Rollo in Paris
by Jacob Abbott
ROLLO IN PARIS,
W. J. REYNOLDS AND COMPANY, No. 24 CORNHILL, 1854.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by JACOB
CHAPTER I. THE
CHAPTER IV. THE
GARDEN OF THE
CHAPTER V. THE
CHAPTER VI. A
THE GARDEN OF
CHAPTER IX. AN
CHAPTER I. THE ARRANGEMENTS.
Gentlemen and ladies at the hotels, in London, generally dine about
six or seven o'clock, each party or family by themselves, in their own
private parlor. One evening, about eight o'clock, just after the waiter
had removed the cloth from the table where Rollo's father and mother,
with Rollo himself and his cousin Jennie, had been dining, and left the
table clear, Mr. Holiday rose, and walked slowly and feeblyfor he was
quite out of health, though much better than he had beentowards a
secretary which stood at the side of the room.
Now, said he, we will get out the map and the railway guide, and
see about the ways of getting to France.
Rollo and Jennie were at this time at the window, looking at the
vehicles which were passing by along the Strand. The Strand is a street
of London, and one of the most lively and crowded of them all. As soon
as Rollo heard his father say that he was going to get the map and the
railway guide, he said to Jane,
Let's go and see.
So they both went to the table, and there, kneeling up upon two
cushioned chairs which they brought forward for the purpose, they
leaned over upon the table where their father was spreading out the
map, and thus established themselves very comfortably as spectators of
Children, said Mr. Holiday, do you come here to listen, or to
To listen, said Rollo.
O, very well, said Mr. Holiday; then I am glad that you have
In obedience to this intimation, Rollo and Jane took care not to
interrupt Mr. Holiday even to ask a question, but looked on and
listened very patiently and attentively for nearly half an hour, while
he pointed out to Mrs. Holiday the various routes, and ascertained from
the guide books the times at which the trains set out, and the steamers
sailed, for each of them, and also the cost of getting to Paris by the
several lines. If the readers of this book were themselves actually in
London, and were going to Paris, as Rollo and Jennie were, they would
be interested, perhaps, in having all this information laid before them
in full detail. As it is, however, all that will be necessary,
probably, is to give such a general statement of the case as will
enable them to understand the story.
By looking at any map of Europe, it will be seen that England is
separated from France by the English Channel, a passage which, though
it looks quite narrow on the map, is really very wide, especially
toward the west. The narrowest place is between Dover and Calais, where
the distance across is only about twenty-two miles. This narrow passage
is called the Straits of Dover. It would have been very convenient for
travellers that have to pass between London and Paris if this strait
had happened to lie in the line, or nearly in the line, between these
two cities; but it does not. It lies considerably to the eastward of
it; so that, to cross the channel at the narrowest part, requires that
the traveller should take quite a circuit round. To go by the shortest
distance, it is necessary to cross the channel at a place where Dieppe
is the harbor, on the French side, and New Haven on the English. There
are other places of crossing, some of which are attended with one
advantage, and others with another. In some, the harbors are not good,
and the passengers have to go off in small boats, at certain times of
tide, to get to the steamers. In others, the steamers leave only when
the tide serves, which may happen to come at a very inconvenient hour.
In a word, it is always quite a study with tourists, when they are
ready to leave London for Paris, to determine by which of the various
lines it will be best for their particular party, under the particular
circumstances in which they are placed, to go.
After ascertaining all the facts very carefully, and all the
advantages and disadvantages of each particular line, Mr. Holiday asked
his wife what she thought they had better do.
The cheapest line is by the way of New Haven, said Mrs. Holiday.
That's of no consequence, I think, now, said Mr. Holiday. The
difference is not very great.
For our whole party, it will make four or five pounds, said Mrs.
Well, said Mr. Holiday, I am travelling to recover my health, and
every thing must give way to that. If I can only get well, I can earn
money fast enough, when I go home, to replace what we expend. The only
question is, Which way will be the pleasantest and the most
Then, said Mrs. Holiday, I think we had better go by the way of
Dover and Calais, where we have the shortest passage by sea.
I think so too, said Mr. Holiday; so that point is settled.
Father, said Rollo, I wish you would let Jennie and me go to
Paris by ourselves alone, some other way.
The reader who has perused the narrative of Rollo's voyage across
the Atlantic will remember that, through a very peculiar combination of
circumstances, he was left to make that voyage under his own charge,
without having any one to take care of him. He was so much pleased with
the result of that experiment, and was so proud of his success in
acting as Jennie's protector, that he was quite desirous of trying such
an experiment again.
O, no! said his father.
Why, father, I got along well enough in coming over, replied
True, said his father; and if any accident, or any imperious
necessity, should lead to your setting out for Paris without any
escort, I have no doubt that you would get through safely. But it is
one thing for a boy to be put into such a situation by some unforeseen
and unexpected contingency, and quite another thing for his father
deliberately to form such a plan for him.
Rollo looked a little disappointed, but he did not reply. In fact,
he felt that his father was right.
But I'll tell you, added Mr. Holiday. If your uncle George is
willing to go by some different route from ours, you may go with him.
And Jennie? inquired Rollo.
Why! Jennie? repeated Mr. Holiday, hesitating. Let me think. Yes,
Jennie may go with you, if she pleases, if her mother is willing.
Jennie always called Mrs. Holiday her mother, although she was
really her aunt.
Are you willing, mother, asked Rollo, very eagerly.
Mrs. Holiday was at a loss what to say. She was very desirous to
please Rollo, and at the same time she wished very much to have Jennie
go with her. However, she finally decided the question by saying that
Jennie might go with whichever party she pleased.
Rollo's uncle George had not been long in England. He had come out
from America some time after Rollo himself did, so that Rollo had not
travelled with him a great deal. Mr. George was quite young, though he
was a great deal older than Rollotoo old to be much of a companion
for his nephew. Rollo liked him very much, because he was always kind
to him; but there was no very great sympathy between them, for Mr.
George was never much interested in such things as would please a boy.
Besides, he was always very peremptory and decisive, though always
just, in his treatment of Rollo, whenever he had him under his charge.
Rollo was, however, very glad when his father consented that he and his
uncle George might go to Paris together.
Mr. George was out that day, and he did not come home until Rollo
had gone to bed. Rollo, however, saw him early the next morning, and
told him what his father had said.
Well, said Mr. George, after hearing his story, and what do you
propose that we should do?
I propose that you, and Jennie, and I should go by the way of New
Haven and Dieppe, replied Rollo.
Why? said Mr. George.
You see it is cheaper that way, said Rollo. We can go that way
for twenty-four shillings. It costs two and three pounds by the other
That's a consideration, said Mr. George.
For the pound you would save, said Rollo, you could buy a very
handsome book in Paris.
Rollo suggested these considerations because he had often heard his
uncle argue in this way before. He had himself another and a secret
reason why he wished to go by the New Haven route; but we are all very
apt, when giving reasons to others, to present such as we think will
influence them, and not those which really influence us.
Mr. George looked into the guide book at the pages which Rollo
pointed out, and found that it was really as Rollo had said.
Well, said he, I'll go that way with you.
So that was settled, too.
A short time after this conversation, Rollo's father and mother, and
also Jennie, came in. Mr. Holiday rang the bell for the waiter to bring
up breakfast. Jennie, when she found that it was really decided that
her father and mother were to go one way, and her uncle George and
Rollo another, was quite at a loss to determine which party she herself
should join. She thought very justly that there would probably be more
incident and adventure to be met with in going with Rollo; but then, on
the other hand, she was extremely unwilling to be separated from her
mother. She stood by her mother's side, leaning toward her in an
attitude of confiding and affectionate attachment, while the others
were talking about the details of the plan.
I rather think there is one thing that you have forgotten, said
Mr. Holiday, and which, it strikes me, is a decided objection to your
plan; and that is, that the steamer for to-morrow, from New Haven,
leaves at midnight.
That's the very reason why I wanted to go that way, said Rollo.
Why, Rollo! exclaimed his mother.
Yes, mother, said Rollo. There would be so much fun in setting
out at midnight. Think, Jennie! added Rollo, addressing his cousin,
we should sit up till midnight! And then to see all the people going
on board by the light of lanterns and torches. I wonder if there'll be
a moon. Let's look in the almanac, and see if there'll be a moon.
But, George, said Mrs. Holiday, you will not wish to set off at
midnight. I think you had better change your plan, after all.
But Mr. George did not seem to think that the midnight departure of
the boat was any objection to the New Haven plan. He had noticed that
that was the time set for leaving New Haven the next night, and he
thought that, on the whole, the arrangement would suit his plans very
well. He would have a good long evening to write up his journal, which
he said was getting rather behindhand. The water, too, would be more
likely to be smooth in the night, so that there would be less danger of
seasickness. Besides, he thought that both Rollo and himself would
become very sleepy by sitting up so late, and so would fall directly to
sleep as soon as they got into their berths on board the steamer, and
sleep quietly till they began to draw near to the coast of France. The
distance across the channel, at that point, was such, that the steamer,
in leaving at midnight, would not reach Dieppe till five or six o'clock
the next morning.
Accordingly, the arrangements were all made for Rollo's departure
the next day, with his uncle George, for New Haven. Jennie finally
decided to go with her father and mother. The idea of sailing at
midnight determined her; for such an adventure, attractive as it was in
Rollo's eyes, seemed quite formidable in hers. Rollo had a very
pleasant ride to New Haven, amusing himself all the way with the
beauties of English scenery and the continual novelties that every
where met his eye. When they at last arrived at New Haven, they found
that the harbor consisted merely of a straight, artificial canal, cut
in from the sea, where probably some small stream had originally
issued. The sides of this harbor were lined with piers, and on one of
the piers was a great hotel, forming a part, as it were, of the railway
station. There were a few houses and other buildings near, but there
was no town to be seen. The railway was on one side of the hotel, and
the water was on the other. When the train stopped, one of the railway
servants opened the door for Mr. George and Rollo to get out, and Mr.
George went directly into the hotel to make arrangements for rooms and
for dinner, while Rollo, eager to see the ships and the water, went
through the house to the pier on the other side. He found that there
was a pretty broad space on the pier, between the hotel and the water,
with a shed upon it for merchandise, and extra tracks for freight
trains. The water was quite low in the harbor, and the few vessels that
were lying at the pier walls were mostly grounded in the mud. There was
one steamboat lying opposite the hotel, but it was down so low that, at
first, Rollo could only see the top of the smoke-pipe. Rollo went to
the brink of the pier and looked down. The steamer appeared very small.
It was painted black. There were very few people on board. Rollo had a
great mind to go on board himself, as there was a plank leading down
from the pier to the top of the paddle box. But it looked rather steep,
and so Rollo concluded to postpone going on board till Mr. George
should come out with him after dinner.
Rollo looked about upon the pier a few minutes, and then went into
the hotel. He passed through a spacious hall, and then through a
passage way, from which he could look into a large room, the sides of
which were formed of glass, so that the people who were in the room
could see out all around them. The front of the room looked out upon
the pier, the back side upon the passage way. A third side was toward
the vestibule, and the fourth toward the coffee room. There were
shelves around this room, within, and tables, and desks, and people
going to and fro there. In fact, it seemed to be the office of the
Rollo advanced to one of the openings that was toward the passage
way, and asked which was the way to the coffee room. The girl pointed
to the door which led to it, and Rollo went in.
He found a large and beautiful room, with several tables set for
dinner in different parts of it, and sideboards covered with silver,
and glasses against the walls. On one side there were several large and
beautiful windows, which looked out upon the pier, and opposite to each
of these windows was a small dinner table, large enough, however, for
two persons. Mr. George had taken one of these tables, and when Rollo
came in he was sitting near it, reading a newspaper.
Come, Rollo, said he, I have ordered dinner, and we shall just
have time to arrange our accounts while they are getting it ready.
So saying, Mr. George took out his pocket book, and also a small
pocket inkstand, and a pen, and put them all upon the table.
Your father's plan, he continued, is this: He is to pay all
expenses of transportation, at the same rate that he pays for himself;
so that, whatever you save by travelling in cheap ways, is your own.
Yes, said Rollo, smiling, I mean to walk sometimes, and save it
He is also to pay the expense of your lodgings.
Yes, said Rollo.
Generally, of course, you will have lodgings with him, but
sometimes you will be away from him; as, for instance, to-night. In
such cases, I pay for your lodgings, on your father's account.
Yes, said Rollo, I understand that.
He also pays the expense of all casualties.
So he said, replied Rollo; but I don't understand what he means
by that, very well.
Why, you may meet with accidents that will cost money to repair, or
get into difficulties which will require money to get out of. For
instance, you may lose your ticket, and so have to pay twice over; or
you may get lost yourself, in Paris, and so have to hire a man with a
carriage to bring you home. For all such things, the money is not to
come from your purse. Your father will pay.
Suppose it is altogether my fault, said Rollo. Then I think I
ought to pay.
But your father said that he was sure you would not be to blame for
such accidents; though I think he is mistaken there. I have no doubt,
myself, that nearly all the accidents that will happen to you will come
from boyish heedlessness and blundering on your part.
We'll see, said Rollo.
Yes, said Mr. George, we'll see.
Then, as to your board, continued Mr. George, your father said
that you might do as you pleased about that. He would pay it, or you
might, and be allowed five francs a day for it.
Five francs is about a dollar, is it not? asked Rollo.
Yes, replied Mr. George, very nearly. But you had better not
reckon by dollars, now, at all, but by francs altogether. That's a
So saying, Mr. George took a silver coin out of his pocket, and
showed it to Rollo. It was nearly as large as a quarter of a dollar, or
an English shilling, but not quite. A quarter of a dollar is worth
twenty-five cents, an English shilling twenty-four, and a franc about
You can have five of those a day to pay your own board with.
And how much would it cost me at a boarding house, in Paris, to pay
my board? asked Rollo.
Why, we don't board at boarding houses in Paris, said Mr. George.
We have rooms at a hotel, and then we get breakfast and dinner
wherever we please, at coffee rooms and dining rooms all over the city,
wherever we happen to be, or wherever we take a fancy to go. You can
get a very excellent breakfast for a franc and a half. A beefsteak, or
an omelet, and bread and butter and coffee.
That's enough for breakfast, said Rollo. And then, dinner?
You can get a first-rate dinner for two francs, or even less. That
makes three francs and a half.
They never take tea in Paris, said Mr. George. The French don't
Why not? asked Rollo.
I don't know, replied Mr. George, unless it is because the
English do. Whatever is done in London, you generally find that
just the contrary is done in Paris.
Don't we have any thing, then, after dinner? asked Rollo.
Yes, said Mr. George. The French generally go and take a seat at
a little round table on the sidewalk, and have a little glass of brandy
and a cigar.
Here Rollo threw his head back, and laughed loud and long. He was
greatly amused at the idea of his making an allowance, in calculating
how far his five francs would go, for a glass of brandy and a cigar.
Mr. George himself, sedate as he was, could not but smile.
The fact is, said he, at length, there are only two meals to
calculate for, and they will not cost, upon an average, more than three
francs and a half, if we are prudent and economical, and go to plain
and not expensive places. But then there is the immense amount that you
will be always wishing to spend for cakes, and candy, and oranges, and
nuts, and bonbons of all sorts and kinds. There is an endless variety
of such things in Paris. You will find half a dozen cake shops in every
street, with fifty different kinds of gingerbread and cake in them, all
of the richest and most delicious description.
Yes, said Rollo, I shall want some of those things.
No doubt, said Mr. George, you will make yourself sick eating
them, I'll venture to say, before you have been in Paris twenty-four
No, said Rollo, shaking his head resolutely; and I think I had
better take the five francs and pay my own board.
Very well, said Mr. George, and that provides for every thing
except incidentals. Your father said that I might pay you five francs a
day for incidentals and pocket money. That is to include all your
personal expenses of every kind, except what we have already provided
for. There will be excursions, and tickets to concerts and shows, and
carriage hire, and toys that you will want to buy, and all such things.
The amount of it is, that your father pays all your expenses for
transportation, for lodging, and for casualties. You pay every thing
else, and are allowed ten francs a day for it. I am to be treasurer,
and to have the whole charge of your funds, except so far as I find it
prudent and safe to intrust them to you, and you are to buy nothing at
all against my consent.
Nothing at all? asked Rollo.
No, said Mr. George, nothing at all. You are not to expend a
single centime in any way that I object to.
What is a centime? asked Rollo.
It is of the value of less than one fourth of a cent, replied Mr.
But I should think I might buy such little things as that would
come to, of myself, said Rollo. Suppose I should wish to buy a small
piece of gingerbread for a cent.
Say for a sou,[A] replied Mr. George. There are no cents in
[A] Pronounced soo.
Well, rejoined Rollo, suppose I should wish to spend a sou
for gingerbread, and eat it, and you should object to it.
Very well, replied Mr. George; and suppose you were to wish to
spend a sou for poison, and drink it.
But I should not be likely to buy poison, said Rollo, laughing.
Nor should I be likely to object to your buying gingerbread,
rejoined Mr. George. A boy, however, may, it is clear, do mischief
with a little money as well as with a great deal; and, therefore, the
power in his guardian should be absolute and entire. At any rate, so it
is in this case. If I see fit to forbid your expending a single sou for
any thing whatever, I can, and you will have no remedy till we see your
father again; and then you can ask him to put you under some other
person's care. Until he does this, however, the control is absolute and
entire in my hands. I would not take charge of a boy on any other
Well, said Rollo, I agree to it.
And now, said Mr. George, I am ready to begin your account.
Mr. George then took a small account book from his pocket book as he
said this, and, opening it at the beginning, he wrote across the top of
the two pages which came together the words,
Rollo Holiday, in Account with his Father.
On the corner of the left-hand page he wrote Dr., which stands for
debtor; and on that of the right-hand page, Cr., which stands for
There, said he, now I shall enter, from time to time, on the
creditor side, all the money that becomes due to you; and on the debtor
side, all that I pay to you. Then, by striking a balance, we can always
tell how much of your money there is in my hands.
Let me see, continued Mr. George. Your father and mother
concluded finally to go by the way of Folkstone. The fare that way is
two pound eleven. This way, it is one pound four. I am to pay you the
difference. The difference is one pound seven; and one pound seven, in
francs, islet me see how much.
Mr. George made a calculation with a pencil and paper, and found
that it amounted to thirty-three francs seventy-five centimes.
I don't understand reckoning by francs and centimes very well,
No, replied Mr. George, that is your misfortune; and you'll have
to bear it as well as you can till you get out of it.
So Mr. George entered the francsthirty-three seventy-fivein
You have got thirty-three francs to begin with, said he; that's a
pretty good stock.
Now, there is your allowance of ten francs per day. I will enter
that weekly. There are three days in this week, including to-day and
Sunday. That makes thirty francs.
So Mr. George entered the thirty francs.
There, said he, the whole amount due you up to Monday morning is
sixty-three francs seventy-five centimes. That is sixty-three francs
and three fourths. A hundred centimes make a franc.
And now, continued Mr. George, I will make you a payment, so as
to put you in funds, and that must be put down on the other side. How
much would you like?
I don't know, said Rollo; a few francs, I suppose.
Have you got a purse? asked Mr. George. Let me see it.
So Rollo took out a small leather bag which he had bought in London.
That's it, said Mr. George. I'll give you ten francs. When you
want more, you can have itthat is, provided it is due to you.
Here Mr. George rang a bell, and a waiter came in immediately. Mr.
George handed the waiter a sovereign, and asked him to get change for
it in French money. The waiter took the money, and presently came in
with five five-franc pieces. These he presented very respectfully to
Mr. George. Mr. George took two of them and gave them to Rollo. The
others he put into his own pocket. The five-franc pieces were very
bright and new, and they were of about the size of silver dollars.
Rollo was very much pleased with his portion, and put them in his
purse, quite proud of having so much spending money.
And you say that I must not spend any of it without first asking
you, said Rollo.
O, no, replied Mr. George, I have not said any such thing. That
would be a great deal of trouble, both for you and for me.
But I thought you said that I was not to spend any thing without
[Illustration: THE DINNER AT NEW HAVEN.]
No, said Mr. George, I said against my consent. I may
forbid your spending whenever I think proper; but I shall not do so, so
long as I find you always ask me in doubtful cases. Spend for yourself
freely, whenever you are sure it is right. When you are not sure, ask
me. If I find you abuse the privilege, I shall have to restrict you.
Rollo was well satisfied with this understanding of the case; and
just then the waiter came in, bearing a handsome silver tureen
containing soup, which he put down upon the table, between Mr. George
and Rollo. So the writing materials and the purses were put away, and
the two travellers were soon occupied very busily in eating their
CHAPTER II. CROSSING THE CHANNEL.
