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celebrated architect Mansard, and were completed in 1701. This square was at first named Place des Conquetes (which you must not confound with the Place des Victoires); but when the equestrian statue of the King was placed in the centre, it took the naine of Pluce Louis le Grand, which it retained till the Revolution, where it received from the sans-culottes a new appellation, to wit, Pikeplace! But all this time, its old designation continued to be partly used, and has outlived all the others—to day, as in the time of Henry the Fourth, it bears the name of his son, the Duke of Vendôme. In like manner, you constantly meet people here, who, in conversation, call the Place de la Concorde by its first name, the Place Louis Quinze. This little trait of popular manners is merely one indication, amongst many, of the strong feeling of conservatism, the vis inertiæ, which underlies the foundations of human nature. Society prates of progress, but does not like to be pushed on. Call the Place Vendome, then, by what name you will, it was there that was erected in 1699 a splendid bronze eques. trian statue of Louis the Fourteenth, amidst a pomp and ceremony which surpassed everything of the kind which had before been witnessed. Previous to this time a general and growing discontent had been excited by the lavish expenditure of the King in peace as in war, and Paris was subject to frequent famines, and to the diseases which follow in their train. In 1698-9, suffering was extreme, and the government was forced to have recourse to extraordinary financial measures. Pride accords ill with misery, and the inauguration of the statue in the Place des Conquetes excited the gravest censures. The Duke de Bourgogne refused to take part in the ceremony. “ How can one amuse one-self,” he exclaimed, " when the people are suffering ?" And even the King himself could not forbear a mild rebuke to the promoters of the ceremony. He was not, however, easily put in a passion by so trifling a fault as an excess of homage, and he was never at a loss for a scape-goat. Blamed by Madame de Maintenon for the extravagant expenditure which had characterized from the beginning this Place Vendome, and all that had reference to it, he burst out with, “I tell you it was Louvois who did it all in spite of me.” Here I close, but in my next I shall tell you more of these streets, and all about the Palace of Industry
THE RUE DE RIVOLI, AND ITS NEIGHBOURS.
In my last I told you of this street of Rivoli, and all its proximate gentilities, and all its near abodes of wretchedness, and now I come to continue my facts of things as they were, and my facts, fancies, and pictures of things as they are.
The statue of Louis the Fourteenth was replaced by that of Napo. leon in 1810, when the Colonne de la Pluce Vendóme was erected. The pedestal, shaft, and capital, built of cut stone, are covered externally with bronze, which is cast into bas-reliefs. This bronze has been formed out of the twelve hundred cannon taken from the Russian and Austrian armies in the memorable campaign of 1805. The shaft of the Colonne has been designed in imitation of that of Antoninus at Rome, and is covered with bas-reliefs representing the principal events of the campaign of 1805, from the departure of the troops from the camp of Boulogne, to the conclusion of the Peace, after the battle of Austerlitz. The first statue of Napoleon which crowned the noble column, represented him in the garb of a Roman Emperor. On the entrance of the Allies in 1814, the Royalists, under the protection of a foreign army, proceeded to enact an outrage, such as had not, till then, disgraced Paris. If the Revolution destroyed so many monuments, it was the act of the dregs of the people, infuriated by ages of suffering, maddened by a moment of freedom. But in men of high rank and education, the defenders of "order" and “enemies of the revolution,” we might have expected to find better manners. From the representatives of the ancient Chivalry of France, a more high-bred courage might have been looked for, than that which had strength enough to trouble public order but not sufficient to subdue the Revolution, and which could only reach that zero in the scale of heroism which consisted in insulting their countrymen under the protection of an army of invasion. The emigré was forced to fly from his native land by the Jacobin canaille, who overthrew, as we have seen, the statues of the kings of France in the Great Revolution. After a quarter of a century the emigré returns,
and his first act is to imitate the barbarous frenzy he once so loudly censured. In March, 1814, the Royalists, headed by some of the greatest names in France, in so far as their birth was concerned, flocked to the Place Vendôme, and attempted to pull down the statue of Napoleon from the summit of the famous column. Their efforts were in vain. Baffled in their attempt, they went so far as to send a written order to the artist who had cast the statue, threatening him with immediate military execution if he did not aid them, by his intimate knowledge of the work of his own hands, to destroy the monument. They likewise conceived the plan of mining the place, and blowing pedestal, shaft, capital, and statue to pieces, when the Allies interfered, and “squelched” the notable project. But, though the column remained, the statue was removed a month afterwards. Sixteen years from that date, the government of Louis Philippe decreed the elevation of a new statue of Napoleon, to be erected on the same spot. It is that which now stands on the column of the Place Vendome. It differs from the ancient one in the matter of costume, and represents the Emperor in his redingote and cocked hat.
We shall now take leave of this neighbour" of the Rue de Rivoli, and returning thither by the Rue de Castiglione, we leave behind us the Ministere des Finances, and Meurice's Hotel ; pressing still eastward, we turn a little to our right, after passing the Louvre, and rest in the shadow of St. Germain l’Auxerrois ! On the same spot where it now stands, Chilperic built a church in the sixth century, which has been partly destroyed and again restored, at various inter. vals during a period of nearly thirteen hundred years. In the sixth century! What was Paris then ?
