free. *' Aussi fiers que les rois, sont les Mont-
martrois," was the last hne of his favourite and
most popular song.

But — one night Joyeux was not there to recite
that line. He was resting upstairs, said the
waiters. He might only take milk. He needed
absolute rest, perfect repose : he was enerve.
As he lay upstairs, however, the chansonniers
sang, the wizened little madman was crowned, the
audience applauded — Joyeux, with only a ceiling
between him and the salle, heard all that went
on. Days passed : Joyeux slept. Nights passed :
Joyeux, still resting, still enerve, was disturbed
by the music, the applause, the cries. When
friends went up to see him, he pressed their hands
and embraced them, and said he would soon be
able to sing them their favourite song again. It
was only dyspepsia, he declared ; they, however,
remarked that he looked gravely ill, and that
he seemed to be in pain. A week later some
fete-day came round, and the *' Ane Rouge" was
more crowded than ever. It was noisier too,
wilder, madder. The waiters were so busy, the
chansonniers so often recalled, that neither had
time to leave the salle and visit Joyeux. He was

174 Paris of the Parisians

sleeping, they hoped, or rejoicing that his cabaret
was crowded. He had only to ring his bell if he
needed anything.

But ■ — Joyeux needed nothing. Joyeux was
dying when the Salvation Army girls entered the
salle. Joyeux was dead when the wizened little
madman was being crowned. Joyeux was cold
when his chanson niers found him hours later
stretched on the floor with a bullet through his

It is not often that Montmartre discusses these
tragedies. Life is short on the '* Butte," and the
philosophy of its inhabitants is to be mad and
merry. New chansonniers will take the place of
those departed ; new cabarets will spring up when
older ones close. Why mourn then ? why worry ?
Were Montmartre to grieve over every passing-
away it would soon become the sorriest of hills,
and, instead of boasting people '' proud as kings,'*
present the appearance of a crushed and discon-
solate community. Occasionally, however, the
director and habitues of a cabaret exchange remin-
iscences when the entertainment is over and the
audience has dispersed. Anecdotes are related,
adventures described, in which past favourites
played a prominent part. Smoke rises ; absinthes
turn opal again and again ; the director and habitues
smoke and sip far into the night. The waiter
goes round, the clock goes round, and dawn comes
round ; the director and habitues are soiled with

The Tragedies of Montmartre 175

smoke and giddy from absinthe when, pale,
nervous, and exhausted, they totter forth. Outside,
policemen yawn, workmen pass, the street is being
flooded with a gigantic hose, the scaffolding of
the Sacre Coeur rises. Domes appear in the dis-
tance. The great arms of the famous red windmill
stand out.

" Quelle nuit, mon Dieu, quelle nuit ! '* exclaims
the director.

'' Quelle nuit ! '' repeat the habitues.

" I remember just such another with Salis,"
oes on the director.

"And I with his brother," "And I with
Joyeux," reply the habitues.

" They were famous viveurs," says the director.

" Famous, indeed," agree the habitues.

" Pauvre Rodolphe, Pauvre Gabriel, Pauvre
Andhre," sigh the director and the habitues, real-
ising, perhaps, that they themselves will be enerves
some day, and unable, like many a director, like
many a popular chansonnier, like many a habitue
now gone, to fulfil their evening engagement at

pr:^ catelan



Late hours excite, demoralise, depress. Nerves
leap. Tempers turn. A feverish irritabihty sets
in. Should doors slam, you start. Should friends
call, you are '' out." Should good advice be
gravely bestowed upon you, you groan. You
want no one. You love no one. You are
interested in no one. You are not yourself, not
responsible for what you feel or say. Like Elia
in his convalescence you are " for ever plotting how
to do some good to yourself,'' and " studying
little stratagems and artificial alleviations," decide
at length on the chemist's pick-me-up. Often,
however, it lays you low. Another antidote is
recommended : Hammam's where, stretched on a
slab, almost a corpse, you are bruised and bullied
by a brawny masseur, and finally played upon by a
spiteful hose. So exhausting is this treatment
that you must dream on a divan for hours after.
A third remains : Pre Catelan's, employed by
Parisians, the dissipated only, who find themselves

i8o Paris of the Parisians

strangely on the boulevards after dawn. Cabs
creep by and chifFonniers. Kiosks are about to
open. Soon servants will be up. It is six and
sunny. Sleep, once the business of life begun, is
no longer soothing — for pianos go, organs arrive,
servants sing. No one, in short, is considerate ;
no one walks lightly out of regard for the feverish
soul who lies lamenting in his room ; no one is
thoughtful enough to whisper " Hush ! " And
so the Parisian wisely determines to seek relief
where all are exhausted, where every one is pale,
where no one is busy.

