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houses, one within the walls, the other without, and establishing a subterranean communication between the two.
M. Forster gives a graphic description of la fille du peuple, whose whole coquetterie is limited to the kerchief which she ties round her head, not only with a certain elegance, but even so as to communicate to her naturally quick and intelligent look a truly picturesque aspect. The bouquetière is a step in advance of the fille du peuple. One of her tricks, and not an uncommon one, is to watch a stranger who attends any public place, more especially balls or concerts, in company with a lady. The bouquetière ascertains in a few minutes the extent of the intimacy existing between the parties; she soon makes her way up and forces a bouquet upon the lady, who seldom refuses, leaving the neophyte to disburse the trifling expense. The gallantry of the latter is, however, sorely tried, when the bouquetière, with trembling hand, and a look so earnest, so deep, as to make him apprehend that he has inspired an unfortunate passion, asks ten or twelve francs for a winter rose or a few violets. Some ladies share profits with the bouquetières, and the same flowers are often sold the same evening several times. For these and various other reasons, it is well for the stranger to beware of the fair bouquetières of Paris.
The life of the Parisienne is for the most part made up of the minute details of dress. The most refined taste cannot discover anything to find fault with in the pretty woman's toilette. There are among them many who accept presents, who will receive bank-notes or permit their rooms to be superbly furnished, but without exacting such a tribute to their charms. Their sole object is to amuse themselves, to intrigue, to write letters whose orthography is anything but orthodox, and to shine in public balls. While one devotes life to dress, the other makes a secondary consideration of the toilette; while the one is spirituelle, the other is adorably stupid --she remembers words that she does not understand, and uses them in the wrong sense. She is essentially gourmande, and not very particular, being generally devoted to alamode-beef and haricots, which she will ask for with a serious face at Véry's or the Café de Paris.
There are pretty Parisiennes who delight in disorder. These are an amusing class to study. Penetrate to the domicile of one of these pets of the Parisians, and you will find her bracelets under the table, her hose on the chimney-piece, her gloves in a pot of preserves, and her comb by the side of an Italian cheese. She knows the fourth part of a tune on the piano, and three-fourths of a ballad, which she sings night and day to a wrong tune. She is always speaking of her father, who was a field officer in the time of the Empire, or drum-major in the National Guard. She is not so affectionate to her mother, who generally looks to the housekeeping, and who receives from her loving daughter three sous a-week to purchase snuff. She is not, however, always parsimonious ; when she is in funds she gives her old shoes to her mother, and buys her a shawl for seven francs fifty centimes. If you perceive a half-burnt cigar on the table, it is she who has smoked it-a gold-headed cane, it is her father's--a pair of boots, they are for a masquerade. Any other accidental fragments of male attire - they are for theatrical purposes. If you stumble accidentally upon a gentleman advanced in years, it is her godfather, who wishes to settle her in life.
There is a district of Paris called the Quartier Latin. La Sorbonne,
the schools of law and medicine, the Collège de France, are its chief places. This learned district, as its name implies, is tenanted by the studious youth, the hope of France, and the future glory of this fine country. It is there that this studious youth gives itself up to scientific occupations, such as playing billiards, blowing horns, smoking pipes, and now and then, by way of change, attending lectures
. It will be readily understood that a youth with such serious occupations cannot look after his domestic affairs, his boots, and shirts: these artistic cares devolve
who shares his bifsteaks, his monthly allowance, and even in his monthly studies. There have been many Parisiennes of this class who could pass an examination in descriptive or general anatomy or in public law. These liaisons-mariages du treizième arrondissement, as they are called—are made at the bals of the Prado or the Chaumière, sometimes over a choppe of beer and the inevitable échaudés, but punch and ices are most influential.
Some idea may be gathered from these revelations of the Quartier Latin as to the moral of the French student. Is it surprising that at the moment of insurrection the students should rush down to the affray and add to the ranks of the insurgents ? It is now well known that amongst the 15,000 prisoners cast into the forts or buried in the caverns of the Tuileries after the affairs of June, were many hundred medical students. Many have never been heard of since those terrible days, while the majority, without the shadow of trial or judgment, condemned by the military tribunals, were transferred to the pontons and thence transported to Africa. No wonder that even French parents hesitate to expose
their children to a residence in Paris during these troubled times. witness, describing the opening of the present session on the 2nd of November, says that the hospitals are full of patients, but the hotels on the contrary are empty of students, and for the most part tenanted by their masters alone, a very unprofitable species of occupancy. Here and there a lank American, or a stray English doctor, may
be seen ; but that once busy and joyous quarter is now comparatively a desert; hardly a French student is to be met with in its once crowded streets, and the establishments which they were wont to support are closed or rapidly falling into decay. When we consider that in the great human ant hill
, yclept Paris, every morning some 50,000 persons rise up without knowing how they are to dine, it will not be surprising that there are among them many who follow industries sans nom. We do not allude here to the slothful cowardly reprobate of the lower, or rather lowest, class of human beings, but to the chevalier d'industrie of a higher order.
