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But what may not be said of these one hundred and twenty-six 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 quais, on the Boulevards, in the Palais Royal ; whereever 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. *
It is thus that the boy, taking with superior energy
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 Bassompièrre,” that "rentier Richelieu," who imitates the vices without having the wit, the arrogance, without having the nobility, of a bygone age ; who might be the 'roué' of the regent but for his dullness—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 extravagance ?*
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 “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 licen
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 Héloise, in the arms of his 'grisette (Thérèse,) there is a small but clean and neat (restaurant. The name over the door is Flikoteau—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 fair 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
tious manners have not even the excuse of fashion, and their birth is usually as low as their morality.
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 is preparing for a life of energy or science. With them is the future*—but where is the past?
* 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 “ Ecole de Droit merely fulfil a certain form, and visit their college as we do our university, without much intention of bene fiting 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 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 them.
Come with me, reader: it is our last pilgrimage: come with me to that spot, where, selves to the theatre. The vacant time not thus 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 litté. raires' 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