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litary nation, you should pass under the arch, built to commemorate its reign of victories. Coming to dwell among the most gay and light-hearted people in the universe, you ought at once to rush upon them in the midst of their festivities. Enter Paris, then, by the Champs Elysées ! Here are the monuments that speak to you of the great soldiers; and here the guinguettes that display to you the great dancers of Europe. You pass by the old gardens of Beaujon; you find the caserne (and this tells you a good deal of the nation you are come to visit) intermingled with cafés and salons littéraires ; and you see the chairs under the trees, and the open spaces left for the ball; and if you stop to read an advertisement, it will talk of the Chevaux mécaniques, and of the Bal paré, and of the Concert des Champs Elysées,- and the sun shines upon the golden cupola of the stately Invalides, and on the glittering accoutrements of the sauntering soldier; and before you are the Tuileries, with their trees and terraces, which yonder misplaced monument * cannot quite conceal; and to your right are the Seine and the Chamber of Deputies, and to your left the Corinthian architecture of those tall palaces that form the rue de Rivoli. The tricoloured flag floats from the gates of the Royal Gardens; the military uniform, mixed up with the colouring of every passing group, enriches it with its deep-blue and its bright scarlet; the movement about you is universal : equipages of all kinds are passing in all directions, the movement is universal, but differing from that you are accustomed to in England,- the movement is the movement of idleness and of pleasure; an indescribable mirth reigns in all you see, and the busy gaiety of Paris bursts upon you with the same effect as the glad brightness of Italy. The people, too, have all the habits of a people of the sun; they are not the people of one stock; collected in every crowd are the features and the feelings of divers races and different regions. In Paris you are not in the climate of Paris-France is brought into a focus, and concentrated in the capital you find all the varieties that vivify the many provinces of the kingdom. It is this which gives a city of the North the gracious and agreeable aspect of the South, and transports the manners that are legitimate to the olives and the myrtles of Provence, to the elms of the Champs Elysées and the Boulevards. London is the city of the English, as Constantinople is the city of the Turks. -Paris is the city of Europe: it unites more than any city in the world the wants of a variety of classes, the habits of a variety of people. With the snow you have the sledge of St. Petersburg; with the summer the music, the nightly promenade, the ice, the lemonade, and all—but the sea and the sky of Naples.
* The Egyptian column.
I am now at the corner of the rue de la Paix. It is a beautiful autumnal evening. What a dazzling confusion of colours and images! white houses, green trees, and glittering lights. The rattling equipage rushes by me, the whispering saunterer lounges before me, and the group is seated round the café; and the music is far enough away to lose all harshness —and in the back-ground—behold! the piles of buildings, and the lines of lamps, rising one above the other, and broken at intervals by some dark mass of verdure. It is almost impossible to describe this scene, and as impossible to gaze upon itwithout inhaling some portion of the spirit it breathes, without feeling a character more soft and southern-a ray of light that had not penetrated there before, stealing into the severe and sombre recesses of one's northern imagination. Here it is more especially that the Boulevards justify the old French proverb, which says,—“When le bon Dieu is out of humour, he opens one of the windows of heaven and recovers his spirits by a glimpse of this long line of trees.” There is certainly nothing that I know of like the Boulevards in any other city in the world.
The Boulevards contain a part of every district of Paris, and exhibít every
class of Paris.—Description from the Rue Royale to the Rue de la Paix.--Terraces of the Rue Basse du Rempart.--Stalls opposite, horses, equipages, &c. &c.-Description from the Rue de la Paix to the Rue de Richelieu.-Voluptuaries.--Gamblers.-Stockbrokers.--The man of La Bruyère.-Portraits.—Description after the Rue Montmartre.—Parisian Medici. Further on, commerce more modest.–Gaieties.—Dubureaux, waxworks, &c.—Boulevard Beaumarchais.—Place Royale.--Elephant.-Boulevards the best place to see the French people, and to study the French history.--Paris, 1814. -Review by Louis Philippe.
OXFORD STREET gives one aspect of London, Regent street another, the Strand another, but the Boulevards, running directly through Paris, display the character of the town in all its districts, and the character of its inhabitants in all their classes.
