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Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day; Volume 1
by William Walton
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"Let us repudiate the title of 'Sire,'" said another.

"There is no longer any majesty here but that of the law and the people," cried Couthon.

It was accordingly decreed that the deputies should seat themselves and cover themselves before the king, that there should be provided but two similar arm-chairs, one for the king and one for the president, and, finally, that the king should receive no other title but that of Roi des Francais. Louis XVI complained bitterly of this indignity, but it was one of the least he was called upon to endure.

When the royal family were brought into Paris from Versailles by the armed mob, they arrived at the Tuileries at half-past ten in the morning of the 6th of October, 1789. No attempt had been made to prepare for their use this long uninhabited palace, and the little dauphin said to his mother: "Mamma, everything here is very ugly." "My son," she replied, "Louis XIV lived here, and found himself comfortable; we should not be more difficult to please than he was." On the 20th of June, 1791, they made an unsuccessful attempt to escape by flight, in disguise, from the constantly increasing perils that menaced them, but were recognized at Varennes and brought back in captivity. Nevertheless, the king was restored to his executive functions on the 14th of the following September, and it was not until after the attack on the Tuileries, on the 10th of August, 1792, brought about largely by the intrigues of the emigre nobles who had fled over the frontier and by the manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick, the general in command of the Prussian army, announcing that he was coming, in the name of the allied kings, to restore to Louis XVI his authority, that that hapless monarch finally lost it. While his faithful Swiss guards were being massacred in the hopeless defence of his palace, he was sitting, surrounded by his family, in the loge called that of the logographe, where he had taken refuge with the Assemblee, watching through the open grille, or iron railing, the tumultuous deliberations of that body while it enacted that the chief of the executive power was temporarily suspended from the exercise of his functions. Two days later, they were all conducted to the Temple as prisoners, where the king was lodged on one floor of the grand tower, while the queen, Madame Elisabeth, his sister, the young dauphin and his sister, occupied that above him.

On the 26th of October, the Journal de Paris announced that the ladies had taken possession of their new apartment on the third floor, which consisted "of four rooms very well furnished, two of which had chimneys and the other two, stoves. The son of Capet sleeps in his father's chamber. On a clock in the chamber of Louis there was the inscription: 'Le Pautre, clockmaker to the king.' The name of the king has been effaced and that of the Republic substituted." The "ci-devant royal family" were allowed to promenade in the garden, and the king sometimes walked on the leads of the tower, all the openings of which had been carefully closed so that he could not see below, nor be seen. During five months this captivity was maintained under a constant and frequently outrageous surveillance.

The Bourbons were not without their familiar spectre, a very celebrated one, who appeared to announce the approaching death of a member of the royal family, and on the eve of his execution Louis XVI asked Monsieur de Malesherbes if the White Lady were not walking in the corridors of the Temple. This was the Dame Blanche of the popular saying, who takes an interest in you when all other things cease to be of any concern to you: La Dame Blanche vous regarde, et les affaires des autres ne vous regardent pas.



During the Revolution, the Directory, the Consulate, and even the early days of the Empire, the fashions for both men and women were in many respects extravagant. The very elegant young men were known as muscadins and incroyables (incredibles) from their favorite expression,—all the r's being banished from their speech: "En veite, c'est incoyable!" But it was not always safe to laugh at them; in 1795, the black collar which the aristocrats substituted for the former green one, in sign of mourning, gave rise to many difficulties and altercations. In the midst of the Palais-Royal a republican received a bullet point-blank in his chest in return for an insult. Another, meeting one of these collets noirs, said to him: "B . . . of a Chouan, for whom dost thou wear mourning?" "For thee!" replied the other, and blew out his brains. When Napoleon came into power, there arose that misdirected imitation of the antique known as the style of the Empire, with a great display of jewelry on the costumes of both men and women; "the aristocracy of the French Empire presented a revival of the ostentatious patricians of Rome under the Caesars. The toilettes displayed were rich and magnificent, but it must be said that they were in bad taste."

The contempt which the members of the somewhat effete aristocracy of the ancien regime manifested, even down to the period of the Second Empire, for the virile and fire-new nobility of Napoleon's family, generals and marshals, was generally as puerile as it was unpatriotic, but the latter only too frequently presented subject for sarcasm. In one of the most recent of the many Napoleonic memoirs, those of the Comtesse Potocka, this lively Polish lady describes the great personages who surrounded the Emperor in the winter of 1806-1807, at Warsaw: Murat, parading himself in the salons "with the majestic air of a comedian assuming the role of a king;" the young Prince Borghese, "who, in the brief intervals when the conversation became a little serious, went off to get some chairs, arranged them in pairs in the middle of the salon, and amused himself by dancing contra-dances with these silent partners, humming to himself." Three years later, in Paris, Madame Potocka saw the new Empress, Marie-Louise, whose dull countenance and German accent sufficiently accounted for her personal unpopularity.

Napoleon, who did not hesitate to qualify contemptuously the public opinion of Paris when it was adverse to him, was not above the ancient "bread and circus" methods of the Roman emperors at times. On the occasion of the celebration of his coronation, there were distributed to the populace thirteen thousand poultry, bread, and wine ran freely in the public squares, so that the streets echoed to this cheerful refrain:

"Vive, vive Napoleon, Qui nous baille D' la volaille, Du pain et du vin a foison. Vive, vive Napoleon!"

(who gives us chickens, bread, and wine in abundance.)

As for Josephine, her pretty legend has quite disappeared in the light of these recent memoirs, and the historians and commentators no longer attempt to defend her against even the abominable stories which Barras tells of her. "It would be Don-quixotism to deny them," says M. Gustave Larroumet, among others; "the Josephines prefer the Barras to the Bonapartes."

The marriage with Josephine was declared null, in virtue of an order of the Council of Trent on the 14th of January, 1810, and Napoleon was condemned by the municipality of Paris to a fine of six francs for the benefit of the poor. The curious engraving, reproduced on page 123, illustrates the brilliant ceremony of the arrival of the new Empress at the Tuileries on the 2d of April following. A tremendous storm broke over the city the night before, but at one o'clock in the afternoon, when the Imperial couple arrived at the Arch of Triumph, then incomplete but represented by a temporary maquette, the sun was shining brightly. The cavalry of the Guard and the heralds-at-arms preceded the gorgeous coronation carriage in which they were seated; the procession descended the avenue of the Champs-Elysees, traversed the gardens of the Tuileries, and halted before the Pavillon de l'Horloge. Then the Empress assumed the coronation robe, the cortege ascended the grand stairway, traversed the grand gallery of the Louvre between a double row of invited guests, and entered the Salon Carre, which had been transformed into a chapel, and where the nuptial altar had been erected. After the mass, there was a Te Deum, and in the evening a grand banquet in the Tuileries. The musicians sang the chorus of the Iphigenie of Gluck: Que d'attraits, que de majeste! to the accompaniment of thousands of voices.

La Femme has always played a most important role in France; nowhere is she so much discussed, nowhere is she so much respected as Mother, and nowhere, it may be said, is she so little respected as Woman. The women of the eighteenth century enjoy a species of popular renown as somewhat more piquant, brilliant, and peculiarly feminine, as it were,—thanks largely to the chroniclers and the romancers in literature and art; there is a very general idea that they were all, more or less, of the type of Madame de Pompadour, we will say, as set forth by one of her most recent biographers: "It would seem that the grace and the good taste of all the things of her time appertained to Madame de Pompadour. She marked with her cachet, it might almost be said with her arms, all that world of matter which seems to be animated from one end to the other by the ideal of the habits of a people, and the needs of a society. The whole century is like a great relic of the royal favorite.... She presides over that variety and that wide range of objects, so diverse in the universality of their type, that the eighteenth century created in her image to surround her existence, to serve her and to adorn her." This graceful and pleasing picture, however, was largely superficial in the case of her less favored sisters. The inevitable limitations of the life and of the times, the ignorance, the social prejudices, the inexplicable dissatisfaction which really haunted all things, all combined to undermine this brilliant social life, and there was a general consciousness of its hollowness.

"Under all this fever of fashion and customs, under all these dissipations of the imagination and the life, there remains something unappeased, unsatisfied, and empty in the heart of the woman of the eighteenth century. Her vivacity, her affectation, her eagerness to run after fancies, seem to be a disquietude; and a sickly impatience appears in this continual search for attraction, in this furious thirst for pleasure. She searches in every direction, as if she wished to expand herself outside of herself. But it is vainly that she displays her activity, that she seeks all around her a species of deliverance;—she may plunge herself, drown herself, in that which the fashion of the times designates as an 'ocean of worlds,' run after distractions, new faces, those passing liaisons, those accidental friends, for whom the century invents the word connaissances; dinners, suppers, fetes, voyages of pleasure, tables always filled, salons always crowded, a continual passage of personages, variety of news, visages, masks, toilettes, absurdities, all this spectacle ceaselessly changing cannot entirely satisfy her with its distractions. Though all her nights are brilliant with candles, though she summon—as she grows older—more movement still around her, she ends always by falling back upon herself; she finds herself again in wishing to flee from herself, and she admits to herself secretly the suffering which devours her. She recognizes in herself the secret evil, the incurable evil which this century carries in itself and which it drags with it everywhere smiling,—ennui." (La Femme au XVIIIe siecle.)

