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tant that their merry voices scarcely reach our ears, is a group of school-girls, who, under the watchful eye of a sage mamma, are enjoying a game of quatre-coins or puss-in-the-corner. We will disturb neither the brown-study of the politician, nor the mirth of the schoolgirl, but continue our way along the edge of the grove and this range of marble statues, which look down upon us from their lofty pedestals. Most of them, you perceive, are broken and mutilated; one has lost a hand ; another a foot, and another its nose. For this you may thank the revolution and the allied armies of the Bourbon restoration.
We now enter the wide avenue of the Observatory, and, passing through an iron gate-way, leave the garden behind us. Beneath that tree on the right, fell the brave but unfortunate Marshal Ney : May heaven forgive his murderers! The quadrangular edifice in front of us is the Observatory, a building sacred to the study of astronomy. It was built in 1677, by order of Louis XIV. after the designs of Claude Perrault; and has four façades corresponding to the four cardinal points. The line of the southern front corresponds with the latitude of Paris, and the halls are divided by a meridian, from which the French astronomers and geographers count their latitude. Let us turn and pass down this street, which leads us a little to the right. It is the Rue d'Enfer. Startle not at the name, and as we pass along I will relate a tradition concerning it. In olden time, Saint Louis was so much edified by the accounts he heard of the austere and silent lives of the disciples of Saint Bruno, that he invited a small brotherhood of that order to Paris, and gave them a house with gardens and vineyards at the village of Gentilly, which lies just beyond the barrier of Fontainbleau. From their windows, the taciturn monks could discern the ancient palace of Vauvert, built near where we are now passing, by King Robert, but abandoned by his successors. The monks of Gentilly thought within themselves how convenient this spot would be for a monastery; and straightway the old chateau was haunted by strange apparitions and hobgoblins. Horrid groans were heard by night, and a band of spectres marched through the apartments, dragging heavy chains, and led by a huge green monster, half man and half serpent, wearing a long white beard, and wielding a heavy mace, with which, ever and anon, he menaced from the windows, those who were luckless enough to pass that way after dark. The haunted chateau inspired terror through the whole neighborhood. To calm the fears of the people, the good Carthusians of Gentilly asked it of Saint Louis, and had it for the asking, with all its appurtenances and dependencies. From that time to this, neither ghost nor devil has shown his face in the neighborhood; but in memory of the times of old the street still bears the name of his majesty's abode.
Let us now cross into the Rue St. Jacques. The noble edifice in the front of us is the church of St. Geneviève, built by Louis XV. Its form is that of a Grecian cross, its vast dome, composed of three cupolas, rising over the common centre or nave. The portico in front is magnificent. It is supported upon twenty-two fluted columns, each five feet in diameter, and fifty-eight in height: :-a beautiful imitation of the Pantheon of Rome. We will not enter, lest the beauty of the interior should seduce ús from our walk. Let us elbow our way through this noisy crowd of market-women that fill the street. One is
driving before her a little donkey well laden with panniers of vegetables, and another carries upon her back a basket of various kinds of fruit. Their shrill voices, and the clatter of their sabots upon the pavement, interrupt all conversation between us. In the quaint language of one of the old writers of the thirteenth century,
Parmi Paris jusqu'à la nuit,
Je auroit moult corte durée.* (In the streets of Paris you hear the market-people cry from daybreak till evening, nor think it fatigues them, for they never cease to cry—“ Cherries! verjuice! come buy my greens! eggs and onions ! hot patties! hot cakes! Here's fine fish from Bondy! hot wafers, hot biscuit, don't forget! Lombardy chestnuts ! Maltese figs, without end! grapes of Palestine, grapes ! greens and turnips! green pease in pods, fresh and new !" And other things in abundance they cry, which I cannot repeat. So many articles are there for sale, that I cannot refrain from spending. And if I had great wealth, and from each one would buy an article in his line, my wealth would not last me long.)