Go from the Rue Royale to the site of the old Bastille. You first pass by those zigzag and irregular houses that jut out upon the old rampart, and which have rather a picturesque appearance, from the gay little terraces and balconies, which, when there is a ray of sun, are sure to be lit up by it; and opposite, you have the stalls, gay also (notwithstanding their poverty), where you may get nailed shoes and cotton-net braces, and works “ six sous the volume !" stalls which carry, even into this scene of wealth and pleasure, the democracy of the epoch, and say that the people are every where buying, lounging, reading. And here you have a happy opportunity of admiring the vast variety of Parisian equipages—the poor and the rich are on horseback, on foot, in carriages, in tilburies, in citadines, in demi-fortunes, in omnibuses, hurrying to or from the Champs Elysées.—but once passed the rue de la Paix, in the neighbourhood of the Bains Chinois, the Café de Paris, and Tortoni's, you are in a different region. It is not only a throng perpetually changing, which you now see-the
cavalcade has in a great measure ceased; and you perceive a new and a more lazy, and a more lounging crowd seated at the doors of the cafés, or strolling up and down before them. Those gentlemen who, to use the French expression, “ eat their fortunes," are here; and here are the gamblers of the stock exchange, of the salon, and of Frascati's—the passionate race who crowd existence into a day, who live every minute of their lives, and who have come to enjoy the hour they have snatched from agitation. Here they saunter listlessly in the sun, or stand in clusters at the corners of the streets.
This is the spot, too, where you are sure to meet that smirking and happy gentleman, who, as La Bruyère says, “encounters one everywhere”--that gentleman whom we just met in the Tuileries, whom we saw the night before at the opera, and whom we should be sure to stare in the face at the Variétés. Sit for half an hour on one of those chairs—there is hardly any class, the type of which will not pass before you! The pretty nurse of the Chaussée d'Antin, the old bachelor of the Marais, the gros bourgeois of the rue St.-Denis, the English family of two sons and seven daughters—all these you are sure to see in turn. But there are portraits sacred to the place! Yonder elderly gentleman is one! He is about fifty-five years of age; tall, with a slight bend forward; he moves with a certain stiffness; his hair, closely cut, is a dark-grey; his features, rather delicate and aristocratic than otherwise, are weather-beaten, and perhaps in some degree worn and sharpened by debauch; he wears a black neckcloth; the part of his shirt that is seen is remarkably white; his coat, decorated with a red ribbon, is buttoned up to his chest, and only just shows a stripe of a pale yellow waistcoat; he walks with a cane, and has that kind of half-haughty, half-careless air by wbich Bonaparte's soldier is still distinguished. A little behind him are two men, arm in arm; the hat of one, elaborately adjusted, is very much bent down before and behind, and turned up in an almost equal proportion at the sides ; his waistcoat is peculiar and very long; his trowsers large about the hips, and tightening at the foot; he wears long spurs, immense moustaches, brandishes a cane, spits, and swaggers. The other, as insignificant in appearance as his friend is offensive, wears a little round hat, a plain spotted summer waistcoat, light gray trow
sers, and a thin stick, which he rather trails than flourishes. The inoffensive gentleman looks at nothing—the swaggering gentleman looks at everything : the inoffensive gentleman plays at whist, and creeps into society—the swaggering gentleman lives at the theatres, and drives about an actress. And now see a man, tall, dark, with an air in which fierceness and dignity intermingle! He walks alone : sometimes he shuts his eyes, sometimes he folds his arms; a variety of occasions on which he lost, a variety of chances by which he might have gained, give every now and then a convulsive twitch to his overhanging eyebrow-he meets a red-nosed gentleman, of sleek and comely aspect, and who steps upon his toes ;—the two walk arm-in-arm together towards the rue de Richelieu.
Pass on to the rue Montmartre and the Boulevard takes a different aspect. The activity of business mixes itself with the activity of idleness; here are the large magazines of the Parisian Medici; the crowd, less elegant, has the air of being more employed. Pass on again--commerce assumes a quieter appearance ; its luxurious companions have disappeared; there are no chairs, for there is no leisure ; but go a little further, and the gaieties recommence; the gaieties, this time, not of the nobilace, but of the populace --not of the aristocracy of the Chaussée d'Antin, but of the aristocracy of the Temple. Grouped round yonder stage, much resembling the antique theatre of Thespis, you see the mob of modern Greece, enchanted with the pleasantries of Dubureaux :* and here you may put into the lottery for a cake, and here you may have your destiny told for a sou; and the great men--the great men of France--the Marshals and Generals of the empire, the distinguished orators of the Restoration, the literary celebrities of the day-Ney, Foy, Victor Hugo,--are there before you, as large-a great deal larger, indeed-than life; for the multitude are rarely satisfied with things just as they are; they like to see their heroes fresh, fat, and magnificently dressed ; and all this is easily accomplished when their heroes are—in wax. Where these great men at present exhibit themselves, there
* The famous street-actor, whose ambulatory stage has been celebrated by Monsieur Janin.