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Between the Lakes, or where the river Green
Here do I live content; nor oft incline
Of ocean round float linked in equal love.
LIFE IN GREAT CITIES.
The city of Paris is the brilliant nation of more than thirty millions pay flower of modern civilization; to its tribute. In brief, each one man in the shrines wend pilgrims in crowds, from army is absolute master of more than Europe, from Asia, from Africa, and sixty of the people of France out of the from America more than all. It is the army; and nearly all the earnings of paradise of women. Here are gathered France, beyond a bare subsistence, go to and here are spent the taxes of all support this army and the machinery France; here comes the intellect of all which controls it. Ah! that is the France; here is exhibited the art of secret. The man who moves this France and the world; here is amuse- thorough and perfect machine is Louis ment in a thousand shapes, and here is Napoleon. He is master of the army, ---a single religion.
and so potent is the system of what is Society was never brought to so thor- called “ government,” that even this ough a system as here, and never was the army itself finds itself the tool of someart of preying upon man so completely body, and that somebody the possible organized.
nephew of the great Corsican advenIf the end of civilization is to perfect turer. Just what amount of all the mankind; to educate and develop a taxes of the people of France the army healthy, handsome, happy people; to gets directly and indirectly, it might be promote good fellowship and kindness; difficult to say; but it seems, according to bring man into harmony with God- to the Paris Temps, that 169,910,430 if this is so, then we may ask, Has the days are consumed by it every year. civilization of Paris done this? Per- That amount of men which might be haps not.
productive, is not only unproductive, To-day, the central figure in France, but is consuming and destroying. It and in Europe, too, is Louis Napoleon. was estimated that every soldier in our In the city, and in all the empire, his war cost one thousand dollars a-year. will is law. He is the child of accident, If the French soldier costs but half that, but he has had the audacity to seize it would make the respectable figure of and the talent to use all the people two hundred and fifty millions of doland all the production of France, and lars. to make them work out his purposes. Some have fancied that this vast It is a remarkable success, and it is the body of armed men was kept up to result of a belief nursed until it had be- operate upon the fields of Europe, to come a fanaticism-cold-blooded, it is control empires, and enlarge boundtrue, but still a fanaticism-a belief that aries. It may be so used, but it has he was to be Master of France. To serve
It centres in Paris, and is France was not his dream, but to make useful there. Spacious barracks, filled France serve him. Cæsar was the model with thirty thousand men, dominate the he studied, and he saw long ago that most important centres of the city. The the Master of France must make the great sewers are constructed with railarmy of France his, as the Master of ways in them for the speedy and secret Rome had made it his twenty centuries moving of troops. There is not a paveago. This he did, and since the 21st ment left in the city with which an outday of December, 1851, that army of raged populace can build a barricade. five hundred thousand men has made a The Master of Paris thus guards himself against his loving people, and an a convenient thing, but it is difficult to army is a most useful thing in his great sit on them.” housekeeping. But-it must be soothed The Government is paternal. The and placated; it must be made to feel Emperor not only keeps the people and to know that the soldier is better from breaking out into disagreeable off than the civilian; that there are insurrections, but he sees that they are praise and pudding for bim. He does fed and amused. Taxation is thorough feel it; and, so long as he does, no and searching, and none can fail to see Emperor can be deposed. There are how closely the Parisians live to starvaugly stories afloat of what the Prætorian tion; but they never do starve. Why? Guard did once in Rome, the Janis- From time to time we learn that France saries in Turkey,--and no Emperor can is in the market to buy wheat in vast well forget them.