Mr. Holiday had two reasons for making the arrangements described in
the last chapter, in respect to Rollo's expenses. In the first place,
it would gratify Rollo himself, who would feel more independent, and
more like a man, he thought, in being allowed thus, in some measure, to
have the charge and control of his own expenditures. But his second and
principal reason was, that he might accustom his son, in early life, to
bear pecuniary responsibilities, and to exercise judgment and
discretion in the use of money. Many young men never have any training
of this sort till they become of age. Before that time, whenever they
wish for money, they go to their father and ask for it. They take all
they can get; and when that is gone, they go and ask for more. They
have no direct personal motive for exercising prudence and economy, and
they have no experience of the evils that result from thriftlessness
and prodigality. It is much better for all children that they should
have pecuniary responsibilities, such as are suited to their years,
thrown upon them in their youth, when the mistakes they make in
acquiring their experience are of little moment. The same mistakes made
after they become of age might be their ruin.
In carrying the system into effect in Rollo's case, there seemed to
be something very abrupt, at least, if not positively harsh, in Mr.
George's mode of dealing with him. And yet Rollo did not dislike it. He
felt that his uncle was treating him more like a man, on this account,
or rather more like a large boy, and not like a child. In fact, a part
of the rough handling which Rollo got from his uncle was due to this
very circumstanceMr. George having observed that he did not mind
being knocked about a little.
After dinner, Rollo proposed to his uncle that they should go out
and take a walk.
I will go with you a few minutes, said Mr. George, and then I
must return to my room, and write up my journal.
Say half an hour, rejoined Rollo.
Well, replied Mr. George, we will say half an hour.
So they sallied forth upon the pier behind the hotel. Mr. George
took a general survey of the harbor, and of the vessels that were lying
in it, and also of the peaks and headlands which were seen at the mouth
of it, toward the sea.
I should like to be on that hill, said Mr. George, to look off
over the channel, and see if I could discern the coast of France from
Let's go there, said Rollo.
That would take more than half an hour, replied Mr. George.
Well, at any rate, let's go on board the steamer, said Rollo.
So, taking Mr. George by the hand, he led him along to the brink of
the pier. Mr. George looked over, and saw the steamer lying at rest in
its muddy bed below.
Is it possible? said Mr. George, in a tone of great astonishment.
Can it be possible? repeated Mr. George.
What? inquired Rollo. What is it that surprises you so much?
Why, to find such a steamer as this for the travel on one of the
great thoroughfares between England and France. Let's go down on
So Mr. George led the way, and Rollo followed down the plank. The
plank landed them on the top of the paddle box. From that place, a few
steps led to the deck. They walked along the deck a short distance
toward the stern, and there they found a door, and a small winding
staircase leading down into the cabin. They descended these stairs, one
before the other, for the space was not wide enough to allow of their
going together; and when they reached the foot of them they found
themselves in a small cabin, with one tier of berths around the sides.
The cabin was not high enough for two. There were berths for about
twenty or thirty passengers. The cabin was very neatly finished; and
there was a row of cushioned seats around it, in front of the berths.
In one corner, by the side of the door where Mr. George and Rollo had
come in, was a small desk, with writing materials upon it. This Rollo
supposed must be the captain's office.
While Mr. George sat surveying the scene, and mentally comparing
this insignificant boat to the magnificent steamers on the Hudson
River, in America, with their splendid and capacious cabins on three
different decks, their promenade saloons, sometimes one hundred and
fifty feet long, with ranges of elegant state rooms on either hand, and
sofas, and couches, and tête-à-têtes without number, in the
middle, his perplexity increased.
I do not understand it at all, said he to Rollo. I thought that
there would at least be as much travelling between London and Paris,
the two greatest cities in the world, as between New York and Albany.
And yet there are half a dozen steamers every day on the North River,
carrying from five hundred to one thousand passengers; while here, on
the most direct and cheapest route between London and Paris, is one
single steamer, that could not possibly carry one hundred passengers,
and she only goes once in two days.
Just then a young man, who seemed to be the clerk of the boat, came
down the cabin stairs, and, seeing Mr. George and Rollo there, he asked
them if they had taken their berths. They said that they had not; but
they immediately proceeded to choose their berths, or rather their
places, for there were no divisions separating the sleeping-places
from each other except what was formed by the cushions. There was a
long cushion for each sleeper, covered with crimson velvet or plush;
and a round cushion, shaped like a bolster, and covered in the same
way, for his head. On these cushions the passengers were expected to
lie down without undressing, placing themselves in a row, head to head,
and feet to feet. Mr. George chose two of these sleeping-places, one
for himself, and the other for Rollo, and the clerk marked them with a
Our two travellers then went up on deck again, and from the deck
they ascended the plank to the pier. It was now nearly sunset, and it
was a very pleasant evening. They sauntered slowly along the pier,
until they came to a place where some steps led down to the water.
There were several small boats at the foot of the steps, and in one of
them was a man doing something to the rudder. Rollo saw that on the
other side of the water was another long staircase leading down from
the bank there, so as to form a landing-place for small boats at all
times of tide. He also looked up and down the harbor, but he could see
no bridge, and so he supposed that this must be a sort of ferry for the
people who wished to cross from one side to the other.
As soon as the man who was in the boat saw Mr. George and Rollo
standing upon the pier, he rose up in his boat, and touching his hat at
the same time, or rather making a sort of jerk with his hand, which was
meant to represent a touch of the hat, he asked him if he would like to
be rowed across to the other side.
Why, I don't know, said Mr. George. What's the ferriage?
That's just as the gentleman pleases, said the man, with another
jerk at his hat.
And how much do they generally please? said Mr. George. What's
the common custom?
O, gentlemen gives us what they likes, said the man. We always
leaves it to them entirely.
Mr. George was silent. After a moment's pause, the boatman said
Would you like to go, sir? Very nice boat.
Not on those terms, said Mr. George. If you will tell me what the
usual ferriage is, I can then tell you whether we wish to go or not.
Well, sir, replied the man, gentlemen usually gives us about
Twopence apiece. Very well, we will go.
Mr. George did not wait to ask Rollo whether he would like to go
before he decided the question. He would have considered this a mere
waste of time, for Rollo was always ready to go, no matter where.
So they got into the boat, and were rowed across the water. They
ascended the stairs on the other side, and walked a little way in a
smooth road which led along the bank. Rollo wished to go farther; but
Mr. George said that his time had expired, and that he must go back.
But you may stay, said he to Rollo, as long as you please, provided
that you come back before dark.
Rollo was much pleased with this permission, as he wished to go to
the top of the hill, at the outlet of the harbor, and look at the
prospect. He promised to return before dark.
Have you any change, said Mr. George, to pay your ferriage back?
No, said Rollo, I have nothing but my five-franc pieces.
Then I will lend you twopence, said Mr. George. You can pay me
the first change you get in France.
But I cannot get any pennies in France, said Rollo.
True, said Mr. George; you will get sous there. You must pay me
four sous. A penny is equal to two sous.
I will pay your bill at the hotel, too, continued Mr. George, as
I suppose they will make out yours and mine together, and you can pay
me your share to-morrow, when we land. Here is your ticket, however.
You must take charge of that.
But suppose I lose it? asked Rollo.
Then you will have to pay over again, said Mr. George; that is
all. You will lose about twenty francs; unless, indeed, he continued,
your father should call it a casualty.
So Mr. George went back to the boat, and Rollo continued his walk,
thinking on the way of the question which his uncle had suggested,
whether his father would consider the loss of his ticket a casualty or
not. He determined, however, very resolutely, that he would not lose
it; and so he put it away safely in his wallet, and then went on. The
road was very smooth and pleasant to walk in, being bordered by green
fields on the one hand, and the water of the harbor on the other. Rollo
came at length to the hill. There were successive terraces, with houses
built upon them, on the sides of the hill, and paths leading to the
summit. Rollo had a fine view of the sea, and of the vessels and
steamers which were passing slowly in the offing, on their way up and
down the channel; but though he looked long and eagerly for the coast
of France, it was not to be seen.
Rollo rambled about the hill for a considerable time; for at that
season of the year the twilight continued very long, and it did not
become dark till quite late. When, at length, the shadows of the
evening began to shut in upon the landscape, he returned to the ferry,
and the ferryman rowed him back again to the hotel.
It was now nearly nine o'clock, and, of course, three hours remained
before the time of embarkation would arrive. Rollo was not sorry for
this, as he thought that there would be enough to amuse and occupy him
all this time on and around the pier. His first duty, however, was to
go and report himself to Mr. George as having returned from his walk.
This he did. He found his uncle very busy in his room, writing his
Now, Rollo, said Mr. George, it is three hours before we are to
leave. What are you going to do all that time?
O, I shall find plenty to amuse myself with, said Rollo.
Very well, said Mr. George. You may play about wherever you are
sure it is safe. Don't go near the edge of the pier, unless there is
somebody at hand to pull you out of the water with a boathook, if you
fall in. Amuse yourself as long as you can; and when you are tired of
taking care of yourself, come to me, and I will tell you what to do.
Rollo, having received these instructions, left his uncle to his
work, and went away. He descended the stairs, and went out upon the
pier again, and after amusing himself, by examining every thing there,
he concluded to go on board the steamer. A train of cars had arrived
from London while he and his uncle had been on the other side of the
water, and there were now several new passengers in the cabin, who were
choosing and marking their berths, or talking together about the
Rollo thought that, in order to make sure that his ticket was all
right, he would climb up into his berth and see; and then, when he was
there, it seemed to him a very funny place to sleep in; so he laid down
his head upon the round cushion to try it. While he was in this
position, his attention was attracted by the sound of children's voices
on the stairs, talking French. Presently these children came into the
cabin. Their mother was with them. There were two of them, and they
were not more than five or six years old. Rollo was exceedingly
astonished to hear such little children talk French so well. Rollo
listened to see if he could understand what they said. He had studied
French himself for a year or two, and could say a great many things. In
fact, he had been accustomed to consider himself quite a good French
scholar. But he now found that all his acquisitions dwindled into utter
insignificance, when compared with the power over the language
possessed by those little girls.
The French party did not remain very long in the cabin where Rollo
was, but passed at once through a door which led to a small ladies'
cabin near. There were other persons, however, continually coming and
going, and Rollo was interested in watching their movements, and in
listening to the fragments of conversation which he heard. He found his
position very comfortable, too, and the sounds around him produced so
lulling an effect, that, before long, he insensibly closed his eyes. In
a word, in less than fifteen minutes after he climbed up into his berth
to see what sort of a place it was, he had put it fully to the test of
experiment, by going fast asleep in it.
In about half an hour after this, Mr. George, coming to the end of a
paragraph in his journal, laid down his pen, drew a long breath, looked
out the window, and then rang the bell. In a few minutes the
Mary, said he, I wish to ask the porter to go out and look about
on the pier, and in the packet, and see if he can see any thing of that
boy that came with me.
Very well, sir, said Mary, with a quick courtesy; and she
In about five minutes she came back, and said that the young master
was in his berth in the packet, sound asleep.
Very well, said Mr. George, in his turn. Much obliged to you. He
then went on with his writing.
The first thing that Rollo himself was conscious of, after falling
asleep in his berth, was a feeling of some one pulling him gently by
the shoulder. He opened his eyes, and saw before him a face that he did
not exactly know, and yet it was not entirely strange. The man had his
hand upon Rollo's shoulder, and was endeavoring to wake him.
Your ticket, if you please, sir.
Rollo stared wildly a minute, first at the man, and then about the
cabin. It was night. Lamps were burning, and the cabin was full of
people. Some were in their berths, some in groups on the seats, and one
or two were just preparing to lie down. The engine was in motion, and
the ship was evidently going fast through the water. In fact, the
steamer was rocking and rolling as she went on, indicating that she was
already far out at sea.
Your ticket, if you please, sir, repeated the clerk.
Rollo glanced around to his uncle's berth, and there he saw his
uncle lying quietly in his place, his head being on a cushion close to
the one on which Rollo's head had been lying.
Uncle George, said Rollo, he wants my ticket.
Well, said Mr. George, without moving, give him your ticket.
Rollo then recollected that he had his ticket in his wallet. So,
after fumbling for a time in his pocket, he brought out his wallet, and
produced the ticket, and handed it to the clerk.
Thank you, sir, said the clerk, taking the ticket. At the same
time he put two other tickets in Rollo's wallet, in the place of the
one which he had taken out. As he did this, he pointed to one of the
small ones, saying,
That's for the landing.
Rollo shut up his wallet, and put it in his pocket.
A shilling, if you please, said the clerk.
Rollo had no shilling, and was still not much more than half awake.
So he turned to his uncle again.
Uncle George, said he, he wants a shilling.
Well, pay him a shilling, then, said Mr. George.
Rollo now felt for his purse, and taking out one of his five-franc
pieces, he gave it to the clerk, who, in return, gave him back a
quantity of change. Rollo attempted to count the change, but he soon
perceived that his ideas of francs and shillings were all in confusion.
So he turned the change all together into his purse, put the purse back
into his pocket, lay his head down upon his cushion again, shut his
eyes, and in one minute was once more fast asleep.
Some hours afterward he woke again, of his own accord. He opened his
eyes and looked about him, and perceiving that it was morning, he
climbed down from his berth, and then went up upon the deck. The coast
of France was all before him, in full view, and the steamer was rapidly
drawing near to it. He went to the bow of the vessel to get a nearer
view. He saw directly before him a place where there were piers, and
batteries, and other constructions indicating a town, while on either
hand there extended long ranges of cliffs, with smooth, green slopes of
land above, and broad, sandy shores below. In half an hour more the
steamer arrived at the entrance of the harbor, which was formed of two
long piers, built at a little distance from each other, and projecting
quite into the sea. The steamer glided rapidly along between these high
walls of stone, until, at length, it entered a broad basin, which was
bordered by a continuation of these walls, and hemmed in on every side
beyond the walls of the pier with ranges of the most quaint, and queer,
and picturesque-looking buildings that Rollo ever saw.
[Illustration: ENTERING DIEPPE.]
These buildings were not close to the pier, but were back far enough
to leave room for a street between them and the water. Such a street is
called a quay.[B] Quays are built in almost all the cities of
Europe where there are rivers or basins of water for shipping; and they
are very pleasant streets to walk in, having usually large and elegant
buildings on one side, and vessels and steamers on the other.
[B] Pronounced kee.
By the time that the steamer had entered the port, almost all the
passengers had come up from below, and Mr. George among the rest. Mr.
George came, expecting to find that, as they were now about to land,
the baggage would be brought out, and that the several passengers would
be called upon to select their own. But there was no movement of this
kind. The baggage had all been put down into the hold the night before,
and now the hatches were still closed, and there seemed to be no signs
of any preparation to open them.
In the mean time, the steamer gradually drew near to the pier. The
engine was stopped. Ropes were thrown out. People in queer dresses,
some of them soldiers, who were standing on the pier, caught the ropes
and fastened them. The steamer was thus brought to her place and
There was now, however, no rush to get on shore,such as Rollo had
always been accustomed to witness on board an American steamer on her
arrival,but every thing was quiet and still. By and by a plank was
laid. Then the passengers were called upon to get out their tickets.
Then they began to walk over the plank, each one giving up his landing
ticket as he passed.
When Mr. George and Rollo reached the pier, they found, on looking
around them, that they were not yet at liberty. On the opposite side of
the quay was a building, with a sign over it, in French, meaning
custom-house office for packet boats; and there were two long ropes
stretched, one from the stem and the other from the stern of the
steamer, to the opposite sides of the door of this building, so as to
enclose a space on the quay, in front of the building, in such a manner
as to hem the passengers in, and make it necessary for them to pass
through the custom house. The ropes were guarded by soldiers, dressed
in what seemed to Rollo the queerest possible uniforms. They all talked
Frencheven those who had talked English when they came on board the
packet boat on the other side.
I can't understand a word they say, said Rollo.
Nor I, said Mr. George; but we can watch and see what they will
It did not require long watching, for no sooner had Mr. George said
these words than he observed that the passengers were all going toward
the door of the custom-house, and that, as they went, they were taking
their passports out. Nobody can enter France without a passport. A
passport is a paper given to the traveller by his own government. This
paper tells the traveller's name, describes his person, and requests
that the French government will allow him to pass through their
country. Frenchmen themselves must have a passport too, though this is
of a little different kind. All must have a passport of some kind or
other, and all this machinery of ropes and soldiers was to make it sure
that every one of the passengers had the proper document.
The passengers accordingly took out their passports as they went
into the custom-house door, and there passed, in single file, before an
officer seated at a desk, who took them in turn, opened them, copied
the names in his book, and then gave them back to the owners. Mr.
George and Rollo followed on in the line. When their passports had been
given back to them, they went on with the rest until they came out from
the custom-house at another door, which brought them upon the quay
outside of the ropes.
What's to be done next? said Rollo.
I am sure I don't know, said Mr. George, I suppose we shall see.
There was an omnibus standing near, marked, For the Iron
Road,that being the French name for railroad,but nobody seemed to
be getting into it. In fact, the passengers, as fast as they came out
from the custom-house, seemed all very quiet, as if waiting for
something. A great many of them seemed to be French people, and they
fell into little groups, and began to talk very volubly together, some
finding friends who had come down to the quay to meet them, and others
making friends, apparently, for the occasion, of the soldiers and
idlers that were standing around.
Could not you ask some of them, said Rollo, what we are to do
I don't believe they would understand my French, said Mr. George.
I am sure I don't understand theirs. In a moment, however, he turned
to a young man who was standing near, who seemed to be a waiter or
servant man belonging to the place.
Do you speak English?
Yes, sir, said the man, in a very foreign accent, but yet in a
very pleasant tone.
What are we waiting for? asked Mr. George.
You will wait, sir, for the baggages, and then for the visit of the
How long? said Mr. George.
Twenty minutes, said the man. He also gave Mr. George to
understand that he and Rollo might go and have some breakfast, if they
chose. But Mr. George thought it was not safe for them to go away from
the spot. So they waited where they were.
In a few minutes the hatches were opened on board the vessel, and
the sailors began to hoist out the trunks. As fast as they were brought
up to the decks men took them on shore, and carried them into the
custom-house by the same door where the passengers had entered. When
all the baggage was carried in, the ropes were taken down, and the
passengers went to the custom-house door again, to attend to the
examination of the baggage. A soldier stood at the door to prevent too
many going in at a time. Mr. George and Rollo followed the rest, and at
length it came their turn to have their trunks examined. This was done
very quickthe officers appearing to think, from the appearance of the
travellers, that they would not be likely to have any smuggled goods in
their possession. The officer, accordingly, just looked into the
trunks, and then shut down the lids, and marked them passed. A porter
then took them out at the side door. There, on Mr. George's telling
them in French that they were going to Paris by the railroad, the
trunks were put upon a cart, while Mr. George and Rollo got into the
omnibus, and then they were very soon driving along the quay, in the
direction, as they supposed, of the Paris railway station.
CHAPTER III. JOURNEY TO PARIS.
The omnibus which Mr. George and Rollo had entered contained several
other passengers, some of whom had carpet bags and valises with them,
as if they, too, were going to Paris. Besides the driver, there was a
conductor, whose place was upon the step of the omnibus, behind. The
conductor opened and shut the doors for the passengers when they wished
to get in or out, and took the fare.
How much is the fare? said Rollo to Mr. George.
I don't know, said Mr. George, shaking his head. He spoke,
however, in a very unconcerned tone, as if it were of very little
consequence whether he knew or not.
What are you going to do about it, then? said Rollo.
I shall say, 'How much?' to him, when we get out; and then, if I do
not understand his answer, I shall give him a large piece of money, and
let him give me back as much change as he likes.
Rollo resolved that he would do so too.
Next to Mr. George and Rollo in the omnibus there sat a gentleman
and lady, who seemed to be, as they really were, a new-married pair.
They were making their bridal tour. The lady was dressed plainly, but
well, in travelling costume, and she had a handsome morocco carriage
bag hanging upon her arm. The gentleman was quite loaded with shawls,
and boxes, and umbrellas, and small bags, which he had upon his lap or
at his feet. Besides this, the lady had a trunk, which, together with
that of her husband, had been left behind, to come on the cart. She was
very anxious about this trunk, for it contained all her fine dresses.
Her husband was interested in the novel sights and scenes that
presented themselves to view in passing along the street; but she
thought only of the trunk.
What strange costumes, Estelle! said he. Look! See that woman!
What a funny cap!
Yes, said Estelle; but, Charley, don't you think it would have
been better for us to have brought our trunks with us on the omnibus?
I don't know, said her husband. It is too late to think of that
now. I've no doubt that they are safe enough where they are. Look!
There's a girl with wooden shoes on. Those are the wooden shoes we have
read about so often in books. Look!
Estelle glanced her eyes, for an instant, toward the wooden shoes,
and then began to look back along the street again, watching anxiously
for the trunks.