Through a long era of decay the Roman Empire nodded to its fall. During the fourth and fifth centuries, language, laws, manners, costumes, were mixed and confounded together in such a fashion on the soil of Gaul, that it was difficult to distinguish the line which separated the ancient Roman domination from the Gallic nationality. The harmonious language of the south began to borrow a barbarous fire, and uncouth brevity, from the wild accents of the north. At this very hour, French is a corrupted Latin. I constantly hear it said in society, that such a one " cause bien.” More than beauty, the French prize conversational powers.
« Elle est très jolie-très gaiemet elle cause très bien.” Or, “Il a l'air aimable—il est tres gai-et-il cause bien.” Such is the climax of qualities by which the French express their opinion of a woman or of a man, as it may be, who fulfils their idea of perfection. Those two phrases--I hear them repeatedly, over and over again-contain more of the true French character, than all that either they themselves or foreigners have ever said or written on the subject. Il cause bien! A discourse on the art of conversation would be here out of place—as, indeed, such always is, for dissertations, however learned, cannot teach itask the French—but, notwithstanding, I may remind you of the obvious truth, that the aptitude of the language which serves for the medium of communication, is as requisite for this accomplishment as individual wit or information. And what language is that of the gay, amiable, and refined people, amongst whom to “chat” well is esteemed the greatest of social merits, perhaps of intellectual acquire. ments? No other than the provincial and crumpled Latin which shocked the high-born and cultured Roman's ear in the Gaul of the fifth century. There is a double lesson of humility in the fact. The favored language has fallen into desuetude, and perished ages ago from the daily occupations of men. The language then despised has since taken the place of the Roman tongue in Europe, and is the recognized medium of communication between man and man all over the civilized world. The Latin is a “ dead” language, whilst of all living languages, the French is the most vivacious. Rooted in the genius of a people the most energetic of modern times, it has put forth branches in every clime. It was spoken in times when the Druid sacrificed in the midst of unbrageous groves, and the gods of Olympus had still their worshippers. In its first rude accents were preached to the Gauls the truths of Christianity, which finally displaced the mythological system of the Romans, and the wild legends of the Barbarian worship. The new religion gathered strength amidst revolutions, disengaged itself from all that could endanger, and intertwined itself with all that could foster, its growth. It suffered to fall away, or actively extirpated all that was evil, it protected and cherished all that was good, in the highly social system of the Roman Empire. Whilst the civilization of the old Roman society was dying out, or was trampled out, a new civilization took shelter in the cloister and the church, which were not then merely places of prayer, but a refuge for arts and literature. The Roman, the Gaul, and the Barbarian, were alternately ascendant.
What. could come of this chaos? But the principle of life was ever there to encounter the elements of dissolution. St. Géneviève confronts Attila ; Clotilde appears at the side of Clovis ; and in the midst of the Brunehaults, the Chilperics, and the Frédégondes, beams the serene dignity of St. Germain de Paris.
Under the Merovingions, Paris was still confined to the little island of the times of Cæsar, and of Julian the Apostate, which is now the centre of modern Paris, and called the “ Cité,” as I have had occasion to observe in a previous number. Let us climb to the summit of the hill Lucotitius, (St. Géneviève) and regard the Paris of these Frankish ages with its environs. Near us is the church called “ Of the Apostles," built by Clovis, and to the east and south east extend vast marshes traversed by the Bièvre. At our feet lies the Palace of Julian (the Palais des Thermes) in its colossal strength, and scattered around it we see several churches, amongst which we reinark that of St. Etienne-des-Grès (des degrés, de gradibus), so called from its position on the steep slope of the hill whereon we stand ; casting a glance over the immense plain which extends to Issy, the splendid monastery of Sainte-croix and St. Vincent, with its gilded roof glittering in the sun, attracts our attention. And opposite, on the other side of the river, is the church of St. Germain, called le Rond from its circular shape. To the north, seated on its island throne in the midst of the Seine, is old Lutetia, with its strong walls, the towers which guard its bridges, the mills which serve to prepare food for its inhabitants, the metopolitan church (the ecclesia mater, as it is called in the old records), the palace, and the prison. The houses are of wood, the streets dark and narrow, the churches
Amongst the latter we notice one built by Chilperic. This monarch, whose character was a compound of vice and virtue, like that of inost of his contemporaries, resolved to erect a church in honour of St. Germain de Paris, whither he proposed to transfer the relics of that saint, who had been Bishop of Paris, and it was completed in the close of the sixth century. Under the second race, this church was called St. Germain le Rond. Under the third race it was rebuilt by King Robert, and it was then named for the first time St. Germain l' Auxerrois, to distinguish it from the Abbaye de St. Vincent, to which the name of St. Germain had been added. This church, built by Robert, fell into decay in its turn, and was replaced by constructions of an after date, in the twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. In its quality of parish church of the Louvre, the history of St. Germain l' Auxerrois is synonymous with that of many of the Kings of France. But the splendour which it