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his shop window; he would fain clothe you in equally becoming raiment with his own; do but glance towards his window as you pass, and swifter than spider darts along his line on an implicated fly, he is at your side!— "Voyez, Monsieur!" "Entrez, Monsieur!" Or, are you hungry and not naked? Behold the pastry booth, with plates of cold Yorkshire pudding, rancid "babas," and gingerbread piqué with almonds, and all that can be made of equivocal butter, mildewed flour, and brown sugar. Here, too, are stay and corset-makers, who pique your curiosity or challenge your anatomical knowledge, in the display of taille of the most captivating dimensions, and indiscreetly show the very public how such things may be brought about by padding, and wadding, and cushions, and steel springs.
But enough! The Boulevard St Denys, as every one knows, is a compendium of Paris itself, and the St Denys coach, by which we mean to go, is ready to start, and warns us to mount in a hurry, lest we lose the quickly-occupied place to every sub
urban station: on we go, and on we go-the street getting shabbier at every step through the long long fauxbourg (all fauxbourgs are long, all fauxbourgs are bad, and this the longest and the worst), the shop-windows exhibit less and less costly merchan. dize; the plate-glass windows of the smart shawl-shops disappear; the frescoed ceiling and the gilt cornice of the coffee-house are no more. The bon-bons shops, which in Paris more than rival the very jewellers in display, have no business here-orange, and pink, and sapphire-coloured sugarplums are for other regions. We behold no longer the pyramid of caramel, the pralined petals of the orange, the violet, or the rose, the chrysolite that melts in your mouth, or the pretty girls who serve you. Sages femmes there still are and must be, but not like our Boulevard ones; the very signs are all in this quarter by inferior artists, and in place of the chemist's shop with all its glories, dried plants and tureens full of leeches indicate the humbler herboriste,
THE BARRIERE AND THE FAUXBOURG.
We are at the Barrière, and some day we will stop for five minutes to look at the proceedings of the officers of the Octroi, whose business it is, in behalf of the good Ville de Paris, to exact the municipal tax, so named, on all alimentary substances; and who accordingly run their long steel spits through unknown packages, and announced as dry goods-a skin of wine or spirits would stand a bad chance with this practical commentary on the Impulerat ferro Argolicas fœdare latebras. The buzzing hornets of this troublesome excise left to their occupations, we find before us a long amphibious kind of street, of which every second house is destined for cheap repast and economical winebibbing, where countless sign-boards attest how surely the ruling inclination of the many is to reconcile gastronomy with the frugal administration of finance; one tells us of its hundred couverts, and its weekly balls; another is prepared for marriage feasts, or any other rejoicings to be
got up on short notice (noces et festins). Here a swan with a cross be tween his neck and foot is at once the signe and cygne de la croix, and by the singularity of the device arrests the customer. There the "three barbels," true to their ensign, exhibit the dish of ready-fried flounder or gudgeon. Further on, the over-tempted Saint, amidst naked syrens and ruby winecups, seems by his gesture not so much intended to indicate the necessity of self-control, as the pleasure of yielding to the temptation of the Burgundy, &c., within-Burgundy beyond the barrier and the Octroi? Peep through those dirty panes and you shall see a voiturier's larder,-sheeps' trotters, crapaudine pigeons, stale cold meat, faded sallad, basins filled with stewed pears and plums, or the rolled cylinder of raw beef waiting orders, or the half of a yellow goose, such as one hopes Cyrus did not send his hungry friends; in short, hundreds of places are here where nature may be satisfied for a few
sous, and where hungry carters (who are zaprego avèges of course) assemble to toast sausages on their forks, and swill unoctroyed but sour wine with abounding approbation ;-be
yond all, behold that seemingly interminable avenue which is to end with our short journey, and place us before the Abbey Church of St Denys.