At length the omnibus approached the station. It entered through a
magnificent portal, under an arch. There was a soldier walking back and
forth, with his musket in his hand, bayonet fixed, to guard the
entrance. None but actual travellers were allowed to enter. The
omnibus, having entered the court, stopped before a splendid portico,
where there was a door leading into the building. The passengers paid
their fares, and got out. On entering the building, they found
themselves in a spacious apartment, with a great variety of partitions,
offices, enclosures, and railings, presenting themselves on every hand,
the meaning of all which it was very difficult to understand. There
were also signs marked first class, and second class, and third class,
and placards of notices to travellers, and time tables, and various
similar things. On the back side of the room were doors and windows,
looking out to a platform, where the train of cars was seen, apparently
all ready to set off. But the partitions and railings which were in the
way prevented the company from going out there.
There were a number of travellers in this room, several parties
having arrived there before the omnibus came. Many of these persons
were waiting quietly, talking in little groups, or resting themselves
by sitting upon their carpet bags. Others were looking about eagerly
and anxiously, wondering what they were to do, or trying to find
somebody who could tell them about the baggage. Estelle was the most
restless and uneasy of all. She went continually to the door to look
down the road, to see if the cart was coming.
Charles, said she, what a shame it is that they don't come with
the trunks! The train is all ready, and will go off before they come.
O, no, said her husband; I think not. Don't be anxious about
them. I've no doubt they will be here in time. Come with me, and let us
look about the station, and see how it differs from ours.
But Estelle would not allow her thoughts to be diverted from her
trunk. She remained on the steps, looking anxiously down the road. Some
of the other passengers who were unused to travelling, seeing her look
so anxious, and not understanding what she said, supposed that some
accident had happened, or that some unusual delay had occurred, and
they began to be anxious too. Just then a bell began to ring out upon
There! exclaimed Estelle. The train is going! What shall we do?
Why can't you ask somebody, Charles?
Why, I can't speak French, said Charles; and they would not
understand me if I ask in English.
Yes they would, said Estelle; I'm sure they would. There are so
many English travellers going on these roads now, that it must be that
they have men here that speak English. There's a man, said she,
pointing to a person in livery who was standing within a sort of
Mr. Charles, thus urged, walked across the hall to the railing,
though very reluctantly, and asked the man if he could tell him why the
trunks did not come.
Sir? said the man, in French, and looking as if he did not
Do you speak English? asked Mr. Charles.
There, said the man, pointing across the room. Mr. Charles looked,
and saw another man, who, by the livery or uniform which he wore,
seemed to be a porter belonging to the station, standing by a window.
He accordingly went across to ask the question of him.
Do you speak English, sir? said he.
Yes, sare, replied the man, speaking with great formality, and in
a very foreign accent, making, at the same time, a very polite bow.
What is the reason that our baggage does not come? asked Mr.
Yes, sare, replied the porter, speaking in the same manner.
Why does not it come? asked Mr. Charles again. We put it upon a
cart at the custom-house, and why does not it come?
Yes, sare, replied the porter, with another very polite bow.
Mr. Charles, perceiving that the porter's knowledge of English
consisted, apparently, in being able to say, Yes, sir, and mortified
at the absurd figure which he made in attempting to make useless
inquiries in such a way, bowed in his turn, and went back to Estelle in
a state of greater alienation of heart from her than he had ever
experienced before. And as this book may, perhaps, be read sometimes by
girls as well as boys, I will here, for their benefit, add the remark,
that there is no possible way by which a lady can more effectually
destroy any kind feeling which a gentleman may entertain for her than
by forcing him to exhibit himself thus in an awkward and ridiculous
light, by her unreasonable exactions on journeys, or rides, or walks,
or excursions of any kind that they may be taking together.
Rollo and his uncle George had witnessed this scene, and had both
been much interested in watching the progress of it. Rollo did not know
but that there was some real cause for solicitude about the baggage,
especially as several of the lady passengers who were standing with
Estelle at the door seemed to be anxiously looking down the road.
Do you feel any anxiety about our trunks coming? asked Rollo.
Not the least, said Mr. George, quietly.
Why not? asked Rollo. Are you sure that they will come?
No, said Mr. George; but there are a good many excellent reasons
why I should not feel any anxiety about them. In the first place, I
have some little confidence in the railway arrangements made in this
country. The French are famous all the world over for their skill in
systematizing and regulating all operations of this kind, so that they
shall work in the most sure and perfect manner. It does not seem at all
probable to me, therefore, that they can manage so clumsily here, on
one of the great lines between England and France, as to get all the
trunks of a whole steamer load of passengers upon a cart, and then
loiter with it on the way to the station, and let the train go off
Well, said Rollo, that's a good reason; but you said there were
Another is, that, if they are capable of managing so clumsily as to
have such a thing happen, we cannot help it, and have nothing to do but
to bear it quietly. We put our trunks in the proper place to have them
brought here. We could not have done otherwise, with propriety, for
that was the regular mode provided for conveying the baggage; and if
there is a failure to get it here, we are not to fret about it, but to
take it as we would a storm, or a break down, or any other
casualtythat is, take it quietly.
Yes, said Rollo; that's a good reason. Are there any more?
There is one more, said Mr. George; and that is, I am not anxious
about the trunks coming in season, for I don't care a fig whether they
come or not.
O, uncle George! exclaimed Rollo.
I do not, said Mr. George; for if they do not come, the only
consequence will be, that we shall have to wait two or three hours for
the next train, which will give us just time to ramble about a little
in this queer-looking town of Dieppe, and get some breakfast, and
perhaps have some curious adventures in trying to talk French. In fact,
I rather hope the baggage won't come.
Mr. George was destined to be disappointed in this rising desire,
for, while he and Rollo were talking, Estelle came running in to her
husband with a countenance full of joy, saying that the cart had come,
and urging him to come and get their trunks off as quick as possible.
Her eagerness was increased by hearing the bell again, which now began
to toll, leading her to think that the train was going off immediately.
The porters, however, whose business it was to carry the trunks in, did
not seem to be at all disturbed by the sound, but began to take off the
trunks, one by one, and convey them up into the station. Here they were
placed upon a sort of counter, from whence they were taken off on the
other side, and weighed in a curiously contrived pair of scales placed
there for the purpose. If any trunk weighed over a certain number of
pounds,the amount which, according to the regulations of the road,
each passenger was allowed to carry,then the surplus had to be paid
for. There was a little office close to the weighing machine; and as
fast as the trunks were weighed, the result was reported to the clerk,
who made out a bill for the surplus, whatever it was, and the passenger
paid it through an opening. If there was no surplus weight, then they
gave the passenger a similar bill, which was to be his check for his
trunk at the end of the journey. Every thing was, however, so admirably
arranged, that all this was done very rapidly.
Mr. Charles, when he found that the trunks were all to be weighed,
proposed to go with Estelle to the cars, so as to get a good seat for
her; but Estelle chose to remain and make sure that her trunk was
attended to. It happened that Mr. George's trunk and Rollo's were
weighed among the first; and as soon as they got their checks, Mr.
Now for our seats in the cars.
But which way are we to go? said Rollo.
I don't know, said Mr. George. Go and show that man your ticket,
and ask him where we are to go.
In French? said Rollo.
Yes, said Mr. George.
So Rollo went to the man who was standing by a sort of gateway which
led through a partition railing, as if he were there to guard the
passage; and holding up his little pasteboard ticket, he said, in
Where to go?
The man looked at the ticket, and, seeing that first class was
printed upon it, he pointed in a certain direction, and said something
in French, speaking, however, in so rapid and voluble a manner, that
Rollo could not understand a single word. He, however, understood the
This way, uncle George, said Rollo. He says we must go this way.
Following the indication which the man had given, Mr. George and
Rollo passed out upon the platform, where they found the train ready
for them. There were various attendants upon the platform, dressed in a
quaint sort of uniform, the livery, as it were, of the railroad
company. One of them looked at Rollo's ticket, and then opened the door
of a first-class car. The cars were made like those in England, in
separate compartments, each compartment being like a large coach, with
one front seat, and one back, facing each other. There were four
places; that is, room for four passengers on each seat. Of course, only
those at the ends were near the window. Rollo and Mr. George took the
two seats nearest the window on the side where they got in, as one of
the seats at the opposite side was already occupied by a gentleman. The
gentleman seemed to be an Englishman, for he was reading the London
Rollo and Mr. George had been seated only two or three minutes
before Estelle and her husband came along, Estelle leading the way. The
attendant opened the door of the car, and Estelle, followed by her
husband, got in. They passed between Mr. George and Rollo, and stood
there for a moment, looking about for a good seat. A freight train was
slowly trundling by at this time on an adjoining track, so that what
they said was not very audible; but still, Mr. George and Rollo could
I want a seat by the window, said Estelle, where I can look out
and see the country. Ask that gentleman if he would not be willing to
take a middle seat, and let us sit together by the window.
We had better go to some other car, said her husband, in an
undertone. He wishes to see the country, probably, himself, and
has come early, perhaps, so as to get a good seat.
O, no, said Estelle; this is a very nice car; and he would just
as soon change as not, I have no doubt. Ask him, Charley; do.
So Estelle moved to one side for her husband to pass. Mr. Charles,
thus urged, approached the gentleman, and said, in a very bland and
Should you have any objection, sir, to move your seat, so as to let
this lady sit by the window?
The gentleman raised his eyes from his paper, and looked at Mr.
Charles an instant, and then answered quietly,
I prefer this seat, sir.
He then went on with his reading as before.
Estelle pouted her lip, and said, though in a tone too low, perhaps,
for the gentleman to hear, What a rude man!
We will give you these seats, sir, said Mr. George, if you
would like them.
Yes, they'll do just as well, said Estelle, speaking to her
Mr. George rose, and saying, Come, Rollo, he left the car.
Mr. George had some trouble in looking for other seats; but at
length he succeeded in finding two that were as good as those which
they had left.
I think she might at least have thanked you for giving up your seat
to accommodate her, said Rollo.
I did not do it to accommodate her, said Mr. George; I did it to
get out of the sight and hearing of her. I would not ride from here to
Paris in the same car with such a fussmaker for all the prospects in
France. I had rather be shut up in a freight car.
How much trouble she makes her husband! said Rollo.
It is not the trouble, said Mr. George, it is the mortification
and annoyance. She is a perpetual torment. If that's the way that young
wives treat their husbands on the bridal tour, I'm thankful that I am
not a bridegroom.
The train soon set out, and Mr. George and Rollo, forgetting
Estelle, soon began to enjoy the ride. They were both extremely
interested in the views which they obtained from their windows as they
passed along, and with the antique and quaint appearance of the
countrythe ancient stone cottages, with thatched roofs; the peasants,
in their picturesque dresses; the immense tracts of cultivated country,
divided in green and brown patches, like the beds of a garden, but with
no fences or enclosures of any kind to be seen; the great forests, with
trees planted closely in rows, like the corn in an American cornfield;
and the roadways which they occasionally passedimmense avenues,
bordered on either hand with double rows of majestic trees, and
extending across the country, as straight as the street of a city, till
lost in the horizon. These and a thousand other things, which were all
the time presenting themselves to view, kept the travellers continually
full of wonder and delight.
After going on thus for several hours, the train stopped in a very
spacious depot, where there was a large refreshment room; and as one of
the attendants called out that there would be ten minutes of rest, both
Mr. George and Rollo got out, and went into the refreshment room. They
found a great multitude of cakes and meats spread out upon an immense
counter, and dishes of every kind, all totally unknown to them. They,
of course, could not call for any thing; but, after taking a survey,
they helped themselves to what they thought looked as if it might be
good, and then paid in the same way, by letting the girls that attended
the tables help themselves to money which the travellers held out to
them in their hands. They then took their seats again in the car, and
soon afterward the train moved on.
The place where they had stopped was Rouen, which, as well as Dieppe
and Paris, the reader will find, on examining any map of France. In the
course of the ride from Rouen to Paris, Mr. George and Rollo fell into
quite a conversation, in which Rollo received a great deal of very good
advice from Mr. George in respect to the care of himself when he should
get to Paris.
I suppose that I should be sure to get lost, said Rollo, if I
should attempt to go out in such a great city alone.
No, said Mr. George, not at all. A person can walk about a great
way, sometimes, in a strange city, without getting lost. All he has to
do is to take care, at first, to go only in such directions as that he
can keep the way home in his mind.
I don't know what you mean, exactly, by that, said Rollo.
Why, suppose you were in a great city, and you come out at the door
of your hotel, and there you find a long, straight street. You walk
along that street half a mile. Then don't you think you could find your
Yes, said Rollo.
Certainly, said Mr. George, because you have it in your mind that
the way home is directly back by that same street, till you come to the
hotel. Now, suppose that, after going along in that street for half a
mile, you should come to a great church, upon a corner, and should turn
there to the right, and go for some distance in another street leading
off from the first one; don't you think you could then find your
Yes, said Rollo, I should go back to the church, and then turn to
the left, and so go home.
Very well, said Mr. George; by proceeding cautiously in that way,
carrying your way home in your mind with you all the time, you can
ramble a great deal about a strange city without getting lost, and go
farther and farther every day.
Then, besides, if you do get lost, it is of no consequence. You can
always ask the way back; or, if worst comes to worst, you can take a
cab, and tell the man to drive you home.
Yes, said Rollo, I suppose I could always do that.
Only you must be sure, said Mr. George, not to forget the name of
your hotel. Once I was walking about in Paris, and I saw a colored girl
on the sidewalk, before me, who seemed to be inquiring something of the
people that she met, without appearing to get any satisfactory answer.
I thought she was an American girl; and so I went to her, and asked her
in French what she wanted to knowfor I observed that she was speaking
French. She said she wished to know what was the name of the hotel
where most of the Americans lodged. I could not speak French very well
myself, and so I could not ask her for any explanations; but I supposed
that she belonged to some American party, and had lost her way in going
somewhere of an errand, and had forgotten the name of the hotel. So I
told her the names of two or three hotels where Americans were
accustomed to lodge, and she went away.
Did she find her own hotel? asked Rollo.
I don't know, said Mr. George. I never knew what became of her.
How did she learn French, do you suppose? asked Rollo.
I presume she came from New Orleans, replied Mr. George, where
nearly all the people speak French.
Thus our two travellers beguiled their journey, by talking sometimes
about the novel and curious objects which presented themselves to view,
in the landscape, as the train rolled rapidly along on its way, and
sometimes about what they expected to see and to do on their arrival in
Paris. At length, the indications that they were approaching the great
capital began to multiply on every hand. The villages were more
frequent. Villas, parks, and palaces came into view; and here and there
an ancient castle reposed on the slope of a distant hill, or frowned
from its summit. At length, Rollo, turning his head to the window
opposite to the one where he had been looking out, exclaimed
Look there! Uncle George, what's that?
Mr. George said that that was Napoleon's famous Triumphal Arch, that
forms the grand entrance to Paris, on the way to the royal palaces. It
was a large, square building, splendidly adorned with sculptures and
architectural ornaments, and towering high into the air out of the
midst of a perfect sea of houses, streets, avenues, trees, gardens, and
palaces, which covered the whole country around. It stood upon a
commanding elevation, which made its magnitude and its height seem all
the more impressive. Through the centre of it was a magnificent
archway, wide enough for four carriages to pass abreast.
It is the Triumphal Arch, said Mr. George, by which all grand
processions enter Paris on great public days of rejoicing. We will go
out and see it some day. It is called the Triumphal Arch of Neuilly,
because it is on the road that leads to Neuilly.[C]
[C] It is also called the Arc de l'Etoile. Etoile means star,
and the French give that name to a place where several roads diverge
from one point. Roads so diverging form a sort of star. The reader will
find this arch on any map of Paris, with the roads diverging from it.
By this time the Triumphal Arch had passed out of view, and
presently the train of cars began to be shut in by buildings, and the
usual indications appeared of the approach to a great station.
Queer-looking signals, of mysterious meaning,some red, some blue,
some round, some square,glided by, and men in strange and fantastic
costumes stood on the right hand and on the left, with little flags in
their hands, and one arm extended, as if to show the locomotive the
At length the convoy (as the French call a railway train) came to a
stand, and an attendant, in uniform, opened the door of the car. Mr.
George and Rollo got out and looked about, quite bewildered with the
magnificence of the scene around them. The station was very extensive,
and was very splendid in its construction, and there were immense
numbers of people going and coming in it in all directions. Still,
every thing was so well regulated that there was no disorder or
confusion. There was a line of carriages drawn up in a certain place
near the platform; but the coachmen remained quietly by them, awaiting
calls from the passengers, instead of vociferously and clamorously
offering their services, as is customary at the stations in America.
Nor was there any pushing or crowding for trunks and baggage. In fact,
the trunks were all to be examined before they could go into the city;
for there are separate duties for the city of Paris, in addition to
those for France. The baggage was, therefore, all taken from the
baggage car, and arranged in an immense apartment, on counters, which
extended all around the sides, and up and down the middle; and then,
when all was ready, the passengers were admitted, and each one claimed
his own. Mr. George and Rollo easily found their trunks, and, on
presenting their tickets, an officer required them to open the trunks,
that he might see if there was any thing contraband inside. As soon,
however, as he perceived that Mr. George and Rollo were foreigners, and
that their trunks had come from beyond sea, he shut down the lids
again, saying, It is well. A porter then took the trunks and carried
them out to a carriage.
Hotel of the Rhine, Place Vendome, said Mr. George, in French, to
the coachman, by way of directing him where to go.
[Illustration: THE ARRIVAL.]
Yesyesyesyes, said the coachman.
It is so natural and easy for the French to talk, that they
generally use all the words they can to express their meaning, besides
an infinity of gestures. Thus, when they wish to say yes, they often
repeat the yes four or five times, in a very rapid manner, thus:
Mr. George got into the coach, and Rollo followed him. As they drove
along the streets, Rollo tried to look out the window and see; but the
window was so small, and the streets were so narrow, and the coachman,
moreover, drove so fast, that he had very little opportunity to make
observations. At length he caught a momentary glimpse of a monstrous
column standing in the middle of an open square; and immediately
afterward the carriage drove in under an archway, and came to a stand,
in a small, open court, surrounded with lofty buildings. This was the
hotel. There was a small room, which served as a porter's lodge, in
this court, near where the coach stopped. A girl came to the door of
this lodge to receive the guests. She bowed to Mr. George and Rollo
with great politeness, and seemed glad to see them. Mr. George spoke to
her in French, to say what rooms he wished to engage. What he said,
literally translated, was this:
We want two chambers for ourselves, at the third, and an apartment
of three pieces, at the second, for a gentleman, lady, and their young
girl, whom we attend to-morrow.
The girl, who was very neatly and prettily dressed, and was very
agreeable in her manners, immediately said, Very well, and rang a
bell. A servant man came at the summons, and, taking the trunks, showed
Mr. George and Rollo up to their rooms.
CHAPTER IV. THE GARDEN OF THE
The first Sunday that Rollo spent in Paris he met with quite a
His father and mother had arrived the evening before, and had
established themselves quite comfortably in the apartment of three
pieces, which Mr. George had engaged for them. An apartment, according
to the French use of the term, is not a single room, but a group of
rooms, suitable to be occupied by one family. The number of pieces
is the number of rooms.
Mr. Holiday's three rooms were a small but beautifully furnished
parlor, where they had breakfast, and two bed rooms. One bed room was
for himself and Mrs. Holiday, and the other was for Jennie. There were
a great many splendid mirrors in these rooms, and other elegant
furniture. The floors were not carpeted, but were formed of dark and
polished wood, curiously inlaid, with rugs here and there at the doors
and before the sofas and chairs. There was a small, square rug before
every chair, and a large one before the sofa. There were a great many
other curious things to be observed in the arrangements of the room.
The fireplace, for example, was closed by plates of sheet iron, which
could be shoved up and down like the sashes of a window; while the
windows themselves opened like doors, each having a great brass
fastening, like a latch, in the middle, and hinges at the sides.
Rollo had gone with his father and mother to church in the morning,
and at about one o'clock they returned. Rollo and Jennie remained at
home, after one, for an hour or two, waiting for their uncle George to
come. He had gone away somewhere, and had not yet returned. While thus
waiting, the children sat at the window of their parlor, which they
opened by swinging the two sides of the sash entirely back, so that
they could see out to great advantage. The window opened down quite
low; but there was a strong iron bar passing across from side to side,
to keep them from falling out. The children sat at this window, amusing
themselves with what they could see in the square. The name of the
square was the Place Vendome. There was a very large and lofty column
in the centre of it. This column is very greatly celebrated for its
magnitude and its beauty. It is twelve feet in diameter, and nearly a
hundred and forty feet high. But what is most remarkable is, that the
whole exterior of it, enormous as the mass is, is formed of brass. The
brass was obtained by melting up the cannons which Napoleon took from
his enemies. At the end of one of his campaigns he found that he had
twelve hundred cannons which he had taken from the Russians and
Austrians, with whom he had been at war; and after reflecting for some
time on the question, what he should do with them, he concluded to send
them to Paris, and there to have them made into this enormous column,
to ornament the centre of the Place Vendome.