The very original methods employed by one of these clever ladies at the very beginning of the century to avoid this all-pervading weariness of the spirit furnished Theophile Gautier with the title and the theme of one of his best romances. Mademoiselle de Maupin lived in the flesh of Mademoiselle d'Aubigny, offspring of a good family, who ran away from the paternal mansion at the age of fourteen and fell in love with a fencing-master who made of her a fighter of the very first order. Nothing that the most successful romancer could desire was wanting in her life,—abductions, disguises, duels, convents forced and set on fire: "Don Juan was only a commonplace fop in comparison with the incredible good fortunes of this terrible virago who changed her costume as she did her visage, courted, indifferently and always with the same success, one sex or the other, according as she was in an impulsive or a sentimental vein." She had a fine voice, became a member of the Opera troupe under the name of la Maupin, and sang with success in the Psyche, the Armide, and the Atys of Lully. One of her most famous duels ensued from her too assiduous attentions to a young lady one night at a ball at the Palais-Royal, in the last days of the reign of Louis XIV. The husband, the brother, and the lover all took up the quarrel, and were all three neatly run through the body, one after the other, in the snowy court-yard below. Then the victor, calm and smiling, returned to offer his arm to the beauty.

Another of these epicene sworders, diplomat, publicist, and captain of dragoons, reader for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, in the suite of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, preserved the secret of his sex until his death. This was the adventurer D'Eon de Beaumont, whose career excited such a lively interest in both England and France, and who signed himself, in a letter addressed to Madame de Stael during the Revolution, citoyenne de la nouvelle Republique francaise, citoyenne de l'ancienne Republique des lettres.

On the 3d of May, 1814, a Bourbon king was again in the Tuileries. All the tremendous work of the Revolution and the Empire seemed undone. "Brusquely, without any transitions," says M. Henri Noel, "the standard of men and things was lowered many degrees. To the epopee succeeds the bourgeois drama, not to say the comedy. It would have been thought that France, satiated with glory and misfortunes, France, which, on the whole, seemed to have accepted without enthusiasm, but with a sort of resigned indifference, the new regime, was about to breathe again, to relax herself, to repose. She is wearied with herself. She is nervous, discontented. It might be said that she endured with less patience the blunders, the littleness, the errors of the royalty, than she had the tragic massacres, and the ruins, and the invasions, and the bloodshed, and the tears. Everywhere, anxiety and disquietude, the royalists not completely satisfied, the generals humiliated, the army without glory and its best officers retired on half-pay, the liberal bourgeoisie suspicious and disposed to join the opposition, the small land-owners anxious for their property which they had received from the Revolution...."

Louis XVIII, with all his inherent faults, was a prudent and moderate ruler in comparison with his brother, the Comte d'Artois, who succeeded him as Charles X in September, 1824, and in six years brought the Bourbon dynasty to an end. M. Ernest Daudet, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, has recently been publishing some letters in connection with the ministry of the Duc Decazes, in one of which we find the king remonstrating with his brother, already the chief of the ultras: ... "You have notified me that, if you do not succeed in persuading me, you will make your opinions known publicly, and, which unfortunately will inevitably follow, that you will no longer see me.... There is no doubt that this resolution will seriously embarrass the government. But, with consistency and firmness, this obstacle may be overcome, and I hope that, during my lifetime, there will be no troubles. But I cannot, without a shudder, look forward to the moment when my eyes will be closed. You will then find yourself between two parties, one of which believes itself to be already oppressed by me, and the second of which will apprehend being so treated by you. (Conclusion: there will be civil war, and a whole future of divisions, of troubles, and of calamities.)"

This prophecy was but too well realized. The liberal ideas, which were made responsible, though without any proof, for the assassination of the Duc de Berri, at the door of the Opera-house on the evening of the 13th of February, 1820, attained a great development in the ensuing reign. Paris was unanimous in its opposition. Decamps's absurd cartoon of Charles X hunting, which we have reproduced, is a not unfaithful presentation of the state of public opinion concerning this purblind monarch.

All these revolutions in the political world were, of course, followed in the, perhaps, minor world of fashion. Souvent femme varie, and Toute passe, tout casse, tout lasse. "Paris, in its revulsion from the severity of the earlier Revolution," says an unsympathetic English writer, "took refuge in the primitive license of the Greeks. 'It was a beautiful dress,' says a lady in a popular modern comedietta; 'I used to keep it in a glove-box.' The costume of a belle of the Directoire was equally portable.... With the triumph of the Empire, a more martial and masculine tone prevailed. So the Parisienne cast off her Grecian robes—a comparatively easy process—and put on the whole armor of the tailor-made. She wore cloth instead of diaphanous gauze, and her gowns were cut with a more austere simplicity. Then came the Restoration and the Romantic movement, and the great days of 1830. Woman read her Chateaubriand and her Victor Hugo and her Byron, and became sentimental. It was bon-ton to languish a good deal, and the dressmakers were required to find a suitable costume for the occupation. They proved equal to the demand.... In England, these vestments are called Early Victorian, and are scoffed at, together with the horse-hair sofas and glass lustres of the period.

"At any rate, it did not last. Nothing lasts in feminine fashions.... Romanticism and sentiment died out or became bourgeois. Gay Paris grew alert, lively, animated, dashing. The lady who used to be called a lionne when people were reading Murger and De Musset, displaced the femme incomprise. The 'lioness' was not unlike the vigorous young person of a later epoch. She was distinctly loud in her manners and free and easy in her conversation.... At any rate, she was a healthier type than the pleasure-loving matron of the Second Empire, whose life was one whirl of unwholesome excitement. The vulgarity of thought and conduct, the destruction of all standards of dignity, which characterized the regime of Louis Napoleon's stock-jobbing adventurers, were reflected in the dress of the women. Never was female attire more extravagantly absurd.... Man, with all his tolerance, could not really like the Paris fashions of the Second Empire, and he might have found consolation for the tragedies of 1870, if he had known, as has been asserted, that they portended deliverance from the thraldom. France, so we are told, purged and purified by the baptism of fire, shook off its tasteless frippery, and sought a chaster and purer mode.... Thus elevated and touched to higher issues, the modistes of France, when once the Third Republic had settled down, made quite nice and simple dresses for a few years, and were imitated by the slavish islanders across the Channel, who had no such lofty motives to inspire them. The latest developments of this philosophy of clothes are not yet worked out in detail...."

A multitude of the emigre nobles returned with Louis XVIII, bringing with them the manners and customs of the ancien regime, which the Parisians found singularly antiquated and absurd, and gave these reactionaries the title of Voltigeurs de Louis XVI. The science of good cooking, however, which had been somewhat neglected by society during the Empire, suddenly took on a much greater importance—as was its due. The lady of the higher aristocracy, taking her dejeuner so comfortably with her lapdog, in the plate which we have reproduced from the Bon Genre, is supposed to be the Princesse de Vaudemont. A curious detail of the social life of the Romantic period of the Restoration was the fashion of keepsakes and annuaires illustres, which came from England, and which flourished from 1825 to 1845. These costly little books intended for presentation, richly bound, and illustrated with small steel engravings, generally taken from the English "keepsakes," bore various titles: L'Album brittanique, L'Amaranthe, Annales romantiques, Le Camee, La Corbeille d'or, L'Eglantine, L'Elite, Livre des salons, etc. The greatest names among the writers of the Romantisme may be found among the contributors to these publications,—Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Alfred de Musset, A. de Vigny, Mery, Gozlan, and others.

The bourgeois monarchy of Louis-Philippe was made the object of a storm of ridicule on the part of the Parisian wits and caricaturists from which it has never entirely recovered. The "umbrella" of the Orleans family, which the ribald press of that day made the emblem of their royalty, still figures in the lampoons addressed to the present pretender. The caricature of the royal physiognomy as a pear is one of the most famous in history. Louis-Philippe wore his hair piled in a species of pyramid over his forehead, which lent plausibility to this defamation; this pyramid was known as the toupet, and was naturally largely imitated; those whose locks were not sufficient in quantity for the purpose, purchased false ones. Whiskers were also in fashion, but not moustaches, and no official functionary was permitted to wear hair under his nose. The Saint-Simoniens and those who entitled themselves Jeune France alone wore the hair long and pendant, and the toupet gradually lowered its altitude and finally disappeared, to give place to hair smoothed down and parted strongly on one side, generally the left.

After the Revolution of 1830, the Tuileries gardens were thrown open to all decently-dressed people, but not to those in blouses; it required another revolution, that of 1848, to bring about sufficient toleration to recognize the privilege of smoking under these ci-devant royal horse-chestnuts. A Legitimist journal, regretting the good old days, before the populace were accorded the privilege of entry, "which gives to this locality much the appearance of Noah's ark, in which both the clean and the unclean beasts were admitted," related the following anecdote of the days of the monarchy. A young man of the supreme bon ton, carefully arrayed in the very latest modes, a petit-maitre [dandy, fop, exquisite], presented himself at one of the entrances of the garden and was much surprised to see the sentry on duty lower his bayonet and forbid his passing. "How! no admittance?" exclaimed the beau. "I have precise orders," replied the soldier. "Precise orders ... to refuse me?" "Precise orders to refuse any one whom I consider to be badly dressed [mal mis]; ... now, I consider you to be bien mal mis." And the young man was compelled to retire before this new censor of manners armed with authority.

In 1845, the prestidigitateur, Robert-Houdin, appeared at the Palais-Royal with his new species of entertainment, and for a number of years continued to delight numerous audiences with his mystifying skill in sleight of hand, his example being followed by minor practitioners who gave performances in private salons. The theatre bearing his name on the Boulevard des Italiens still maintains this class of popular amusement.

