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What a strange life they lead, huddled ing. Our request was readily granted, and three and sometimes four in the stuffy cabin the progress of our work was watched with of their dingy boat, while below in the hold interest by all the merchants, but more estheir apples are carefully allotted all the pecially by the ten-year-old son of the boat's space they need. When weather condi- owner. As the drawing gradually develtions permit, the minute cooking stove is oped on the copper, the child became more brought out on deck and the cooking is done and more attentive, and finally, when the in the open air. And in what wierd-looking etching was nearing completion, he drew pots and saucepans! But even though the still closer and asked: poker serves to stir the soup, a savory odor “Are you making it to sell, Monsieur?” rises from the steaming kettle, and its con “Perhaps.” tents are eagerly devoured by a robust and “Will it be very expensive?” ravenous family whose bright eyes and glow- "Oh, that depends. Why?” ing cheeks betoken perfect health.
“Because I would like to buy one. Do Toward the beginning of spring, when you think it will be more than I have in my the first green buds begin to appear on the bank ?” trees, the view from the apple boats is ex- So saying, he disappeared, and when, in tremely charming. We therefore asked per- a few moments, he returned, it was to thrust mission to come aboard to make an etch- a knotted handkerchief into my hands.
“Take it. Ther're twenty-four sous the right rises the Hôtel de Ville and the inside. All I've been able to economize barracks so well known during the Comso far."
mune. Farther along on the same side is Need I add that the little hoard was re- the Théatre Sarah Bernhardt, faced by the turned to its owner, and that when the Châtelet, and in the distance the gray slate proofs were pulled, Master Paul Dechamps roofing of the Louvre may be seen. was perhaps the first person to receive one, On the left bank is the Quai aux Fleurs, duly addressed and forwarded to the lock brilliant with its display of flowers and rewhere his boat was stationed on its home- nowned because of the house where Abelward voyage. And I have carefully pre- ard and Héloïse abided. Then the great served, among my many souvenirs, the frowning Palais de Justice lifts its haughty grateful letter written on a sheet of paper towers above the river's banks. After that bought for the occasion, all decorated with comes a little green spot, the park at the flowers in each corner. The following extremity of the Ile de la Cité, and finally, year, when he returned, Paul escorted me the Quai Voltaire, just distinguishable in to the cabin where, framed and hanging the hazy atmosphere. Often, when standin the place of honor, next to the “Bonne ing on this spot at midnight, the roar of the Vierge,” was our little sketch of the Ile St. great metropolis having subsided, I have Louis.
counted as many as fifteen different clocks Standing on the west point of the island that strike the hour, one after the other, the view that spreads out before one is ex- from the towers of the many public buildtremely picturesque and interesting. On ings in the quarter.
Turning to follow the Quai de Bourbon, to the shore and used as passenger landthe scenes along the banks of the Seine be- ings for the bateaux parisiens that ply come more animated. This is the grand between Auteuil and Charenton would be bras of the river where all the commerce almost ridiculous if they were not so aris carried on, and the light bateaux tistically decorated by brilliant posters and mouches often run the risk of being borne gay signs of all descriptions. Their guardown upon by the huge barges that are dians keep them in immaculate condition, loaded with wood, stone, petroleum and and surely they are as characteristic of other heavy cargoes. The tiny floats chained Paris as the sky-scrapers are of New York,
Beneath the clump of trees at the foot of whole community when they appear at the the Quai d'Orléans, a driveway descends commencement of each season, pushing toward the water. It is here that one must their little carts before them. come, either at sunset or during a gathering “Il arrive, il arrive le maquereau.” storm, to get the finest view of Notre Dame (Mackerel.) de Paris. It is at such moments that the “Harengs qui glacent, harengs nouveaux." great Gothic monster grows larger and (Fresh herring.) larger in the deepening shadow. Higher “La reine Claude au sucre, la reine and higher it soars in the obscurity, smaller Claude.” (Plums.) and smaller seem to grow the surrounding There are cries in all keys and of all debuildings, as though cowering before so scriptions. Certain among them are soft awe-inspiring a phenomenon. Now it and tender, foretelling the spring time. changes into a phantom ship afloat in the “A la tendresse la verduresse" sings an old semi-darkness. The slender spire resembles woman in a quaking voice, and no matter a main-mast whose point is lost in the where I may hear them in the future these clouds, while against the great black hull four words and three notes will always rebreak the waves of a tenebrous and silent call Paris; Paris with the thousand little sea. Before one rolls the river dark and ripples on the Seine, the tender green shoots sulky; the boats that glide by leave a just visible on the dark branches of the Italstrange crimson wake, and horses brought ian poplars, the clear blue sky and delightto bathe at the embankment shiver as ful air that fills one with joy and brings a though in terror, and, snorting, dash ashore smile to one's lips. like the hippocamps of old.