" Cocher,'' he says to the driver of the nearest
open cab, *' Pre Catelan."

" Bien," replies the cocher.

" Doucement,'' he murmurs.

" Have no fear," answers the cocher, as he
starts driving gently towards the Champs Elysees.

Sunbeams chase the Parisian : he blinks, he
moves, and then a game begins. To alight on the
Parisian's weakest point is the cruel object of the
beams ; to defeat that end by seeking shade is
the pathetic role of the man ; but as the Parisian
changes corners the sunbeams follow, and when he
moves to the middle the beams give chase, and while
he shifts and shrinks, backs and bends, dodges and
darts, the beams dance gaily on his shirt which is
crumpled, on his gloves which are soiled, on his
boots which are dim. He, poor soul, makes a
fretful gesture, as though to banish them. They,

Pre Catelan i8i

enjoying the vanity of the thing, surround him.
He, craving for air, removes his hat for a
moment. They, seizing the opportunity to win,
dash all together at his eye. For hours it has done
its duty by remaining open ; for hours it has seen
and watched ; now, assaulted, it resists no longer,
and blinded, shuts.

Before the Parisian has reached the Rond-
Point he is dozing. He sleeps, he dreams — he
is deaf to all sounds, blind to all things. Sun-
beams still shine about him, but he minds them
not. Nor is he conscious of the dangerous
presence of a stalwart fellow who, while chatting
with a policeman, plays upon the trees with a
monstrous hose. The hose-man winks as the cab
approaches, and the policeman smiles. Then he
raises his instrument meaningly, and the cocher
grins. " Gare a Teau," he shouts, as his hose
shoots water within a yard of the vehicle, and as the
Parisian starts, stares, and shivers, the hose-man,
the policeman, and the cocher laugh. On goes
the cab ; on passes the Parisian, murmuring, but
soon in a second trance. He sleeps again, he
dreams again, he is deaf to all sounds once more,
blind to all things — so deaf that he does not hear
the cab that approaches behind, so blind that he
does not see its occupants as they pass. They —
two gay ladies and two gay gentlemen — are pale
as well, and also in evening dress. They, amused
at the Parisian, look back ; he, however, does not

1 82 Paris of the Parisians

see. They, to rouse him, shout, " Quelle honte,
mon Dieu, quelle honte ! '* He, disturbed again,
wakes with another shiver and another start.
" A tantot," they cry. *' Encore des noceurs,"
mutters the cocher, *' qui vont embeter les vaches.'*
Under the Arc, down the Avenue du Bois,
past the Chinois restaurant, into the wood, drives
the cocher. It is shady now, and it is green.
Great trees rise. Shrubberies spread on either side
of the path. It is peaceful and it is fresh. So
much calm has a soothing effect on the cocher :
his eyes close, he droops, he leans to the left, he
and his hat are in danger of falHng off. A smart
horseman canters by ; a trim bicyclist whizzes
past — turning, they smile. They, sober souls,
can afford to be amused : have they not risen
from a refreshing sleep ? Are they not still
glowing from their early bath .'' A keeper looks
on ; a tramp leers ; another horseman and another
bicyclist are as amused as the first. Neither the
Parisian nor the cocher heeds them ; neither so
much as turns until the cab gives a lurch. Then
the cocher makes a dash at his reins, and his fare
seizes the opposite seat. Then the cocher swears
at an inoffensive stone, and his fare murmurs,
" Doucement, mon ami, doucement — pas si vite.''
Then the cocher answers, " Have no fear ; we are
about to arrive." And then Pre Catelan, the
refuge of rakes, the resort of the exhausted,
appears immediately on the left.

Pre Catelan 183

It is not a pretentious place. Surrounded by
a hedge it is nothing better than a farm, with a
courtyard, an arbour, and an array of tables and
chairs. Gardening tools lie about, and dairy
utensils. In the background a long shed rises.
Attendants hurry across the yard : not sleek
waiters, but farm-hands, rustics. It is at once
simple and rural. Already installed at one
of the tables are the two gay ladies and two
gay gentlemen who cried "A tantot.'' Mugs
of the nursery kind are before them ; in them
is — milk. Other gay people sit about, with
more mugs also containing milk. At last the
Parisian is established : soon he has his mug, his
milk. And as each noceur drinks, he smiles ;
and as each lady sips, she revives ; and when the
first mug is empty another is ordered, and then a
third, and next a roll ; and when the meal is over,
Pre Catelan's patients are almost well. They lose
their lassitude, and sit up. They begin to jest,
and, pounding on the tables, call for more rolls and
more milk. Others come in and seat themselves.
Some know one another and share tables. '' Milk,''
they shout. *' Milk." A monotonous chorus
goes up: '*Du kit. Du kit. Du kit." Soon
some one rises to propose the health of these noble
animals, " les vaches." " Les vaches," answers
every one, flourishing mugs and rolls. " Allons
voir les vaches," suggests another, and a dozen
exhikrated worldlings follow him to the shed.