The column, though made of brass, is not bright upon the outside,
but dark, like bronze, and the surface is ornamented with figures in
what are called bas relief, representing the battles and victories in
which the cannon out of which the column was composed were taken from
Rollo and Jennie, in looking at this column from the window of their
hotel, observed that around the foot of it there was a square space
enclosed by an iron railing, forming a sort of yard. There was a gate
in the front side of this railing. This gate was open; but there were
two soldiers standing by it, with guns in their hands, as if to prevent
any body from going in.
The column itself, as is usual with such columns, did not stand
directly upon the ground, but upon a square pedestal, which was built
of massive blocks of granite, resting on a deep and strong foundation;
and as the column itself was twelve feet in diameter, the pedestal,
being necessarily somewhat larger, was quite a considerable structure.
In the front of it, opposite the gate in the iron railing, was a door.
The door was open, but nothing was to be seen but darkness within.
I wonder what they do in there? said Rollo. The gate is open, and
the door is open; but I suppose the soldiers would not let any body go
in to see. Do you suppose, Jennie, that it can be possible that there
is any way to get up to the top of the column by going in at that
Yes, replied Jennie; and so saying, she pointed eagerly to the top
of the column, and added, For there are some boys up there now.
Rollo looked up to the top of the column. There was a statue of
Napoleon upon the summit, which appeared to be of about the ordinary
size of a man, though it is really about eight times as large as life,
being twice as large in every dimension. It looks small, on account of
its being so high in the air. Beneath this statue and around the top of
the column the children saw that there was a small gallery, with a
railing on the outside of it. Several persons were standing on this
gallery, leaning on the railing. At first Rollo thought that they were
sculptured figures placed there, like the statue of Napoleon on the
top, for ornament; but presently he saw some of them move about, which
convinced him that they were real men. Two of them were soldiers, as
was evident from the red uniform which they wore. But they all looked
There must be a staircase inside, said Rollo, or else some
ladders. If not, how could those men get up?
Yes, said Jennie.
I should like to go up there very much, said Rollo, if I could
only get by the soldiers.
I should not dare to go up to such a high place, said Jennie,
shaking her head solemnly.
At the foot of the column and outside of the railing which formed
the enclosure around the pedestal was a very broad and smooth place, as
smooth as a floor, and raised like a sidewalk above the street. It was
very broad, and people walked over it in passing through the square.
There was only one way of passing through the square, and that was from
north to south. From east to west there was no street, but the ranges
of houses and palaces continued on those sides unbroken. These edifices
presented a very fine architectural frontage toward the square, and
gave to the whole space which they enclosed a very rich and grand
appearance. Over the doors of two or three of the houses there were
small tricolored flags flying; and wherever these flags were, there
were soldiers on the sidewalk below guarding the doors. But neither
Rollo nor Jennie was able to imagine what this could mean.
About three o'clock, when Rollo and Jennie had began to be tired of
looking at the column, their mother came into the room. She said that
Mr. Holiday was fatigued and was going to lie down, and that neither he
nor herself would go out again. Rollo then asked if he and Jennie might
go out and take a walk. His mother seemed to hesitate about it, but
presently said that she would go and ask Mr. Holiday if he thought it
would be safe. She accordingly went into the bed room, and very soon
returned, saying that Mr. Holiday thought it would be safe for them to
go if he gave them some directions.
He says, added Mrs. Holiday, that you may get ready, and then go
into his room, and he will give you the directions. Only you must not
talk much with him, for it hurts him to talk. Hear what he has to say,
and then come out immediately.
So the children made themselves ready, and then went into their
father's room. They found him sitting in a great arm chair by a window
where the sun was shining. He looked pale and tired. When the children
came in, however, he turned to them with a smile, and said,
Children, I am glad you are going out to take a walk. You can go
very safely, if you follow my directions.
This is the Place Vendome. There are only two ways of going out of
it. One leads to the north, and the other to the south.
If you take the road which goes to the north, that is, that way,
said Mr. Holiday, pointing, you will go out by the street which is
called the Street of Peace.[D] The Street of Peace is straight, and
pretty broad; and if you follow it to the end of it, you will come to
[D] Mr. Holiday called this street, of course, by its French name;
but we give its name here in English, for the convenience of the
reader, who may, perhaps, not be able to pronounce French.
What are the Boulevards? asked Rollo.
Hush! said Jennie, gently touching Rollo at the same time with her
Boulevards, said Mr. Holiday, means bulwarks. A great many years
ago there was a line of bulwarks or fortifications all around Paris;
but at length, when the city grew too large for them, they levelled
them down and made a very broad and handsome street where they had
been, and then afterward made a new line of fortifications farther out.
This broad and handsome street, or rather, series of streets, is called
the Boulevards. It extends almost entirely around the city. Of course,
when you get into the Boulevards, you are in no danger of losing
yourselves; for you can go on as far as you please, either way, and
then come back to the Street of Peace again, and then come home.
Yes, said Rollo, I understand.
Here Jennie gently touched Rollo again, to remind him that he was
not to talk.
You will know the Boulevards at once when you come to them,
continued Mr. Holiday, they are so much broader and more beautiful
than any of the other streets of Paris. Even the sidewalks are as wide
as many ordinary streets; and there are rows of young trees along the
edges of the sidewalks. Now, if you choose, you can go out from the
Place Vendome on the northern side, by the Street of Peace, and so walk
on till you come to the Boulevards. Then you can walk along the
Boulevards as far as you please.
Or, continued Mr. Holiday, you can take the opposite course. You
can go out of the Place Vendome on the southern side. That will bring
you directly in the garden of the Tuileries.
I should like to go into a garden, said Jennie, and see the
You will see, continued Mr. Holiday, as soon as you begin to go
out of the Place Vendome, at a little distance before you, perhaps as
far as two or three blocks in New York, a wall of green trees.
A wall of green trees! exclaimed Rollo.
Yes, said his father. It is a thick row of trees growing in the
garden, and having the side toward the street trimmed smooth and
straight like a wall. The entrance through this range of trees,
opposite the gateway where you go into the garden, looks like an
archway in a green wall. You will see it before you as soon as you turn
the corner of this hotel into the street that leads that way. You can
walk straight on till you come to the place. There you will find the
entrance to the garden. There is a very high iron palisade along the
side of the garden toward the street, with the rows of trees which I
have spoken of inside of it. There is a gateway through this palisade
where you can go in. There are two soldiers there to guard the
Then how can we get in? asked Jennie.
O, go right in, replied Mr. Holiday. Pay no attention to the
soldiers. They will not say any thing to you. They are only sentinels.
After you pass through the gateway, you keep on in the same
direction, without turning to the right hand or to the left, just as if
you were going across the garden. You go on in this way till you get to
the middle alley, which is a very wide alley, that runs up and down the
middle of the garden. This alley is called the Grand Alley, and it is a
very grand alley indeed. It is as broad as a very wide street, and it
is nearly two miles long.[A] It begins at the palace of the Tuileries,
in the middle of the city, and extends through the whole length of the
gardens of the Tuileries; and then, passing out through great gates at
the foot of the garden, it extends through the Elysian Fields, away out
to the great Triumphal Arch of the Star, which you saw from the cars
when you were coming into the city.
Now, when you get into the Grand Alley, which you will know by its
being the broadest, and smoothest, and most splendid grand walk that
you ever saw, you must stop for a minute, and look both ways. I'll tell
you what you will see. First, if you turn to the left, that is, toward
the east, you will see at the end of the alley, in that direction, a
long range of splendid buildings, extending across from side to side.
In the opposite direction, at the top of a long, gentle slope, a mile
and a half away, you will see the grand Triumphal Arch. That is at the
barrier of the city. The view is not entirely open, however, out to the
arch. About midway, in the centre of the Grand Alley, is a tall
obelisk, standing on a high pedestal, and farther along there are one
or two fountains. Still you can see the Triumphal Arch very plainly, it
is so large, and it stands so high.
Now, the Grand Alley is nearly two miles long, and, wherever you
may be in it, you can always see the palace at one end, the arch at the
other, and the Egyptian obelisk in the middle. So that, as long as you
walk back and forth in this alley, keeping these things in sight, you
cannot lose your way.
Only I ought to say, continued Mr. Holiday, that the garden does
not extend all the way to the barrier. The garden extends, perhaps,
half a mile. Near the bottom of it is a great basin or pond of water,
with a stone margin to it all around. You will have to go round this
basin, for the centre of it is exactly in the middle of the Grand
Alley. Then you come very soon to the end of the garden, and you will
go out through great iron gates, but still you will keep on in the same
direction. Here you will come to a very large, open square, with the
obelisk in the centre of it, and fountains and statues in it all
around. Still you will keep straight on across this square, only you
will have to turn aside to go round the obelisk. After you pass through
the square, the Grand Alley still continues on, though now it becomes a
Grand Avenue, leading through pleasure grounds, with ranges of trees
and of buildings on either side. It becomes very wide here, being as
wide as two or three ordinary streets, and will be filled with
carriages and horsemen. But there will be good broad sidewalks for you
on either hand, under the shade of the trees; and you will know where
you are all the time, for you can always see the palace at one end of
the view, and the great Triumphal Arch at the other, with the obelisk
in the middle between them.
The amount of it is, added Mr. Holiday, speaking in a tone as if
he were about finishing his instructions, you can go out of the Place
Vendome to the north, and keep straight on till you come to the
Boulevards, and walk there either way as far as you like. Or you can go
south, and keep straight on till you come to the middle of the Grand
Alley of the garden of the Tuileries, and then walk in the Grand Alley
and the Grand Avenue which forms the continuation of it as long as you
like. Which way will you go?
I would rather go to the garden, said Rollo, looking toward
Yes, said Jennie, and so would I.
Thus it was settled that they were to take the street which led
toward the south from the Place Vendome; and so, bidding their father
good by, they went away. Before leaving the house, however, Rollo went
to a secretary which stood in the parlor, and took down a map, in order
to show Jennie the places which his father had mentioned, and to make
it sure that they understood the directions which they had received.
Rollo found the Place Vendome very readily upon the map, and the street
leading to the gardens. He also found the Grand Alley running through
the garden; and following this alley between the rows of trees, he
showed Jennie a small circle which he thought must be the basin of
water, and the place where the obelisk stood; and finally he pointed
out the place where the Grand Alley widened out into the Grand Avenue
and led on toward the barrier.
Jennie did not understand the map very well; but she seemed
satisfied with Rollo's assurances that he himself could find all the
It is all right, you may depend, said Rollo. I can find the way,
you may be sure.
So he put up the map, bade his mother good by, and then he and
Jennie sallied forth.
The hotel was situated on the corner of the Place Vendome and the
street which led toward the garden; and as soon as the children had
turned this corner, after coming out from under the archway of the
hotel, they saw at some distance before them, at the end of the street,
the iron palisade, and the green wall of trees above it, which formed
the boundary of the garden.
There it is! exclaimed Rollo. There is the garden and the
gateway! and it is not very far!
The children walked along upon the sidewalk hand in hand, looking
sometimes at the elegant carriages which rolled by them from time to
time in the street, and sometimes at the groups of ladies and children
that passed them on the sidewalk. At the first corner that they came
to, Rollo's attention was attracted by the sight of a man who had a box
on the edge of the sidewalk, with a little projection on the top of it
shaped like a man's foot. Rollo wondered what it was for. Just before
he reached the place, however, he saw a gentleman, who then happened to
come along, stop before the box and put his foot on the projection.
Immediately the man took out some brushes and some blacking from the
inside of the box, which was open on the side where the man was
standing, and began to brush the gentleman's boot.
Now, how convenient that is! said Rollo. If you get your shoes or
your boots muddy or dusty, you can stop and have them brushed.
So saying, he looked down at his own boots, almost in hopes that he
should find that they needed brushing, in order that he might try the
experiment; but they looked very clean and bright, and there seemed to
be no excuse for having them brushed again.
Besides, Jennie was pulling him by the hand, to hasten him along.
She said at the same time, in an undertone,
Look, Rollo, look! See! there is a blind lady walking along before
Blind? repeated Rollo.
Yes, said Jennie; don't you see the little dog leading her?
There was a little dog walking along at a little distance before the
lady, with a beautiful collar round his neck, and a cord attached to
it. The lady had the other end of the cord in her hand.
I don't believe she is blind, said Rollo.
As the children passed by the lady she turned and looked at them, or
seemed to look, and manifested no indications of being blind. Afterward
Jennie saw a great many other ladies walking with little dogs, which
they led, or which led them, by means of a cord which the owner of the
dog held in her hand. There were so many of these cases that Jennie was
compelled to give up the idea of their being blind; but she said that
she never knew any body but blind people led about by dogs before.
At length the children arrived at the entrance to the garden. It was
on the farther side of a broad and beautiful street which ran along
there, just outside of the enclosure. The palisades were of iron,
though the tops were tipped with gilding, and they were very high. They
were more than twice as high as a man's head. The lower ends of them
were set firmly in a wall of very substantial masonry. The gateway was
very wide, and it had sentry boxes on each side of it. A soldier, with
his bayonet fixed, was standing in front of each sentry box. When
Jennie saw these soldiers she shrank back, and seemed afraid to go in.
In fact, Rollo himself appeared somewhat disposed to hesitate. In a
moment, however, a number of persons who came along upon the sidewalk
turned in at the gates, and went into the yard. The soldiers paid no
attention to them. Rollo and Jane, seeing this, took courage, and went
On passing through the gates, the children found themselves on a
very broad terrace, which ran along on that side of the garden. The
surface of the terrace was gravelled for a walk, and it was very smooth
and beautiful. While standing on, or walking upon it, you could look on
one side, through the palisade, and see the carriages in the street,
and on the other side you could look over a low wall down into the
garden, which was several feet below. The descent into the garden was
by a flight of stone steps. The children, after staying a little time
upon the terrace, went down the steps. They came out upon a very broad
avenue, or alley, which formed the side of the garden. This alley was
very broad indeed, so broad that it was divided into three by orange
trees, which extended up and down in long rows parallel to the street,
almost as far as you could see, and forming beautiful vistas in each
direction. These orange trees, though very large, were not set in the
ground, but were planted in monstrous boxes, painted green and set on
rollers. The reason of this was, so that they could be moved away in
the winter, and put in a building where they could be kept warm.
This broad alley, the great side alley of the garden on the side
toward the city, was called the Alley of the Oranges. There is another
similar alley on the opposite side of the garden, which is toward the
river, and that is called the Alley of the Riverside.
Passing across the three portions of the Alley of the Oranges, the
children went on toward the centre of the garden. Instead, however, of
such a garden as they had expected to see, with fruits and flowers in
borders and beds, and serpentine walks winding among them, as Jennie
had imagined, the children found themselves in a sort of forest, the
trees of which were planted regularly in rows, with straight walks here
and there under them.
What a strange garden! said Jennie.
Yes, said Rollo. But we must not stop here. We must go straight
on through the trees until we come to the Grand Alley.
In fact, Rollo could see the Grand Alley, as he thought, at some
distance before him, with people walking up and down in it. There were
several people, too, in the same walk with Rollo and Jane, some going
with them toward the Grand Alley, and others coming back from it. Among
these were two children, just big enough to go alone, who were
prattling in French together very fluently as they walked along before
their father and mother. Jennie said she wondered how such little
children could learn to speak French so well. Another child, somewhat
older than these, was trundling a hoop, and at length unfortunately she
fell down and hurt herself. So, leaving her hoop upon the ground, she
came toward the maid who had care of her, crying, and sobbing, and
uttering broken exclamations, all in French, which seemed to Rollo and
Jane very surprising.
At length the children came out into the Grand Alley. They knew it
immediately when they reached it, by its being so broad and
magnificent, and by the splendid views which were presented on every
Yes, said Rollo, this is it, I am sure. There is the obelisk; and
there, beyond it, on the top of that long hill, is the Triumphal Arch;
and there, the other way, is the palace of the Tuileries. Here is a
seat, Jennie. Let's go and sit down.
So saying, Rollo led Jennie to a stone seat which was placed on one
side of the alley, at the margin of the grove; and there they sat for
some time, greatly admiring the splendid panorama which was spread out
before them. What happened to them for the remainder of their walk will
be described in the next chapter.
CHAPTER V. THE ELYSIAN FIELDS.
After sitting a little time upon the stone bench, Rollo and Jennie
rose and resumed their walk. The alley was extremely broad, and it was
almost filled with parties of ladies and gentlemen, and with groups of
children, who were walking to and fro, some going out toward the
Triumphal Arch, and some returning. Rollo and Jennie, as they walked
along, said very little to each other, their attention being almost
wholly absorbed by the gay and gorgeous scene which surrounded them. At
length they perceived that, at a little distance before them, the
people were separating to the right hand and to the left, and going
round in a sort of circuit; and, on coming to the place, they found
that the great basin, or pond of water, which Mr. Holiday had described
to them, was there. This pond was very large, much larger than Rollo
had expected from his father's account of it. It was octagonal in form,
and was bordered all around with stone. There were a number of children
standing in groups on the brink, at different places; some were
watching the motions of the gold fish that were swimming in the water,
and others were looking at a little ship which a boy was sailing on the
pond. The boy had a long thread tied to the bow of his ship; and when
the wind had blown it out upon the pond to the length of the string, he
would pull it back to the shore again, and then proceed to send it
forth on another voyage.
Rollo thought it strange that they should be thus employed on the
Sabbath; for he had been brought up to believe, that, although it was
very right and proper to take a quiet walk in a garden or in the fields
toward the close of the day, it was not right, but would, on the other
hand, be displeasing to God, for any one, old or young, to spend any
part of the day which God had consecrated to his own service and to the
spiritual improvement of the soul in ordinary sports and amusements.
Jennie, too, had the same feeling; and accordingly, after standing with
Rollo for a moment near the margin of the water, looking at the fishes
and the vessels, and at the group of children that were there, she
began to pull Rollo by the hand, saying,
Come, Rollo, I think we had better go along.
Rollo at once acceded to this proposal, and they both walked on.
They soon found themselves passing out of the garden, though the space
on each side of the broad alley in which they were walking was bordered
with so many walls, palisades, terraces, statues, and columns, and the
gateway which led out from the garden into the square was so broad, and
was so filled up, moreover, with the people who were going and coming,
that it was difficult to tell where the garden ended and the great
square began. At length, however, it began to be plain that they were
out of the garden; for the view, instead of being shut in by trees,
became very widely extended on either hand. It was terminated on one
side by ranges of magnificent buildings, and on the other by bridges
leading across the river, with various grand and imposing edifices
beyond. In the centre of the square the tall form of the obelisk
towered high into the air, gently tapering as it ascended, and
terminating suddenly at its apex in a point.
The square, though open, was not empty. Besides the obelisk, which
stood in the centre of it, on its lofty pedestal, there were two great
fountains and colossal statues of marble; and lofty columns of bronze
and gilt, for the gaslights; and raised sidewalks, smooth as a floor,
formed of a sort of artificial stone, which was continuous over the
whole surface, which was covered by it, without fissure or seam. There
were roadways, also, crossing the place in various directions, with
carriages and horsemen upon them continually coming and going. The
great fountains were very curiously contrived. The constructions were
thirty or forty feet high. They consisted of three great basins, one
above the other. The smallest was at the top, and was, of course, high
in the air. A column of water was spouting out from the middle of it,
and, after rising a little way into the air, the water fell back into
the basin, and, filling it full, it ran over the edge of it into the
This was the middle basin, and, besides the water which fell into it
from the basin above, it received also a great supply from streams that
came from the great basin below, like the jets from the hose of a fire
engine when a house is on fire. There was a row of bronze figures,
shaped like men, in the water of the lowest basin of all, each holding
a fish in his arms; and the jets of water which were thrown up to the
middle basin from the lower one came out of the mouths of these fishes.
The fishes were very large, and they were shaped precisely like real
fishes, although they were made of bronze.
The children looked at the fountains as they walked along, and at
length came to the foot of the obelisk. They stopped a minute or two
there, and looked up to the top of it. It was as tall as a steeple.
Rollo was wondering whether it would be possible in any way to get to
the top of it; and he told Jennie that he did not think that there was
any way, for he did not see any place where any body could stand if
they should succeed in getting there. While they both stood thus gazing
upward, they suddenly heard a well-known voice behind them, saying,
Well, children, what do you think of the Obelisk of Luxor?
They turned round and beheld their uncle George. They were, of
course, very much astonished to see him. He was walking with another
young gentleman, a friend of his from America, whom he had accidentally
met with in Paris. When the children had recovered from the surprise of
thus unexpectedly meeting him, he repeated his question.
What do you think of the obelisk?
I don't believe it is so high, replied Rollo, as the column in
the Place Vendome.