quantities. What for? It is to feed Espionage. So thorough is the system, the people of Paris, when work runs that this army itself cannot unseat an low and the machine creaks. The peoEmperor except by a convulsion involv- ple must be cared for, too, when they ing fearful risks and untold woes. The aro sick, and they must be amused to police of Paris is perfect: five men can- the requisite degree. These things not stop on the corner of the street to “ Government” undertakes to do in have a little talk or to hatch a little Paris. conspiracy; nor can they meet in a The whole administration of charities room, privately or publicly, except by and public aid is also thoroughly orpermission of the police, and with a ganized, under the Prefect of the Seine. policeman present to report their do- The Director, in 1864, estimated that ings. The most brilliant members of those who would demand relief in 1865 the Institute can discuss political ques- would number 259,199,* of whom over tions only under cover of Greece or 100,000 + were registered poor (permaRome; and in the Parliament of the nent paupers), 91,355 were in hospital, nation every statesman speaks with a 30,000 sick beside were treated at their curb in his mouth, upon which rests the own bouses, and 23,416 abandoned chilfinger of the President, upon whom dren were placed in the country. rests the hand of the Emperor. Every Two hundred and sixty thousand man 'f note or influence is watched, and paupers in the city of highest civilizahis doings, his plans, and his thoughts ion, does not tell a pleasant tale ! are known-the system is so perfect! The population in 1860 was 1,700,How, then, is there to come any change 000, and in 1866, 1,825,274–one eighth to Paris ? Only through the weakness of all not able to support themselves by or the generosity of the Emperor, or their own labor; another 100,000 were through a convulsion. For more than soldiers, and 60,000 ranked as criminal a thousand years Paris has been “gov- class. Any thing might happen, and erned " in this way; she is used to it, some convulsion must happen. But but from time to time she has broken "good order” prevails, and the Empire up into eruption; the most frightful of is peace—such is the word of the Emwhich has come to be known as the peror
himself. The Prefect of Police French Revolution. Then the guillotine has under his direction a body of 4,300 cut off the heads of kings and queens men and 4,400 gensdarmes, a large part and dukes and princes in the Place de of whom wear swords and guns. Ву la Concorde, where to-day stands the their help, matters are kept serene. It Needle of Luxor. The blood is dried is the most singular of paternal governup, and fresh earth is strewn, and all is ments
"And all its life is love." gay and bright; but—a sham civilization breeds mischief, and who can, who
After all, we may assume tbat every dare, predict the future ?
* The Charities of France in 1866. It has been well said, “ Bayonets are 118,000.
one of the two millions of human beings I discover another fact-new to me in Paris is as important in the eye of and it may be to you—that 87 out of the Creator as Louis Napoleon. We the 100 of them can read and write.* It are also interested in them, and in the is not the want of what we call educalife they lead there.
tion, then, that Paris suffers from. It is certain that life is as difficult While among the figures, it may be there as anywhere, notwithstanding so well to say here, that for the last sixteen many Americans who go there believe years Paris has exported annually some it the most delightful city of the world, 160,000,000 francs, or $32,000,000, of and that life there is easy, gay, and fas- manufactured articles.t cinating. Paris is not all Champs Ely- I have asked you to note that life is sées and Rue de Rivoli.
thoroughly systematized in Paris, under It has been said there is no starvation, a paternal despotism of which Louis while there is,-a vast population of Napoleon is the father; and also that, 260,000 belonging to the pauper class. notwithstanding this, nearly the whole Another indication of the widespread population, while it never starves, lives poverty and of the hard struggle for as close to starvation as possible. You existence prevailing in Paris, is seen in may wish a fact or two to sustain this the Mont de Piété. This is a great gov- assertion. ernmental pawnbroker's shop, with vari- The budget of Paris-receipts and ous branches, and is thoroughly system- expenditures about the same—for the atized. It guards the poor against the year 1867 is officially stated at 241,653,extortion of free pawnbroking. Through 613 francs, or about $48,330,000. Nearly fifteen years, 1,313,000 articles were the whole of this is raised from the pawned annually, and the average of people of Paris. Every egg is taxed the loans was but 17 francs 40 centimes every dog is taxed, water is taxed, ---some three dollars and a half. This burials are taxed, wood is taxed, hay is may help to dispel the illusion that the taxed, night-soil is taxed-every thing people of Paris are gay and lightheart- is taxed. It must be, for the police and ed. My own experience (brief though National Guard require yearly the pretty it was) led me to the belief that no little sum of 15,329,000 francs, and pubpeople lived so closely, so carefully, or lic works (what is called “beautifying were in such grim earnest to get a sub- Paris ") 23,681,000 more. · The people, sistence; and that nowhere are the large the workmen, and those who amuse, get mass so entirely hopeless as to bettering most of this from the strangers, and the their condition-except it be through government gets it from the workmen, revolution and convulsion. The system Its system of taxation is thorough, and holds them in hopeless poverty or
there is no escape. mediocrity; and the system cannot be Is Paris an earthly paradise for womchanged except by revolution.
an? Rich women and strange women About one half of the whole people at may find it so; but the great mass of Paris—say one million—are classed as women there are intensely industrious, workmen; of these, in the business of and are poor. The Parisians have disFood, are..
covered the art of utilizing their women. Building..
