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Does the eater desire some drinkables ? The twinkling of a bell announces the approach of a man, bearing upon his back a large flask, filled with wine or lemonade. The pipes conducting from it project forward under his right arm. Four bright goblets are outstanding from his chest, and three hang down from his girdle. He cracks up his beverage as the finest in all Paris, and sells a glass thereof to the market women for one sous. Those people seem not to lack happiness. They are continually joking with each other; they have each the condensed health of half-a-dozen ordinary persons, and their boisterous rampant laughter has no parallel, save in the shouts of a Dutch burgomaster.
Passing from the Marché des Innocens to the Palais Royal, I stepped by chance into a cabinet-de-lecture just long enough to inform myself that the periodical press was active on this day as on any other; that every journal made its uninterrupted appearance, and that some of the most merry and roguish whereof Paris can boast, husband themselves profanely for six long days, that they may send forth their diabolical waggery only on the seventh. The gardens of the Palais Royal were filled like those of the Tuilleries. The Passage d'Orleans seemed all alive with promenaders. Gay grisettes laughed in the spray of the fountain, falling sheaf like. The shops shone dazzling as The dames-du-comptoir presiding therein told as pretty French lies about their wares as on a week day, and as their moustached customers departed, streamed after them certain glances which, though issuing from very heavenly eyes, were cer. tainly very far from being sanctified by any divineness in their
Walking beneath the arches my eye was arrested at No. 36, by this sign, “ Dentiste au 3me.” I ascended into the third story. Entering a little ante-room, whose walls were hung about with hats and cloaks, a man, holding a triply-pronged staff, like Neptune's trident, in his hand, and known by the emphatic appellation of bouledogue, eyed me keenly for an instant, and then received my hat and cane. A servant in soiled livery now opened a door leading to a large apartment. I saw within some fifty faces disturbed and saddened. I heard a tinkling of silver, and then the roll of a little ivory ball, and then a sepulchral voice saying, “ Rien ne va plus !" I was in one of the hells of Paris. By what I had this morning already seen I was prepared for witnessing almost any extremeties, but hardly did I expect to find the gambling houses in full operation. It was now two o'clock. One hour since was the room opened, to continue so untill midnight. It contained
two tables for roulette and rouge-et-noir. It was not magnificent. The walls were dingy; the floor was dirty ; rules of the games were hung up in black frames here and there ; the garcon solemnly passed lemonade to this or that gambler ; no ladies wandered about in stereotyped smiles, lighting on raw youths to ruin, and the money was staked tremblingly down by the biggest and dirtiest hands I have lately seen. “ This is hardly a Frascati,” said I. But it is ten thousand times worse than Frascati's. It is a gambling house to those who cannot afford to lose. It is for the labouring class, and those old gamesters who are nearly used up. I saw there many pale faces, and many flushed ones, contrasting strangely in their wild agitation, with the careless, motionless, im. movable visages of the croupiers. Your croupier, holding his natty
rake upright while the wheel is turning, looks around upon the company with a complacency “mild as cheese." He even seems amiable. How affectionate is his manner while changing your forty franc piece! But, let only a dispute arise, you shall suddenly see several mad demons in his eye, and the worse passions of the archfiend himself wrenching every feature. The rouge-et-noir table was thronged. My eyes rested on an old man in black cotton cap and spectacles, whose face had once been intellectual, whose manner was that of the graceful French gentleman, and whose vestments were extremely shabby. How anxiously did his trembling hand prick down upon the bit of paper before him the results momently announced by the tailleur, “ Rouge gagne et couleur perd,”—“Rouge perd et couleur gagne.” That man had once played high at the Cercle des Etrangers ; afterwards strong at Frascati's ; then moderate at No. 154, Palais Roy. al; and finally was he playing low at this degraded No. 36. His next legitimate descent will be to the Morgue. As, departing, I descended the stairs, into mv memory came unbidden the paraphrase, “ 'This is indeed the den of Satan, and none other than the gate to Hell."
Moving out from the Palais Royal, through the avenue where now, as ever, you may hear the shrill cry, “Vingt cinq sous !" and entering the Passage Colbert, the Passage Vivienne, and the Passage Panorama, I perceived no cessation of business, not the slightest token that this was a day of observance among the Parisian French. Dropping for a moment into the Conservatoire-des-Arts-et-Métiers, I learned that at three o'clock a certain Professor Dupin would there deliver his usual Sunday lecture on — chemistry. Not tarrying to hear it, I directed my step towards the Boulevard-du-Temple. What rattling of car. riages! What shouting of people! What pantomimes! What puppet-shows! What rope-dancing! What mountebanks ! What tumblers! What music! What multitudes of boutiques ! What vending and crying up of knick-knacks!
