Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

served --Patissiers. where you may it 'suggests recollections of atroregale on patties and ices—theatres... city, and supplies sights of fascina. and billiard rooms. But the Pa- tion: it displays virtue and vice lais Royal, which is justly said by living on easy terms, and in ima the Parisians to be without its mediate neighbourbood with each equal in the world, demands to be other. Excitements, iodulgencies, principally noticed, now that I am and privations--art and vulgarity to touch on these subjects.

-science and ignorance-art fun It is a square enclosure, formed conspiracies, and careless debana of the buildings of the Orleans cheries--all mingle here, forming Palace; piazzas make a covered an atmosphere of various exhalawalk along three of its sides, and tions, a whirl of the most lively the center is an open gravelled images, a stimulating melange of space, with a few straight lines of what is most heating, intoxicating, slim trees running along its length. and subduing. There is a neat compact elegance The Palais Royal was the focus visible in the architecture of what of the revolution : its coffee-houses, was the palace-bot the building its theatres, its cellars, its gamba is now insignificant compared with ling-bouses, its bagnios, poured its purposes, and you can uo more forth their living streams into its attend to its proportions, tban you central space, to listen to the incould fix your attention on the vitations of the orators, who inprospects adorning the banks of a cited the people to carry into efriver, if you were hurried down fect the tremendous plans organized one of its cataracts.

within its concealments. It was The climate of France, and the here, that a joke, or a nod, operatcharacter of the French, conspire ing on a loose, reckless, heartless, to cause them to seek their plea- rabble,, was, in general, the man'stires out of doors. Home is the date of torment and carnage ind only place they neglect; it is a sometimes, by well-timed and forplace only for their necessities; tunately directed obscenity and .they must sleep there--and the falsehood, the instrument of dissitradesnjen must transact their husi- pating the fury. of those whom ness tbere ; a bed, a table, and a mercy could not soften, and justice few chairs are therefore wanted, could not restrain. A raging, voand a small room or two, uncar- ciferating gang of murderers, men peted and bare, must be hireil. I anil women, brandished their pikes speak, of course, of the middle to destroy the house and family of and inferior classes. But all that an aristocrat, who had bimself is inspiring and comfortable, they escaped from their fury. An apseek out of doors and all that peal to principle and feeling was they pride themselves iiheing able out of the question at such a time, to procire, is in the shape of deco- and to such beings; but a profli"Tation and amusement.

gate pleasantry supplied the suitaThe Palais Royal has grown to ble application. "Why pull down .be what it is, out of these habits his house?"-exclaimed the interand dispositions, and now presents cessor, mounted on a chair--" it the most characteristic feature of is bis lazulord's :"- '" wby kill his -Paris : it is dissolute, gay, wretch- wife?"-" she is the public's:”. ed, elegant, paltry, busy, and idle: why massacre his children?"

Q2

" they

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

they are probably some of your not he deprived of the right of exown."-A yell of merriment broke volting over the fall of guilt, in out from the congregation of fu- which they bad deeply participated ! ries, and the laugh of vice proved, The Palais Royal is still a place in tbis instance, a reprieve for the where news and politics are disinnocent.

cussed, and it puts on its air of The infamous Duke of Orleans, bustling dissipation, and lounging to whom the palace belonged, here sensuality, at an early hour of the expended his immense wealth in morning. The cbairs that are nursing, by means of the most lior- placed out under the trees, are to rible inmoralities, the revolution, be bired, with a newspaper, for a of which he himself was the vic. couple of sous a piece: they are tim. The scenes that were acted

soon occupied; tbe crowd of site here at that time are not suscepti- ters and standers gradually inble of description : the almost nin- creases the buz of conversation bounded revenues of this weak and swells to a noise-the cafes fillwicked prince, were directed at the the piazzas become crowded be suggestion of the most abominable place assumes the look of intense wretches, to every purpose of hue and earnest avocation yet the man depravity, included witbin whirl and the rush are of those who the opposite limits of sensual in- Aoat and drift in the vortex of dulgence, and cold and cruel am- pleasạre, dissipation, and vice. bition. From bence issued out the The shops of the Palais Royal ferocious mohs of prostitutes, pois. are brilliant; they are all devoted sardes, and blackguards, whose either to toys, ornaments, or luxucharacter and conduct form the ries. Nothing can be imagined history, for several years, of