On the 13th of July, 1842, the Duc d'Orleans, the heir to the throne, and a prince deservedly popular, was thrown from his carriage on the Rue de la Revolte, while on his way to Neuilly, and so badly injured that he died five hours later, universally lamented. The right of succession passed to his son, the Comte de Paris, then a child of four; and both Legitimists and Republicans began to look forward to the inevitable feebleness and uncertainty of a regency as favorable to the triumph of their ideas. The opposition of the king's minister, Guizot, the historian, to the electoral reforms is generally considered as having brought about the Revolution of 1848, though it is somewhat doubtful if the monarchy could have successfully weathered the storms of this year of liberal ideas and universal unrest.

Nevertheless, the Republic came too soon, as the French historians now seem disposed to admit. The political education of the nation was not yet sufficiently advanced, and "it returned to the Empire as to a solution that best conformed with its condition of esprit simpliste. This movement was accelerated by the combinations of men of all shades of political beliefs,—Berryer, Montalembert, Mole, Thiers, Odilon Barrot, and others, who counted on 'the pretended incapacity' of the future emperor for sliding into power themselves. But their hopes were disappointed by the taciturn pretender." One of the latest apologists for the Emperor, M. Thirria, in his Napoleon III avant l'Empire, claims, and no intelligent commentator can disprove the claim: "If he reigned, it was because France was willing, and very willing, and his fatal politics of nationalities, she approved of it, sanctioned it, the republican party first of all." M. Thirria is willing to admit, however, that "he was not made to be the chief of a State, and his reign was a great misfortune for France."



Having the courage of his convictions, M. Thirria does not hesitate to take up all the charges against the Emperor, beginning with the first of all, chronologically, that he was not the son of his alleged father. By a number of letters which he quotes from Louis-Napoleon, King of Holland, he endeavors to demonstrate that the latter considered himself to be, without doubt, the parent of Charles-Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. The story of the Dutch Admiral Verhuel is, however, corroborated by other documents of equal authenticity. The future emperor, it appears, did at one time officiate as an English police officer, but it was only for the space of two months, and then as special constable at some Chartist meetings. After the affair at Strasbourg, he did accept fifteen thousand francs from the government of Louis-Philippe, which he had just attempted to overthrow, on condition that he should go to America.

A franker chronicler gives us further details. Under the title, Madame Cornu et Napoleon III, M. Eugene d'Eichthal published, in 1897, a number of fragments translated from a posthumous work, Conservation, by the English economist, Nassau Senior, who had been brought into contact with a large number of distinguished men of different countries. In 1854, he first met in a salon the wife of the French painter Sebastien Cornu, who was a goddaughter of Queen Hortense and had been a friend from childhood of Louis-Napoleon. She had been able to render him many services when he was a prisoner at Ham, and they had maintained a confidential correspondence even after the Coup d'Etat, which almost interrupted their friendship, Madame Cornu being a good republican. In the course of her acquaintance with the English gentleman, she gave him much information concerning the then ruler of the French nation, which he carefully set down, and which M. d'Eichthal translated for the benefit of his countrymen. On one occasion she said: "The mental faculties of Louis-Napoleon present many great superiorities and great deficiencies. He has neither originality nor invention. He neither knows how to reason nor to discuss. He has very few fixed or general principles, but he is a very keen observer, noting quickly the weaknesses and the stupidities of those around him. In the company of some persons with whom he feels at ease, his wit and his gaiety are delicious.

"There is an equal want of accord in his moral qualities. He is extremely mild and amiable; his friendships are durable, but his passions are not so. He has, in a high degree, decision, obstinacy, dissimulation, patience, and confidence in himself. He is not arrested by any scruples. That which we call a sense of good and evil, he calls prejudices...."

Installed in the Elysee as Prince-President in 1849, he began to prepare the way for the Coup d'Etat and the zealous republicans saw with alarm the species of informal court which he was already gathering around him. To attract the members of the higher society, he instituted a series of weekly receptions; all the ground-floor of the palace, including three salons and a gallery, was thrown open, and there was added a light edifice connecting the main facade with the wall of the garden, facing on the Avenue de Marigny. A decree of the 4th of January, 1850, elevated the ex-king Jerome, then governor of the Invalides, to the rank of marshal of France, by a mere exercise of the presidential authority. His term of office and that of the Assemblee both expired in 1852, with an interval of three months between them, but the violent measures of the 2d of December, 1851, made him president for a term of three years, and the constitution which he had proposed was ratified by the nation by a tremendous majority.

In the Tuileries, he re-established the etiquette of the First Empire, but the ceremonial of his court did not equal the state maintained under the Bourbons. The palace itself, at first, was a very uncomfortable residence. All the modern conveniences of a dwelling were wanting; Louis-Philippe, who had a numerous family, had divided several galleries into apartments, separated by corridors without windows, lit only by lamps which vitiated the air. The various floors of the building were connected by narrow, winding stairways, also lit only by lamps; one story had been made into two, each with low ceilings and with very little day-light, and in the garrets, where the domestics were lodged, the air was pestilential. There was no running-water in the various apartments, and it was necessary to carry it in every day in pitchers.

In the Musee Carnavelet may be seen an interesting collection of water-colors by Baron, portraits of ladies and important personages of the Imperial court in costumes of fancy-dress balls and tableaux vivants. There may be seen the Emperor in black coat and trousers, the Empress en bohemienne, the Princesse de Metternich en diable noir, Madame de Gortschakoff as Salammbo, the Marquise de Galliffet as an angel, the Comtesse Walewska as Diana, the Comtesse de Pourtales as a bayadere, the Marquis de Galliffet as a cock, the Baron de Heeckeren as a doge, etc.

A retrospective exhibition, a Salon de la Mode, was opened in Paris, in the Palais du Champ-de-Mars, in the spring and early summer of 1896, and furnished a very good compendium in little, not only of the changing manners and customs of the last century or two, the vicissitudes of the artistic spirit of the nation, but also of the varying fortunes with which the capital ruled in matters of taste, of fashion, and of luxury. Subject-matter for grave historians might be found in the various indications, direct and suggested, of the points of contact between the daily life of the eighteenth century and our own, as well as of the many divergences. Long before 1789, the Parisians of the ancien regime were in the enjoyment of many of the modes, the whims, and the absurdities which constitute so large a part of the existence of their successors. They were even, almost, supplied with fashion magazines, the first of these very important publications to appear, the Courrier de la Mode, under Louis XV, in 1768, not being appreciated, and coming to an early end. In 1785, however, appeared the Cabinet des Modes, transformed in the following year into Magasin des modes nouvelles francaises et anglaises, for English fashions disputed the sovereignty with Parisian ones, and journals published on the banks of the Thames spoke with equal authority. Among these latter was the Gallery of Fashion, founded in 1794. The Germans, on the other hand, originated nothing, and the Moden Zeitung of Berlin reproduced slavishly only that which had already been approved in Paris and London.



Much as in the present day, English tastes were followed in many things, not all of them feminine. The Tableau de Paris, published by Sebastien Mercier, lamented that "it is to-day the fashion among the youth to copy the English in their clothes." The large stores, the magasins, called themselves anglais; and the sport of horse-racing, which was beginning to be popular, and which was largely a matter of importation, naturally brought in alien words to shock the purists. The jockei was sweated down to his proper weight to mount the bete de sang [blooded animal]; cheval de race was antiquated, and bad form. In the present day, there is a Ligue d'honnetes gens preoccupes de maintenir le bon francais, and who quote Beranger:

"Redoutons l'Anglomanie, Elle a deja gate tout."

[Beware of Anglomania, it has already spoiled everything.] These "worthy people" admit that for such words as "jockey," "lawn-tennis," and "sport," for which there are no equivalents in the French language, there is some excuse, but why, they ask, is "turf" better than pelouse; "flirter," meaning "to flirt," than fleureter (conter fleurette, to say pretty, gallant things); "garden-party" than une partie de jardin; "five o'clock" than cinq heures? Is "boarding-house" any more euphonious than hotel meuble, or "tub" than bassin? Scarcely! Nevertheless, the English fashions, especially in men's garments, continue to enjoy great favor in Paris; and it may be noted, for the gratification of our national pride, that in some minor matters, such as shoes and ladies' stockings, the American articles are to be preferred to the Parisian ones.

All these futile and minor things, toilettes, brimborions, take on, a hundred years later, the importance of historic documents. "One would not go so far as to say," observes M. Bouchot, "that Napoleon was dethroned because it was found that the fleur-de-lis made an adorable ornament for a parure of crape, but is it such an absurd idea?" Under the reign of Louis XVI, it was proposed, more than once, to establish an Academie de la Mode, and an Academie de la Coiffure. A certain citoyen amateur de sexe, Lucas Rochemont, invented a concours, or competition, of new modes among the real elegantes of France. It was the custom then to put forth small jokes against the Academie, just as it is now; it was declared that men of letters should renounce it and all its works, and that it preserved no better the purity of the language than it did that of taste. Nevertheless, it retained a certain respect, and the title, Academie de Coiffure, with which certain hair-dressers and wig-makers provided themselves, was forbidden.