There's a bit of true French roadmaking for you! Straight and flat as need be, and with nothing to draw off your attention from the chaussée itself. A double row of young trees on either side, make two geometrical boundaries, which the eye may follow for miles, with practical illustration of the axiom that two parallel straight lines never can become one. The long line of lamps hung in the mid road; the clean-cut formal parallelograms by the way-side (for what use intended we could never guess) now half filled with water; the rectangular off-walks into the fields; the flat unhedged country, where the frequent poplar needs no training, and towers high above the apparently naked soil; the miserable wickets of the few cottages by the road-side, covered with rags drying in the sun and dust, are all un-English; while the utter absence of all vegetable barriers, the land's best covering, explain the striking absence of birds, which elsewhere adorn the sorriest rural scenery ;-in short, you are soon tired of the whole thing, and look forward to the objects that are approaching or passing you, the suburban carriages, which rejoice in the name of coucou (a nest of strange birds may usually be found there in incubation); the à volontés, the going
of which depends on the separate and sometimes opposite wills of wheel, driver, passenger, and team, and many others with or without distinctive names. Curious it is to see those gaunt, Holbein-looking horses, scampering away under the thundering blows of the gnarled whip-handle, or suddenly halting, or rolling groggily to one side, or shuffling knee deep, in dust of their own raising, dragging their little friend, the associated donkey, through it, such as these, and many others, meet or pass you in long succession, two, three, four, at a time, with right jovial crews inside, who sing, smoke, and make the most of their short drive; while, at the distance of several miles off, o'ercanopied, or emerging each from its cloud, the towering roof, the herculean build, and the approaching thunder of rival diligences freighted from England and Boulogne, approach, arrive, and pass with all the honours, privileges, and concessions of the road, leaving the cloud of dust which has dredged us like millers to be slowly dissipated. Again we are able to look about us, and find we are at the bridge of the Canal de l'Ourq; the Rubicon is passed, and we descend with both noise and speed into the very centre of St Denys!
And here we are at the door of our friend the Abbé * *: an excellent man he was, and this we said even before the excellent dinner he gave us. His age might have been seventy; he had seen much of the world, without having become on that account less benevolent or less indulgent to its frailties-all this you saw, or might see in his face-all this you heard, or might hear in his every remark, and all this you learned in his eventful history. He had been a chaplain in the army in early life-an official, for whose existence in the French armies we suppose the English reader is un
prepared-and had there duly impressed upon his own mind the importance of discretion and self-command. Old enough to insure respect, he was sufficiently urbane to dispel reserve; his good temper won an easy confidence, and his unaffected humanity was such as to lead him to sympathize with all human suffering. He was dressed in full canonicals, the blackribbed cap fitting closely to his skull, the black bands with the narrow white edge perfectly adjusted, and not one button of that long front row of a priest's walking attire, out of its button-hole. While he went to give
orders for dinner, I had time to glance at his little library, and discerned, amidst lives of saints, Catholic missals, and les Nuits de Young, a sprinkling of uncanonical romance, and an amateur treatise or two on cookery and medicine. A print of Fenelon's fine head was on the wall, and a Mater Dolorosa from Sasso-Ferrata; a bad engraving of the Crucifixion in a black frame, was evidently not hung up as a work of art, and two or three holy subjects in oils, with a few landscapes, completed the decoration. By the modest, but not uncomfortable bed, hung a small carved ivory crucifix, with a little vessel for holy water; a broad-brimmed hat hung on its peg,
and there was just enough of carpet in the middle of the room (more Gallico) to keep our friend's feet and those of his large oak table from taking cold; add a few chairs, an armoire, a warm cushion, which also did duty for a footstool, a comfortable stove, whether for standing at, or for sitting to read at by candle-light. All this had been glanced at, and the small amount of what is essentially necessary to human comfort reflected on, when the agreeable owner returned to accompany me to the cathedral; so, after taking a glass of wine and some of the talmouse, which is the staple commodity of St Denys, we proceeded thither together.