71,242 They have converted them from lovely Furniture..
37,951 Clothing and textile fabrics..
and loving companions for man, serene
18,731 partner of his joys and his sorrows, Printing, engraving, &c. .......... 19,507 doubler of his prosperities, sharer of
It may be curious to learn what these his misfortunes—from careless, inconseearn. I find that the wages of men quent, unproductive creatures, into the range from 3.25 francs to 20 francs shrewdest, toughest, hardest, homeliest, a-day—or from about 60 cents to $4; and most productive of the race. It is those of women from half a franc-10
Galignani for 1867. cents—to 10 francs, or $2.
doubted whether ten handsome wonen We come now to a rather startling can be found in Paris to save it. They assertion. It is, that in the modern produce vastly, every thing but chil- civilizations of Paris, and other great dren.
cities, the strongest instinct of woman's “ Love”-so-called-is in the market, nature, maternity, is nearly extinct. Ma and in the Latin quarter, as well as in terialism has taken its place. Women others, whole populations of women, marry for money, not for love; they called Grisettes, are up for hire as tempo- yield their virtue to the charms of rary companions of students. These are money, not to the blandishments of not to be described as harlots. While passion. They are not sensual. A few the engagement lasts they are true to facts may help to sustain these assertheir part of the bargain ; they keep the tions. The legitimate births to a marrooms, they cook the food, they wash riage in the Department of the Seine and mend and make; and when Sun- (Paris), in 1854, were but 2.51; while day comes, in their neat dresses they go in the rural populations they were 3.25. out upon cheap and pleasant excursions, It appears that in 1800 the births in all or they enjoy a cheap theatre in the France were 3.33; in 1855 they had deevening, and are not abandoned women, clined to 2.50 per cent. Among the in our sense of the term. This life is shopkeepers, the common reply is, “We their business, and there is no shame and cannot afford to have children ; no condemnation among them.
they do not have them. Among the There is much less apparent vice in upper classes they do not wish to have Paris than in any great city, and the them, and they do not have them. * social evil” does not stalk the streets Among the poorer classes there is, as as in London and New York. All is there is everywhere, much heedlessness. here systematized also. Every house of But here steps in an agency which ena prostitution is known and registered ; its bles these poorer women to keep at inmates are all registered ; and they are work. There are eighteen crèches, or subjected to montbly examinations, to public nurseries, which receive some secure them and the people against dis- 2,500 babies yearly, whose mothers, ease. Some 50,000 malheureuses * are thus relieved of their care, are enabled so registered, and there are 25,000 to to keep at work. We come now to an30,000 besides these who are not regis- other fact. About five thousand * chiltered. They are not allowed to dress dren are annually abandoned to the conspicuously, or to walk in the best foundling hospital. This has in its streets soliciting custom. All is done charge, mostly in the country, 23,228 decently and in order. Marriage is be- abandoned children, who know neither coming more and more difficult, and father nor mother, and whose mothers non-marriage more and more easy. never see or know their offspring.
Young American women, of the nou- The women of Paris do not love teau riche, are taken to the Paris mar- children, do not want them, and do ket, because there marquises and barons not have them. The maternal instinct abound; these want money, the others is suppressed, or it is sacrificed to the want titles. Among the upper classes, insatiable necessities of life, or to the too, so much rank strikes hands with so exorbitant claims of pleasure. Is this, much rank or so much money; but all indeed, progress? Is it civilization ? is a matter of business, settled upon The women of Paris are not beauti business principles, before the final con- ful, nor are they loving; but they are summation. In such a condition of most capable, most dexterous, most fasthings we should not look for much cinating. What they lack in beauty, domestic bliss, nor much domestie jeal- they make up in skill, in tact, in subtle ousy: we do not-they do not exist. flattery, in neatness, and in sense. They
* Paris Guide, 1867, p. 1883.
* In 1864, 4,489.