The capital had long enjoyed the reputation, says the Tableau de Paris, of being "the paradise of women, the purgatory of men, the inferno of horses." The purgatory seems to have changed in two respects at least;—one could live in it then "comfortably enough at small expense," and the city was "highly indifferent concerning its political position." The horses were treated cruelly, even more so than at present, and the familiar jests concerning the fiacres were already invented. By this name was designated both the driver and his vehicle drawn "by an expiring horse." The cochers enjoyed the same bad reputation they do at present—probably somewhat more justly, and they even went on strike, as in the nineteenth century. On one occasion, eighteen hundred of them drove out to Choisy, where the king was residing, to set their griefs before him. The streets were narrow and without sidewalks; the driver was held responsible only for the fore-wheels of his vehicle; and he naturally scattered terror as he went. The bicyclist and the automobile were not then invented to torment him in his turn. These two modern innovations have added very greatly to the danger and inconvenience of the streets of Paris of to-day; there are already complaints from the owners of private carriages that the Bois and the principal drives are becoming impossible because of the latter, and that the city will have to take measures to preserve its attractions for this class of inhabitants and for the wealthy stranger whose presence is so much desired within its walls.

Also, as at present, the washwomen were the despair of careful housekeepers. "There is no city where so much linen is used as at Paris, and none where it is so badly washed," says our authority. There was a legend of some gommeux [dandies] from Bordeaux who sent theirs to Saint-Domingo, naturally, by sailing vessel, to have it whitened. Homme a bonne fortune and petit-maitre were no longer in favor, elegant was the proper appellation. The Seine water was drunk freely, but it had already begun to be analyzed and doubted; cremation was advocated and vivisection denounced; the classic education and Latin were derided, just as by M. Jules Lemaitre; the evolution of the species was discussed, and the sorrowfulness of the Carnival lamented,—the police were even obliged to hire the maskers; the claque was offensively in evidence at the theatres. The grippe arrived periodically in the month of November, to the great surprise of every one,—but it was then called la coquette and not l'influenza. The ladies pommaded their faces, and drank vinegar to preserve their figures; marriages were effected only in hopes of pecuniary advantages. The honest bourgeoisie complained bitterly of the display of licentious prints on the walls and the fronts of the bookstalls; "the young men in the cafes discussed matters which were beyond their comprehension and which they had never studied." There was a surprising number of points of resemblance.

Among the minor observances of social life which have come down to the present day with only some modification of details are the billets de deces and the invitations aux funerailles. It is only since 1760 that the names of members of the mourning families have appeared on these invitations. In the matter of avis de naissance, in which the birth of a baby is announced, the moderns have made great improvements, some of the designs by the cleverest Parisian artists—as that by Willette reproduced on page 211—being quite charming. In the much more important matter of Menus, the prodigal display of invention is worthy of the most artistic of capitals. The luxury of the toilette is maintained with somewhat more discretion and less ostentation; many of the modern refinements, as that of the manicure, are but intelligent developments or modifications of the arts of the last century. Some of the social vices, as gambling and intoxication, have greatly decreased, notwithstanding the lamentations of such prophets of evil as M. Gaston Routier, and many of the more graceful forms of exercise, such as fencing—consult M. Koppay's spirited sketches—have grown greatly in favor.

The Second Empire contributed a very commendable example of luxury lending itself to the interests of history in the case of the restoration of a Pompeian house, erected by Prince Jerome Napoleon in the Rue Montaigne, and formally opened with a reception at which the Emperor and Empress were present, February 14, 1860.

Max Nordau, in his Paradoxes psychologiques, thus disposes of the Parisian woman: "The Parisienne is entirely the work of the French romancers and journalists. They make of her, literally, whatever they wish, physically and intellectually. She speaks, she thinks, she feels, she acts, she dresses herself even, assumes attitudes, walks and stands upright, according to rules which the writers a la mode impose upon her. She is in their hands a doll furnished with springs and obeys with docility all their suggestions," etc. On the contrary, it is probably safe to say, speaking generally, that the French romancers systematically defame their compatriots, and that even Parisian society is not the institution it is represented to be in novels, on the stage, and by many of the essayists. It has been reserved, for example, for a very recent writer, M. Jules Bois, to portray, for the first time in France, the indignation of the fiancee at the fact, almost constant, that her future husband comes to her without that freshness of soul and body which is required in her case. It would not have required very accurate social observers, it would seem, to have discovered earlier this phenomenon. M. Bois counsels the wives not to compromise themselves by weak forgiveness of the egotistical and adulterous spouses.

The frightful conflagration of the Bazar de la Charite, in the Rue Jean-Goujon, on the 4th of May, 1897,—the most terrible catastrophe of this nature that had been seen in Paris since the fire at the ball given by the Austrian ambassador on the 1st of July, 1810, in honor of the marriage of Napoleon I and Marie-Louise, and the burning of the Opera-Comique in 1887,—offered, in the long list of its victims, a most tragic demonstration of the fact that the women of Paris of the highest society knew how to occupy themselves in works of practical benevolence. Of the hundred and seventeen victims, all but six were ladies and young girls; and the roll of illustrious names was headed by that of the Duchesse d'Alencon. This philanthropic institution was founded in 1885 by M. Henri Blount, its honorary president; its annual bazaars, for the benefit of the poor, were held at first in the Salle Albert-le-Grand, then in the hotel of the Comtesse Branicka in 1888, in the following year in that of M. Henry Say, and from 1890 to 1896 in two houses in the Rue de la Boetie. In 1897, M. Michel Heine placed at the disposition of the managers, gratuitously, a large open space in the Rue Jean-Goujon. The new bazaar was here inaugurated on the 3d of May, and the receipts exceeded forty-five thousand francs. On the day after the catastrophe, some charitable person donated, anonymously, to the OEuvre de la Charite the sum of nine hundred and thirty-seven thousand francs, representing the amount of the sales of the preceding year, that the poor, also, might not suffer by this catastrophe. A subscription opened by the Figaro for the same charitable purpose, and for those who had distinguished themselves, at the risk of their lives, in saving victims from the flames, realized the sum of one million two hundred and eighteen thousand and fifteen francs, and another, by the Rappel, more than fifteen thousand francs. And, finally, the Comtesse de Castellane, who had been the American Miss Gould, gave a million of francs for the purchase of another site and the construction of another edifice for the work of the organized charity of Paris.

Among the lighter details of information concerning this illustrious society may be mentioned an article by the Vicomte A. de Royer in a recent number of the Revue des Revues (October, 1898), which undertakes to demonstrate, by means of documents, that, of the forty-five thousand "noble" families in France, only four hundred and fifty are in a position to substantiate a claim to ancient lineage, and that, of the three hundred and forty-six princely families of France, which are all that are left, not one has the right to wear the closed coronet. All the titles of the latter are usurped, and are purely fanciful. No fewer than twenty-five thousand families put the particle de in front of their names without a shadow of right; and it appears that the Republic manufactures another forty of such families every year. When official permission to thus distinguish the family name is refused, it is simply dispensed with. In addition, the Pope gives or sells, on an average, sixty titles of "count" or "prince" every year, and though these are not current, the possessors wear them, just the same. The Paris Journal demanded, indignantly, if M. de Royer thought he was doing a patriotic work in thus closing the French market to American heiresses.

To conclude: we quote what M. Henri Lavedan, in his recent work: Les Jeunes, ou L'Espoir de la France, gives as a typical conversation between three young men of the highest society in Paris, "the hope of France." The scene is laid in the apartments of D'Allarege, about five o'clock in the afternoon. All three are smoking. The day is declining; they comprehend each other in silence. At intervals, they alternately allow a monosyllable to fall, which is as the affirmation of their absence of thought:

BRIOUZE.—"Yes...." (Puff of smoke.)

MONTOIS.—"Yes...."

(Then a black hole of silence. Puffs. Spirals. Sound of carriages. Paris continues its murmur.)

MONTOIS.—"Ah! la, la!"

D'ALLAREGE.—"Is it not?"

BRIOUZE.—"To whom do you say it?"

(Blue smoke through the nose. Ashes fall from the cigar. And time passes.)

D'ALLAREGE (to Montois).—"And besides that?"

MONTOIS.—"Not much."



THE BOURGEOIS AND THE LOWER CLASSES

FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE PRESENT DAY



If the history of a city were written with anything like a due exactness of proportion, much of it would be but a weary record of human misery, and through even the most decorous and conventional of chronicles there appear constantly unpleasant glimpses of the terrible under-strata that sometimes upheave and make ruin. So long as this apparently inevitable and irremediable discord does not appear to affect the general march of events, it is glozed over. The condition of the middle and lower classes in Paris through the Middle Ages was that common to all mediaeval cities, and would seem to modern ideas all but unendurable. To the absence of law, municipal, protective, or sanitary, the disregard of life and property, the pestiferous condition of houses and streets, to famine, war, pestilence, and constant internal discords, were added the intemperances of the seasons—apparently much more severe than at present—and the ravages of wild beasts. The Seine—quite regardless of the praise the Emperor Julian had bestowed upon its moderation and uniform flow—was constantly bursting its bonds and devastating with inundation the Cite and the adjoining shores; the excessive cold of the winters is a constant source of complaint in the local annals. That of 1433-1434 was heralded by a "formidable wind" which, on the 7th of October, raged for nine consecutive hours, demolishing many houses and uprooting many trees,—three hundred of the latter in the wood of Vincennes alone. The frost commenced on the 31st of December and continued uninterruptedly for eighty days; for forty days the snow fell continuously, night and day; toward the end of March, freezing weather returned, and lasted till Easter, the 17th of April. In one tree alone there were found a hundred and forty birds dead with cold. In 1437 and 1438 the wolves penetrated into the city, by way of the river, and devoured women and children, in the last week of September, 1437, while the king was in the city, "fourteen persons, big and little, between Montmartre and the Porte Saint-Antoine." There was one most monstrous beast, called Courtaud, because he had no tail, that was an object of special terror. "But the wolves, for the Parisians, were less to be feared than the seigneurs and the brigands called escorcheurs, which followed in their train."

