« IndietroContinua »
are thorough in their business, what- noise and fury that is deafening. The ever it is, and do it well. Paris has mania for getting rich, and swiftly, pershown what a wonderful creature a vades all classes; and here all classes woman may become, when her nonsense come to gamble and speculate, and here is converted into sense, her aspirations millions are lost and won daily. It is into worldly wisdom. An American or easy enough to see how those who know an English woman can hardly believe what the Emperor is going to say, may the point of perfection a whole city of
buy or sell safely. Here the Mornys women may reach in the arts of this and the “ Brethren of the Elysée” are world. It is well known that the Gri- understood to have amassed their amsettes are shrewd, cool, worldly to the ple millions, which enabled them to extreme; yet they are the most agree- rival the revels of Sardanapalus, and to able creatures in the world; and their die much eulogized. sisters of the higher classes are like The old nobility has gone down be them, only softened and tempered by fore the “new men ” of the new Empire. the downy beds of prosperity upon Some of them yet exist, but they are which they lie.
powerless, and it is believed they grow It is hardly necessary to assert that the weaker daily, in both intellect and Parisian woman is not the model woman money.
The future of France will -what God intended her to be; but hardly find her great men among them. whatever she is, she is equal, if not su- The art of living has been a profound perior, to the man. Upon him, the lord study in Paris for a century, and is of creation, him of the upper class, more perfected than elsewhere; that tobacco, coffee, wine, and high-spiced is, here every thing is utilized, and pleasures have done their work, and he nothing is wasted. Only the Very
rich is pale, slight, weak, idle. The men of live in a whole house ; living in suites the lower classes, the “ouvriers,” are of rooms, upon one floor of a house, is short, but stout and active; from them universal. On the best floor are the is made up the army of France, which salons and fine apartments for the rich; has no equal for swiftness, audacity, on the next floor, those for the well-toand endurance. Below these come the do; above, for the artisans, and higher population of crime (60,000 strong), up for the poor. whose hand is against every man, and Eating has become a fine art. Regevery man's hand against them. The taurants of every grade abound, and “ gamin” of Paris, the boy, who knows more people eat at them than in any neither father, mother, home, nor God, other city of the world. Home-life is is a breed ; most keen, most cunning, not so fascinating in Paris as in Amerimost enduring, most audacious. They ca; and the café supplies warmth, light, grow into thieves and desperadoes, and entertainment, and gossip. It is not so ply their trades in the slums of the city dull as home, and dulness the Parisian and under the nose of royalty.
hates, Within a short time singingThirty thousand chiffonniers, who pick cafés have sprung into life, and at them their living out of the garbage of the a new charm is furnished free. Here streets, exist in Paris. But we have Therese became known, and won fame no figures to express the rich of the and money. She had talent, she had city. Do they number as many? I voice, she had wants, and she had audoubt it. Still, the Bourse is an insti- dacity. She soon found that the imtution. In a great Hall surrounded pure paid better than the pure, that with Corinthian columns of white mar- vile images were more seductive than ble, between the hours of 12 and 3 every noble thoughts, and she threw around day (Sunday excepted, I believe), gath- these all the witchery of eye, tone, and ers a crowd of men. Among them are gesture of which she was mistress. the haut noblesse and the German Jew. They buy and they sell stocks with a * Died worth forty millions !
Whether she sang in the café or the Another of the arts of living-dress open street, she was thronged with de- -is thoroughly exploited in Paris. It lighted men. Before long she was is, must be borne in mind, that no sought by the highest ladies of Paris, creature of God's creating, except man, eager to learn from her the arts which is born naked, and continues so. The brought men to her feet. They learned energies of man, therefore, are taxed to sing her songs, and it is quite true (now to the utmost) to provide food that Therese has sung in the first salons and clothes. The supreme desire of of Paris, and in the presence of royalty man is for food, of woman for clothes. itself. She has retired full of praise and She may endure the deprivation of money, with a supreme contempt for an food, but without clothes she dies. The elegant society which she believes baser clothes one absolutely needs are such as than herself.