The Abbey St Denys is, for an edifice, as sacrosanct as any in Christendom. Ever since the decapitated saint who originally imposed its name, took that celebrated walk, "of which the first step alone was difficult”. (the promenade took place towards the end of the third century)-ever since he appeared to a saintly lady, by name Catulla, for the purpose of suggesting the necessity of a shrine for himself and two other saints, his fellow martyrs, has this same abbey been the scene and site of many a pious fraud. Its whole history comes of miracle, the shrine, which long preceded the cathedral, was itself, we see, intimated from above, and miracle on miracle marked the whole period occupied in the erection of the sacred edifice. The very workmen were supported on miraculous supplies, and a single inexhaustible cask of wine, of undeniable quality, gave them spirits for the task and strength for the toil; nay, on the very evening of the day preceding that when the bishop was to perform the ceremony of consecration on the finished building, a certain leper, fearing lest, by reason of his infirmities, he should be prevented from getting in with the crowd, stole thither, it seems, over night, and, standing between two columns (which of course are known), beheld the person of our Saviour, who, having touched the wall with his hand, forthwith vanished! Relating what he had seen to the people and the priests, who naturally required proof, this was soon
procured; for happening to point to that part of the wall which the divine hand had touched, his immediate cure was effected. Since this period the reputation of the abbey has been supported chiefly on the voluntary contributions of miracles, in which the attesting parties have been generally eye-witnesses of that for the accuracy of which they vouch; nay, the very road along which we have just been travelling to get here, may well have its interest to the faithful, though I could not stop the reader in the dust, as we came over it, to tell him of the very singular event which occurred before it was paved (some 800 years ago), a mile on this side the Barrière : a rogue, it seems, had stolen “La Hostie from one of the Paris churches, St Genevieve, I believe, and was making the best of his way out of town with his prize. Having cleared the gates, his curiosity was natural enough to open the sacred patina, when lo! the contained host escaped, and flew up to heaven like an caged bird; not, however, to remain there, since, according to the Chronicle, "après plusieurs hymnes et louanges chantées à l'honneur du St Sacrement, la dite Hostie, suspendue en l'air, vint à descendre miraculeusement entre les mains du Curé de St Gervais, non sans grande etonnement d'une multitude infinie de personnes qui estoient presents.'
Of a hundred persons entering this edifice for the first time, the probability were, that ninety-nine would utter an exclamation indicative both of plea
sure and surprise; so imposing is it in height of roof and length of nave, so graceful the graduated elevation of its fine sanctuary and quire, so pleasing the effect of those cataracts of coloured light that pour in on all sides from a thousand windows! The monuments are few, but on a grand scale, and placed with effect where they stand, especially that to the memory of Francis the First, the base of which is occupied by a magnificent bas-relief. The new organ, which is to be without rival in France, was, at our visit, not as yet installed, but active preparations were making for its inauguration, and it may be, and probably is, already pealing along the aisles. My friend the Abbé first conducted me to a door on one side of the quire; a secret spring obeys his touch, and we pass onward through a cold cheerless Sacristy, the only furniture of which was an ample store of huge fluted candles, and a high-mounted extinguisher standing in one corner. But here we stay not-a narrow door opposite to that by which we enter, lets us into a well- boarded, well-warmed, well-proportioned room, where a handsome stove, some easy chairs, and several good modern paintings, put your mind at rest on the subject of monastic austerity as comprehended at St Denys. A room was this where ladies might have sat over their work-boxes, or a gay evening party have assembled, quoad light, heat, and cheerfulness, without any mistake: but we must not tarry in it, for we have the vaults to visit, to do which we retrace our steps into the body of the church, looking up, as we are instructed, at the glass effigies of the French kings on the painted windows; we cross the high altar over the tombs of some of the later Louises, and descend by a dozen steps, through an iron grating, into the cold atmosphere of the royal vaults beneath. Directly at the end of a long arched corridor, and illuminated by a window which lets in a scanty light from above, you soon discern, on a high pedestal, the statue of Charlemagne. Here and there, on either hand, early sovereigns of France and their royal consorts, stone crowns on their heads and stone sceptres in their hands, lie extended in grim repose. The corridor, which appeared to terminate at Charlemagne's statue, is found, on approaching it, to divaricate
