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difference he pays twenty-two sous, instead of eight francs, for his soup, his two dishes, his wine, and his desert. You say the meat is bad, the wine is sour, the desert is meagre, it may be so; he does not enter into these details. His dinner is composed of the same number of dishes, and has the same appearance that it would have if he were six times as rich. This is all he knows, and with this he is perfectly contented. Does he fancy a bath to quicken his flagging pulse, and flatter himself into the belief that he is not yet what should be called aged? Do you suppose that he is to abstain from this bath because he is poor? No; he is merely to abstain from the Bains Chinois where he would pay three francs, and go to the Bains rue Montmartre, where he has the same portion of warm water for ten sous. Is he of an amorous propensity? He sighs not, it is possible, in the foyer and the coulisses. He repudiates from his midnight dreams the voluptuousness of the opera dancer, the agacerie of the actress; he seeks not his bonne fortune at the banker's ball, or the duchess's conversazione—but he inspires with his flame the fair lampiste opposite; or reposes more languidly in the easy arms of the fair fringemaker,* whose aërian habitation is approximate to his own. Has he that incongruity of disposition which distinguished our roving forefathers,† holds he in equal abomination the quiet of his quarter and the exercise of his legs,-and is he compelled to choose either dread alternative, because to him neither horse, nor groom, nor cabriolet appertains? Heaven forbid! neither does he call to the cabriolet or the hackney-coach on the stand, which, in the first place, would be an exertion, and the next, an extravagance. No; he abides inertly at his door, with threepence in his hand, and the first omnibus that passes transports him from the Jardin des Plantes to the Rue de Rivoli. Paris, we know, even in these times of civilization, is but miserably furnished with one necessary convenience. Don't let our poverty-stricken Petronius complain! The magnificent Vespasiennes anticipates his wants, and supplies the deficiency which the archi
* A class very numerously circulated throughout the topmost regions of
+ Mirà diversitate naturæ cum îdem homines sic ament inertiam et oderint quietem.-Tac.
That is, from one extremity of Paris to the other. § Des commodités ambulantes qui s'appelent ainsi.
tect has left in his humble dwelling. What is denied to him? is there a passion he cannot indulge ?—even that passion of the rich man, the strongest perchance that the rich man possesses the passion which filled the pension-list of Louis XVI., and has crippled the pride of our nobility? Is he deprived of its indulgence? can he not ruin himself if he pleases ? can he not throw his fortune avariciously away with piles of accumulated gold before his eyes? Here the state provides for his desires, and the gambling-house and the lottery ticket are accommodated to the ambitious prodigality of his miserable purse. I said that few in Paris are rich, few poor. No workman employed gains upon an average less than about eight hundred francs per annum. Hardly any workman, willing to work, is without employment; and the average income of each Parisian, taking one with the other, has been considered one thousand francs. On this fact reposes the equality which strikes us, and the reign of that middle class, whose dominion and whose aspect I have described. This income of one thousand francs Mr. Millot has divided, and according to his calculation -the washerwoman costs the Parisian more than the schoolmaster; the new-year's gift more than the accoucheur; the theatre twice as much as the nurse; the librarian and bookseller half as much as the theatre; the bath the same as the bookseller and librarian; and the money spent in luxury and amusements considerably more than that which is expended in the purchase of fuel, the dearest article of Parisian existence. Nor let it be thought that Parisian gaiety is owing to a Parisian climate entirely! They who are now watching the weatherglass in our land of fogs, may like to know that the Parisians themselves have, in the way of weather, something to complain of.
Paris has in the year (on an average of twenty years) but one hundred and twenty-six days tolerably fine."
But what may not be said of these one hundred and twentysix days! They contain the history of France. The sun shines; and behold that important personage who has so frequently decided the destiny of Paris! See him in his black and besmeared blouse, his paper cap, and his green apron. There he is on the quays, on the Boulevards, in the Palais Royal; wherever Paris is more essentially Paris-there he is, laughing, running, shouting, idling, eating. There he is at the fête, at the funeral, at the bridal, at the burial, above all— at the Revolution. Hark, as he cries Vive la France! vive la liberté ! And he rushes on the bayonet, he jumps upon the cannon, he laughs at death-he fears nothing-but a shower of rain; and was ever found invincible until Marshal Lobau appeared against him,-with a water-engine. Such is the gamin of Paris, who, in common with the gods, enjoys the privilege of perpetual youth. Young at the League, young at the Fronde, young in 1789, young in 1830, always young and always first when there is frolic or adventure; for the character of the Parisian is the character of youth; gay, careless, brave at all ages; he is more than ever gay, and careless, and brave, when he is young.* Such is the gamin of Paris; and in spite of his follies and his fickleness, there is something in the rags darkened by gunpowder, in the garment torn by the sword, and pierced by the ball, that a foreigner respects. But who is that young man, fantastically attired, a buffoon at the carnival, a jockey at the race-course-the beloved of prostitutes and parasites, gorged with the gluttony of pleasure, besmeared with the dirt of brothels and debauch? Who is that modern Polemon, to whom philosophy would address herself in vain ?-who is that "bourgeois Bassompierre,” that "rentier Richelieu," who imitates the vices without having the wit, the arrogance without having the nobility, of a by-gone age; who might be the roué of the regent, but for his dulness-the courtier of Louis XV., but for his vulgarity-who thinks to disguise the stupidity of his ideas under the coarseness of his language, and to illustrate the sordidness of his birth by the glare of his extravagances ? +
* It is thus that the boy, taking with superior energy the universal direction, never fails to be at the head of every Parisian movement.