will protect one from the inclemency of Food is all-important. The Halles the weather; what one wants, pen canCentrales stand upon the once burying- not tell. ground of the Church of the Innocents. The wardrobe of Fayaway consisted This is the great central market, and of one garment of cotton cloth, tied here are sold, yearly, 110,000 beeves; about the waist with a cord braided of 46,000 cows; 169,000 veals; 840,000 soft grass. The wardrobe of the Prin sheep; and some 36,000,000 pounds of cess M
consists of 119 dresses of dressed meat.* 240,000,000 eggs are silk, each of 119 pieces, and trimmed consumed yearly in Paris, 28,000,000 with 1,900 yards of trimmings; 164 pounds of butter, and 292,500,000 pounds morning-gowns of various materials, , of meat. And yet the consumption of adorned with one million of buttons ; meat here is found to be twenty per 61 walking-dresses and cloaks, ornacent, less than in London. Wine flows mented with one ton of bugles; 51 into the city at the rate of 70,000,000 shawls of various sizes and colors; 152 gallons † a-year; and as the water sup- petticoats, in variety ; 275 other underply is poor, it is freely drunk. I have garments; 365 pairs of stockings; 156 said that nothing is allowed to be pairs of gloves of every known color; wasted. Coffee-grounds are sold and 49 pairs of boots and shoes; 71 sashes resold; “ Arlequins " sell every kind of and belts; 64 brooches, in variety; 72 broken meat and refuse food; the but- pairs of earrings, in variety ; 31 fans ; ter-tasters spit out the butter from their 24 parasols; 1 umbrella, &c., &c. Such, mouths on to straw laid on the floor to
in brief, is the wardrobe now of a firstcatch it; this straw is put into boiling class Parisian lady. water, the butter is skimmed off, and is How does she get these things ? Ah, sold to confectioners. The confection- that is a question; for she makes none ery of the city is famous and most de- of them herself. Twenty kinds of sewlicious!
ing-machines each do the work of fifty The market-women-dames de la Halle
sewers; these are at work night and -are a rich, robust, and powerful class. day. Beside them, 150,000 men and They are proud of themselves and of women at least are at work in Paris their business, which they attend to making clothes to cover the nakedness thoroughly and indefatigably. They of the race; and over $90,000,000 * love to appear at coronations and chris- worth are produced here annually. Not tenings of great families, wearing their only are there new clothes made to this bravery and jewels, to present congratu- extent, but three firms in Paris sell anlations and to be complimented. They nually, of “old clothes,” over $3,000,000 have been powerful instigators and pro- worth. This is vast-it is fabulousmoters of rebellions, and even emperors it is almost incredible; but it is true. do not care to trifle with them.
There is a mystery about this subject
Paris Guide, 1867. 1 68,200,000 gallons.
VOL. II -2
* 455,000,600 francs. Galignani, 1867.
that man's mind cannot fathom. It State, and told him " the thing must may be suggested by the question, What be stopped ! This preacher must be is fashion ? We look upon you (ladies), silenced, or the people would suffer for and exclaim, “What loveliness ! what food, and would rise in mutiny-for it exquisite combination of rosebuds and was by these gods of fashion the city tulle! what taste! what art!" Alas! prospered.” It was stopped ; the eloman is but a simple creature. He longs quent preacher was permitted to leave to possess the lovely wearer of so much the city; the ladies of Paris soon forgot loveliness, and to call her his. He does him and his teachings; the traders and not know what part Madame Roget and jewel-makers and modistes breathed Cora Pearl have played in this little freely; Paris was saved ! and all went drama. No one knows just how much on in the old way. Madame Roget and Cora Pearl have to Not only do the artistes of the Palais do in creating the fashions which domi- Royal create fashions, but they do annate soul and sense in all quarters of other and a greater thing: they compel the civilized world.