No, replied Mr. George, it is not.
Nor so large, added Rollo.
No, said Mr. George.
And I don't believe that there is any way to get to the top of it,
No, said Mr. George, there is not. The column in the Place
Vendome is hollow, and has a staircase inside; but this obelisk is
solid from top to bottom, and is formed of one single stone. That is
the great wonder of it.
[Illustration: THE OBELISK.]
Look up, said Mr. George, to the top of it. It is as high as a
steeple. See how large it is, too, at the base. Think how enormously
heavy such an immense stone must be. What a work it must have been to
lift it up and stand it on its end! Besides, it does not rest upon the
ground, but upon another monstrous stone, the pedestal of which is
nearly thirty feet high; so that, in setting it up in its place, the
engineers had not only to lift it up on end, but they had to raise the
whole mass, bodily, twenty or thirty feet into the air. I suppose it
was one of the greatest lifts that ever was made.
There is another thing that is very curious about the obelisk,
continued Mr. George, and that is its history. It was not made
originally for this place. It was made in Egypt, thousands and
thousands of years ago, nobody knows how long. There are several others
of the same kind still standing. Some years ago, this one and another
were given to the French by the government of Egypt, and the French
king sent a large company of men to take this one down and bring it to
Paris. They built an immense vessel on purpose for transporting it.
This vessel they sent to Egypt. It went up the Nile as near to the
place where the obelisk stood as it could go. The place was called
Luxor. The obelisk stood back at some distance from the river; and
there were several Arab huts near it, which it was necessary to pull
down. There were also several other houses in the way by the course
which the obelisk must take in going to the river. The French engineers
bought all these houses, and pulled them down. Then they made a road
leading from the place where the obelisk stood to the river. Then they
cased the whole stone in wood, to prevent its getting broken or injured
on the way. Then they lowered it down by means of immense machines
which they constructed for the purpose, and so proceeded to draw it to
the river. But with all their machines, it was a prodigiously difficult
work to get it along. It took eight hundred men to move it, and so
slowly did it go that these eight hundred men worked three months in
getting it to the landing. There they made a great platform, and so
rolled it on board the float. There was a steamer at hand to take it in
tow, and it was brought to France. It then took five or six months to
bring it across the country from the sea shore to Paris.
When, at last, they got it here, it took them nearly a year to
construct the machines for raising it. They built the pedestal for it
to stand upon, which you see is as high as a two-story house, and then
appointed a day for the raising. All the world, almost, came to see.
This whole square was full. There were more than a hundred thousand
persons here. The king came, and his family, and all his generals and
great officers. It was the greatest raising that ever was seen.
Why, there must have been just as great a raising, said Rollo,
when they first put it up in Egypt.
No, said Mr. George; because there it stood nearly upon the
ground, but here it is on the top of a lofty pedestal. Look there!
Those are pictures of the machines which they raised it by.
So saying, Mr. George pointed to beautifully gilded diagrams which
were sculptured upon one side of the pedestal. There were beams, and
ropes, and pulleys without number, with the obelisk among them; but
Rollo could not understand the operation of the machinery very well.
The obelisk itself was covered on all sides with ancient Egyptian
hieroglyphics, deeply cut into the stone; but the children could not
understand the hieroglyphics any better than they could the machinery.
After looking some time longer at the obelisk and the various
objects of interest that were around it, the whole party walked on
together. Mr. George said that he and his friend were going up the
avenue of the Elysian Fields, and that, if Rollo and Jennie would walk
along behind them, they would not get lost. Jennie was very glad of
this; for the crowd of people that were coming and going was getting to
be very great, and she was a little afraid. Rollo, on the other hand,
was rather sorry. The Triumphal Arch at the farther end of the avenue
was in full view, and thus he felt sure of his way; and he was
ambitious of the honor of being the sole guide in the excursion which
he and Jane were taking. He, however, could not well decline his
uncle's invitation; so, when the two gentlemen moved on, Rollo and
Jennie followed them.
The Grand Avenue was a very broad and beautiful roadway, gently
ascending toward the barrier, and now perfectly thronged with carriages
and horsemen. There were also two side avenues, one on each side of the
central one. These were for foot passengers. There were rows of trees
between. Beyond the side avenues there extended on either hand a wood,
formed of large and tall trees, planted in rows, and standing close
enough together to shade the whole ground. They were, however, far
enough apart to allow of open and unobstructed motion among them. Under
these trees, and in open spaces which were left here and there among
them, there were booths, and stalls, and tables, and tents, and all
sorts of contrivances for entertainment and pleasure, with crowds of
people gathered around them in groups, or moving slowly from one to the
other. There were men, some dressed like gentlemen, and others wearing
blue, cartmen's frocks; and women, some with bonnets and some with
caps; and children of all ages and sizes; and soldiers without number,
with blue coats, and dark-red trousers, and funny caps, without any
brim, except the visor. In the midst of all these multitudes Mr. George
and the gentleman who was with him slowly led the way up the side
avenue, Rollo and Jennie following them, quite bewildered with the
extraordinary spectacles which were continually presenting themselves
to view on every hand. The attention of the children was drawn from one
object or incident to another, with so much suddenness, and so rapidly,
that they had no time to understand one thing before it passed away and
something else came forward into view and diverted their thoughts; and
before they had recovered from the surprise which this second thing
awakened, they had come to a third, more strange and wonderful,
perhaps, than either of the preceding.
A boy, very young, and very fantastically dressed, came riding along
through the crowd, mounted on the smallest and prettiest black pony
that Rollo had ever seen, and distributing as he passed along some sort
of small printed papers to all who came near enough to get them. Rollo
tried to get one of the papers to see what it was, but he did not
How I wish I had such a pony as that! said Rollo.
So do I, said Jennie. But what are the people doing in that
Rollo saw a close ring of people all crowding around something on
the ground. There was a man inside the ring, calling out something very
loud and very incessantly. Rollo put his head between two of the
spectators to see. There was a man seated in the centre, on the ground,
with a cloth spread out before him, on which was a monstrous heap of
stockings, of all kinds and colors, which he was selling as fast as
possible to the men and women that had gathered around him. He sold
them very cheap, and the people bought them very fast. He put the
money, as fast as he received it, in his cap, which lay on the ground
before him, and served him for a cash box.
Come, Rollo, said Jane, pulling Rollo by the hand, we must go
along. Uncle George is almost out of sight.
Rollo turned back into the avenue again, and began to walk along. In
a moment more he saw a large boy standing behind a curious-looking
stove in an open space near, and baking griddle cakes. There was a very
nice table by his side, covered with a white cloth, and a plate, on
which the boy turned out the griddle cakes as fast as they were baked.
There were several children about him, buying the cakes and eating
Ah, Jennie, said Rollo, look at these cakes! How I should like
some of them! If it were not that it is Sunday, I would go and buy
O Rollo! exclaimed Jennie, look here! See what's coming!
Rollo looked, and saw that the ladies and gentlemen on the broad
walk before them were moving to one side and the other, to make room
for a most elegant little omnibus, drawn by six goats, that were
harnessed before it like horses. The omnibus was made precisely like a
large omnibus, such as are used in the streets of Paris for grown
persons; only this one was small, just large enough for the goats to
draw. It was very beautifully painted, and had elegant silken curtains.
It was full of children, who were looking out the windows with very
smiling faces, as if they were enjoying their ride very much. A very
pretty little boy, about seven years of age, was holding the reins of
the goats, and appearing to drive; but there was a large boy walking
along by the side of the goats all the time, to take care that they did
not go wrong. The omnibus belonged to his father, who kept it to let
children ride in it on their paying him a small sum for each ride.
Jennie was very much pleased with the omnibus; but what followed it
pleased her still more. This was a carriage, made in all respects like
a real carriage, and large enough to contain several children. It was
open, like a barouche, so that the children who were riding in it could
see all around them perfectly well. It had two seats inside, besides a
high seat in front for the coachman, and one behind for the footman.
There were children upon all these seats. There was one on the
coachman's box to drive. The carriage, like the omnibus, was drawn by
goats, only there were four instead of six. The coachman drove them by
means of long, silken reins.
As soon as the omnibus and the carriage had passed by, and the crowd
had closed again behind them so as to conceal them from view, Rollo and
Jennie looked about for Mr. George and the other gentleman; but they
were nowhere to be seen. Jane was quite frightened; but Rollo said he
did not care.
Look there! said Rollo, pointing back.
What is it? said Jennie.
The obelisk, said Rollo.
Jane saw the tall, needle-like form of the obelisk towering into the
air from the middle of the great square behind them, and a part of the
long front of the Tuileries, at the end of a vista of trees, far
As long as we have the obelisk in sight, said Rollo, we cannot
Just then Rollo's attention was called to a broad sheet of paper
fastened up upon a tree that he was passing by. He stopped to see what
it was. A little girl, about as old as Jennie, came up at the same
time, leading the maid who had the care of her by the hand. This child
began to read what was printed on the card. She read aloud, enunciating
the words very slowly, syllable by syllable, and in a voice so clear,
and rich, and silvery, that it was delightful to hear her. She seemed
pleased to observe that Rollo and Jane were listening to her; and when
she got through she turned to them, as if to apologize for not reading
better, and said, in French, and with a pleasant smile upon her
I am learning to read; but I cannot read too much yet, you see.
By too much she meant very well, that being the way that the French
express themselves in such a case.
Rollo understood what she said, but he did not think it prudent to
attempt to reply in the same language; so he said simply, in English,
And yet I think my father would give five hundred dollars if I
could read French like that. He'd be glad to do it.
As Rollo spoke these words the child looked earnestly in his face,
the smile gradually disappearing from her features and being replaced
by a look of perplexity and wonder. She then turned and led the maid
There were a great many booths and stands about, some in open spaces
and some under the trees. At one they had all sorts of cakes for sale;
at another toys of every kind, such as hoops, balls, kites, balloons,
rocking horses, and all such things; and at a third pictures, some
large, some small, some plain, and some beautifully colored. At one
place, by the side of the avenue where most of the people were walking,
there stood a man, with a tall and gayly-painted can on his back. It
was covered with common drapery below; but the top was bright, and
towered like a spire above the man's head. There was a round bar, like
the leg of a chair, which went from the bottom of the can to the
ground, to support it, and take the weight off the man's shoulders when
he was standing still. The man was standing still now, and was all the
time tinkling a little bell, to call the attention of the people to
what he had to sell. It was something to drink. There were two kinds of
drink in the can, separated from each other by a division in the
interior. There were two small pipes, one for each kind of drink,
leading from the bottom of the can round by the side of the man to the
front, with stopcocks at the end, where he could draw out the drink
conveniently. There was also a little rack to hold the glasses. There
were three glasses; for the man sometimes had three customers at a
time. While Rollo and Jane were looking at this man, a boy came up for
a drink. The man took one of the glasses from the little rack, and
filled it by turning one of the stopcocks. When the boy had taken his
drink and paid the money, the man wiped the glass with a towel which he
kept for the purpose; and then, putting it back in its place on the
rack, he went on tinkling his little bell.
In the mean time, the crowd of people seemed to increase, and it
appeared to Rollo and Jennie, when they came to observe particularly,
that they were nearly all walking one way, and that was up the avenue,
as if there were some place in that direction where they were all
going. Rollo supposed that, of course, it was a church. He had been
told by his father, when they were travelling in England, that when he
was in any strange place on Sunday, and wished to find the way to
church, one good method was to observe in the streets whenever he saw
any considerable number of people moving in the same direction, and to
join and follow them. He would, in such cases, his father said, be very
sure to be conducted to a church, and after going in he would generally
find some one who would show him a seat. Rollo and Jennie had often
practised on this plan. In fact, they took a particular interest and
pleasure in going to church in this way, as there was something a
little of the nature of adventure in it.
When, accordingly, the children observed that the great mass of the
people that filled the two side avenues, as well as the carriages that
were in the central one, were all moving steadily onward together,
paying little attention to the booths, and stalls, and other places and
means of amusement which were to be seen under the trees on either
hand, he concluded that, while some of the people of Paris were willing
to amuse themselves with sports and exhibitions on Sunday, the more
respectable portion would not stop to look at them, but went straight
forward to church; and he and Jennie resolved to follow their example.
I should like to see all these things very much, said Rollo, some
other day; but now we will go on, Jennie, to the church, where the rest
of the people are going.
Jennie very cordially approved of this plan, and so they walked on
together. It happened that, at the time when they came to this
determination, there was walking just before them a party, consisting
apparently of a father and mother and their two children. The father
and mother walked together first, and the two children, hand in hand,
followed. The oldest child was a girl, of about Jennie's age. The other
was a very small boy, just beginning to learn to talk. Rollo and Jennie
came immediately behind these children, and were very much interested
in hearing them talk together, especially to hear the little one
prattling in French. He called his sister Adrienne, and she called him
Antoine. Thus Rollo and Jennie knew the names of the children, but they
had no way of finding out what were the names of the father and mother.
Now, Jennie, said Rollo, in a low tone, I think we had better
follow this party, and keep close to them all the time, and then, when
we get to the church, perhaps they will give us a seat.
Jennie liked this proposal very much, and so she and Rollo walked
along after Adrienne and Antoine, not too near them, but so near as to
keep them always in sight. Sometimes the party turned aside from the
avenue to walk under the trees, and sometimes they stopped a few
minutes to look at some curious exhibition or spectacle which was to be
seen. At one place a man had a square marked off, and enclosed with a
line to keep the crowd back; and in the middle he had an electrical
machine, with which he gave shocks to any of the bystanders who were
willing to take them. A boy kept turning the machine all the time. At
another place was a little theatre, mounted on a high box, so that all
could see, with little images about as large as dolls dancing on the
stage, or holding dialogues with each other. The words were really
spoken by a man who was concealed in the box below; but as the little
images moved about continually, and made all sorts of gesticulations,
corresponding with what was said, it seemed to the bystanders precisely
as if they were speaking themselves. Besides this, the images would
walk about, scold each other, quarrel and fight each other, run out at
little doors, and then come in again, and do a great many other things
which it was very wonderful to see such little figures do.
There were places, too, where there were great whirling machines,
under splendid tents and canopies, with horses, and boats, and ships,
and cradles at the circumference of them, all of which were made to
sail round and round through the air, carrying the children that were
mounted on the horses or sitting in the ships and boats. There were
also several places for shooting at a mark with little spring guns,
which were loaded with peas instead of bullets. There were figures of
bears, lions, tigers, ducks, deer, and other animals at a little
distance, which were kept moving along all the time by machinery, for
the children to shoot at with the peas. If they hit any of them they
drew a prize, consisting of cake or gingerbread, or of some sort of
plaything or toy, of which great numbers were hanging up about the
shooting place. All these, and a great many other similar contrivances
for amusing people, Rollo and Jane saw, as they passed along; but they
did not stop to look at them, excepting when the gentleman and lady
stopped whom they were following. This was seldom, however; and so they
went, on the whole, very steadily forward, up the long and gentle
ascent, until, at length, they reached the great Triumphal Arch at the
CHAPTER VI. A GREAT MISTAKE.
As they approached the arch, the children gazed upon it with
astonishment, being greatly impressed with its magnitude and height.
There were a great many men on the top of it. Their heads and shoulders
were visible from below, as they stood leaning over the parapet. They,
however, looked exceedingly small.
Rollo and Jennie would have liked to stop and look longer at the
arch; but they did not wish to separate from Adrienne and Antoine, who
kept walking steadily on all the time with their father and mother.
Rollo supposed, as has been said before, that this party were going to
some church; but they were not. They were going to a place called the
The Hippodrome, far from being a church, is a place of amusement. It
is used for equestrian performances, and feats of strength and agility,
and balloon ascension, and all similar entertainments.
The Hippodrome is a long, oval enclosure, with eight or ten ranges
of seats extending all around it, and rising one above another, like
the seats of the Coliseum at Rome. There is a roof extending all around
over the seats; but the area within is so large that it could not well
be covered with a roof. Besides, if there were a roof over it, how
could the balloons go up?
Then, moreover, the spectacles which are exhibited in the Hippodrome
appear to much better advantage when seen in the open light of day than
if they were under the cover of a roof, so long as the spectators
themselves are protected from the sun and from any sudden showers.
The area in the middle of the Hippodrome is about one hundred yards
long and fifty yards wide. It is so large that there is room for a good
wide road all around it, and also for another road up and down the
middle, with little gardens of grass and flowers between. At the very
centre is a round area, where there is a concealed canal of water to
represent a stream. This water is ordinarily covered with planks, and
the planks are covered with a very thick canvas carpet, and this with
sand; so that the water is entirely concealed, and the horsemen ride
over it just as they do over any other part of the area. When they wish
to use it, to show how the horses could leap over streams, they take
off the sand, roll up the carpet, and carry away the planks; and there
they have a very good representation of a stream.
The performances at the Hippodrome are very various. Sometimes whole
troops of horse come in from between two great curtains at one end, all
elegantly caparisoned and mounted, some by men and some by girls, but
all, whether men or girls, dressed in splendid uniforms. These troops
ride round and round the area, and up and down in the middle of it,
performing a great variety of evolutions in the most rapid and
Then there are races of various kinds. Some are run by beautiful
girls, who come out mounted on elegant gray horses that are mottled
like leopards, each of the riders having a scarf over her shoulders of
a different color from the rest, so that they may be all readily
distinguished from each other in the race. Then there are races of
chariots, three running at a time, round and round the area; and of
small ponies, with monkeys on them for riders. There are various
contrivances, too, for athletic and gymnastic feats, such as masts and
poles for climbers to ascend, and other similar apparatus. All these
things give the interior of the Hippodrome quite a gay and lively
appearance, and the area necessary for them is so large that the ranges
of seats surrounding it are sufficient to accommodate ten thousand
It was to this place that Adrienne and Antoine, with their father
and mother, were going, while Rollo and Jennie supposed that they were
going to a church. There was nothing to lead Rollo to suspect his
mistake in the aspect of the building as he approached the entrance to
it; for the sides of it were hidden by trees and other buildings, and
the portal, though very large and very gayly decorated, seemed still,
so far as Rollo could get a glimpse of it through the crowds of people,
only to denote that it was the entrance to some very splendid public
edifice, without at all indicating the nature of the purposes to which
it was devoted.
The immense concourse of people which were pouring into the
Hippodrome divided themselves at the gates into two portions, and
passed up an ascent to enter at side doors. Rollo and Jane, following
their guides, went toward the right. They observed that the father of
Adrienne and Antoine stopped at a little window near the entrance, to
pay the price of admission for himself and wife and his two children
and to get the tickets. He paid full price for his two children, and so
took four full tickets. Rollo and Jane did not see him pay the money.
They only observed that there was a crowd at the little window, and
they saw Antoine's father take the tickets. They did not know what this
meant, however; but they followed on. When they all came to the doorway
which led up to the ranges of seats, the man whose duty it was to take
the tickets supposed that the four children all belonged to the same
family, and that they had been admitted at half price, and that,
accordingly, two of the tickets were for the father and mother, and the
other two for the four children. So he let them all pass on together,
especially as there was, at that time, such a throng of people crowding
in that there was no time to stop and make any inquiries.
Rollo and Jane were carried along by the current up a flight of
stairs, which came out among the ranges of seats; and after moving
along for some distance till they came to a vacancy they sat down, and
began to look around and survey the spacious and splendid interior into
which they had entered. They were at once overwhelmed with the
magnificence of the spectacle which was presented to view. Instead of a
church, they found a vast open area extended before them, surrounded
with long ranges of seats, and laid out in the interior in the most
graceful and beautiful manner.
Jennie, said Rollo, after gazing about for some moments, almost
bewildered, if this is any kind of meeting at all, I think it must be
a camp meeting.
Jennie was completely bewildered, and had no opinion on the subject
whatever; so she said nothing.
That's the place for the choir, I suppose, said Rollo, pointing to
a sort of raised platform with a balustrade in front, which was built
among the seats in the middle of one of the sides of the Hippodrome.
But then, he added, after a moment's pause, I don't see any pulpit,
unless that is it.
As he said this, Rollo pointed to a balcony with a rich canopy over
it, which was built up among the seats, directly opposite to the
musician's gallery, on the other side of the arena. This balcony was
for the use of the emperor, and his family and friends, when they chose
to come and witness the spectacles in the Hippodrome.
These speculations of Rollo's were suddenly interrupted by the
striking up of martial music, by a full band of trumpets, drums,
clarinets, hautboys, and horns, from the musician's gallery. Soon
afterwards the curtains opened at the farther end of the arena, and a
magnificent troop of horse, mounted by male and female riders, all
dressed in the gayest and most splendid costumes, came prancing in. As
soon as Rollo had recovered from his astonishment at this spectacle, he
turned to Jennie, and said,
Jennie, it is not any church or meeting at all; and I think we had
better go home.
I think so too, said Jennie.