In 1348, the Black Plague, coming from Egypt and Syria, reached Paris and destroyed eighty thousand inhabitants. At the Hotel-Dieu, the dead numbered five hundred a day, and the nuns who served as nurses perished so rapidly that they had to be constantly renewed. Charles V, le Sage, died on the 16th of September, 1380, "after a reign of sixteen years, during which the people, although they had been crushed by such taxation that 'many were forced to sell their beds in order to pay,' had yet had much less to complain of than during the preceding reign, and, still more, than they would have during that which was to follow,—the most wretched of all!"

The historians quote from the Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris for the years 1419-1421: "You would have heard through all Paris pitiable lamentations, little children crying: 'I am dying with hunger!' There were to be seen on a dunghill twenty, thirty children, boys and girls, who yielded up their souls through famine and cold. Death cut down so many and so fast that it was necessary to excavate in the cemeteries great ditches in which were put thirty or forty, packed close together, and scarcely powdered over with earth. Those who dug the graves asserted that they had buried more than a hundred thousand persons. The shoe-makers counted up, on the day of their trade reunion, those that had died among them, and found that they numbered some eighteen hundred, masters and apprentices, in these two months. Troops of wolves traversed the country and entered Paris during the night to carry off the dead bodies.... The working people said to each other: 'Let us fly to the woods with the wild beasts.... Farewell to wives and children.... Let us do the worst we can.... Let us place ourselves again in the hands of the devil.'"

To multiply these historical incidents would be but dreary iteration,—we will rather give one or two presentations in full of some details of what may be called the subterranean aspect of the great city, sombre and rather unpleasant presentations that are not to be found in the dignified histories or in the guide-books, and that remain unknown to the usual decorous tourist and reader. That the first one may not be too sombre, we will select it, not in the gloom of the Dark Ages, but in full French Renaissance, under Francois I. Readers of Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris will doubtless remember his very picturesque description of the famous Cour des Miracles as it existed in the reign of Louis XI,—more sober historians do not hesitate to corroborate these fantastic details in many particulars. M. Gourdon de Genouillac, Officier d'Academie, in his learned work, Paris a travers les siecles, gives a description which we condense. "Everything had been done in order to oppose an effective defence to the attacks of enemies outside the walls; but it was much more difficult to guard against the enterprises of those within; the assemblings of the malcontents which were held nightly, and those of the gentry of sack and cord who, as soon as the gates were opened, set off eagerly to ravage the suburbs of Paris, returning in the evening to conceal themselves in the quarters where no one scarcely ventured to go in search of them. The Cour des Miracles was the usual refuge of all those wretches who came to conceal in this corner of Paris, sombre, dirty, muddy, and tortuous, their pretended infirmities and their criminal pollution.

"The Cour des Miracles extended between the Impasse de la Corderie (on the site of which a part of the Rue Thevenot was opened) and the Rues de Damiette and des Forges; its entrance was in the Rue Saint-Sauveur. It had been in existence since the thirteenth century....

"Several other haunts of the same kind existed in Paris, and Dulaure asserts that under Louis XIV there were still to be seen, the Cour des Miracles, of which we have just spoken; the Cour du Roi-Francois, situated in the Rue Saint-Denis; the Cour Sainte-Catherine, in the same street; the Cour Brisset, Rue de la Mortellerie; the Cour Gentien, Rue des Coquilles; the Cour de la Jussienne, in the street of the same name; the Cour Saint-Honore, between the Rues Saint-Nicaise, Saint-Honore, and de l'Echelle; the Cour des Miracles, Rue du Bac; the Cour des Miracles, Rue de Reuilly, and still another Cour des Miracles, Rue Jean Beausire.

"But that which, in the sixteenth century, formed a veritable quarter of the city, was the Cour des Miracles of the Rue Saint-Sauveur, which served as a refuge for beggars and vagabonds.

"'It consisted,' as we read in Sauval's Antiquites, 'of an open place of very considerable size and of a very large cul-de-sac, evil-smelling, miry, and irregular, which had no pavement whatever. Formerly, it was confined to one of the farthest extremities of Paris. At present, it is situated in that one of the quarters of the city which is the worst built, the most filthy, and the most out of the way, between the Rue Montorgueil, the convent of the Filles-Dieu, and the Rue Neuve-Saint-Sauveur, as if it were in another world. To get to it, it is necessary to go astray in little streets, villainous, stinking, crooked; to enter it, it is necessary to descend a sufficiently long slope, tortuous, rugged, uneven. I have seen there a house of dirt, half buried, tumbling to pieces with old age and rottenness, which did not cover a space of four square fathoms, and in which were lodged, nevertheless, more than fifty households, having in charge an infinite number of little children, legitimate, natural, or stolen. I was assured that in this little dwelling and in the others dwelt more than five hundred large families, piled one upon the other. Large as is this court, it was formerly much more so. On every side it has been encroached upon by lodgings, low, sunken, dark, and deformed, constructed of earth and of mud, and all of them crowded with the evil poor.'

"In fact, under Francois I the Cour des Miracles had a physiognomy much more strongly marked than under Louis XIV. The narrow and miry streets, insinuating themselves between the hovels in wood, halting and crippled, turned and returned upon themselves, to end finally in a repulsive sewer. Neither air nor sunshine ever penetrated into these infamous alleys, from which escaped, at all seasons of the year, nauseating odors, and too often, also, pestilential miasmas. There vegetated in the most sordid uncleanliness the subjects of the kingdom of beggary. All that Paris illegally received in the way of mendicants, false cripples, false blind, false lepers horrible to see, covered with ulcers, there wallowed in orgies, in frantic feasting, in gambling....

". . . All these truands recognized a veritable hierarchy; there were to be distinguished among them three distinct classes,—the capons, or voleurs (thieves); the francs-mitous, or mendiants (beggars), and the rifodes, or vagabonds. All together formed a kingdom, the chief of which was called the grand Coesre; he carried a banner on which was depicted a dead dog, and, quite like his colleague, the King of France, he had a court and courtiers.

"It was the kingdom of Argot (cant, slang), the code or the formula of which prescribed theft and plunder.

"Its enclosure, restricted to the Cour des Miracles, was place of refuge [legal asylum]; all the historians have repeated it, but we do not think that this right had ever been officially recognized, and it existed rather through force of circumstances; in this sense, that when a thief or an assassin had taken refuge in one of the dens of which we have spoken, it was found more convenient to leave him there in peace than to run the risk of taking him out of it. However this may be, the argotiers were quite masters in their own house, and enjoyed in complete liberty the right of living as seemed good to them. In order that it might not be permitted that they should be accused of wanting for religion, they had stolen a statue of the Father Eternal from the church of Saint Pierre aux Boeufs and had placed it in a niche, before which they willingly made the sign of the cross.

"Moreover, it should be remarked that the monks and the gentry of the Cour des Miracles lived on sufficiently good terms with each other, and it would not be impossible that the name given to this enclosure came from the zeal with which the argotiers cried 'Miracle!' every time that one was manifested in the streets of Paris, and we may say, en passant, that the miracles were frequently performed in their favor. Whenever the monks made some solemn procession, promenading through the streets the relics of some saint, it was not uncommon to see a franc-mitou, paralyzed, crippled or epileptic, endeavoring to touch the sacred casket; in vain would the attempt be made to keep him at a distance; he redoubled his efforts, and scarcely had he succeeded in gluing his lips to the sacred coffer when immediately the cripple threw away his crutch, the epileptic ceased to foam at the mouth, and the astonished people cried: 'Miracle!'

"It was even said that the monks had been seen on several occasions to penetrate at night into the famous court, and come out again without having received the slightest ill treatment.

"During very many years, this society of begging thieves existed and its importance constantly augmented. Under Louis XIV, its numerous members were divided into cagoux, orphelins, marcandiers, rifodes, malingreux and capons, pietres, polissons, francs-mitous, callots, saboleux, hubains, coquillards, courtaux de boutange, and drilles.

"The cagoux, who occupied the highest rank in this singular association of malefactors, were, it might be said, the professors of the newly-admitted; they gave instructions in the art of cutting purses, the proper recipes for procuring factitious wounds, in a word, all the methods necessary for appealing to the charity of the public, and, if need be, of obliging individuals to exercise it unknown to themselves.

"The orphelins (orphans) were young boys who assumed the role of abandoned children, and who slipped into houses for the purpose of carrying off whatever fell into their hands.

"The marcandiers gave themselves out for merchants ruined by the wars and asked for alms, which they exacted when, after nightfall, some good bourgeois fell into their hands.

"The rifodes begged by means of forged certificates.

"The malingreux counterfeited maladies, simulating the most disgusting afflictions; they frequented the churches by preference, and implored aid that they might go on pilgrimages.

"The capons begged in the streets and the cabarets.

"The pietres were counterfeit cripples, walking with the aid of crutches, or pretending to be deprived of their legs.

"The polissons were a variety of capons, and effected their purposes through intimidation.

"The francs-mitous gave themselves out as dying of hunger, they fell fainting with weakness in the middle of the streets, and succeeded by this means in gathering in abundant receipts.