To be sure, there are other characteristic It all lasts but a moment. With the last calls, some very grave and solemn, usually ray of the departing sun, night drops her sung by deep voices—“Tonneaux, tonmantle like a curtain at the end of a play. neaux," while others are sharp and strident
The principal artery of the island is the "Vitrier, vitrier,” or “ Raccommodeur de vertical rue St. Louis-en-l'Ile, an animated, faiënces et porcelaines.” Certain among narrow, commercial street that greatly re- them are regular songs, and a most curious sembles the grand’rue of a provincial city. thing to remark is the fact that a bass One may reach it by following any of the scissors-grinder or a tenor barrel-seller is dingy passages that open onto either quay, as rare as a white blackbird. and some of which, up until 1870, bore the One Sunday morning in November, most curious names. At the corner of what while walking in the rue St. Louis, an unis at present the rue Le Regrattier, high up familiar cry greeted my ears. “La loterie, in a niche, stands a queer stone statue of a la loterie,” sang a gruff masculine voice, and headless woman and an old white sign, presently from around the corner of the rue now almost obliterated, announces “La Budé appeared an old vender carrying a rue de la Femme sans Teste."
long bamboo pole from which were susThe parish church stands in the midst of pended two chickens and a turkey, all hundreds of little dwellings that press close plumed and ready to cook. “La loterie, la about its immense nave. Its great open- loterie, two sous for the turkey and one for work tower, its forged iron clock that over- the chicken." He was quickly surrounded hangs the street like the signs of long ago, by a score of people and from upper winits time-blackened walls harmonize in a dows men and women shouted: “Take a happy manner with the general physiog- chance for me, take one for me." There nomy of the street.
was a chinking of coppers, followed by little All the little Parisian industries can be shrieks of laughter from girls and children found here. Displays of fruits, vegetables, who plunged their hands into the sack for fish, cheese, and wares of all kinds are made numbers, and finally, “No more" reached on counters that open directly onto the nar- my ears. row sidewalk, and one can study at leisure The crowd gathered closer, there was a the amusing cries of the street venders. moment of breathless silence and “thirtyAnonymous persons elsewhere, they are well eight"rang out from the centre of the group. known by name here on the island, and they “Who is it? Where is he? What's your are acclaimed with shouts of joy by the number?" and various other questions
passed from mouth to mouth. Finally the dark counters sit old, gray-haired men an old woman with a white bonnet and and women, who have passed their entire wooden sabots elbowed her way to the lives there, refusing to move with time and front, produced the lucky number and bore progress. away in triumph the turkey that cost herSometimes, during the summer months, two sous.
they leave their stuffy dwellings and wanL'nlicensed lotteries being strictly for- der toward a tiny park, at the eastern exbidden in France, the whole public raffle tremity of the island. Here, beneath the lasted but a few seconds, and here, in the trees that surround a memorial monument heart of the great capital, I had witnessed to Barve, they sit and gaze on the panoperhaps the only scene of its kind in the rama before them. whole country.
It has hardly changed; save for one more The rue St. Louis is not only filled to bridge the view of the river is the same as it overflowing with street merchants, but also was fifty years ago. The old wooden stockwith little shops of all descriptions, where ade that unites the island with the Quai one can procure almost any article. In Henri IV still holds its own, and who knows, fact, I have often found there certain things those are perhaps the same fishermen that that the great commercial houses of Paris have been angling there for the last half have been unable to furnish me. Behind century.