184 Paris of the Parisians

No one stops them ; they may enter. No one
challenges them as they pass through the opening
of the shed. Pre Catelan invites inspection.
Cows that must be hidden are old cows, exhausted
cows, infamous cows, he declares, whereas his are
choice cows, always well-groomed, ever ready to
" receive.'* Here each has her stall. Here each
stall is roomy. Here there are twenty-eight of
them, all occupied, all trim.

" Nous vous saluons, O vaches," cries some one.
Dignified creatures ! Unlike their nervous sisters
who become hysterical in fields for little reason,
these merely turn round. Worldlings themselves,
they survey their visitors with, composure. Ac-
complished hostesses, they stand at ease. No
one embarrasses them ; not even the inquisitive
lady who examines them closely, discovering odd
stripes here and peculiar patches there ; not even
her companion who admires their eyes and con-
demns their tails ; not even the " sportsman, bien
connu," who sounds their backs, follows their ribs,
and goes on his knees.

" Which," asks the Parisian, who has found
friends and become boisterous, "is my cow ? ''
The attendant cannot guess. " I refuse," con-
tinues the Parisian, "to go home until I have
sung my cow a song." As no one can point
her out, he resolves to sing to them all, one
after the other, starting with the first. " Te
souviens-tu, ma chere," he says to a brown

Pre Catelan 185

cow, '* notre sejour a la campagne ? " Then to
a black cow, " Te souviens-tu des fraises ? " and
to her neighbour, *' Te souviens-tu des roses?"
Neither remembers, apparently, for neither shows
the slightest emotion. " Te souviens-tu, ma chere,'*
he goes on before a fourth, '' mes tendresses
et tes larmes ? " Then, appealing wildly to a
fifth, " Te souviens-tu, ma chere, te souviens-tu ? ''
Entirely unamazed the cows continue to regard the
Parisian with infinite toleration as he continues his
serenade. Soon other guests sing ; then a cheerful
soul executes a step dance, afterwards many valse
— all the time the cows look on imperturbably.
In no way snubbed the Parisian (after having sung
to each cow in turn) approaches the first and calls
her his '' bijou,'' and his '' bebe," and his '' tresor,"
and declares that he, at least, remembers that
sunny day in the country, and that it is his dearest
memory, and that he lives to recall it, and that he
always did and always will. There is no tender
expression in her eyes as he speaks ; she is not
touched ; her heart is still her own. He, however,
persists in his declarations, and is about to caress
her forehead, when cries go up in the yard.
"Juliette," he says, " Romeo must go." And
Romeo rushes off, the rest rush off, followed now
by the mild compassionate gaze of Pre Catelan's
twenty-eight cows.

In the yard Pre Catelan's patients are chasing
Pre Catelan's ducks and hens. It is part of the

1 86 Paris of the Parisians

treatment ; and so the Parisian joins the pur-
suers, the others follow also, while the attend-
ants look on. With a certain languor the ducks
get out of the way. They are not really
terrified, being too accustomed to the thing.
They merely avoid the open, and install them-
selves under a table or behind a tree. Often,
surprised by a sudden attack from behind, they
stand still and look up — their pursuers, dis-
appointed at their indifference, and just a little
alarmed by it perhaps, retreat. The hens, how-
ever, hurry. They jostle one another ; they rise
in the air sometimes ; they make for the hedge.
Approached, they hasten off again, awkwardly and
angrily. When peace has at last been declared. Pre
Catelan's patients order more milk. Mugs arrive
again, and rolls. All traces of lassitude on the
part of the visitors have disappeared : they are
more dishevelled than ever, but no longer pale.
They say it must be eight, and laugh. They rise
cheerfully and pay. They seek their carriages or
cabs, but, as Paris is awake, give orders to raise
their hoods. Then, as the postman arrives with
letters for Pre Catelan, they, his patients, drive