"The callots pretended to be recently cured of the scurf, and to have just arrived from Sainte-Reine, where they had been miraculously delivered of their ailment.



"The hubains exhibited a certificate setting forth that, having been bitten by a mad dog, they had been cured by the intercession of Saint-Hubert.

"The saboleux were false epileptics who were enabled to simulate convulsions by means of a piece of soap placed between their lips, which made a froth.

"The coquillards represented pilgrims returning from Saint-Jacques or some other pilgrim shrine.

"The courtaux de boutange, beggars in winter, shivered with cold under their rags.

"The drilles, or narquois, begged in military uniform, and said that they had received wounds which prevented them from working.

"The total number of these wretches had become so great, and their depredations in the city were so frequent, that it was resolved to use vigorous measures; in 1656, a veritable army of archers and of officers invaded the Cour des Miracles under the lead of several commissioners. The beggars and the truands endeavored to make their escape, but the quarter was surrounded.

"Thieves, beggars, and vagabonds were all arrested; then a selection was made; some were released, and the others remained in prison or were sent to the hospitals....

"But under Francois I, and especially at the period when the chevalier king was expiating at Madrid the loss of the battle of Pavia, the Cour des Miracles was in all its splendor, and those who inhabited it were a sufficiently lively cause of anxiety to the prevot of the merchants and to the bishop-governor.

"On the 22d of May, 1525, the Assemblee des Vingt adopted a resolution to arrest a certain number of fraudulent beggars who were strongly suspected of being marauders of the worst kind, but, having been notified in time, they decamped.... The enterprises of the vagabonds, the thieves, and the mauvais garcons became more and more audacious; they had for chiefs three bandits, Esclaireau, Barbiton, and Jean de Mets, who spread such terror that the archers who were sent against them preferred to advise them to fly, through fear of being killed by them; however, the salt barges having been robbed on the 7th of June, near the Celestins, the prevot of the merchants sent the night-watch against them; they defended themselves with arquebuses, drove the watch back as far as the Port Saint-Landry, and all but killed the prevot.

"On the 14th, a troop of these rogues traversed the city, crying: 'Vive Bourgogne! A sac! a sac!'

"Immediately the watch turned out, there was a fight, and some thirty men were killed or wounded on both sides. Presently, the disbanded soldiers and the routiers, coming from no one knew where, joined forces with the truands and spread terror among the inhabitants. One of the officers of the quarters, charged to take proceedings against them, asserted that there were eighty of them who frequented the hostelry de la Coquille, situated in the Rue Saint-Martin, and that there was a still greater number in the Faubourg Saint-Denis. Every one was quite convinced that these were soldiers who had not been paid their hire, and it was resolved that some sixty persons, honorable and of divers conditions (one of them was a president of the court), with twenty sergeants, should be sent against them, to seize all these adventurers and bring them to justice.



"This was a mission sufficiently disagreeable to fulfil, and one which was not exempt from danger; the vagabonds, forewarned, joined the Italian and Corsican bands commanded by the Comte de Belle Joyeuse, who had been authorized by the regent 'to live upon the people,' and who gave themselves up to all the excesses which were compatible with such an authorization, quite in consonance with the manners of the times; when it was desired to raise soldiers for a campaign and there was no money with which to pay them, they were permitted to live upon the people, that is to say, to exact from the unhappy inhabitants of the town or the country whatever they pleased, to ransom them, to rob them, to pillage them, free to beat them unmercifully or to spit them like chickens, if they took it into their heads to complain. This was what was called the necessities of the troops.

"Presently, these adventurers, French or foreign, formed an effective force of four thousand men.

"If one imagine these four thousand armed bandits falling unexpectedly upon the inhabitants of Saint-Cloud, of Sevres, of Montreuil, ravaging, destroying, robbing all, ransoming the nuns of Longchamps, threatening to pillage Le Landit, it can readily be believed that the merchants were so uneasy that they hastened to place their goods upon carts and to flee with them.

"There was certainly sufficient here to frighten the Parisians...."

All this took place in a period of general prosperity, of unexampled ease and comfort compared with what had gone before. "Bodin assures us," says Duruy, "that, from 1516 to 1560, there was more gold in France than had ever been collected there before in two hundred years. 'The bourgeois,' as the Venetian ambassador so well said, 'have become the masters of wealth.' Ango had amassed, like Jacques Coeur in another century, the fortune of a prince," And this was in full Renaissance. "It is the radiant awakening of human reason, the spring-time of the mind. After a long and rude winter, now behold the earth reanimating under the sunshine of the new birth! A generous sap circulates in her bosom; she adorns herself with a vegetation capricious, yet fruitful, which re-covers and conceals the old soil, while sustaining itself by it, like those vigorous plants which, born at the foot of an antique oak, embrace it and kill it in the clasp of their younger tendrils. Everything is renewed, art, science, philosophy; and the world, arrested for two centuries in the lower levels which it had found at the end of its passage through the Middle Ages, resumed its progress that it might mount into the light and the purer air. 'Oh! age!' exclaims Ulrich von Hutten, 'letters flourish, minds awaken;—it is a joy to live!' Even the least philosophical experience the sentiment of this renaissance of the mind. 'The world laughs at the world,' said Marot;—'therefore is it in its youth!'"

The question of the social evil had been taken up in this city as early as the time of Charlemagne. That great lawmaker had endeavored to banish from his capital all public women, but they defied even his imperial authority. He ordained that they should be punished with the lash, and that all those who had lodged them, or had been found in their company, should carry them around their necks to the place of execution. But the number of these whippings, and of these singular processions, was so great that a policy of toleration was, perforce, substituted. Philippe-Auguste also undertook to regulate this disorder, as the number was constantly increasing of these femmes amoureuses, or filles folles, as they were called; they were grouped in a corporation, honored with a special tax, and with special judges to consider their delinquencies; they were given the liberty of certain streets, the names of which have been preserved, in each of which they were furnished with a building (clapier, a sort of hutch, or retreat), which they were to keep clean and "render agreeable and comfortable." Here they were to confine themselves from ten o'clock in the morning till curfew—six o'clock in the evening in winter, and between eight and nine in summer, and nowhere else whatever. Every year they walked in solemn procession on the day of Saint Mary Magdalen. "Those of them who followed the Court were obliged during the month of May to furnish the bed of the roi des ribauds."



This functionary had been established by Philippe-Auguste for the double purpose of policing these offenders, and of forming a body-guard of resolute men for the monarch himself. "The ribauds were armed with maces, and watched night and day over the person of the king, who feared the assassins of the Old Man of the Mountain and the bravoes of Richard of England. The roi des ribauds was an important personage, in the enjoyment of very considerable prerogatives and privileges. He mounted guard at the sovereign's door, and saw that no one entered without authority. He was the judge for crimes committed within the enclosure of the royal residence, and carried out himself the sentences which he pronounced; he was thus at once judge and executioner. We find him in the exercise of his office as late as the fifteenth century."

Under Saint Louis, there was further legislation against these women, les ribaudes, and renewal of the edicts forbidding any citizen to let his house to them under penalty of confiscation. Thus early do we find in use one of the least ineffective of modern measures for correcting this evil. This king, who had a weakness for cruel and excessive punishments, notwithstanding (or, perhaps, because of) his sanctity, also commanded that these disturbers of public morals should be stripped of all their property, wherever found, and imprisoned at hard labor. This being found impracticable, he modified his ordinance, and directed that they should be restricted to certain streets, that they should not be allowed to wear embroideries, or silver or other ornaments appertaining to honest women. Three of these streets being in turn denied them under Charles VI, in 1387, the proprietors appealed to Parliament, which by a decree restored to them the Rue de Baillehoe. In 1367, in 1379, in 1386, and in 1395, there were further ordinances forbidding them numerous other streets; in 1446, the week before Ascension, proclamation was made by the public crier of the furs, silver girdles, reversed collars, and other articles of feminine adornment which were forbidden them. There were at this date between five and six thousand of them in Paris, and all classes of society, ecclesiastics, monks, magistrates, openly paraded their immoral mode of life. The very churches and bath-houses were used as rendezvous. Henry VI, King of England and France, had, in 1424, forbidden the sergeants and the archers of the municipality to confiscate to their own use the girdles, jewelry, or vestments of the fillettes et femmes amoureuses ou dissolues, but this regulation seems to have been no better enforced than all the others.

Under Louis XI, we find the same bold Cordelier, Olivier Maillard, who had not hesitated to preach against the king himself, denouncing all the sins of the Parisians at once from his pulpit. He reproached them with their games of chance, their playing cards, their taking the name of God in vain in their oaths, their turning their houses into dens of prostitution, their selling their daughters to the seigneurs; he accused their wives of deceiving their husbands for the sake of fine gowns, embroidered and furred. "Is it not true, mesdemoiselles," he cried, "that there are to be found among you, here in Paris, more debauched women than honest women? Is it not fine to see the wife of an advocate who has bought his office, and who has not ten francs of income, dress herself like a princess, display the gold on her neck, on her head, on her girdle? She is dressed according to her station in life, she says. Let her go to all the devils, she and her station! And you, Monsieur Jacques, you give her absolution? Doubtless she will say: 'It is not my husband who has given me such fine clothes, but I have earned them with the labor of my body!' To thirty thousand devils with such labor!"