more elegant and striking than tion calling itself

. great. The day their numerous collections of orat length came, when he who had namental clock-cases ; they are never been but the creature of formed of the whitest alabaster, those whom he fancied be guided, and many of them present yery in. was to perisb by the storm he liad genious and fanciful devices. One, assisted to raise. The Duke of for ivstance, that I saw, was a feOrleans was dragged to his death male figure, in tbe garb and with by the mobs who had been trained the air of pleasure, biding the in his pay, and his last journey hours with a fold of ber scanty was marked by an incident truly drapery; one hour alone peeped French: those who had partaken out, and that indicated the time of of the debaucheries and crimes of the day; the mechanism of tbe the Palais Royal, stopped its owner works caused it to be succeeded by opposite to its well-known gate, the next in sụccession. There are when he was on his way to the fa- also several passages at the back of tal machirie' that was to terminate the place itself, all full of this sort bis miseries' and crimes! They of display, though of an inferior wisbed to read in his haggard coun- kind, and including the features of tenance the emotions caused by vice in more distinct deformity. this sight, 'so pregnant with intole- Many of the shops in these, are rable recollections ; 'they could 'not kept by small booksellers, who ex. deny themselves the indulgence of pose their wares beyond their winthis extra barbarity; they would dows on stalls; and the mention

a na

1

ing of tbis fact, induces me to no- man's estimation, their places of tice here, two circumstances highly public resort and refresbment have characteristic of Paris, and indica- ap air of enjoyment, abundance, tive of its moral and social state. fraokness, and congeniality, to.

The first is the extreme profli- wbicb he has been utterly unac. gacy and filthiness. of the books customed. Fron five to half past and prints that are exposed for sale. seven, crowds of both sexes pour The vilest publications lie about into all the numerous receptacles every where, throwing in your face of this description, the invitations a grossness which amounts rather to wbich hang forth so thick as to to brutality tban mere sensuality. astonish the British stranger. The It is a proof how deep and general price charged witbin for dinner, is is the viciousness of manners wbicb specified on many of the signs, and causes this, that they run through varies from twenty-five sous, about all the degrees necessary to adapt one shilling, to four franks, above them to every class of purchasers. tbree. For tbese sums four or five Some are as elegant as art can dishes a head are promised; half a make them,-others mere villain. bottle, or a bottle of wine, a deous deformities. There are edi- sert of fruit, and bread “at distions of tbe works of all the esta. cretion." The latter stipulation blished anthors, graduated for of this engagement is no trifling every description of taste:-in one one, for it is known that a Frenchthe prints are chaste and good, in man's discretion in the article of another licentiousness begins to ap- bread, is not of the soberest kind. pear,-io a tbird it is more appa- The superior Restorateurs, howr., Tent,- in a fourth it amounts to ever, specify notbing ;-and here obscenity. All these are finely both the supply avd the serving-up executed, but there are others, re- are of the most elegant descripgnlated according to the same scale tion. Casts from the exquisite an. of wickednesss, which are done in a .tiques in the Louvre, stand in the much inferior way for the wants of niches,-lamps, with beautiful the poor. From the completeness shades, throw a noble light on the of the supply may be judged the tables, the waiters are active, and extensiveness and certainty of the Madame, the mistress, sits in her demand. But the most borritule splendid recess, as a superintendcircumstance connected with this ingadivinity, decorated, stately, yet branch of Parisian manufacture gracious; ber looks full of the remains to be told; it is so much consciousness of lier sex and staa matter of common trade, that tion, her manner, welcoming, pothe women in the shops, and every lished and adroit. - In the artifices shop is kept hy a woman, vend of cookery, and all the seductions these articles with the utmost un- of the cable, the French are adepts : concern.

-nothing can be more unfounded To return now to the Palais than the coinmon idea in England, Royal. It may, after this digres- that they are comparatively temsion, he supposed to be the hour of perate in obis respect. Their va

and the salons of the re- riety of dishes tempts the appetite, storateurs are all full. In propor- their rich sauces apply themselves tion as the bomes of the Parisians irresistably to the palate; instead are uncomfortable in an English- of eating less meat, becanse they

take

diuner ;

take more soup than the English, duct would prevail among them, they add the additional soup to a that they would become insufferamuch larger repast of meat than ble nuisances; whereas in Paris, is commonly made in England. A

A there is notbing seen painfully to little delicate looking woman, will offend the eye, and this is enough think it no violation to say—“0, to satisfy the Parisians that they mon Dieu ! j'ai mangé pour quatré, ongbt not to sbock the mind. and really, both females and men In regard to the nuptial ties and apply.themselves with a determi- abstinence from sensual indolnation, dexterity, and carelessness gences, the French are notoriously of observation, to the contents of less strict than the English : hut their numerous dishes, wbicb, in a their prostitutes are better bebaved, country where the secret is less and their public assemblages are known how to redeem by manner not so boisterous-the causes of the essential grossness of things, which are, that their women of the would constitute downright gore town are less a peculiar class than mandizing.