As early as February, Parisians began to admire
the amazing novelties that workmen were pro-
ducing in the streets. Great mounds of earth
rose here and there. Deep and dangerous holes
were visible. Tools and boards lay about. Wiring,
roping, and fencing shut off corners, crossings,
and sometimes an entire thoroughfare. Traffic
was troubled, for cabs and omnibuses might not
pass freely as before. Often everything waited ;
it was usual to advance by spasmodic bumps and
jerks. And yet no one complained ; no one pro-
tested ; no one threatened to sue the State for loss
of time. Indeed, the Parisian was inclined to
haunt those mounds and holes, and to worry the
workmen. On his way to business he would
pause. At night he stopped again. It was
bizarre. It was unheard of. It was phenomenal.
See that heap. See that precipice. See that
sinister opening. What an age ! What a cen-
tury ! What a triumph of engineering ! Nom
de Dieu ! What miracle could compare to this

I go Paris of the Parisians

one — k Metropolitan ? Ponder a moment : beneath
Paris, people were soon to pass, thousands of
them. Trains would go to and fro as in the
open. Stations would receive the passengers en
route as on the Nord, Lights would burn as in
the streets. There would be a bar at each station ;
and you might drink at it, drink bock beneath
Paris, au dessous. See that precipice again.
Come closer to it. Peer down it. Look ! there
he is — that wall — that rock — he himself: le
tunnel ! What an age ! What a century !
Sac-a-papier ! Nom de Dieu !

In another neighbourhood the Parisian was to
be encountered looking up. Far above him
workmen were busy with a moving platform ;
to watch them, the Parisian paused on the curb-
stone, stretched his neck, stood on his toes. It
was epatant. It was prodigious. It was delirant.
" En plein air,'' now. Paris was to pass over
Paris. The streets would be deserted : every one
would be below them or above. One was to be
precipitated through the air. One was to be with
the birds. One would soon give up walking
altogether. One would be seen flying next, or
treading the air, or floating. . . . Inspecting
still, the Parisian might next have been observed
staring steadily at the banks of the Seine from the
Pont Alma or some other bridge. Temples rose
before him and palaces ; then domes and steeples ;
towers and turrets ; pillars and kiosks, all in a

" L'Exposition ! " 191

state of scaffolding, all as yet unfinished. Still —
it was sublime. It was extraordinary, also. It
was bewildering. Old Paris had come to life
again. A foreign Paris had sprung up ; there was
no need to travel — for a dozen foreign capitals
had their shops and corners, and would be open
soon, and presided over by their respective peoples.
The East was there. Wild lands hke India and
Africa were there. All the world was there. It
was enough to terrify one. It was enough to
prostrate one. It was enough to make one drink
a dozen absinthes, and see blue and green and
yellow. And so the Parisian trotted off, amazed
and bewildered. And so he sank on the chair of
a terrace, and called for refreshment. And so he
sipped silently for awhile, until his excitement
had subsided. Then, however, he spoke : spoke
eloquently, spoke gaily, spoke with pride, with
joy, and with hope. Storms, he admitted, had
burst over Paris ; but her atmosphere now was
calm and clear. Paris had suffered ; but Paris
was about to rejoice again. Prosperity was to
return. Riches were to pour into the city.
Fortunes, small and large, would soon be made.
And this was as it should be — for miracles had
taken place that had cost years of labour and bags
of gold ; miracles that no one would have dreamt
of years ago ; miracles that still amazed Parisians ;
miracles no Jess prodigious, no less unheard-of, no
less intoxicating than a moving platform and a

192 Paris of the Parisians

Metropolitan. Foreigners would come in thou-
sands, to throng pensions, flats, and hotels.
Emperors, princes, sultans, queer kings, chiefs of
alarming tribes, would bring gorgeous and glitter-
ing suites. Paris would be en fete. Paris would
be more brilliant than during the Empire. Paris
would ever remember, ever be proud of, ever feel
thankful for her Exposition. . . .

Surveying Paris from his hectic hill, the Mont-
martrois also expressed his belief in the Exhibi-
tion. The Metropolitan, the moving platform, the
shops and corners on the banks of the Seine, all
three were amazing, indeed, he admitted. Of
course they would attract the foreigner ; but —
they would not be the chief attraction. They
would not win the loudest applause, nor excite the
greatest admiration. They would not be the
most talked -about features of the fete — for the
cabarets and chansonniers of Montmartre would
be the clou. Montmartre stood supreme. Mont-
martre had no parallel. Montmartre would draw
the crowd from Old Paris and Foreign Paris to its
particular corner on the right-hand bank of the
Seine. There the chansonniers would " receive "
— " as proud as kings.'' There they would chant
new and startling ditties. There thousands would
surround, applaud, and adore them. Salis aine,
Salis jeune, Andhre Joyeux, alas, would not be
present to raise the reputation of the "Butte."
Others would have to do that ; and would. Mont-

" ^Exposition ! '' 193

martre produced poets every day. Montmartre
was never without genius. Montmartre was never
silent, never moody, never dull. And so France,
Europe, America, Africa, Asia, the World, would
have the chance of appreciating the genius of the
''Butte" when "Papa Emile " had once opened
the Exposition. . . .