I should like to come here some other day, added Rollo; and I
mean to ask my father to let us come. Uncle George will come with us.
But now we had better go home.
So the children rose from their seats and began to move toward the
door. It was some time before they could get out, so great was the
number of people still coming in. They, however, finally succeeded, and
were quite relieved when they found themselves once more in the open
They turned their steps immediately toward home. Jane, however, soon
began to feel very tired; and so Rollo said he would stop the first
omnibus that came along. The avenue was full of carriages of every
kind; and pretty soon an omnibus, headed down the obelisk, appeared
among them. Rollo made a signal for the conductor to stop, and he and
Jennie got in.
They had a very pleasant ride back through the Elysian Fields, and
around the great square where the obelisk stands. They then entered the
street which runs along by the side of the gardens of the Tuileries,
and advanced in it toward the heart of the city. Rollo made a sign for
the conductor to stop when the omnibus reached that part of the street
which was opposite to the entrance into the garden where he and Jennie
had gone in. This was, of course, also opposite to the street leading
into the Place Vendome. It was but a short walk from this place to the
hotel. About six o'clock the children arrived at the hotel, and the
table was already set for dinner. Mr. Holiday was reclining on a couch
in the room, and Mrs. Holiday had been reading to him. Rollo's uncle
George was also in the room. Mrs. Holiday laid down her book when the
children came in. Rollo and Jennie sat down upon a sofa, not far from
their father's couch. They were glad to rest.
Well, children, said Mrs. Holiday, have you had a pleasant walk?
Yes, said Rollo, a very pleasant walk indeed. We have seen a
great many very curious things. But I believe we made a mistake.
What mistake? asked Mrs. Holiday.
Why, we followed a great many people that we thought were going to
church; but, instead of that, they led us into a great place that I
think was some sort of circus.
Here Mr. George looked up very eagerly and began to laugh.
I declare! said he. I shouldn't wonder if you got into the
I don't know what it was, said Rollo. When we first went in we
saw that it was not a church; but we did not know but that it might be
some sort of camp meeting. But pretty soon they began to bring horses
in and ride them around, and so we came out.
Here Mr. George fell into a long and uncontrollable paroxysm of
laughter, during the intervals of which he said, in broken language, as
he walked about the room endeavoring to get breath and recover his
self-control, that it was the best thing he had heard since he landed
at Liverpool. The idea of following the crowd of Parisians in the
Champs Elysées on Sunday afternoon, with the expectation of being
conducted to church, and then finally taking the Hippodrome for a camp
meeting! Rollo himself, though somewhat piqued at having his adventure
put in so ridiculous a light, could not help laughing too; and even his
father and mother smiled.
Never mind, Rollo, said his mother, at length. I don't think you
were at all to blame; though I am glad that you came out when you found
what sort of a place it was.
O, no, said Mr. George, as he gradually recovered his
self-control, you were not to blame in the least. The rule you
followed is a very good one for England and America; but it does not
apply to France. Going with the multitude Sunday afternoons, in Paris,
will take you any where but to church.
Notwithstanding the concurrence of opinion between Rollo's mother
and his uncle that he had done nothing wrong, neither he nor Jennie
could help feeling some degree of uneasiness and some little
dissatisfaction with themselves in respect to the manner in which they
had spent the afternoon. They had both been accustomed to consider the
Sabbath as a day solemnly consecrated to the worship of God and to the
work of preparation for heaven. It is true that the day sometimes
seemed very long to them, as it does to all children; and though they
had always been allowed to take quiet walks in the gardens and grounds
around the house, still they usually got tired, before night came, of
being so quiet and still. Notwithstanding this, however, they had no
disposition to break over the rule which, as they supposed, the law of
God enjoined upon them. They fully believed that God himself had
ordained that there should be one day in seven from which all the usual
occupations and amusements of life should be excluded, and which should
be consecrated wholly to rest, to religious contemplation, and to
prayer; and they were very willing to submit to the ordinance, though
it brought with it upon them, as children, burdens and restrictions
which it was sometimes quite onerous for them to bear.
When night came, Rollo found that he always felt much happier if he
had kept the Sabbath strictly, than when he attempted, either secretly
or openly, to evade the duty. There was a sort of freshness and vigor,
too, with which he engaged in the employments of the week on Monday
morning, which, though he had never stopped to account for it
philosophically, he enjoyed very highly, and which made Monday morning
the brightest and most animated morning of the week. So Rollo was
accustomed to acquiesce very willingly in the setting apart of the
sacred day to religious observances and to rest, thinking that the
restraints and restrictions which it imposed were amply compensated for
by the peace and comfort which it brought to his mind when he observed
it aright, and by the novelty and freshness of the charm with which it
invested the ordinary pursuits and enjoyments of life when it was over.
Accordingly, on this occasion, feeling a little dissatisfied with
himself and uneasy in mind, in consequence of the manner in which he
had spent the afternoon, Rollo determined to make all the atonement for
his fault, if fault it was, that was now in his power. Accordingly,
when the family rose from the table after dinner, which was about seven
o'clock, and his father and mother went and sat upon the sofa together,
which stood in the recess of a window looking out upon the Place
Vendome, Rollo said to Jane, in an undertone,
Jennie, come with me.
He said this in the tone of an invitation, not of command; and
Jennie understood at once, from her experience on former occasions,
that Rollo had some plan for her entertainment or gratification. So she
got down from her chair and went off with him very readily.
They went out at a door which led into their mother's bed room.
Jennie, said Rollo, as he walked along with her across the room,
I am going to get the Bible and sit down here by the window and read
in it. Would not you like to read with me?
Yes, said Jennie, if you will find a pretty story to read about.
There are a great many toward the first part of the Bible.
Yes, said Rollo, I will.
And let us go into my room to read, said Jennie. I like my room
Well, said Rollo, I like your room best, too.
So Rollo took the Bible off from the table of his father's room, and
then he and Jennie went on together into Jennie's room. This room was a
little boudoir, which opened from Mr. and Mrs. Holiday's room; it was a
charming little place, and it was no wonder that Jennie liked it. It
was hung with drapery all around, except where the window was, on one
side, and a large looking glass and a picture on two other sides. There
was even a curtain over the door, so that when you were in, and the
door was shut, and the curtain over it was let down, you seemed to be
entirely secluded from all the world. This drapery was green, and the
room, being entirely enclosed in it, might have seemed sombre had it
not been for the brilliancy and beauty of the furniture, and the
variegated colors and high polish of the floor. There was an elegant
bedstead and bed in the back part of the room, with a carved canopy
over it. There was a bureau also, with drawers, where Jennie kept her
clothes; and a little fireplace, with a pretty brass fender before it;
and a marble mantel piece above, with a clock and two vases of flowers
upon it. There were a great many other curious and beautiful articles
of furniture in the room, which gave it a very attractive appearance,
and made it, in fact, as pretty a place of seclusion as a lady could
desire to have. Jennie enjoyed this room very much indeed; but still,
after all, notwithstanding the expensiveness and beauty of the
decorations which adorned it, I do not know that Jennie enjoyed it any
more than she did a little seat that she had under some lilac bushes,
near the brook at the bottom of her father's garden, at home.
There was a small couch in the recess of the window in Jennie's
boudoir; and here she and Rollo established themselves, with the Bible
lying open before them upon a small table which they had placed before
the couch to hold it. They raised their own seats by means of large,
square cushions which were there, so as to bring themselves to the
right height for reading from the book while it lay upon the table; and
they put their feet upon a tabouret which belonged to the room. The
tabouret was made for a seat, but it answered an admirable purpose for
a foot-stool. As soon as the two children were thus comfortably
established, they opened the Bible, and Rollo began to turn over the
leaves in the books of Samuel and of Kings, in order to find something
which he thought would interest Jennie.
At length he found a chapter which seemed, so far as he could judge
by running his eye along the verses, to consist principally of
narration and dialogue; and so he determined to begin the reading at
Now, said he, Jennie, I will read one verse, and then you shall
read one, and I will tell you the meaning of all the words that you
Jennie was much pleased with this arrangement, and she read the
verses which came to her with great propriety. It is true that there
were a great many words at which she was obliged to hesitate some
little time before she could pronounce them; and there were others
which she could not pronounce at all. Rollo had the tact to wait just
long enough in these cases. By telling children too quick when they are
endeavoring to spell out a word, we deprive them of the pleasure of
surmounting the difficulty themselves; and, by waiting too long, we
perplex and discourage them. There are very few children who, when they
are hearing their younger brothers and sisters read, have the proper
discretion on this point. In fact, a great many full-grown teachers
fail in this respect most seriously, and make the business of reading
on the part of their pupils a constant source of disappointment and
vexation to them, when it might have been a pleasure.
Rollo, too, besides the patient and kind encouragement which he
afforded to Jane in her attempts to read her verses herself, read those
which fell to his share in a very distinct and deliberate manner,
keeping the place all the while with his finger, so that Jennie might
easily follow him. He stopped also from time to time to explain the
story to Jennie, and to talk about the several incidents that were
described in it, in order to make it sure that Jennie understood them
all. It would have been much easier for him to have taken the book
himself, and to have read the whole chapter off at once, fluently. But
this would have defeated his whole object; which was, not to do what he
could do most easily, but to do good and help Jennie. If a boy were
going up a high hill, with his sister in his company, it would be
easier for him to go directly on and leave his sister behind. A selfish
boy would be likely to do this; but a generous-minded boy would prefer
to go slowly, and help his sister along over the rocks and up the steep
Rollo and Jane both became so much interested in their reading that
they continued it almost an hour. It then began to be dark, and so they
put the book away. Their mother came in about that time, and was very
much pleased when she found how Rollo and Jennie had been employed; and
Rollo and Jennie themselves experienced a substantial and deeply-seated
feeling of satisfaction and comfort that all the merry-making of the
Elysian Fields could never give. If any of the readers of this book
have any doubt of this, let them try the experiment themselves. At some
time, after they have been spending a portion of the Sabbath in such a
way as to give them an inward feeling of uneasiness and
self-condemnation, let them engage for a time in the voluntary
performance of some serious duty, as Rollo did, and in the spirit and
temper which he manifested, and see how strongly it will tend to bring
back their peace of mind and restore them to happiness. To try the
experiment more effectually still, spend the whole Sabbath in this
manner, and then see with what a feeling of quiet and peaceful
satisfaction you will go to bed at night, and with what a joyous and
buoyant spirit you will awake on Monday morning.
Before Rollo left Paris, he went, one Tuesday afternoon, with his
mother and Jennie and his uncle George, to see the performances at the
Hippodrome, and he enjoyed the spectacle very much indeed. Besides the
performances which have already been described, there were two others
which astonished him exceedingly. In one of these a man came into the
middle of the area, and there the assistants lifted up a large and
heavy pole, which they poised in the air, and then set the lower end of
it in a sort of socket which was made in an apron which the man wore,
which socket was fastened securely to the man's hips and shoulders by
strong straps, so that he could sustain the weight of the pole by means
of them. The pole was about thirty feet high, and the top was branched
like a pitchfork. It was shaped, in fact, exactly like a pitchfork,
except that there was a bar across from the top of one branch to the
top of the other, and a rope hanging down from the middle of the bar
half way down to the place of bifurcationthat is, to the place where
the straight part of the pole ended and the branches began. Things
being thus arranged, a boy, who was about twelve years old, apparently,
came out, and, leaping up upon the man's shoulders, began to climb up
the pole. When he reached the top of it he took hold of the rope, and
by means of the rope climbed up to the bar. Here he began to perform a
great variety of the most astonishing evolutions, the man all the time
poising the pole in the air. The boy would climb about the bar in every
way, drawing himself up sometimes backwards and sometimes forward, and
swinging to and fro, and turning over and over in every conceivable
position. He would hang to the bar sometimes by his hands and sometimes
by his legssometimes with his head downward, sometimes with his feet
downward. He would whirl round and round over the bar a great many
times, till Rollo and Jane were tired of seeing him, and then he would
rest by hanging to the pole by the back of his head, without touching
the bar with any other part of his body. All this time the man who held
the pole kept it carefully poised, moving to and fro about the area
continually in following the oscillations.
[Illustration: THE HIPPODROME.]
The other performance was in some respects more extraordinary still.
There was a mast set up in the ground, thirty or forty feet high. At
the ground, ten feet from the foot of the mast, there commenced an
inclined plane, formed of a plank about a foot or eighteen inches wide,
which ascended in a spiral direction round and round the mast till it
reached the top. A man ascended this plane by means of a large ball,
about two feet in diameter, which he rolled up standing upon it, and
rolling it by stepping continually on the ascending side. There was no
ledge or guard whatever to keep the ball from rolling off the
planenothing but a narrow plank ascending continually, and winding in
a spiral manner around the mast. This experiment it was quite frightful
to see. Several of the children who were sitting near Mr. George's
party began to cry, saying, O, he will fallhe will fall! In fact,
Jennie could not bear to look at him, and so she shut her eyes; and
even Mrs. Holiday looked another way. But Rollo watched it through, and
saw the man go on up to the very top of the mast, and stand there on
his ball on the top, forty feet above the ground, with his hands
extended in triumph. After remaining there a short time, he came down
as he had gone up; and when he reached the ground, he rolled his ball
along, keeping on it all the time, till he came to a chariot which was
waiting to receive him. He stepped from the ball off to the chariot,
and was then driven all around the ring, being received every where, as
he passed, with the acclamations of the spectators.
CHAPTER VII. CARLOS.
One morning, just after breakfast, when Rollo and Jennie were
sitting at the window of their hotel, looking at a band of about forty
drummers that were arranging themselves on the Asphaltum, in the Place
Vendome, in front of the column, preparatory to an exercise of practice
on their instrument, Mr. George came into the room. Mr. George took up
a newspaper which was lying upon the table, and, seating himself in a
large arm chair which was near, he read from it for a few minutes, and
then, laying down the paper, said,
Rollo, how do you pronounce L-o-u-v-o-i-s?
Mr. George did not speak the word, but spelled it letter by letter.
I don't know, said Rollo.
Because, said Mr. George, that is the name of the hotel where I
What made you go away from this hotel, uncle George? asked Jennie.
Didn't you like it?
Yes, replied Mr. George, I liked it very much. But I wanted to
change the scene. I had become very familiar with every thing in this
part of the city, and with the modes of life in this hotel. So I
thought I would change, and go to some other quarter of the city, where
I could see Paris, and Paris life, in new aspects.
I wish I had gone with you, said Rollo. I wonder if my father
would not let me go now. Is there a room for me at your hotel? he
added, looking up eagerly.
I don't know, said Mr. George. You can ask when you go there. But
to day I am going to see the Garden of Plants; and you may go with me,
if you like.
Well, said Rollo, I should like to go very much.
And may I go, too? said Jennie.
Yes, said Mr. George, if your mother is willing.
Well, said Jennie, joyfully, I'll go and ask her. Only I wish it
was a garden of flowers instead of a garden of plants.
So Jennie went to ask her mother if she might go with her uncle
George. She soon returned with her shawl and bonnet on, and then, Mr.
George leading the way, they all went together down stairs, and got
into a carriage which was waiting for them at the door. The carriage
was an open one, with the top turned back, so that they all had a fine
opportunity to see the streets and the persons passing as they rode
Mr. George directed the coachman to drive first to his hotel; and
the carriage, leaving the Place Vendome on the northern side, entered
into a perfect maze of narrow streets, through which it advanced toward
the heart of the city.
After a time, they came to a long, straight street, which led across
the city, through the centre of it, from the river to the Boulevards;
and when they were about in the middle of this street, the attention of
the children was attracted by a very long and gloomy-looking building,
which formed one side of the street for a considerable distance before
them. It had no windows toward the street, but only a range of square
recesses in the walls, of the form of windows, but without any glass.
Jennie asked Mr. George if it was the prison.
Not exactly, said Mr. George; and yet there is one room in it
where there are more than a hundred men, and they are not permitted to
speak a loud word.
Let's go and see them, said Rollo.
Very well, said Mr. George; we will.
So saying, he called upon the coachman to stop opposite to a great
archway which opened through the building near the middle of it. Mr.
George and the children descended from the carriage and went in under
the archway. Looking through, they saw a large court yard, with grass,
and trees, and a fountain. They did not, however, go on into this court
yard, but turned to the right to a very broad flight of steps which
seemed to lead into the building. There was a man in uniform, with a
cocked hat upon his head, who stood in the passage way to guard the
entrance. He made no objection, however, to the party's going in; and
so they all went on up the stairway.
After passing through a series of magnificent passages and
vestibules, with very broad staircases, and massive stone balustrades,
and other marks of a very ancient and venerable style of architecture,
Mr. George led the way through an open door, where the children saw
extended before them, as far as the eye could reach, a long range of
rooms, opening into one another, and all filled with bookshelves and
books. The rooms had windows only on one side; that is, on the side
next the courtyard; and the doors which led from one room to the other
were all near that side of the room. Thus three sides of each room were
almost wholly unbroken, and they were all filled with bookshelves and
books. The doors which led from one room to another were all in a
range; so that standing at one end, opposite to one of these doors, the
spectator could look through the whole range of rooms to the other end.
The distance was, moreover, so great, that, though there was a group of
several persons standing at the farther end of the range of rooms at
the time that Rollo entered, they looked so small and so indistinct
that Rollo could not count them to tell how many there were.
It is a library, said Rollo.
Yes, said Mr. George, it is the National Library of Paris, one of
the largest libraries in the world. The books have been accumulating
here for ages.
I don't see what can be the use of such a large library, said
Rollo; nobody can possibly read all the books.
No, said Mr. George, they cannot read them all; but they may wish
to consult them. There are often particular reasons for seeing some
particular book, which was published so long ago that it is not now to
be found in common bookstores; in such cases, people come here, and
they are pretty sure to find the book in this collection.
There were several parties of ladies and gentlemen to be seen, at
different distances, walking along the range of rooms, all of whom
seemed to be visitors. Mr. George, himself, walked on, and the children
followed him. They passed from one apartment to another, amazed at the
number of books. They were all neatly arranged on bookshelves, which
extended from the floor to the ceiling, and were protected by a wire
netting in front; so that, although the visitors could see the books,
they could not take them down.
Mr. George and the children walked on, until, at length, they came
to the end of the range of rooms, and there they found another range,
running at right angles to the first, back from the street. They turned
and walked along through these rooms, too. The floors of all the rooms
were very smooth and glossy, being formed of narrow boards, of
dark-colored wood, curiously inlaid, and highly polished. Rollo told
Jennie that he believed he could slide on such floors as well as he
could on ice, if he thought they would let him try. He knew very well,
however, that it would not be proper to try. Besides, he observed that
there were standing at different distances along the range of rooms
certain men, in uniform, who seemed to be officers stationed in the
library to guard against any thing like irregularity or disorder on the
part of the visitors.
Besides the books, there were a great many other things to interest
visitors in the rooms of the library, such as models of buildings,
statues, collections of coins, medals, and precious gems, and other
similar curiosities. These things were arranged on tables and in cases
made expressly for them, and placed in the various rooms. The tables
and cases occupy, generally, the central parts of the rooms that they
were placed in, so as not to interfere with the use of the sides of the
rooms for books. In one place was a collection of some of the oldest
books that ever were printed, showing the style of typography that
prevailed when the art of printing was first discovered. Mr. George
took great interest in looking at these. Rollo and Jennie, however, did
not think much of them; and so, while their uncle was examining these
ancient specimens, they went to the windows and looked out into the
court yard. This court formed a green and beautiful garden, shaded with
trees and adorned with fountains and walks. The visitors could see that
the buildings of the library extended in long ranges all around it.
At length, at the end of the second range of rooms, the party came
to a third range, which was parallel to the first, and which extended
along the back side of the court yard. The children could not go into
these apartments, for the entrance to them was closed by a glass
partition. They could, however, look through the partition and see what
there was within. They beheld a very long hall, which was several
hundred feet in length, apparently, and quite wide, and it was lined on
both sides with bookshelves and books. Long tables were extended up and
down this hall, with a great number of gentlemen sitting at them, all
engaged in silent study. Some were reading; some were writing; some
were looking at books of maps or engravings. There were desks at
various places up and down the room, with officers belonging to the
library sitting at them, and several messengers, dressed in uniform,
going to and fro bringing books. Mr. George explained to the children
that there was another entrance to this room, leading from the court
yard by a separate staircase, and that any person who wished to read or
study might go in there and sit at those tables, only he must be still,
and not disturb the studies of the rest. If he wished for any book, he
could not go and get it from the shelves, but must write the title of
it in full on a slip of paper, and carry it to one of the desks. The
officer would take the slip and give it to one of the messengers, who
would then go and get the book.