† Such is the type of one of that clique of young men, vulgarly called
At least there was talent and intelligence among the élégans of Versailles, and the force and the character which they wanted at the court they found on the scaffold..
But let us turn from those windows where you see light and music, and champagne, and tumult, to yon dim and learned square, overshadowed by the Sorbonne! There, opposite the miserable building, where Rousseau dreamt of Heloise in the arms of his grisette (Thérèse), there is a small but clean and neat restaurant. The name over the door is Flicoteau-name sacred to the early dinners of the wise and eloquent of France. Enter between three and four o'clock, and take your seat at one of the small tables, the greater number of which are already occupied! To your right there is a pale young man his long hair, falling loosely over his face, gives an additional wildness to the eye, which has caught a mysterious light from the midnight vigil; his clothes are clean and threadbare; his coat too short at the wrists; his trowsers too short at the legs; his cravat of a rusty black, and vaguely confining two immense shirt collars, leaves his thin and angular neck almost entirely exposed. To your left is the native of the south, pale and swarthy; his long black locks, parted from his forehead, descend upon his shoulders; his lip is fringed with a slight moustache, and the semblance of a beard gives to his meditative countenance an antique and apostolic cast. Ranged round the room, with their meagre portions of meat and bread, their pale decanter of water before them, sit the students, whom a youth of poverty and privation are preparing for a life of energy or science. With them is the future-but where is
"lions," whose lives are spent on the Boulevards, in the Bois de Boulogne, at the theatre, the gambling-house, and the brothel. Their conversation is an account of their disgusting orgies-their vulgarity, their bad taste, their ostentatious and licentious manners have not even the excuse of fashion, and their birth is usually as low as their morality.
*I have sketched, as the portraits most characteristic of the place, two young men belonging to that class called "la jeune France." The picture would not be faithful if universally applied. Neither are all students so serious and so learned as I presume my students to be. Many who go to the École de Droit" merely fulfil a certain form, and visit their college as we do our university, without much intention of benefiting by the instructions they receive there. These are chiefly the young men of wealthy families. Their allowance from four hundred to eight hundred francs a month, enables them to lead an idle and joyous kind of life. There is a café at the corner of the Rue de l'Odéon, famous for the pretty lady at the counter, where they usually
the past? Come with me, reader: it is our last pilgrimage: come with me to that spot, where, unhallowed as the flame that gleams about corruption, an unnatural gaiety lives among the dead!-come with me to those tombs, fantastically ar
breakfast, and occupy two or three hours in the morning in eating, reading the newspapers, and making love. In the evening they cross the water, dine in the Palais-Royal, and frequently treat themselves to the theatre. The vacant time thus not disposed of is occupied in smoking, talking, (still a favourite amusement of the French), and reading the light works of the day, which fill the innumerable salons littéraires, or circulating libraries, in that part of Paris where the schools are situated. This indeed is a circumstance worth remarking; no young Frenchman is ever completely idle, completely illiterate, and completely uninformed. In our universities the great mass of those who are called 'gay men' in contradiction to 'reading men,' the great mass of these never open a book, never take up a newspaper, never read three lines even of Byron or Walter Scott, or the most popular living authors of the day; they hunt, they shoot, and drive; or, if they cannot afford the reality of these amusements, they gratify themselves with the shadow, and are to be seen smoking in a shooting-jacket, or lounging in the livery stables, or leaning out of the windows and flourishing a tandem-whip. The theatre, which would have afforded this set of scholars some resource and some education, is peremptorily forbidden, though it would be easy, by proper regulations, to obtain in it a means for elevating the taste, and giving a literary turn to the mind of many who are otherwise inaccessible to instruction or improvement. In Paris the most idle of these gay men I have been describing have a certain elegance of taste and love of letters. They read, they admire, they frequently worship the popular genius of the time, and youth is not passed without producing some of those elevating and poetic emotions which ennoble the after-passages of life. But to few of the students is literature merely an amusement, few are the idle and jovial possessors of three or four hundred francs a month. The medical students, more particularly those born of poor parents, and struggling expressly for a profession, are frequently in a state of almost absolute destitution, and forty, fifty, and sixty francs a month is the allowance of many of these young men, who have lodging, food, and fire, and clothing, to procure as they can out of this pittance; bad living, unhealthy air, and hard study, produce a frightful proportion of deaths amongst these unhappy youth. The only comfort and consolation which their misery receives is at the hands of the grisette. This friend, and honest, though perhaps too indulgent, personage, who has no parallel in our society, is the student's beneficent genius. Between the grisette and the student there exists a species of fraternity: they lodge frequently in the same house. If the student be ill, the grisette attends him; if the student's linen be out of repair, which happens frequently, the grisette mends it for him. The student, in his turn, protects the grisette, gives her his arm on a Sunday in the Luxembourg, or pays the necessary penny, and conducts her across the bridge. Equally poor, equally in need of kindness and protection, brought together by their mutual wants, they form naturally and immediately a new link in society.
All this part of Paris, in the neighbourhood of the Luxembourg, is tinged by the character of its youthful inhabitants. They feel this; they feel they are in their own domain; they walk with their heads high, and their caps, or hats,