In yet another part of Paris, in yet another
monde, talk turned every night upon the Exhibi-
tion. It was not the ordinary little Parisian who
chattered there, however, nor was it the Mont-
martrois — it was Paul and Pierre, Mdlles. Mimi
and Musette, Karl and Bibi. Somewhat sulky
were they ; for the Quarter had received no
invitation to erect an amazing temple and no
demand for a typical student cafe. And that, no
doubt, was why Paul prophesied evil for the
Metropolitan and moving platform. '* Never,'*
he said solemnly to Mdlle. Mimi, " never descend
into that Inferno. Never look at its tunnel.
Never cast your bright eyes on those mounds.
Never peer into those precipices." ''Why?"
asked Mdlle. Mimi. " Because," replied Paul,
" thousands of poor people will be buried down
there soon after the railway has been opened.
The tunnel will collapse. Paris will tread on
Paris. Groans will go up. Paris above will walk
merrily over dying Paris below. That, Mimi
dear, will be the end of the Metropolitan." Mdlle.
Mimi was horrified. Mdlle. Mimi shuddered a


194 Paris of the Parisians

little. Mdlle. Mimi pondered a moment, then
asked why no such disaster had befallen the
London Metropolitan. " Because," replied Paul,
" the soil of London is composed of coal and
iron. You may stamp upon it as much as you
please. But the soil of Paris is soft, and trembles
even if you dance. . . . Beware also, Mimi dear,
of that infamous monster that will rush along
above the streets. It also will collapse, and bury
thousands. Paris will be dangerous. Wise folk
will fly if they wish to escape a barbarous death ;
or keep, at least, to silent and innocent streets."
Still, Mdlle. Mimi disliked to hear so much evil
spoken of those two miraculous features of the
Exhibition, and to change the conversation admired
the shops and corners of Old and Foreign Paris.
"Admire them while you can," replied Paul, *'or
it will be too late. All those towers and palaces
will totter one day, and fall. Then more thousands
will be buried, and a great service in Notre Dame
will be held, and funerals will fill the streets, and

every one will be wearing crape, and "

'' Je suis rhomme que vous attendez," interrupted
Karl, who had just entered with Bibi. And bocks
were immediately ordered by '* Thomme qui est
alle chez Quesnay deux fois." Soon, however,
the talk turned upon the Exhibition again ; and it
was voted scandalous that Karl and Bibi had not
been invited to play a part. Karl should have
had a theatre to himself. There it should have

'^ L'Exposition ! " 195

been his duty to relate his adventures with
M. de Beaurepaire. Bibi should have had a
stall at which to take in umbrellas. When
visitors complained, it should have been Bibi's
role to rise and say, '' / steal umbrellas ? I? Bibi
la Puree ? Tami du Maitre ? Jamais ! Jamais ! "
And then Paul and Pierre and Gaston should have
taken turns in showing how each visitor was one
year younger than he (or she) thought, if he
(or she) declined to accept 1900 as the new
century. All this should have been included in
the programme of the Exhibition ; but no doubt
its promoters would suddenly recognise their fault.
Then they would issue an invitation ; and the
Quarter would refuse. Then they would urge
and implore ; and the Quarter would again say
no. Then they would declare the Exhibition to
be doomed without the assistance of the Jeunesse ;
and the Quarter would consent at last to bring
prosperity to Paris. And so it would not be un-
dignified to drink a toast. And so Paul was
called upon once more. And so Paul rose and
bowed and spoke : " Friends, all the world is soon
to visit us. And even if the Quarter has not its
corner in the coming fete, all the world will cross
the river to see the Jeunesse of the Rive Gauche.
And here the world will act intelligently and well
— for Mimi is a fairer sight than the infernal
Metropolitan, and Bibi a more amazing spectacle
than the infamous moving platform. And we,

196 Paris of the Parisians

the Jeunesse, will rejoice at the coming of the
world — for Paris has suffered in the past and
come through a crisis nobly, and done her utmost
to beautify herself, and is prepared to show her-
self an amiable and a hospitable city. And so we,
the Jeunesse, will drink to the world that is
coming, and drink again, comme autrefois, to the
Pantheon, Sorbonne, and Notre Dame, and drink

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