After looking through the glass partition at this great company of
readers and students until their curiosity was satisfied, the children
turned away, and Mr. George conducted them back through the long ranges
of rooms by the same way that they came. When, at length, they got back
to the staircase where they had come up, Mr. George, instead of going
out where he had come in, descended by another way, through new
corridors and passages, until he came to a room where a considerable
number of people were sitting at tables, looking at books of
engravings. The sides of this room, and of several others opening into
it, were filled with bound volumes of prints and engravings, some plain
and some colored, but very beautiful. Many of the volumes were very
large; but however large they might be, it was very easy to turn over
the leaves and see the pictures, for the tables, or rather, desks, in
the middle of the room, were so contrived that a book, placed upon
them, was held at precisely the right slope to be seen to advantage by
persons sitting before it. Mr. George told the children, in a whisper,
that any one might ask for any book there was there, and the attendants
would place it on one of the tables for him, where he might sit and
look at the prints in it as long as he pleased.
Some day, continued Mr. George, we will come here and look over
some of these books; but to-day we must go to the Garden of Plants.
Mr. George then led the children back to the carriage, and ordered
the coachman to drive to his hotel.
The hotel was situated on the site of an open square, which, though
by no means so grand and magnificent as the Place Vendome, was still a
very pleasant place.
There was a fountain in the centre, with a large basin of water
around it. Outside of this basin the square was paved with asphaltum,
and was as hard and smooth as a floor. The pavement was shaded with
trees, which were planted at equal distances all over it; and under the
trees there were seats, where various persons were sitting. There were
many children, too, playing about under the trees, some trundling hoop,
some jumping rope, and some playing horses.
The carriage stopped at the door of the hotel, and Mr. George took
the children up to his room. It was a front room, and it looked out
upon the square. The children went to the window, and, while Mr. George
was getting ready to go, they amused themselves by looking at the
children that were playing on the square.
Among the other children, there was a boy, apparently about eight
years of age, who was sitting apart from the rest of the children, on a
bench by himself. His complexion was dark, and his hair very black and
glossy. He was very neatly and prettily dressed, though in a very
peculiar style, his costume being quite different from any thing that
Rollo had ever before seen. He had a ball in his hand, which now and
then he tossed into the air.
He has not any body to play with, said Rollo to Jennie. I have a
great mind to go down and play with him while uncle George is getting
Very well, said Mr. George; you can go. I shall not be ready for
nearly half an hour. We do not wish to get to the Garden of Plants
before twelve o'clock.
Rollo hesitated a little about going down, and while he was
hesitating the boy rose from his seat and came toward the hotel. He
entered under the archway, and presently Rollo heard him coming up the
staircase. He then determined to hesitate no longer; so he went out
into the passage way to see him.
The boy had reached the top of the staircase when Rollo went out,
and was just then coming along the hall. He looked at Rollo with a
smile as he came toward him, and this encouraged Rollo to speak to him.
Can't you find any one to play with you? said Rollo.
The boy shook his head, but did not speak.
He meant by this that he did not understand what Rollo said; but
Rollo thought he meant that he could not find any one to play with him.
I will play with you, said Rollo; and as he spoke he held out his
hands, with the wrists together and the palms open between them, in a
manner customary with boys for catching a ball.
The boy understood the sign, though he did not understand the words.
He tossed the ball to Rollo, and Rollo caught it. Rollo then tossed it
back again. Presently Rollo made signs to the boy to sit down upon the
floor at one end of the hall, while he sat down at the other,
explaining his wishes also at the same time in words. The boy talked
too, in reply to Rollo, accompanying what he said with signs and
gestures. They got along thus together in their play very well, each
one imagining that he helped to convey his meaning to the other by what
he said, while, in fact, neither understood a word that was spoken by
the other, and so took notice of nothing but the signs.
Rollo listened attentively once or twice to short replies that his
new friend made to him, in order to see if he could not distinguish
some words in it that he could understand; but he could not; and he
finally concluded that it must be some other language than French that
the boy was speaking. He was sorry for this; for he could understand
short sentences in French pretty well, and could speak short sentences
himself in reply. When, however, he tried to speak to the boy in
French, he observed that he did not appear to understand him any better
than when he spoke in English. This confirmed him in the opinion that
the boy must belong to some other nation.
After playing together for some time with the ball, the two boys
began to feel quite acquainted with each other. Rollo wished very much
to find out his new companion's name; so he asked him, in English,
What is your name?
The boy smiled, and throwing the ball across again to Rollo as he
spoke, said something in reply; but it was a great deal too much to be
his name. What he said was, when interpreted into English, My father
bought this ball for me, and gave two francs for it.
Then Rollo thought he would try French; so he translated his
question, and asked it in French.
And I am going to carry it with me to Switzerland and Italy, said
the boy, speaking still in the unknown tongue.
That can't be your name, either, said Rollo, I am very sure.
Then, after a moment's pause, he added, in an eager voice and
manner, as if a new idea had suddenly struck him,
We are going to the Garden of Plantsuncle George, and Jennie, and
I; wouldn't you like to go, too?
The boy smiled, and held out his hands for Rollo to roll the ball to
him, saying something at the same time which to Rollo seemed totally
He does not understand me, I suppose; but I know how I can explain
it to him.
So he rose from the floor, and, by means of a great deal of earnest
gesticulation and beckoning, he induced the boy to get up too, and
follow him. Rollo led the way into his uncle's chamber. The boy seemed
pleased, though a little timid, in going in.
Uncle George, said Rollo, here is a boy that cannot talk. Are you
willing that I should invite him to go with us to the Garden of
Yes, said Mr. George; though I don't see how you are going to do
Rollo led the boy to the window, and pointed to the carriage, which
stood down before the door below. Then he opened a map of Paris which
lay upon the table, and found the Garden of Plants laid down upon it,
and showed it to the boy. Then he pointed to his uncle George, to
Jennie, and to himself, and then to the carriage. Then he made a motion
with his hand to denote going. By these gesticulations he conveyed the
idea quite distinctly to his new acquaintance that they were all going
to the Garden of Plants. He then finally pointed to the boy himself,
and also to the carriage, and looked at him with an inquiring look,
which he meant as an invitation to the boy to accompany them. The boy
paid close attention to all these signs; and when Rollo had finished,
instead of either nodding or shaking his head, in token of his
accepting or declining the invitation, as Rollo expected he would have
done, he took up the map, and, making certain mysterious gestures,
which Rollo could not comprehend, he walked off rapidly out of the
Rollo looked at his uncle George with an expression of great
astonishment on his countenance.
What does that mean? said he.
Perhaps he has gone to ask his father or his mother, suggested Mr.
He has, exclaimed Rollo, he has; that's it, I'm sure.
So Rollo went out immediately into the hall to wait till the boy
In a few minutes a door opened, which led into a suite of apartments
in the rear of the hotel, and the boy, with the map in his hand, came
into the hall, nodding his head, and looking very much pleased; talking
all the time, moreover, in a very voluble but perfectly unintelligible
manner. A moment after he came the door opened again, and a very
respectably dressed man, of middle age, came into the hall. The boy
pointed to Rollo, and said something to this man.
Are you going to the Garden of Plants? said the man to Rollo,
speaking in English, though with a very decidedly foreign accent.
Yes, sir, said Rollo.
And did you invite Carlos to go with you?
Yes, sir, said Rollo; only I did not know that his name was
Carlos. He told me something very different from that. What language is
it that he talks? Is it French?
No, replied the man, it is Spanish. He is a Spanish boy. He
cannot understand a word of French or English. But he may go with you
to the Garden of Plants.
Are you his father, sir? asked Rollo.
No, replied the man, I am his father's courier.[E]
[E] A courier is a traveling servant. A good courier understands all
the principal languages of Europe, and is acquainted with all the
routes and modes of travelling. He takes all the care of the party that
employs him; makes bargains for them; finds out good hotels for them to
go to; pays the bills; obtains all necessary information; and does
every thing for them, in fact, which is required in making the tour of
So saying, the man passed on, leaving Rollo and Carlos together.
Come, Carlos, said Rollo, let us go into uncle George's room, and
see if he is not ready to go.
Rollo beckoned as he spoke, and Carlos, understanding his action,
though not his words, immediately followed him. In fact, during all his
subsequent intercourse with Carlos, Rollo continued to talk to him just
as if he could understand, and Carlos talked also in reply.
It is true, that, if Rollo had been asked whether he supposed that
Carlos understood what he said, he would have answered no; and yet he
continually forgot to act upon this belief, but talked on, under the
influence of a sort of instinctive feeling that good plain English,
such as he took care to speak, could not fail to convey ideas to any
boy that heard it. Under the influence of a similar feeling, Carlos
talked Spanish to Rollo, each imagining that the other understood him,
at least in some degree, while, in fact, neither understood any thing
but the signs and gestures which accompanied the language.
Just as they were about to set out, one of Mr. George's friends
called to see him; and when he found that the party were going to the
Garden of Plants, he wished to go too. There was scarcely room for so
many in the carriage, and so Rollo proposed that he and Carlos should
go in an omnibus.
There is an omnibus, said he, that goes there through the
Boulevards, close by here; and Carlos and I will go in that, and then
we can find you in the garden.
Very well, said Mr. George.
Come, Carlos, come with me, said Rollo; we are going to find an
Carlos perceived that Rollo was proposing that they should go
somewhere together, but he did not know where, or for what; nor did he
care. He was ready to assent to any thing. So he and Rollo, leaving the
rest of the party in the act of getting into the carriage, walked along
up the street which led to the Boulevards.
CHAPTER VIII. THE GARDEN OF PLANTS.
Rollo and Carlos had not gone far before they came to a place where
two children had set up what they called a chapel, under the
archway which led to the interior of the house where they lived. A real
chapel, in Catholic countries, is any consecrated place, large or
small, containing an altar, and a crucifix, and other sacred emblems,
where masses are said and other religious services are performed. Real
chapels are made in the alcoves of churches, in monuments over tombs,
and in other similar places, and children have toy chapels to play
with. There are little crucifixes, and candlesticks, and communion
cups, and other similar things for sale at the toy shops. Sometimes the
children buy these things and arrange them on a small table, in a
corner of the room, for play, just as in Protestant countries they
arrange a pulpit and chairs for a congregation, and so make believe
have a meeting. Sometimes the children bring out their chapel and set
it near the sidewalk, by the street, and then hold out a little plate
to ask the passers by for contributions. There are almost always some
people more good matured than wise, who will give them a sou or two;
and thus they often made up quite a little purse of money.
In this case, as Rollo and Carlos were passing along, the little
girl, who was very nicely dressed in holiday costume, held out a small
One sou, gentlemen, if you please, for the little chapel.
Rollo and Carlos stopped to look at the chapel.
What pretty little candles! said Rollo, talking half to himself
and half to Carlos, and how tall! I wish I had some of them for
I have got a chapel at home, said Carlos.
She wants us to give her a sou, continued Rollo. Would you?
And I will show it to you if you ever come to Barcelona, said
I don't know whether to give her a sou or not, said Rollo. Would
My candlesticks are of real silver, said Carlos, but these are
Rollo finally concluded to give the girl a sou, thinking that he was
in some measure bound to do it, after having stopped so long to look at
her chapel; and then he and Carlos walked on as before. As they went on
they continued to talk together, from time to time, Rollo in English
and Carlos in Spanish, neither of them, however, paying any attention
to what the other said. This was a very good plan, for there was a
sense of companionship in this sort of conversation, though it
communicated no ideas. They took the same kind of pleasure in it,
probably, that birds do in the singing of their mates. In fact, it
often happens, when a group of children are talking together in a
language which they all understand, that each one talks for the
pleasure of talking, and none of them pay any attention to what the
Presently the two boys reached the Boulevard. It was a very broad
and magnificent street, and the sidewalks were very wide. The
sidewalks, wide as they were, were thronged with foot passengers, and
the street itself was full of carriages. Very soon an omnibus came
along; but it was full. There are a great many curious contrivances
about a French omnibus; one of which is, that there is a sign, with the
word complete, in French, painted upon it in large letters. The
sign is placed directly over the door of the omnibus behind, and is
attached to the top of the coach by a hinge at the lower edge. When the
omnibus is full, the conductor who rides on the step behind pulls up
this sign, by means of a cord attached to it, and then all the people
on the sidewalks can see that there is no room for them. When any
passengers get out so as to make room for others, then the conductor
lets this sign down, and it lies flat upon the top of the coach, out of
sight, until the omnibus gets full again, when it is drawn up as
Complete, said Rollo, pointing to the sign, which was up and in
full view. That omnibus is full.
Yes, said Carlos, I see him. His cap is so high that he can't
wear it in the omnibus, and so he has to take it off.
But there will be another one pretty soon, said Rollo.
If I were a soldier, said Carlos, I would never get into an
omnibus at all. I would have an elegant black horse with a long tail,
and I would go galloping through the streets on my horse.
At length an omnibus came along which was not full, and Rollo and
Carlos got into it. After meeting with various adventures on the way,
and changing from one omnibus to another, according to the system which
prevails in Paris, they finally reached the gates of the garden. There
was a sentry box on each side of the gates, and soldiers, with bayonets
fixed, guarding the entrance. There were, however, a great many people
going in. The soldiers did not prevent them. They had orders to allow
all persons who were quiet and orderly, and had no dogs with them, to
enter freely. So Rollo and Carlos passed directly in.
Rollo's first feeling was that of astonishment at the extent and
variety of the scenes and prospects which opened before him. Instead of
a small garden, laid out in gravel walks, and beds of flowers, as he
had imagined, he found himself entering a perfect maze of winding
walks, which were bordered on all sides by an endless variety of
enclosures, groups of shrubbery, groves, huts, cabins, yards, ponds of
water, and every other element of rural scenery. The whole, as it first
burst upon Rollo's eye, formed a most enchanting landscape, and
extended farther than he could see. The walks meandered about in the
most winding and devious ways. The spaces between them were enclosed by
neat little fences of lattice work, and were divided into little parks,
or fields, in each of which some strange and unknown animals were
feeding. There were ponds, with a quantity of birds of the gayest
plumage sailing upon them; and green slopes, with goats, or deer, or
sheep, of the most extraordinary forms and colors, grazing in them. At
one place Rollo stopped to look at a small basin of water, with a broad
stone margin all around it, which was completely covered with turtles
and tortoises of all colors and sizes. The animals were lying there
asleep, basking in the sun. A little farther on was a beautiful little
yard, almost surrounded with trees and shrubbery, where three or four
ostriches, with long necks, and heads higher than Rollo's, were walking
about with a very majestic air. And farther still there was a little
field, the occupants of which excited the astonishment of the boys to a
still higher degree. They were three giraffes. One of them, with his
head twenty feet in the air, was cropping the leaves from the top of a
tall tree. The second was standing still, quietly looking at the groups
of visitors that were gazing upon him from without the paling; while
the third was amusing himself by galloping about the yard, with a sort
of rolling motion that it was most astonishing to see.
Rollo and Carlos advanced among these scenes, drawn from one to the
other by the new objects which every where presented themselves to
view, and uttering to each other continual exclamations of
astonishment. In fact, they talked incessantly to one another as they
walked on, pointing out, each to the other, whatever attracted their
attention, and making all sorts of comments upon what they saw.
Presently a low, bellowing sound was heard among the trees at a
Hark! said Rollo, in English, putting his hand upon Carlos's
shoulder. What's that? I hear a roaring.
Hark! said Carlos, in Spanish. What's that? I hear a roaring.
Neither of the boys understood the words which the other spoke; but
they knew very well that they were both listening to and talking about
Let's go and see what it is, said Rollo.
We'll go and see, said Carlos.
So off they started together in the direction of the sound. They
walked along a short distance, passing several beautiful little
enclosures, where quiet and gentle-looking animals, of various forms,
were grazing in their mimic pastures, or lying at rest before the doors
of the thatched-roofed cabins that had been built for them instead of
barns, until at length they came to a place where a long range of
buildings opened to view before them, the fronts of which, instead of
showing doors and windows, were formed of gratings of iron. The
interior of this range was divided into compartments, each one of which
formed an immense cage. These cages were all filled with lions, tigers,
panthers, leopards, hyenas, and other ferocious beasts of prey. Some
were walking to and fro restlessly in their narrow prisons; others were
lying down; and others still were crouched in a corner of their cage,
where they remained motionless, gazing with a sullen air upon the
visitors who stood looking at them from without the grating.
Rollo and Carlos walked back and forth in front of these cages
several times, looking at the animals. They admired the beauty and
grace of the tigers and leopards, and the majestic dignity of the
lions. There were a lion and a lioness together in one cage. The
lioness was walking restlessly to and fro; while the lion sat crouched
in the back part of the cage, with an expression upon his countenance
in which the lofty pride and majesty of his character, and the patience
and submissiveness which pertained to his situation, were combined.
Poor fellow! said Rollo; if I had you and your cage in Africa,
where you belong, I would open the door and let you go.
Just at this moment the attention of both Rollo and Carlos was
suddenly arrested by a most unearthly sound at a little distance from
them, which seemed to be intermediate between a scream and a roar. It
was so loud, too, as to be truly terrific.
What's that? said Rollo, suddenly, in English.
Ah, what a dreadful bray that is! said Carlos, in Spanish.
Would you go out there and see what it is? said Rollo.
Hark! Let's go there and see what it is, said Carlos.
So the boys started together to go in the direction of the sound.
It is impossible, however, for a stranger in the Garden of Plants to
be sure of going any considerable distance in any one direction, for
the walks are meandering and circuitous beyond description. They wind
about perpetually in endless mazes; and the little fields, and parks,
and gardens that are enclosed between them are so enveloped in
shrubbery, and the view, moreover, is so intercepted with the huts and
cabins built for the animals, and with the palings and networks made to
confine them, that it is impossible to see far in any direction.
Besides, there is so much to attract the attention, and to excite
curiosity and wonder, at every step, that one is continually drawn away
from one alley to another, till he gets hopelessly bewildered.
The huts and cabins which were made for the animals were very
curious, and many of them were so pretty, with their rustic walls and
thatched roof, that Rollo was extremely pleased with them. He stopped
before one of them, which was the residence of a pair of beautiful
lamas, and told Carlos that he meant to ask his uncle George to take
particular notice how it was made, and so make one for him for a
play-house when he got home.
And I wonder, said he, where my uncle George and Jennie are. I
don't see how we are ever to find them. I did not know that this garden
was so large and so full of trees and bushes.
Look there! said Carlos, pointing through an opening in the
shrubbery along the winding walk. What are they doing there?
Rollo, understanding the gesture, though not the words, turned in
the direction that Carlos indicated, and saw that there was quite a
crowd of men, women, and children at the place, all engaged, evidently,
in looking at something or other very intently.
Let's go and see, said Rollo.
So the boys went along that way together. They soon came in view of
a very high and strong palisade, which, though it was half concealed by
trees and shrubbery, evidently enclosed quite a considerable area, in
the centre of which was a large stone building, like a castle, with
projecting wings and towers, and immense gateways opening into it on
various sides. This building was the residence of all the monsters
the elephants, the giraffes, the rhinoceros, and the hippopotamus.
Each of these species had its own separate apartment in the castle; and
the ground surrounding it, within the great palisade, was divided into
as many yards as there were doors; so that each kind of animal had its
own proper enclosure. In one of these enclosures the rhinoceros was
walking about, clothed in his plated and invulnerable hide; and in the
next there were two elephants. The crowd of people were chiefly
occupied in looking at the elephants. The palisade was very heavy and
strong, being formed of timbers pointed at the top, and nearly as high
as the elephants could reach. These palisades were, however, not close
together. They were far enough apart to allow of the elephants putting
their trunks through to the people outside, and also to give the people
a good opportunity to look. Though these timbers were thus set at some
distance apart from each other, they wore still connected together, and
all held firmly in their places, by two iron rails which passed through
them all, one near the top, and the other near the bottom, of the
palisade, all along the range. They thus formed a fencing so heavy and
strong that even the elephants could not break it down.
The visitors could not come quite up to the elephants; for outside
of this great palisade, at a distance of about three feet from it,
there was a high paling, made expressly to keep the spectators back. At
the time when Rollo and Carlos came to the place the elephants were
putting their trunks through to the people, in order to be fed with
nuts, cake, gingerbread, and other such things which the people had
ready to give them. Sometimes they would order the elephants to hold up
their trunks and open their mouths, and then the men would try to toss
pieces of gingerbread in. The elephants were always ready to do this
when ordered, though their mouths, when they opened them, were so small
that the people very seldom succeeded in aiming the missile so that it
would go in.
Rollo and Carlos looked about among the crowd that were assembled at
this place to see if Mr. George was among them; but he was not; and so,
after amusing themselves for some time with the elephants, they walked
along to see what else there was in the garden.
There were a great many people in the garden besides those who
seemed to have come to see the animals. There were groups of children,
that seemed to belong in the vicinity, playing in the walks, some
jumping ropes, and others building little houses of gravel stones.