Turn now and contemplate that man, elegant, distingué—so perfectly amiable, so agreeable in his manners. A riband of some order of merit adorns the buttonhole of his coat, the cut of which is irreproachable. The most charming smile lingers upon his lips; his profile is at once graceful and refined; his look penetrating, yet mild. Nothing can be done without him; he is one at every hunting, party, at races, bals, and soirées. He shakes hands with deputies and with influential journalists; he is upon the best terms with magistrates and bankers, and sometimes dines with a minister. His horses are quoted on the “ turf;" his stories repeated in the minor journals. He is tutoyéd by dancers and actresses, adored by their mères, whose confident and counsellor he is. He carries from house to house, from green-room to green-room, the scandal of the day, the broken or the projected liaisons, the quarrels, the treacheries, and the makings-up. A good horseman, a skilful player, versed in the knowledge of diamonds and precious stones, he bets
at every word. As soon as a great lord, a wealthy tourist, the heir to a great name and fortune makes his appearance on the Boulevard de Gand, or under the arcades of the Rue de Rivoli, he picks up an acquaintance with him, invites him apparently to a fire-side supper, from which he prudently withdraws at the dessert.
Yet this man is the habitué of the clubs, the dandy, the peaflower of our golden youth. He is called l'ami de cæur !
It is not surprising that, in a city where luxury is paramount, the most common description of swindling practised is at the expense of keepers of hotels, restaurants, and cafés. The Parisian has a strange belief in fabulous wealth. Hence it is that millionnaire is his favourite expression, and every wealthy Englishman is in his eyes a milord. It is also to be attributed, as before said, to the circumstance that a great part of the business of Paris is simply engaged in supplying the demands of pleasure or luxury. All the tricks of the Parisians have a local stamp--some prominent feature or other essentially French. Sometimes it is 6 illustrious emigrant,” or “a great political victim,” pressing to his bosom a cross of immense value, only remnant of a vast fortune, the gift of a potentate. He is obliged to part with it, but he does so with tears of grief and heartrending sighs ; he will sell it for nothing-a thousand francs! The cross, when examined at a subsequent and more leisurely moment, is found to be worth thirty sous, and the distinguished victim of political events is a native of Pantin, where he has from time immemorial been an itinerant dealer in lucifers. Sometimes it is a lady, who is handed out of a carriage by two footmen, and enters to select jewellery. Desiring the articles selected to be paid for by the duke her husband, she takes one of the foremen with her in her carriage, but escapes by the back door of an hotel. Speaking of crimes of a more serious nature, M. Fo
er says, — The neighbourhood of the canal is very dangerous at all times. He is a miserable wight who has to traverse that district alone by night. A stab is soon given; the silent waters are there, and receive the victim, who has not even time to cry for help. Of late the police has been so busy seeking for political conspirators, that the assassins have had it almost all their own way. Nocturnal (attacks increased in a frightful ratio. At last the institution of "patrouilles grises,” ever moving on at short intervals, permitted those who were out late to get home without accident.
It often happened that, when an act of assassination was committed, the cries of the victim were drowned in boisterous laughter. If by chance some one, wakened by the cries of murder, opened the window, he would only see a group of persons laughing at the top of their lungs. Perhaps one of them would say, “Tais-toi donc, farceur; tu vas réveiller le quartier !" And he would shut his window, fancying it was merely a set of drunkards; but the next morning a bloody corpse lying at his door would disclose with what cynical cruelty a murder had been committed,
To turn to subjects of more general interest, M. Forster takes up the question of the republic in the threefold sense, whether such a form of government is in the nature of the country, if the French character can put up for any length of time with such a form, and whether the wishes of the nation go really along with it. The grievous sore whence springs the misery of the people M. Forster cor.siders to be, the contempt into which every kind of power has fallen in France. What a theme to expatiate upon, and how true! In France, says M. Forster, rebellion against the law is so attractive to the majority, that when the most fantastic demands are not conceded at the moment, they are ready to follow out their principles of disorganisation at once to an extreme. Hence, he adds, will France be tossed about, unsettled, and un
steady, till education has diffused among the masses respect for power. This may appear to many a state of things both difficult and tedious of cure. If France must wait till education shall have taught its masses and the élite of the country respect for power, it has a long time to wait, and the interval cannot but be looked to with great anxiety.