-yes, compel-every woman in the “What is fashion ?” is a mysterious Christian world, from the missionary question. By some sort of fraternity, under the walls of Jerusalem to the trathe great makers of silks and ribbons der's wife of California-all, of every and plushes and organdies do coöperate language and race, to adopt these fashwith the great milliners and modistes of ions, and to shape and reshape her garthe Palais Royal, and so discover what ments according to the whims of somethey will have the fashion to be, months body in Paris whom, individually, no one before the problem is resolved in the knows or cares for. A woman who cangeneral female mind. Three things are not follow the fashion feels herself disnecessary for the great manufacturers, graced; and a woman who will not do and for the artists of the Palais Royal: it is contemned by most of her sisters. one, to invent a fashion; another, to This is a thing which a man can hardly persuade or force the women of the compass, and quite fails to understand. world to follow it; and the third, to Thousands of women know this tyranny change it often. All this means busi- of fashion perfectly, but feel powerless ness; and fashion means business in to resist it. They detest the large hoops Paris, and it means nothing else. It is (once in use), they loathe the wearing thoroughly systematized, it is powerful, of a dead woman's hair, they are sick and it has its finger in the pocket of of trailing their skirts in the mud, and every woman of the civilized world. A yet they do these things; they do whatlittle story will illustrate this : In the fashion "—that hidden god-tells days of Louis Philippe, a most earnest them to do. and gifted preacher appeared in Paris. Now, woman is a part of the machinHe waked people from their worldli. ery which is used in Paris in this business, and inspired a sense of duty; but, ness with telling effect. There is a more than that, he became the fashion; class of women there known as “ dames so that women of the first rank hung du lac." They are, in fact, courtesans upon his words and tried to follow his of the most elegant and expensive deteachings. They took the jewels from scription. They spend much money; their hands and laid them at his feet; they drive in the most striking of equithey dressed simply and plainly, and pages, and display themselves every sunpoured the money into his treasury, or ny afternoon on the borders of the lake devoted it to works of charity; they in the Bois de Boulogne-hence their wished to be humane, and they ceased name. Now the purpose of these women to be vain and barbaric. Mark the is to excite a sensation, to attract the sequel! The traders, and jewel-makers, gaze of the world, to fascinate men,
and and fashion-makers took an alarm; especially men with long purses. Their they appeared before the Minister of most convenient weapon is DRESS. They
display themselves before the world in come thoroughly systematized into a the most lovely, the most gorgeous, the Church. This Church is a perfect mamost strange, or the most extravagant chine, which is indeed a power in the of dresses. To them flock the “gentle State, but is controlled and managed by men ” of Paris, glad to see, to know, to the State. This perfect machine is in talk, to flirt before the civilized world. the hands of able men, and is an inteAround them gather the “ladies” of gral part of the social life of the city. Paris, princesses, duchesses, marquisses, The worship at Notre-Dame is a superb and empresses, to see what the latest spectacle; the dresses are rich, the fashion is, to know how a lady is to lights fine, the music delightful, the array herself; only anxious to equal - audiences well-behaved. Here, too, is she cannot rival—these free "dames du applied that wonderful system and lac." Such is the latest phase of Chris- thoroughness which marks every thing tian civilization in Paris !
in Paris. A high-mass costs from 50 The name of Cora Pearl is well known. to 300 francs; a grand marriage, with She is an English girl, who has beaten carpets, chairs, choir, &c., costs some the French on their own ground. Her 300 francs; and blessed candles for the wit, her beauty, her audacity, her vice, poor to burn before the shrine of “Our have surpassed theirs, and to-day she Lady” can be had for a few sous. Death, rivals the Empress herself in the gaze too, pays. The business of burying is of the crowd. She it was who invented in the hands of the great company the fashion of wearing red hair; she (Pompes Funèbres) chartered by the State, dyed that of her poodle red, that it who furnish funerals at prices ranging might be in harmony with her own. from 19 francs to 7,184 francs-of which The brunettes of Paris bate none so the Church has its share. We must not much as her. They long to thrust a forget, however, that in the bosom of knife under the fifth rib—but murder is this wonderful Church lives and acts a not permitted.