We are now at the foot of the street, and are coming out upon the Quai-aur-Fleurs. On the left rise the conical roofs of the towers of the famous Conciergerie, and on the right the flower-market displays its treasures, and scatters its perfume. Before us sweeps the Seine, and the wide bridge, which seems to invite our footsteps to cross, is the Pont-au-change. It was formerly covered with houses four stories high; they were all demolished in 1788. In former times permission was given to the marchands – oiseaux, or venders of birds, to sell upon this bridge ; in consideration of which privilege they were obliged to set at liberty two hundred dozen of their feathered prisoners when the King and Queen made their entrée into the city. This was an
* Les Crieries de Paris ; par Guillaume de la Villeneuve.
emblem of the liberty which the new monarch promised his people, signifying that the oppression of a former reign was at an end, and that now the rights and privileges of the people were to be scrupulously observed. At the entrée of Isabeau de Bavière, wife of the unfortunate Charles VI. a cord was stretched from one of the towers of the church of Notre Dame, to a house upon this bridge. A Genoese danced along this cord, holding a lighted flambeaux in each hand, descended to the bridge, and placing a crown upon the head of the queen,
turned and re-ascended to the tower. As night had already set in, adds the ancient chronicle which records this wonderful feat, he was seen by all Paris and the environs. From this same bridge, Louis de Bourdon, the paramour of Isabeau de Bavière, was, by order of the king, thrown into the river tied in a sack, upon which was written, “ Laissez passer la justice du Roy;" (Let the justice of the king pass free.)
We have now crossed the bridge, and stand upon one of the islands of the Seine. It is the Ile du Palais. In the days of the Roman Emperors the shores of this little island were the limits of the city. Both Cæsar and Julian mention it by the name of Luteca. Turning to the left we pass down the quai. This little square that now opens to the right is the Place de Grève, the place of public executions, where the axe of the guillotine has spilt the blood of so many thousands. The large edifice which occupies the right side of the square is the celebrated Hôtel-de-Ville, so famous in the history of the French Revolution.
A short walk farther along the quai brings us out upon the middle of the Pont Neuf, a noble bridge, which, upon twelve massive arches of stone, bestrides the Seine, just where its waters unite at the western extremity of the Ile du Palais. The equestrian statue in bronze, which stands in front of us, a little to the left, is Henry IV. erected in 1817. From the little terrace on which it stands we have a fine view down the river. The elegant bridge below us is the Pont des Arts, passing gracefully from pier to pier on light arches of iron. As you perceive, it is reserved for foot passengers. On its right is the Louvre, and on the left the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Palace of the Fine Arts, where the sessions of the French Institute are held.
We have now crossed the bridge and are upon the northern bank of the river. I will take you a few steps down this narrow street in order to point out to you the house in which the Admiral de Coligni was assassinated on the fatal night of Saint Bartholomew. It is the second house on the left. This low portal leads us into the little court-yard. From that window the dead body was thrown out; and on the very spot where we are now standing the infamous Duke of Guise wiped with his handkerchief the blood that disfigured the face of the old man, to satisfy himself that it was Coligni, and then, trampling the lifeless body beneath his feet, cried to them around him, “We have made a good beginning ; let us go on with our work."