But it is not want of education. Capefigue explained the origin of this monstrous sore much more correctly when he traced it to the universities and the existing system of education. One of the directions most fatal to the executive which this tendency of the French to despise those in power is made to assume is Ridicule. At the present moment in France the most serious matters, the most noble actions, are made subjects of ridicule, and have no longer any respect attached to them. The provisional government itself, with its unlimited powers, could not escape this fatal spirit. Every name, however illustrious, is liable to be swallowed up in the same swamp in which the great and the insignificant, the glories and the shame of the country are alike engulfed.
As to the declaration of a republic at the Hôtel de Ville, M. Forster avers that it was received with a general stupefaction. The country “laissa faire," and M. Ledru-Rollin undertook to show by his commissaries that without a republic there was no safety. This stupor lasted for a sufficiently long time to induce a belief that the republic was a thing desired and accepted. All kinds of hopes and promises were also held forth by the party in power, and the past was calumniated at the expense of the future. Universal suffrage was to be the criterion of the national will, yet with it came the first disappointment. The nation had somewhat recovered the state of stupor into which it had been thrownit felt that the existing state of things could not last, yet it was not willing to go to an extreme in opposing the republican party ; it contented itself with returning nearly an equal number of members to the ministerial and to the opposition benches. The experiment still did not succeed. Mistrust on one side, fear on the other, paralysed action, and kept everything in suspense. The republic does not act, not because, as the Montagnards would have us believe, sufficiently revolutionary means are not put in force, but because it has not been established on a congenial soil. “ La sève républicaine" (the republican sap), says M. Forster, “is wanting in France." The Past in France belongs to the monarchy, with all its prestige, all its glories, and even all its vanities. To attempt to establish another order of things in a country whose past reposes on totally different principles is an impossibility. To attempt to destroy the traditions of the past is to subjugate and oppress the majority of the nation to the benefit of a few. Wherever there is a yoke there is resistance, with conspiracies, struggles, and civil wars. Now France is essentially monarchical, both in respect to its traditions and in the estimation of the middle classes, as well as in the vanities of its aristocracy.
France, in electing a president, rejected General Cavaignac, although he rendered immense services to society in the days of Juve, only because he was too republican. It
six millions of votes to Louis Napoleon Bonaparte because he did not represent a republican idea. Louis Philippe's fall has not carried with it all the traditions of the past. The question is as to whether the Monarchical or the Imperial principles will be first revived, and how long, if once more brought to life, either will enjoy vigorous and undisputed power. Nous verrons.
SOAPEY SPONGE'S SPORTING TOUR.
A WET EVENING.
We were nearly coming up from Hammersmith, where we live in a style of considerable elegance—not to say luxury-in a second-floor front-we were nearly coming up from Hammersmith, in one of Mr. Cloud's omnibuses, to what is technically termed "pitch into the printer," for breaking off where he did last month; when, on referring to the manuscript, we came to the conclusion that he could not have better described the long, pottering, driblet of words that ensued, ere Messrs. Spraggon and Sponge got their intercourse up to anything like a “cry,” than by breaking off,
and giving the reader à month to rest upon it. They went so slow, and dwelt so long upon each observation, that it would have been almost impossible to give an idea of the lapse of time that ensued without publishing the best part of a page blank, with here and there a cough,
, a hem, or a half-finished sentence.
At first they went about the pace of a couple of chess-players, and their passings and repassings of the bottle might have served for moves on the board. But though their tongues were somewhat tied, their minds were anything but idle. Sponge was thinking if there was any possibility of turning Jack to account; while Jack, on his part, was engaged in a most difficult and delicate inquiry, whether it would not be possible to combine his future prospects under Lord Scamperdale's will with his present interest of getting something by abating the Soapey nuisance by buying his horses on his lordship's account. It
may seem strange to the uninitiated that there should be prospect of gain to a middle-man in the matter of a horse-deal, save in the legitimate trade of auctioneers and commission stable-keepers ; but we are sorry to say we have known gentlemen, bearing even her Majesty's commission, who have not thought it derogatory to accept a "trifle” for their good offices in the cause. “I can buy cheaper than you,” they say, “and we may as well divide the trifle between us.”
That was Mr. Spraggon's principle, only that the word “trifle" inadequately conveys an idea of describing his opinions on the point; Jack's views being, that a man was entitled to 5l. per cent. as of right, and should take as much more as he could get, just as the servants at certain self-paying hotels consider that what is charged for them in the bills is “theirs," and what they can get for themselves is “ their own.”
It was not often that Jack got the chance of a “ bite” at my lord, which, perhaps, made him think it the more incumbent on him not to miss a chance when he had it. Having been told, of course he knew exactly the style of man he had to deal with in Mr. Soapey Sponge-a style of man of whom there is never any difficulty in asking if they will sell their horses, price being the only consideration. They are a sort of unlicensed horse-dealers, in fact, from whose odious presence few hunts are wholly free. Mr. Spraggou thought, if he could get Sponge to make it worth bis while to get my lord to buy his horses, the-whatever he might get