those of England. The advance of the evening Above the cellars and tbe shops throws out still more prominently of the Palais Royal, there are the the native and most peculiar fea: elegant Cafes, the common and litures of the Palais Royal. When censed gambling houses and bag. the numerous windows of its im- nios, and, still bigber, the ahodes mense mass of building are lighted of the guilty, niale and female, of up, and present to the eye, contem- every description. The first menplating them from the dark and de- tioned (the Cafes) are in fact serted ground in the center, a brilliant temples of luxury: openburning exterior, leading the ima- tering them for the first time, one gination to the lively scenes within, is almost struck hack by tbeir glare perhaps a more inipressive specta- of decoration and enjoyment. Lacle is not to be found in the world. dies and gentlemen in their colours, From the foundations of the build- and statues in their wbiteness, and ing, floods of light stream up, and busy waiters, and painted walls, illuminate crowds that make their anal sparkling delicacies of every ingress and egress to and from the kind, are mingled, and repeated, cellars, that are places both of and extended in appearance to in. amusement and refreshment: here finity, by numerous inirrors, wbich there are dancing dogs, blind men add vastness to elegance, and the who play on musical instruments, effect of a crowd to the experience hallad singers, petite plays, and the of accommodation. game of dominos. The tables are Leaving these scenes where pleacrowded with men and women sure puts on her gayest trappings, wives mingle with prostitutes, and appears in all her smiles and tradesmen with sharpers; the re- fascinations, you may enter others freshments are all of a light na- where her attire is coarser, and ture; nothing like intoxication is she has assumed more of the seen, and there is no very gross louring, jaded, desperate look breach of decorum in behaviour. of vice. The Cafe Montensier

It is very certain, that if there was a theatre during the revoluwere any similar places of resort tionary period, and it still contiin London, such abominable con- nues to be divided into galleries and

the

ners.

pit:-he stage is covered with a the features of deformity in their vast bouquet of flowers. Here most revolting aspects.

company is understood to be There is yet much more that be.. of a loose description: tbe men are longs to the Palais Royal, but I chiefly military,--the women pros- believe I have described all that titutes.

will bear description. Prostituta The gambling rooms.constitute tion dwells in its splendid apartspectacles purely shocking. They ments, parades its walks, starves are licensed and inspected by the in its garrets, and haunts its corgovernment, and therefore they are It is not, certainly, so rio, orderly and regular on the surface tous in its manner as in England; of their arrangements and beha- but it is easy to see, that its profli. viour, but they are licensed by the gacy is of a deeper, fouler, more goverument, and therefore they de- nauseous kind. Old men and old stroy the foundations of order, moa women are employed as regular in. tals, honour, and loyalty.

viters, and they think they consult On entering these horrid places, the interests of those who employ you are first startled by the prepae them, by putting their invitations ration of taking from you your bat in terms the most offensive to a and stick in the anti-chamber; manly taste. when you proceed into the rooms Such is the Palais Royal ;--where they play, your beart is win vanity fair, a mart of sin and sethered by anxious looks, and a duction! Open, not on one day heated stillness, rendered more im- of festival, or on a few bolidays, pressive by the small interruptions but every day of the week. Every given to it by the sudden sharp day does it present stimulants and click of a bit of wood, which in- opportunities to profigacy and extimates tbat the winner is seizing travagance, to waste, and riot, bis money. About these bellish and idleness. It is there—always tables, balf-pay officers, private ready to receive the inclined, to soldiers, clerks, and ex-employes, tempt the irresolute, to confirm are seen in a desperate contention bad babits, and dispel good resoluwith treacherous fortune; the ex- tions. It is there, -as a pestilenpression of the face as the trem- tial focus of what is dangerous and bliog band puts down the piece of depraved, a collection of loose money is awful; one piece follows and desperate spirits, in the heart another; gold is succeeded by sil- of a luxurious capital, as a point ver, aud, from five franc coins, the of muion for every thing that is unfortunate wretel is reduced to evil, where pleasure, in all her the risk of a single franc. He worst shapes, exists, in readiness, loses it, and leaves the room with a to be adapted to every variety of face that bespeaks him drained and disposition, and to enslave and desperate. For what atrocity is corrupt the heart by making the he not now prepared ? The ap- senses despotic. There is but one pearance of women at these tables Palais Royal in the world, say the is still more horrible; their sex, Parisians, and it is well for the which is so susceptible of lovely

world that there is but one. appearances, natural and moral, Besides the amusements bere alseems equally calculated to display. luded to, there are ten theatres in

« ПредишнаНапред »