“ Here is nothing more nor less than a fair,” said I. " I must be mistaken in my day. This is certainly Saturday or Monday.” A man at my elbow set me right. “ It is Sunday, sir,” said he, cracking his whip, * and if Monsieur wishes a drive to the Barrière du Combat, here is a cabriolet tout-a-fait magnifique.”—“ And what is to be seen at the Barrière du Combat ?" asked I.- A grand fight of animals, Monsieur.”_“I'll go,” said I; “ but wait a mo
Before some large squares of canvass covered with grotesque figures stood a man, in costume most bizarre. He was addressing an audience of fifty. His subject was the massacre of St. Bartholomew. A picture of the said massacre was to be seen within. Having concluded his energetic description and harangue, he said, “ Here is the magnificent picture, gentlemen, enter! only two
Enter, Messieurs, quick! quick !" and then one comrade rang loudly a bell, and another blew a horn. The object was to take the curiosity of the audience by storm. That audience walked coolly off in an opposite direction.
At the side of this exhibition stood another quite different. An enormous porker was there to be seen. It was from Bordeaux, and if it corresponded with the length, and breadth, and height of its portrait, must have been a monster indeed. Had that mammoth. hog been exhibited in America, you would have seen at the entrance
to its pen, a portly gentlemen in blue dress-coat and bright buttons, with his hand thrust into his breeches' pocket, deliberately stating that "the animal within was really a very great curiosity, that it was raised in Ohio by a member of Congress, that it showed the progress of the State in breeding swine," and his whole manner, as well as stomach, would have revealed some appropriate sympathy with the magnitude of his theme. Here, however, was a French pig exhibited by French men. To draw spectators, one little man in green cap and feathers beat a drum; another in red jacket and sword, stuffed enormous quantities of tow into one side of his mouth, and miraculously puffed out enormous quantities of smoke from the other, while a third in harlequin costume, and in waggery which none but a frequenter of the Boulevard du Tem. ple could appreciate, rallied him about the peculiarity of his appetite, bobbing every now and then his head against his neighbour's with gri. maces beyond number. A goodly company having at length been at. tracted, the drummer announced that the charge for seeing the animal was but two sous. A porcellian curiosity could be awakened in only one very old woman, and one small boy.
The cabriolet bore me swifty through the Rue de Lancry to the Bar. rière du Combat. A miscellaneous barking, hoarse and shrill, announced the vicinity of animals. I approached a door. The ensigns of battle were thick about it. Sanguinary pictures of dogs pitted against wild boars, and bears, wolves, bulls, and jacks, and of dogs against dogs, met my eyes wherever they were turned. The woman who sold me a ticket of admission looked ferocious and gor. gon-like. The man who received it at the door had a mouth like a bull
. dog's, and the very handle of his bell-rope was a bear's-paw. As the sport had not commenced I amused myself in looking about the premises. Entering through a little gate, two hundred and thirty dogs of enormous magnitude, of most blood-thirsty expression, here collect. ed from all parts of Europe, sprang towards me the length of their two-foot chains with savage yelps, and barks, and growls. Each had to himself a little oval kennel, and the tout-ensemble of their ha. bitations resembled what you might imagine to be the appearance of a village of Hottentot.dwarfs. There was a good deal of the truly in. fernal in the fiend-like energy with which those monsters fretted and raved to burst from their bonds, and seize an intruder into their territo. ry by the thorax. The scene might have looked not unbecomingly in the third circle of Dante's Hell. Before I had time to inspect the square arena the opening of the combats was announced. I took my seat in a box, and was happy to notice amidst the multitude of spectators only two females.
The dog-fights, to the number of twelve or fifteen, were sufficiently sanguinary. Indeed you might fairly denounce them, with the whole exhibition, as horridly, degradingly brutal. You might perhaps be doubtful about longer tarry. And yet here may you read a curious chapter in Natural History. Declaring that you desire to study “ The habits of Animals,” you remain.
Soon came the battle of a wolf, tied by a rope some thirty feet long to a ring in the centre of the arena, with ten or twelve dogs. The wolf looked extremely sheepish at first, and yet she dealt his fangs very generously into the flanks of his adversaries. For his trophies he had a score of keen, ear-piercing yelps. While these conflicts were going on the wild animals in cages surrounding the arena, grew furious
and impatient. The four or five wolves glared, and growled, and yelled. The bears leaped about, grinning horribly, and a boar of Ardennes momentally thrust his snout and tusks, all white with foam, through the iron bars of his pen, apparently quite anxious to have a fin. ger or rather a tooth, in the pie.
Now followed the fight of the bear with the dogs. He was tied like the wolf. Three dogs were at once let in upon him. They merely worried him. Three fiercer ones were soon added. They not only worried, but fought him. To them were at length superadded three others still more ferocious than their predecessors. These latter made the acquaintance of Blackhead with a speed that indicated their possession of the highest possible quantity of pluck. Bruin, however, patted them with his paw to the right and to the left, returning their compliments in a style which proved that his was no baby's play. He was at length brought down. The dogs had their fangs full into his throat. Two men dressed in crimson pried their jaws open with long iron-pointed bars, while a third dragged them off their prostrate foe by the tail.