into other passages, leading to little low roofed crypts or chapels, where, placed upon many astone soros, lie quilted warrior and brocaded dame. Of course, you ask for Clovis, the first Christian king who ever imposed conditions on Providence, who, fighting against the Germans in 455, and being hard pressed, "fit un vœu à Dieu, que s'il lui donnait la victoire sans autre delay, il se rangerait à l'eglise Chrétienne, et se ferait baptiser.” "Prince très illustre," adds his historian, "si sa grande cupidité de regner seul, ne lui eut fait oublier et l'equité et l'humanité, envers ses parens et ses sujets les plus fidèles !" Childebert is another name you are sure to recollect; he came into being about sixty years afterwards. He it was who built that church in front of the Louvre, which no Protestant forgets, "St Germain l'Auxerrois." Here he sleeps in his stone trough, with his wife Ultrogoth beside him. It is she whom Surius calls, "Nutrix orphanorum, consolatrix pupillorum, sustentatrix pauperum et Dei servorum, atque adjutrix fidelium monachorum.' In the eighth year of the reign of Childebert, a great inundation of the Seine and the Marne happened, and boats suffered shipwreck between St Denys and Paris. "Sequana Matronaque tantam inundationem circa Parisios intulerunt, ut inter civitatem et basilicam St Laurentii, naufragia sæpe contingerent.” Chilperic comes next in order: he was by no means a deserving person, and his wife Fredigonda, who lies "en marquetterie" at his feet, was a very Clytemnestra in her life. He is represented here with his hand to his chin, not, says Gregory of Tours (who is by no means flattering in his account of him), to signify how he died (his throat was cut), but merely because he had a habit of stroking his beard. Gerard gives you all that need be said or sung of either consort in three lines
Bupinus, "pro peccatis patris sui, Caroli Martelli." Next comes Charles le Chauve, who, with Cæsar's laurel, could never get Cæsar's knack of writing Latin; witness the following edict, where, in honour of St Denys, he ordains, “nullum teloneum, vel barganaticum, nec rotaticum, nec pontati. cum, nec cæspitaticum, nec pulveraticum, nec salutaticum, nec mutaticum, nec ad nostrum opus nec ad vestrum, nec ad juniores nostros ullo exigere aut exactare præsumatis !” The Reine Blanche sleeps here in black marble, and Philip Augustus, who, in 1190, enclosed Paris with a rampart. He built the Halles, "Halas, Magnas Domus in quibus, tempore pluviali,
omnes mercatores merces suas mundissime venderent, et in nocte, ab in
cursu latronum tute custodirent." The pretty baby king, little Louis X., who died at eight months, is a lovelylooking infant, and gives relief to the quaint tombs near him, where imbricated warriors lie in quilted mail, while coloured figures in wood, with short petticoats, and of true Dutch build, stand over them. Hideous blue angels support golden heads of departed sovereigns, on red cushions, while the yellow or green slippers of the royal form rest upon the flank of some frightful abortion of natural history, a mis-shapen dog, a lamb with a golden fleece, or a round-headed lion with a man's face and a rat's tail. On the whole, a day at St Denys is far from being unproductive of entertainment or instruction,
Mr 's drawing-room is an elegant drawing-room-we speak of the men and women we meet there, not of his tables and chairs. It is one of those which one frequents with feelings of unqualified approval, and never too often. His dinners are without pretension, good, and remarkably well served. In their social composition he knows both who is who, and what is what; and to partake of that repast chez lui, which is at once the criterion of an host's abilities and a specimen of his society, is, in the Maison ****, an assured enjoyment of several hours, for which you feel grateful and flattered. One already foresees a beautiful avenir, where the soup is not an unmeaning expletive, but challenges attention by its excellence, and is promptly distributed by many hands. The first moments of suspense are past-you have reconnoitred your position-you have taken your roll out of its spotless napkin, and unfurled it on your knee-you are going to make that first sotto voce and decided movement towards acquaintance with your voisine, which, inspirited by the soup and half a glass of fine sherry, gets on afterwards of its own accord. In this agreeable salle à manger the dishes always come at the right moment-the damask arena is always occupied-the servants watch the guests' movements, and know that while they are interesting each other in sparkling sallies of wit,
or graceful attentions of common-place, that any thing put down to be eaten, abruptly before them, would only be an impertinence, and stop mouths more agreeably employed. The adroit service seizes the happy moment, when an agreement as to a cantatrice's merits, or an actor's originality is arrived at, and the conversation for an instant languishes; this is the time, surely, for the entremet, the sole en matelotte Normande, the pleasing mixture of the Macedoine de legumes, or that abyss of good things, the truffled vol-au vent, which lies smoking before you. The wine, being necessarily good, is not, as in England, descanted on ; no dish is criticised; the elegant refinements of easy circumstances, and the good taste of the invited, spare you the possibility of a shock, and are apparent throughout; no awkward butler breaks mismanaged corks; an invisible functionary executes that duty without reproach. The footmen are silent in their service, unless, when bringing round some bottle of more recherché quality, they whisper the patronymic. They note your slightest movement of want, existing or satisfied, and never trouble you to repeat a demand. No lowering spouse looks thunder-clouds at some awkward exhibition of the homeliness of the family resources ; no conscious husband strives to cover his wife's discomposure by becoming prematurely and unnecessarily gay; no flippant imper