In the following reign, the Court and Parliament took extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the contagious disease which was called le mal de Naples, because it was said to have been first brought into France by the soldiers of Charles VIII on their return from the Italian campaigns. This statement, however, is very doubtful. An ordinance was drawn up, with the approval of the prevots of Paris, the merchants and the echevins, by which all those affected with this malady, and having no regular residence in the city, were directed to leave it within twenty-four hours under penalty of the halter, and in order to facilitate their return to their own homes, they were directed to rendezvous at the Portes Saint-Denis or Saint-Jacques, where they would give their names in writing to an official stationed there for that purpose and receive each four sous parisis. Those who possessed houses in the city were requested to immediately shut themselves up in them and remain in them; the cures and churchwardens of their parishes were to see that they were furnished with food. The homeless poor were to congregate in the Faubourg Saint-Germain-des-Pres, where they would be lodged, fed, and cared for; they were expressly forbidden to leave until they were cured. The prevot of Paris gave orders that those affected with disease were not to be suffered to go about the city, but were to be driven from it, or put in prison; the prevot of the merchants and the echevins put guards at the city gates to prevent any of these persons entering the capital.

In 1560, during the short reign of Francois II, the States-General issued a positive prohibition of all prostitution,—which was as ineffective as all the preceding regulations had been. Under Charles IX and Henri III, the evil constantly increased,—the example offered by the corrupt court not being conducive to the growth of a sound public opinion. Those persons who were convicted of bigamy were condemned to be publicly flogged, and, sometimes, to be afterward hanged,—in the latter case, they were executed between two distaffs. Those convicted of the crime of bestiality were usually burned at the stake, the animal undergoing the same penalty. The filles de mauvaise vie were more numerous than ever, and all the streets formerly assigned to them were still occupied by them. In 1619, a new decree of the Parliament against them forbade all persons to let them houses or lodgings, under penalty of confiscation of their property for the benefit of the poor, and directed all vagabonds and filles debauchees to quit la ville et faulxbourgs de Paris within twenty-four hours, under pain of imprisonment. Every bourgeois and citizen of Paris was required to aid the first huissier, or sergeant of the Chatelet, or any other officer of justice, who called upon him to do so, in enforcing this regulation, under penalty of a fine of a hundred livres parisis.

All these legal penalties, necessarily inefficient in themselves, were rendered doubly so by the dissolute code of morals, les moeurs Italiennes, as they were called under Mazarin, that obtained in all classes of society. Under Louis XIV, an ordinance of 1684, drawn up by Colbert, was especially directed against those unfortunate women who were afflicted with disease: on entering the hospital they were first whipped, and then subjected to hard labor and the most rigorous confinement. Under the Regency, in 1720, Paris was greatly outraged by the tragic death of the Comtesse de Roncy, a very pretty young wife, who, justly suspicious of her husband, courageously went to seek him one day at the house of a certain charmer whom he was in the habit of visiting. On this occasion, he was not there, but the unhappy wife recognized his portrait on the bracelet which her rival was wearing; the controversy soon became heated, the neighbors of this Rue Git-le-Coeur flocked in and took sides against the intruder, who, in the end, was thrown out the window and died on the following day. The murderesses were all sent to the Chatelet. Under Louis XV, the prodigal luxury displayed by the actresses and opera-dancers, the femmes a la mode, who were called des impures, and the effrontery of the grand seigneurs and rich bankers who maintained them in this state, became, if possible, more scandalous than ever; it was said, for example, that the minister Bertin, who had lived for fifteen years with Mlle. Hus, of the Comedie Francaise, had given her a set of furniture that was valued at five hundred thousand livres.

"Mlle. Grandi, of the Opera, a dancer of mediocre talent and with a very commonplace face, was complaining one evening at the theatre of having lost the good graces of a protector who had given her a thousand louis in five weeks; one of those present said to her that she would readily find some one to take his place. Mlle. Grandi replied that it was not so easy as might be supposed, but that, in any case, she was firmly decided not to accept any new liaison excepting on the condition that she received a carriage and two good horses, with at least a hundred louis of income assured to maintain this equipage. The conversation then ended, but the next day there arrived at Mlle. Grandi's lodging a magnificent carriage drawn by two horses and followed by three others led behind it, and in the carriage was found one hundred and thirty thousand livres in specie."

Sometimes these scandalous chronicles took another turn. Mlle. Guimard, also of the Opera, "a celebrated dancer, who was openly protected by the Marechal de Soubise, did not shine by any excessive faithfulness to her protector; she accepted a rendezvous in one of the faubourgs of Paris, and saw that there was so much misery in this quarter that she distributed a portion of the two thousand ecus which she had received as the price of her complaisance among the poor people whom she encountered and carried the rest to the cure of Saint-Roch, requesting him to have the goodness to distribute it among the poor."

The gardens of the Palais-Royal figure largely in the history of Paris as the scene of many of the more important incidents of the constantly changing social life of the capital. In the latter part of the eighteenth century, this locality was so much the favorite resort of the femmes galantes that the honest bourgeois and their wives were finally compelled to abandon it altogether; in the latter part of 1771, the former were accordingly all expelled, but by the summer of 1772 they had all returned. It is related that the Duc de Chartres, walking here one day, passed one of these ladies and was so much struck by her appearance that he turned to the gentlemen accompanying him and said: "Ah! how ugly she is!" To which the offended fair promptly replied: "You have much uglier ones in your seraglio." The prince did not judge it expedient to discuss the subject, but he related the incident to the lieutenant of police, and the next day these promenaders were more rigorously expelled than ever. In consequence, "to-day," relates a chronicler of the period, "excepting on days of the opera, the Palais-Royal is nothing but a vast solitude." In 1784, the streets back of it, inhabited by a dissolute and degraded population of both sexes, had become "veritable cloacae." On the evening of the 31st of October, 1785, at a moment when the evening promenade was more crowded even than usual, a dragoon, having one of these filles on his arm, pushed by the throng, happened to step on the foot of the Abbe de Lubersac, walking near him; the latter made use of a strong expression, to which the soldier replied in kind; the young woman endeavored to make peace by saying: "After all, it is only an abbe, who is not worth stopping for." The churchman, still further forgetting himself, permitted himself to kick the young woman quite as if she were a man; the dragoon took him by the collar; the Suisses of the palace hastened to quell the riot, but their numbers were quite insufficient; the Duc de Chartres, seeing the tumult, but not daring to show himself because of his great unpopularity, summoned the city guard to what by this time had become a "regular field of battle," and the disturbance was finally quelled. Among the wounded who were carried off was a Chevalier de Saint-Louis, "disemboweled;" and thereafter the Suisses prohibited the entrance of the gardens to all women of doubtful virtue.

It may be remembered that, in the celebrated affair of the diamond necklace, the young person who was persuaded by the adventuress, Madame de la Motte, to personify the queen, Marie Antoinette, and to meet the duped Cardinal Rohan in the park of Versailles at ten o'clock in the evening for the purpose of giving him the fictitious authority to purchase the necklace, was a fille du monde who lived in the Rue du Jour at Paris, and was known as "la d'Oliva." For playing this part, the young woman was promised fifteen thousand livres. The memoire that was afterward drawn up by the avocat of Madame de la Motte "excited the interest of all sensitive souls by relating that the demoiselle, enceinte at the moment of her arrest, had been delivered in the Bastile, and was nursing her infant herself."



One of the most celebrated resorts of the ladies of the monde and the demi-monde, the cabaret of Ramponneau at Belleville, was closed a few years before the outbreak of the Revolution of 1789. Its renown seems to have been established, in the early days of the Regency, by the fact that wine was there sold at three sous six deniers the pint, that is to say, at one sou less than the usual price. "It was so crowded that there were as many persons outside, waiting their turn to enter, as inside, although the accommodations were very considerable in size. This crowd excited the curiosity of persons of distinction, who wished to see for themselves this prodigy." It is described as a species of cellar, decorated on the exterior with a vine painted on the wall, and with a sign bearing the legend, "Au Tambour Royal," and a picture of the proprietor astride of a cask. It was furnished in the interior with wooden benches and crippled tables, around which crowded a multitude drawn from all classes of society, high and low.

The fame of the proprietor became so great that he was offered by the two managers, Gaudon and Nestre, of a theatrical establishment on the Boulevard du Temple, in 1758, ten livres a day if he would consent to show himself on their stage daily for the space of three months. The contracts were all signed, the songs prepared for him, when Ramponneau, worked upon by the Jansenists, suddenly refused to appear. In a statement drawn up before a notary, we read: "To-day appeared before me, the Sieur Jean Ramponneau, cabaretier, living in the basse Courtille, who has of his own free will and volition declared that the serious reflections which he has made upon the dangers and the obstacles to the salvation of those persons who appear upon the stage of a theatre, and upon the justness of the censures which the Church has pronounced upon these individuals, have determined him to renounce, as in these presents, through scruples of conscience and for the purpose of so contributing, on his part, to the purity of manners which it becomes a Christian to maintain, and in which he prays God always to maintain him, he renounces appearing, and promises to God never to appear, on any stage, nor to perform any function, profession, or act which is in the nature of those performed by those individuals who appear on the theatrical stage, whoever they may be," etc. The case was conducted on both sides by the most eminent avocats, and finally compromised by Ramponneau paying a large sum to have the agreement cancelled. He still had left one hundred thousand livres, with which he established himself at the Porcherons, and purchased from the Sieur Magny the cabaret de la Grande-Pinte, on which he expended sixty thousand livres more, and where he had the same success as at the Courtille. The court and the city thronged his establishment, which became the restaurant a la mode.