This concluded, the bull-fight began. The bull was tied, as had been the wolf and bear. He was evidently an old worker at this sort of business. First he bellowed deeply, then he pawed up the earth, and then he pricked forward his ears in confident expectation towards the door, through which four bull-dogs now furiously dashed at him. There was nothing very revolting in this spectacle. With his horns the bull tossed off the dogs to this side and to that with as much easy regularity as a Connecticut farmer would turn and toss hay. Indeed you might almost imagine him parodying the thought of the Au. gustan poet :
“ Fænum habet in cornu." Now and then was he attacked vigorously, á posteriori. And yet very happily did he retort the arguments from that quarter, convincing his opponents, by what might be scientifically called the knock-down argument, the argumentum ad canem, that either horn of the dilemma was preferable to this proceeding. Not one of them was able to throttle him, and he was soon trotted out of the arena, de. cidedly victorious.
I supposed the games concluded. I rather wished them so. I was somewhat surprised, therefore, when I saw entering from the passage through which the bull had just made his exit a very handsome mouse-coloured jackass. With the ass we all have some pleasant associations-associations of the patriarchal times, associations of the pastoral life, of the panniers filled with children, and ever since Sterne saw him leaning his disconsolate head over a French fence, he has been not altogether unpoetical. I was a little grieved to see him in such company as this. But I was never aware that he could show such wonderful fight. The first and second set of dogs seemed to have suspicions of his capacity in that way, and kept at a respectful barking distance. The third set, however, did him some damage ; and yet in several instances did he give them to feel, as well as to know, that he was not to be tampered with—nay, more, that he was a very disagreeable customer. There was a vigour in his action extremely exhilarating, and every instant he seemed to be pronouncing the sapient proverb in him originated, “ Each one look out for himself.” VOL.
The object of one of the dogs seemed to be to catch him by an ear, and for that end he leapt vigorously five or six times across his head. A timely dodge prevented success. Once, however, he was slightly nipped in that appendage, and thereupon he set up a bray of which even his ancestral kin, in the time of Balaam, might in nowise have been ashamed. Whatever malicious waggery may insinuate, I do declare that now I began to feel great sympathy for the ass, and therefore was extremely delighted to see him, through a well-directed aim, plank his left hind hoof compactly into the nether jaw of his foe. That heel-tap was of terribly spiteful, intense energy, satisfying me that however asinine might be his blood, his antagonist would never think of writing him down an ass. That antagonist, expressing himself in a yelp, sulkily retired, and the combat closed. “ When will there be another fight?" asked I, retiring, of the old woman from whom I had purchased my ticket. Next Sunday, sir, was the reply. The fact is, the Combat-des-animaux and the Louvre are open to all the world on Sundays. At Paris, the highest works of art and the lowest spectacle in nature can be seen by the public only on the Sabbath.
Dining at the Trois Fréres, I cogitated how I should spend the evening. “Were I in Boston," said I, “ I might join the throngs which in a few hours will crowd the churches and prayer.meetings : but I am in Paris ; garçon, le Courier des Théatres." Bien, Mon. sieur." From this little periodical I ascertained that I could choose between three royal operas, twenty-one theatres, and two concerts. “Shall I go to the Italian,” said I, "" for Grisi, and Rubini, and Tamburini, and Lablache, and where may be seen the best blood and the best diamonds of Paris ? Or shall I go to the grand opera for Taglioni, with the bravos and bouquets rained down upon her? Or shall I enjoy the soft voice of Damoreau Cinti, at the Opera Comique !" But here again are the theatres. Mademoiselle Mars plays at the Français, and Lemaitre at the Variétés. Shall I see performed the • Three Hearts of Woman,' at the Vaudeville, or this piece entitled • Vive le Diable,' at the Porte St. Martin? But here moreover are the concerts. Which shall be patronised, Jullien's, or Musard's ? Paying one franc, you may enjoy two hours of the finest music in the world.” I resolved upon Musard's. In his magnificent rooms were ninety musicians, playing for their own pleasure and that of two thousand hearers. How many Parisians are this evening engaged in giv. ing and receiving theatrical and musical pleasure ?” said I to myself, as the last strain of one of Musard's fine quadrilles died upon my ear. What with two concerts, twenty-one theatres, and three opera-houses, there cannot be less than fifteen hundred artists. Nay, this estimate is too small, for upon the single stage of the Grand Opera you may often see at one time more than three hundred performers. Say, then, two thousand artists. And for their audiences, say eighty thousand. Imagine every inhabitant of Boston looking, laughing, and shouting, at operas, concerts, ballets, vaudevilles, dramas and melo-dramas, and you may get some notion of what on a sabbath evening is “Paris gay."
Having taken at eleven o'clock the usual suppper of Riz-au-lit, I was about retiring to my quiet chamber. I believed the am usements of the Parisian Sabbath terminated. Miserable, baseless belief! For thou. sands on thousands those amusements were just beginning. Nine mask. ed balls were announced for that evening. The earliest commences precisely at eleven o'clock.