body of women who save it from perI have said that fashion means busi- dition—the Sisters of Charity. Some ness—that it is thoroughly systematized of them are old, many young, but all -that it is a mystery—and that it has devoted. They spend their lives in reits finger in the purse of every woman lieving distress and allaying suffering. in the land. Can any one doubt? Can They do this not for money, but for the any fail to see that, by means of it, Paris love of God and man. In the Church, draws a tribute of $90,000,000 from the too, are to-day, as there always have universal world? Can any one ques- been, honest, sincere, devoted men, who tion that, if Paris could to-day be en- work at the problem of human life, and gulfed five thousand fathoms deep, the labor to raise the souls of men from the soul of every woman' would be freed
temporal to the spiritual. Just now from a terrible tyrant ? Does she desire the most conspicuous of these are Father to be freed? Let her answer for herself. Felix and Father Hyacinth. The first
There is one religion in Paris, and it is a Jesuit, and a most finished and culis called Roman Catholic. It is a curi- tivated preacher; but he fails to imous fact that in this city, where the Cal. press one with the earnestness and invinists once almost drove out the Catho- tensity of feeling which inspires Father lics, there exist to-day but two Calvin- Hyacinth. This last always attracts istic houses of worship. There is one crowds, and they are not only women. religion, but, according to Guizot, there Grave men, ministers, artists, writers, is not a faith-or almost none. Faith hang upon his fiery words in rapt in the unseen, faith in virtue, faith in attention. The Church is crowded an after-life of which this is the mere hours before he speaks ; carriages stop beginning, is rare, if it is to be found
It is a new, a startling, a at all in the Church.
This religion, novel sensation—this man preaching, as through two thousand years, has be- though he believed it, the gospel of the
poor and the suffering—the gospel spo- most practical and valuable, being such ken by Jesus of Nazareth two thousand only as will fit the children for the years ago on the banks of the Sea of work they have to do in life ; for it is Galilee.
not understood there that every child What is the result? It were impos- will probably be a senator, or an empesible to tell. The brilliant correspond- ror, as here. The mind of France conent of the Evangelist confesses herself centrates in Paris, and the mind of perplexed. She sees the crowd, she Paris concentrates in the Institute. This knows they are impressed, moved, elec- comprises : 1. The Académie Française, trified; but they turn away talking as founded since 1635, of forty members. they would after hearing an opera or 2. The Académie des Inscriptions et Bellesseeing a performer. They have had a lettres (1663), of fifty members. 3. The sensation—they go away.
Académie des Sciences (1666), of seventy“Never has preaching in the Church five members. . 4. The Académie des been more followed. Never was there Beaux Arts (1648_"71), of fifty members. more talent put into requisition to sat- 5. The Académie des Sciences Morales et isfy this mercurial population, mad for Politiques, of forty-six members. Those excitement of every kind-whether in who have the honor of being elected to the church or the theatre; yet never, these posts have received the stamp of perhaps, was there more of demoraliza- excellence, and are recognized masters. tion in society, or even vice, more un- Even in the whirl and vanity and exblushingly displayed in the amusements citement of Parisian life, it is anxiously and literature of the people.” What, asked, "When is there to be a sitting then, has religion come to be, and where of the Academy? when a reception ?” is the home of faith?
and tickets are eagerly sought for. Sunday is in no sense a holy day. In the various branches of science the The Church discourages business labors, French are unsurpassed. In the fine and most of the public works are sus- arts, especially in painting, they are topended; but private enterprises go for- day unrivalled.
day unrivalled. In literature there is ward, and for a part of the day labors certainly vast activity, and in the year go on, and the small shops are kept 1860 nearly twelve thousand literary open. The people throng the museums works were published, besides numerand gardens; the shows of the Champs ous periodicals. The press would be Elysées are vivacious, and the theatres the most brilliant and varied in Europe, are in full blast. Sunday is the holi- but it is muzzled. In the department of day of the people,
fiction, there is more brilliancy, variety, Education is not universal, but in the and intensity, and more vice, than in higher walks it is not surpassed. The any literature of Europe; and it is a “Polytechnique,” the“ School of Mines," significant fact that the tendency in all the “School of Natural History,” the directions is to tickle a satiated appe“ Academy of Fine Arts,” the “Con- tite and to excite a prurient imaginaservatoire,” the “Sorbonne," and the tion. Works are published and read “School of Medicine,” attract thou- unblushingly in Paris, which would not sands of scholars from all parts of the bear the light in America ; and they world. There are also some five hun
prove most profitable. dred schools for elementary instruction, In the departments of literature, sciwhere some seventy-two thousand chil- ence, and art, men not only reap hondren are taught at the expense of the ors, but they gather wealth, more than State.* These schools are under the elsewhere. But they work; they spare charge of the “Brothers of the Christian no pains; they are thorough. Here is Faith,” the counterpart of the “ Sisters now to be found the true nobility of of Charity.” The education here is France, small in numbers, great in
intellect. But this nobility, we may * Annual cost, £120,000 ($600,000).
well believe, is nigh hopeless. It look3,