A very celebrated wine-shop, known as the Petit-Ramponneau, was established, in 1859, at Montmartre, and was the last in which wine was served in little crocks or jugs. The proprietors, MM. Lallemand, made a fortune in thus dispensing vin bleu and portions at six sous the plate.

"It had long been said that the third estate paid with its property, the nobility with its blood, the clergy with its prayers. Now, the clergy of the court and of the salon prayed but very little, the nobility no longer constituted in itself the royal army; but the third estate, remaining faithful to its functions in the State, still paid, and each year more. Since its purse was the common treasury, it was inevitable that the more the monarchy expended, the more would it place itself in a condition of dependency upon the bourgeoisie, and that a day would arrive when the latter, weary of paying, would demand its accounts. That day is called the Revolution of 1789."



The engraving on page 245 is a reproduction of one of the many that appear at this day of settlement, with the object of exciting the people against the clergy and the nobility, and of illustrating forcibly the two principal vices of society as then constituted,—the privileges and the inequality of taxation. To suppress these privileges, and to make this inequality disappear,—this was the task of the Revolution. In the engraving, from the collection of M. le Baron de Vinck d'Orp, of Brussels, we see a woman of the people bending under the double burden of a nun and a lady of the nobility; the title is "Le Grand Abus."

As to the origin of the famous phrase, the sans-culottes, the following statement is made by some historians. Two ladies of the nobility, but favorably inclined toward the new ideas, were one day present at a session of the Assembly, and were commenting very audibly and very critically upon a speech which the Abbe Maury was delivering. The orator, finally losing his patience, interrupted his discourse, and, indicating his unappreciative hearers with his forefinger, turned to the presiding officer:

"Monsieur le President," he said, "make these two sans-culottes—unbreeched, trouserless—keep quiet."

This appellation, applied to the two ladies, naturally turned the laugh against them, and the phrase, repeated from mouth to mouth, was adopted by the people of the faubourgs as a title glorifying their miserable condition and their aspirations.

Another of these Revolutionary prints, from the National Almanac for 1791, engraved by Debucourt, and preserved in the collection of M. Muhlbacher of Paris, gives an ingenious and picturesque presentation of one of the numberless sources of supply of that literature of journals and pamphlets on which the Revolution was so largely fed. This marchande de journaux, who adorns a page in the calendar, sits between two benches covered with papers and pamphlets, and set off with ribbons, flowers, and patriotic emblems mounted on rods; her costume and her attitude are also patriotic and a trifle dishevelled, and she is shrilly proclaiming the new decree concerning the value of the assignat which she holds out. Behind her, a couple of elderly aristocrats are about to come into collision with two younger citizens, representatives of the newer ideas, and absorbed in reading some catechism for patriots. On the sidewalk are two boys in the costumes of their elders, one of whom is supposed to be pointing to the date of July 14th in the calendar. This plate is referred to in the Art du 18e siecle, by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt.



It is worthy of remark that even this sacred date of the 14th of July, that of the national fete, is nowadays not exempt from that curious self-criticism which in every tone of mockery, semi-seriousness, and grave apprehension occupies so considerable a proportion of contemporary French literature, from the Siecle to the Bulletin de la Societe d'Economie Sociale et des Unions de la Paix Sociale. So persistent had this criticism become that the national authorities this year (1898) in the capital thought it fit to tack on to the national and municipal celebration of a great political event, in order to give it greater weight and dignity, the commemoration of the birth of a not very important literary man! M. Gaston Deschamps, in the usually ribald Figaro, claimed much of the credit of this innovation for himself. In a long leading editorial on the Sanctification du 14 Juillet, he thus lays sacrilegious hands on the taking of the Bastile itself: "Last year, I demonstrated, very readily, that our fete of the 14th of July, already discredited by the desertion of the wealthy classes, by the scepticism of the public functionaries, and by the frivolousness of the populace, was destitute of that character, national, republican, and humanitarian, which should be in a democracy, the characteristic of every solemnity.



"This fete seems to have been instituted for the special aggravation of those Frenchmen who believe that the history of France did not begin with the 14th of July, 1789. It is no longer, to employ the energetic expression of Gambetta, anything but 'a rag of the civil war.' It glorifies an event which, according to the testimony of contemporaries the least suspected of moderation in politics (Marat, Saint-Just), had not the importance nor, above all, the beauty which our present system of primary instruction attributes to it. Historical research has verified the opinion of these witnesses. It is impossible to relate the taking of the Bastile Saint-Antoine without recognizing the silliness or the unworthiness of the citizens who were the principal actors in this enterprise. This old prison had just been put out of commission by a royal ordinance which decreed its demolition. Very many of the 'conquerors of the Bastile' cried 'Vive le Roi!' as they went down the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. The number of prisoners at that time confined in this jail reduced itself to seven, to wit: four forgers, two lunatics, and a crapulous old gentleman. The Bastile was garrisoned by the French invalides and by the Swiss guards. The assailants swore to injure no one if they were permitted to enter. The gates were opened. The French invalides, who had trusted in the promise given, were massacred without being able to defend themselves. The Swiss guards were taken for 'captives' (because of their uniform). They were carried off in triumph. The brewer Santerre (at that time demagogue, and later monopolist in national property) proposed to set the edifice on fire with poppy oil. His friends preferred the demolition pure and simple, which had the effect of turning out in the street the poor devils whose shops were built against the walls of the 'monument of tyranny.'" And he cites the works of a number of modern historical writers to prove the truth of his statements.

"The taking of the Bastile was an act of anarchy, which, if it were repeated to-day, would be immediately suppressed by our Minister of the Interior, Monsieur Brisson. The Republican police no longer permits, God be thanked, this particular form of diversion. This was very evident the other day when several hundred gentry, intoxicated, perhaps, by the approach of this untoward anniversary, wished to sack Mazas prison.

"No, I cannot bring myself to consider this killing of Frenchmen as the most glorious event of the French Revolution. There is too much of fratricidal murder in this affair. I cannot rejoice to thus see the blood of our nation flow. Every time that it is wished to make an apology for this excess of contagious folly, we find ourselves reduced to invoking the approbation of foreigners. It appears that Kant was so well satisfied with this outbreak that he forgot, for the first time in his life, the hour of his luncheon. The English ambassador wrote to his Gracious Majesty that he was very well pleased. The Venetian ambassador judged it to be a 'noble revolt.' So be it. But neither the Prussian Kant, nor this Englishman, nor that Venetian, had the same reasons that we have for grieving over an incident that divided France against herself....

"Last year I succeeded in stirring up a very sufficient number of protestations for having ventured to deduce, from a collection of self-evident facts, a judgment which I still maintain. It may well be believed, moreover, that I was not wrong, since the Government and the Municipal Council have, this year, taken the initiative of adding to the ceremonies and to the diversions usual on the 14th of July, the celebration of an illustrious memory, which will heighten the dignity of the official fete, and which should give to the French people the opportunity to reunite in the unanimity truly national of a common admiration.

"On the white posters which the administration has just placarded I read as follows:

"'FETE NATIONALE,'

and underneath:

"'Fetes du centenaire de Michelet.'

"This coincidence is intentional. It is significative.

"Michelet was born on the 21st of August, 1798; the date of his centennial therefore falls regularly in the coming month. It has been decided to celebrate to-morrow the commemoration of his birth. It has been desired, by means of this addition, to purify, to sanctify the 14th of July by a sort of pious eve.... If these fetes contribute toward fixing in the souvenirs of the populace an idea of the life and of the work of Michelet, this 14th of July, ennobled, embellished, will not have been misplaced. A hateful date will justly have been transformed into a fete of union and of fraternity."

Lamartine says of the murder of M. de Launey, Governor of the Bastile, hacked to pieces by the crowd in the street after he had surrendered: "A victim of duty, he yielded only with his last breath the sword which had been confided to him by his master. The court, the army, the royalists, the people, basely endeavored to throw upon him the responsibility for their want of forethought, their cowardice, their blood shedding."

The vainqueurs de la Bastille took upon themselves such airs of superiority and claimed so many privileges over their fellow-citizens that the municipal authorities finally, wearied with their arrogance, issued a proclamation in the latter part of December, forbidding them to assemble and to deliberate, and directing the procureur of the commune to prosecute any author, printer, or distributor of decrees which the aforesaid "conquerors" issued without any legal authority.



Michelet gives some details of one of the most celebrated of the innumerable murders of the Terror, that of the pretty Princesse de Lamballe, which may serve to illustrate the quality of the populace. She was confined in the prison de la Force, where during the night of the 2d of September, 1792, a Revolutionary tribunal condemned the prisoners to death after a mock trial. In the morning, two of the National Guards came to tell her that she was to be transferred to the Abbaye, to which she replied that she would as soon stay where she was. Taken before the tribunal, she was ordered to take the oath of liberty and equality, of hatred of the king, the queen, and royalty. "I will willingly take the first two oaths," she said; "I cannot take the last, it is not in my heart." A voice cried to her: "Swear; if you do not swear, you are dead." "Cry 'Vive la Nation!'" said several others, "and no harm will be done thee." "At that moment, she perceived at the corner of the little Rue Saint-Antoine something frightful, a soft and bloody mass upon which one of the participants in the massacres was trampling with his iron-pegged shoes. It was a heap of corpses, stripped, quite white, quite naked, which they had piled up there. It was upon this pile that she was required to lay her hand and take the oath;—this trial was too much. She turned around and uttered a cry: 'Fi! l'horreur!'"

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