; Retracing our steps, and taking the dark and narrow lane which lies before us, .we soon emerge upon the little square of Saint Germain-l'Auxerrois. The old Gothic church upon the right is the church of Saint Germain-l'Auxerrois, from whose tower the midnight bell gave the fatal signal for the massacre of Saint Bartholomew to commence. Directly in front of us is the magnificent façade and col
onnade of the Louvre. The central arch leads into its immense courtyard, and thence you may pass onward through a similar arch into the Place du Carrousel. We will not enter, but turn to the left, and pass on to the Pont des Arts. You see yonder little skiff, that is plying across the stream. This is the scene of the dialogue between Henri IV. and the boatman. Just after the peace of Vervins, the king, returning from the chase, clad in a simple garb, and accompanied by one or two gentlemen, crossed the ferry at this place. The king perceiving that the boatman did not recognize him, asked him what people said about the Peace. “Faith," replied the boatman, “ I don't understand what this fine peace is ; there is a tax upon every thingeven upon this miserable little boat of mine, which hardly gains me a livelihood.”,“ But why does not the king regulate all these taxes ?” said the monarch. “Oh," replied the boatman, “the king is a good fellow ; but then he has a mistress, who must have so many gowns and baubles !--and we poor fellows have to pay for all those things. Passe encore, si elle n'était qu'à lui ; mais on dit qu'elle se fait caresser par bien d'autres!” This conversation so amused the king, that the next morning he sent for the boatman and made him repeat the whole in the presence of the fair Gabrielle d'Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort, who, enraged at the boatman's audacity, wished to have him bung. But the king said to her, “ You are beside yourself; this is a poor devil, whom misery has made ill-humored. He shall no longer pay a tax upon his boat, and I am sure he will always sing— Vive Henri, vive Gabrielle.' »
But I see you are already fatigued. Yet a few moments' patience, and we shall be in the garden of the Tuileries, where we can repose and refresh ourselves. Passing along the river-front of the Louvre and the Tuileries, a turn to the right, through this iron gate-way, brings us into the justly celebrated garden. Without stopping to observe the statues or the flower-plots, which adorn the parterre, let us pass diagonally across these fine avenues and enter yonder little pavilion beneath the terrace. There will we breakfast, for hark! the palace clock is just striking ten.
THE WRITINGS OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.
The great variety of writers of the present day may be divided into two classes ; those who appeal to the passions, and those who address themselves to the understanding. Of these, the former, and particularly the writers of poetry and fiction, possess, on many accounts, the advantage. There are certain springs in our natures, hidden, incomprehensible, which require but the touch of a master to call them into immediate action. Among these, there is, perhaps, no one more distinguished than the love of novelty. In the infant and the man of gray hairs, in the joyous gaiety of youth and amidst the bustling cares of manhood, in the sunshine of prosperity and the gloom of adversity, you will find it the same absorbing passion.
Its endless varieties intrude from the dignified inquiries of the philosopher exploring the
secrets of nature, to the romantic curiosity of the novel-reader, turning from the sober occurrences of real life to pore over the high-wrought tale of imaginary distress. It is this which has lent to the chivalrous romances of the Troubadours and Provençals their witchery ; and which has thrown its charm over the glowing inspiration of the gifted Croly.
Among these writers the name of Sir Walter Scott stands proudly pre-eminent. He is one of those master spirits which exercise an uncontrolable ascendancy over the minds of men; a being, moving and mingling among them like the cloud-enveloped Æneas, while surrounded by the immateriality of a world of his own creation. His poetry is marked by originality, and is altogether sui generis. It is not characterized by the pathos and sublimity of Milton, nor yet by the deep-burning thoughts of Byron, nor by the inimitable tenderness of Burns, por by the palling voluptuousness of Moore. It is wild and picturesque as the scenery of his native mountains, --harmony blended with strength. It is a living portraiture of the glories of ancient chivalry, when the hoary-headed minstrel chanted at the festive board the valor of the warrior and the charms of his “ladye love;" and the shrill-sounding pibroch rallied each warlike clan around the standard of its feudal lord. In describing these scenes his song partakes of the wild imagery and soul-kindling poetry of the ancient scald, with its uncouth asperities softened down to modern taste. His poetry reminds us of a superb but fantastic edifice, in which the strength and massive beauty of the Gothic style is tastefully blended with the lighter and more graceful charms of the Corinthian. Not that the workings of his genius are mechanical, or shackled by the common-place thoughts of a secondary writer; it is unfettered as the mountain eagle, stooping from her eyry among the crags only to rise to a more daring flight. He is the mighty magician who transports us by his wand to a land of which none but poets ever dreamed, and exhibits to us the dim forms of old, shadowed through the obscurity
We imagine we can behold in his seclusion at Abbotsford the scene in which
“The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
A local habitation and a name.
gods come down to us in the likenesses of men.". His characters are drawn from real life, from a keen scrutinizing observation of mankind; and you may find their living prototypes in all ages and conditions, from the proud royalty of England and the miserable pageantry of a petty prince of Dahomey, to the wandering gaberlunzie
of the past.