There were women seated on benches in various little shady nooks and
corners, some sewing, others taking care of babies; while others, at
little stands and stalls, sold gingerbread and cakes. At one place
Rollo stopped to look at two little children that were playing in the
gravel and throwing the little pebble stones about. Their grandmother,
who was sitting near, said something to them in French.
What does she say? asked Carlos.
She says, replied Rollo, you must not throw gravel in your little
The question in this case and the answer fitted each other very
well; but it was a mere matter of accident, for neither of the boys
understood what the other had said.
Pretty soon the boys came to a place where a great number of people
were standing on a sort of parapet, and leaning upon an iron railing,
where they seemed to be looking down into some cavity. They hurried to
the place, and, stepping up upon the parapet, they looked down too, and
found there a range of dens below the surface of the ground, all full
of bears. These dens were sunken yards, six or eight feet deep, and
enclosed with perpendicular walls all around, so that the bears could
not possibly get out. There were iron railings around the top, and a
great many people were standing there looking down to the bears. There
were four or five of these yards, all in a row; and as there were many
great trees overshadowing them, the place was cool and pleasant. Some
of the bears were walking about on the stone pavement which formed the
bottom of the dens; others were sitting on their hind legs, and holding
up their fore paws to catch the pieces of gingerbread which were thrown
down to them by the people above. There were a number of little birds
hopping about there, picking up the crums that were left, though they
took care to keep out of the way of the bears. Rollo and Carlos bought
some cakes of gingerbread of a woman who kept a stall near by, and,
breaking them into pieces, they threw them down to the bears. They
threw the most to a great white bear that was in one of the dens, and
who particularly attracted their attention. Rollo told Carlos that he
supposed this bear must have come from the north pole. The boys were
both by this time rather hungry; but they were so much interested in
seeing the bears try to catch the pieces of gingerbread that they did
not think to eat any of it themselves, but threw it all down to them,
all except one piece which Rollo gave to a little girl who stood beside
him, to let her throw it, because she had none of her own. For this
kindness the girl thanked Rollo, in French, in a very polite and proper
After being satisfied with seeing the bears, the boys wandered on
wherever they saw the most to attract them, until at length they came
to what is called the palace of the monkeys, which pleased them more
than any thing they had seen. This palace is an enormous round cage, as
high as a house, and nearly a hundred feet in diameter, with a range of
stone buildings all around it on the back side. These buildings have
little rooms in them, where the monkeys live in the winter, and where
they always sleep at night. They go out into the cage to play. The cage
is formed of slender iron posts and railing, so that the people
standing outside can see the monkeys at their sports and gambols. They
play with each other in every possible way, and frolic just as if they
were in their native woods. They climb up the smooth iron posts,
pursuing one another; and then, leaping across through the air, they
catch upon a rope, from which they swing themselves across to the
branch of a tree. Some of these branches have bells attached to them;
and the monkey, when he gets upon such a one, will spring it up and
down till he sets the bell to ringing, and then, assisted by the return
of the branch, he bounds away through the air to some rope, or pole, or
railing that he sees within his reach. The agility which these animals
display in these feats is truly astonishing.
Rollo and Carlos watched their evolutions with great interest. There
was an excellent place to see, for the land opposite the cage ascended
in such a manner that those more remote could look over the heads of
those that were nearer. Besides this, there were quite a number of
chairs under the trees, at the upper part of this ascent; and Rollo,
perceiving that several of them were vacant, sat down in one, and made
a sign to Carlos to sit down in another. They could now look at the
monkeys, and rest at the same time. Presently a woman came along and
said to Rollo, in French,
Please pay the chairs, sir.
Rollo recollected immediately that at all such places in Paris
chairs were kept to be let, those who used them paying two sous apiece
for the privilege. So he took out four sous and gave the woman.
I did not think of there being any thing to pay for these chairs,
said he to Carlos. But then, I don't care. It is worth four sous to
get a good rest, as tired as I am. I'm pretty hungry, too. I wish I had
not given all my gingerbread to the bears.
Carlos made no reply to this suggestion; though there is no doubt
that he would have readily assented to what Rollo said, if he had
understood it. The boys remained some time looking at the monkeys, and
then strolled away into other parts of the garden. Very soon they came
to a place where Rollo spied at some distance before him, under some
immense old trees in a sort of a valley, what he thought was a
See these monstrous big trees! said Carlos; and there are tables
The boys made all haste to the spot, and found to their great joy
that it was a restaurant. There was a plain but very
picturesque-looking house, antique and venerable; and before it, on a
green, under the spreading branches of some enormous old trees, a
number of small tables, with seats around them.
Now, Carlos, said Rollo, we will have some bread and butter and a
good cup of coffee.
[Illustration: THE RESTAURANT.]
So they sat down at one of the pleasantest tables, and very soon a
waiter came to see what they would have. Rollo called for coffee and
bread and butter for two. In a short time the waiter came, bringing two
great cups, which he filled half with coffee and half with boiled milk.
He brought also a supply of very nice butter, and a loaf of bread
shaped like a stick of wood. It was about as large round as Rollo's
arm, and twice as long. The waiter laid this bread across the table for
Rollo and Carlos to cut off as much from it as they might want. This is
what they call having bread at discretion.
The boys enjoyed this banquet very much indeed. Besides the coffee,
they had water, which they sweetened in the tumblers with large lumps
of white sugar. They talked all the time while they were eating, each
in his own language, and laughed very merrily. After all, said Rollo,
this is the very best place in the whole garden. Feeding the bears is
very good fun; but this is infinitely better.
After remaining for half an hour at the table, and eating till their
appetites were completely satisfied, they concluded to go back and see
the monkeys again.
In the mean time, Mr. George and his friend, with Jennie, had been
engaged in an entirely different part of the garden; for the whole
enclosure is so large that it takes many days to see the whole. On one
side, bordering on a street, there is a long row of houses and gardens,
occupied by professors, who give courses of lectures on the plants and
animals which the garden contains. On another is a magnificent range of
buildings, occupied as a museum, containing endless collections of
dried plants, of minerals and shells, of skeletons, and the stuffed
skins of birds and beasts. Then there is a very large tract of level
land, between two splendid avenues, all laid out in beds of plants and
flowers, forming a series of parterres, extending as far as the eye can
reach, and presenting the gayest and most beautiful combination of
colors that can be conceived. Jennie was very much delighted with all
these things, as she walked about in these parts of the garden with her
uncle, though she was somewhat uneasy all the time because she could
not see any thing of Rollo.
I don't believe, said she at last to her uncle, as they were
standing on the margin of a beautiful little artificial pond, full of
lilies and other aquatic plants, I don't believe that we can find him
at all in such a large garden.
Yes, said Mr. George; there'll be no difficulty. There is one
universal rule for finding boys in the Garden of Plants.
What is that? asked Jennie.
Go to the places where they keep the monkeys and the elephants,
said Mr. George; and if you don't find them there at once, wait a few
minutes, and they'll be pretty sure to come.
It was as Mr. George had predicted; for, on going to the palace of
the monkeys, there they found Rollo and Carlos laughing very heartily
to see a big monkey holding a little one in its arms as a human mother
would a baby.
The party, when thus united, went together once more over the
principal places where the two divisions of it had gone separately
before, so that all might have a general idea of the whole domain; and
then, going out at a different gate from the one by which they had
entered, they went home, all resolving to come again, if possible, at
some future day.
CHAPTER IX. AN EXCURSION.
ONE day, about one o'clock, after Rollo had been in Paris about a
fortnight, he came into the hotel from a walk which he had been taking,
and there found his mother and Jennie putting on their bonnets. He
asked them where they were going. They said they were going to take a
ride with Mr. George.
May I go, too? asked Rollo.
Whyyes, said his mother, hesitatingly. I suppose there will be
room. Or you may stay at home here with your father. He is asleep in
It is generally the case with children, both boys and girls, when
they are young, that if they can get any sort of consent, however
reluctant, from their parents, to any of their requests, they are
satisfied, and take the boon thus hesitatingly accorded to them as
readily as if it had been granted to them in the freest and most
cordial manner. With gentlemen and ladies, however, it is different.
They generally have more delicacy, and are seldom willing to accept of
any favor unless circumstances are such that it can be granted in a
very free and cordial manner. They will scarcely ever, in any case, ask
to be permitted to join any party that others have formed; and when
they do ask, if they perceive the slightest doubt or hesitation on the
part of their friends in acceding to their proposal, they infer that it
would be, for some reason or other, inconvenient for them to go; and
they accordingly, at once, give up all intention of going.
Rollo, though still a boy, was beginning to have some of the
honorable sentiments and feelings of a man; and when he perceived that
his mother hesitated a little about granting his request, he decided
immediately not to go and ride. Besides, he liked the idea of staying
with his father.
Well, said he, I will stay here. My father may wish for something
when he wakes up.
I don't suppose, however, after all, added his mother, that it is
really necessary for you to stay on his account. His bell is within
reach; and Alfred will come immediately when he rings.
But I should like to stay, said Rollo; and besides, I can
get ahead one more day in my French.
Rollo was writing a course of French exercises, and his task was one
lesson for every day. The rule was, that he was to write this exercise
immediately after breakfast, unless he had written it before; that is,
either on the same day before breakfast, or on a previous day. Now,
Rollo desired to be free after breakfast, for that was a very pleasant
time to go out. Besides, there were often plans and excursions formed
for that time, which he was invited to join; and he could not join them
unless his lesson for the day had been written. So he took pains to
write his exercises, as much as possible, in advance. Whenever there
came a rainy day he would write two or three lessons, and sometimes he
would write early in the morning. He was now nearly a week in advance.
Instead of being satisfied with this, however, he began to be quite
interested in seeing how far ahead he could get. This feeling was what
led him to think that he would take this opportunity to write a French
Accordingly, when his mother and Jennie had gone, he seated himself
at his table and began his work. The writing of the exercise took about
an hour. When the work was finished, and while Rollo was preparing to
put his books away, he heard a movement in his father's room. He got up
from his seat and opened the door, gently, saying,
Father, are you awake?
Yes, said his father. Are you there, Rollo?
Rollo found his father sitting up in a great arm chair, by the side
of his bed. He had a dressing gown on.
How do you feel, father? said Rollo.
I think I feel better, said Mr. Holiday. As he said this he put on
his slippers, and then stood up upon the rug that lay in front of his
Yes, said he, I certainly feel bettera great deal better.
I am very glad, said Rollo.
Where is your mother? asked Mr. Holiday, as he walked across the
room to the glass.
She has gone out to take a ride, said Rollo, with uncle George
That's right, said Mr. Holiday. I am very glad that she has gone.
And have you been staying here to take care of me? he asked.
Yes, sir, said Rollo. I have been writing another French lesson.
I have got them all written now to next Friday.
Ah, said Mr. Holiday, that's excellent. That's what the farmers
call being forehanded.
Now, Rollo, said Mr. Holiday, after a little pause, I feel so
much better that I should like to go somewhere and take a ride myself.
I don't care much where. If there is any where that you wish to go, I
will go with you. Come, I will put myself entirely at your disposal.
Let us see what you can do to give me a ride and entertain me.
Rollo was very much pleased indeed with this proposal. He decided
instantly what he would do. He had seen that morning an affix,
as the French call it, that is, a placard posted on a wall among a
hundred others, setting forth that there was to be a balloon ascension
that afternoon at the Hippodrome, at three o'clock, to be followed by
various equestrian performances. Rollo immediately mentioned this to
his father, and asked him if he should be willing to go there. His
father said that he should; adding, that he would like to see the
balloon go up very much.
Then when we come home, said Rollo, you must ride slowly along
through the Elysian Fields, and let me see the booths, and the games
that they are playing there.
Very well, said his father; I will take some newspapers with me,
and I will sit still in the carriage while you go and see the booths
and the games.
This plan being thus resolved upon, and all arranged, Alfred was
summoned and ordered to get the carriage ready, and to put the top
down. When Alfred reported that the carriage was at the door, Mr.
Holiday and Rollo went down and got in, and were soon in the midst of
the stream of equipages that were going up the grand avenue of the
Elysian Fields. They arrived at the Hippodrome in time to get an
excellent seat, and they remained there two hours. They saw the
balloon, with a man and young girl in the car below it, rise
majestically into the air, and soar away until it was out of sight. The
fearless aeronauts seemed entirely at their ease while they were
ascending to the dizzy height. They sat in the car waving banners and
throwing down bouquets of flowers as long as they could be seen.
After this there was a series of performances with horses, which
delighted Rollo very much. Troops of men came out upon the arena,
mounted on beautiful chargers, and armed with lances and coats of mail,
as in ancient times. After riding their elegantly caparisoned horses
round and round the ring several times, they formed into squadrons and
attacked each other with their lances in sham battles. After this,
fences of hurdles were put up across the course, in various places, and
girls, mounted on beautiful white horses and elegantly dressed, rode
around, leaping over the fences in a surprising manner. These and
similar performances continued until near five o'clock, and then the
immense assembly broke up, and the people, some in carriages and some
on foot, moved away over the various roads and avenues which diverge
from the Star.
Rollo and his father got into their carriage, which had been waiting
for them all this time, and passing the Triumphal Arch, they entered
the Grand Avenue of the Elysian Fields, on their return to the city.
They descended the slope which led down to the Round Point at a
rapid rate. Here, after passing the Round Point, the road became level,
and the region of groves and booths, and of games and frolicking,
Now, said Rollo, I should like to drive slowly, so that, if I
come to any thing that I wish to get out and see, I can see it.
Very well, said his father; give Alfred your orders.
Alfred, said Rollo, draw up as near as you can to the sidewalk on
the right hand, and walk the horses, so that I can see what there is.
And in the mean time, said Mr. Holiday, I will read my papers.
So Mr. Holiday took his newspapers out of his pocket and began to
read them, while Rollo, standing up in the carriage, began to survey
the crowd that filled the walks and groves that bordered the avenue, in
order to select some object of attraction to be examined more closely.
Only I wish, father, said Rollo, that I had somebody here with me
to go and see the thingsJennie or Carlos. I wish Carlos was here.
It is very easy to go and get him, said his father, with his eyes
still on his newspaper.
May I? said Rollo.
Any thing you please, said Mr. Holiday. You are in command this
afternoon. You may give Alfred any orders you please.
Then, Alfred, said Rollo, drive to the Hotel Louvois as fast as
As he said this, Mr. Holiday folded up his paper and Rollo took his
seat, while Alfred, turning the horses away from the sidewalk, set them
to trotting briskly along the avenue.
Only, father, said Rollo, I shall prevent your reading your
No matter for that, said Mr. Holiday. I shall like a good brisk
ride along the Boulevards quite as well.
The horses, kept always by Alfred in the very best condition,
trotted forward at a rapid rate, leaving scores of omnibuses, cabs, and
citadines behind, and keeping pace with the splendid chariots of the
French and English aristocracy that thronged the avenue. Presently
Rollo observed a peculiar movement among the carriages before them, as
if they were making way for something that was coming; and at the same
time he saw hundreds of people running forward from the groves and
booths, across the side avenues, to the margin of the carriage way.
The emperor! said Alfred, drawing in his horses at the same time.
An instant afterward, Rollo, who, on hearing Alfred's words, started
from his seat and stood up in the carriage to look, saw two elegantly
dressed officers, in splendid uniforms, galloping along toward them in
the middle of the avenue. They were followed at a little distance by
two others; and then came a very beautiful barouche, drawn by four
glossy black horses, magnificently caparisoned. Two gentlemen were
seated in this carriage, one of whom bowed repeatedly to the crowd that
were gazing at the spectacle from the sides of the avenue as he rode
rapidly along. Behind this carriage came another, with a gentleman and
a lady in it, and afterward two more troopers. The whole cavalcade
moved on so rapidly, that, before Rollo had had scarcely time to look
at it, it had passed entirely by.
The emperor! said Alfred to Rollo. He is going out to take a
Is that the emperor? exclaimed Rollo. He looks like any common
man. But if I had four such beautiful black horses as he has got, I
should be glad. I would drive them myself, instead of having a
The movement and the sensation produced by the passing of the
emperor and his train along the avenue immediately subsided, and the
other carriages resumed their ordinary course. Alfred's horses trotted
on faster than ever. A thousand picturesque and striking objects glided
rapidly bythe trees and the booths of the Elysian Fields; the tall,
gilded lampposts, and the spouting fountains of the Place de la
Concorde; omnibuses, cabs, wagons, chariots, and foot passengers
without number; and, finally, the tall column of the Place Vendome.
Winding round in a graceful curve through this magnificent square, the
carriage rolled on in the direction of the Boulevards, and, after going
rapidly on for nearly half a mile in that spacious avenue, it turned
into the street which led to the hotel. It stopped, at length, before
the door, and Rollo got out, while Mr. Holiday remained in the
carriage. Rollo went up stairs, and after about five minutes he came
down again, bringing not only Carlos with him, but also his uncle
George. Mr. Holiday invited Mr. George to go with them for the
remainder of the ride. This invitation Mr. George accepted; and so the
two gentlemen taking the back seat, and Rollo and Carlos the front,
Alfred took them all back to the Elysian Fields together.
They remained nearly an hour in the Elysian Fields. During this time
Rollo's father and his uncle George staid in the carriage by the
roadside, talking together, while Rollo and Carlos went in among the
walks and groves to see the various spectacles which were exhibited
there. They would come back from time to time to the carriage, in order
that Rollo might describe to his father what they found, or ask
permission to take part in some amusement. For instance, at one time he
came and said, very eagerly,
Father, here is a great whirling machine, with ships and horses
going round and round. Carlos and I want to ride on it. The horses are
in pairs, two together. Carlos can get on one of them, in one of the
pairs, and I on the other. We can go round twenty times for two sous.
Very well, said his father.
So Rollo and Carlos went back to the whirling machine. It was very
large, and was very gayly painted, and ornamented with flags and
banners. The vessels and the horses were attached to the ends of long
arms, which were supported by iron rods that came down from the top of
the central post, so that they were very strong. The horses were as
large as small ponies, and the vessels were as big as little
boatseach one having seats for four children. When Rollo and Carlos
went back, the machine had just taken up its complement of passengers
for one turn, and was then commencing its rotation. There were a great
many persons standing by it, pleased to see how happy the children were
in going round so merrily. There was an iron paling all around the
machine, to keep the spectators at a safe distance, otherwise they
might come too near, and so be struck, and perhaps seriously hurt, by
the horses or the boats, when they were put in motion.
As soon as the twenty turns had been taken the machine stopped, and
the children who had had their ride were taken off the horses and out
of the boats, all except a few who were going to pay again and have a
second ride. Rollo and Carlos then went inside the enclosure, and,
going up some steps placed there for the purpose, they mounted their
horses. Very soon the machine began to revolve, and they were whirled
round and round twenty times with the greatest rapidity. The arms of
the machine, too, were long, so that the circle which the horses and
the vessels described was quite large, and the whole twenty revolutions
made quite a considerable ride.
After finishing their circuit and dismounting from their horses, the
boys next came to a whirling machine, which revolved vertically instead
of horizontally; that is, instead of whirling the rider round and round
near the level of the ground, it carried them up, over, and down. There
was a great wheel, which revolved on an axis, like a vertical mill
wheel. This wheel was double, and between the two circumferences the
seats of the passengers were hung in such a manner that in revolving
they swung freely, so as to keep the heads of the people always
uppermost. These seats had high backs and sides, and a sort of bar in
front for the people to take hold of, otherwise there would have been
great danger of their falling out. As it was, they were carried so
swiftly, and so high, and the seats swung to and fro so violently when
the machine was in rapid motion, that the men and girls who were in the
seats filled the ear with their screams and shouts of laughter.
Rollo and Carlos, after seeing this machine revolve, went to the
carriage to ask if they might go in it the next time.
No, said Mr. Holiday. I am not sure that it is safe.
So the boys went away from the carriage back under the trees again,
and walked along to see what the next exhibition might be. The carriage
moved on in the avenue a little way to keep up with them.
The boys strolled along through the crowd a little while longer,
looking for a moment, as they passed, now at the stalls for selling
gingerbread and cakes, now at a display of pictures on a long
line,the sheets being fastened to the line by pins, like clothes upon
a clothes line,now at a company of singers, singing upon a stage
under a canopy, and now again at a little boy, about seven or eight
years old, who was tumbling head over heels on a little carpet which he
had spread on the ground, and then carrying round his cap to the
bystanders, in hopes that some of them would give him a sou. At length
their attention was attracted by some large boys, who were engaged at a
stand at a little distance in shooting at a mark with what seemed to be
small guns. These guns, however, discharged themselves by means of a
spring coiled up within the barrel, instead of gunpowder; and the
bullets which they shot were peas. Rollo had seen these shooting-places
before, when he went through the Fields on the first Sunday after he
came; so he did not stop long here, but called Carlos's attention to
something that he had never seen before, which was going on at a place
a little under a tree, a little farther along. A large boy seemed to be
pitching quoits. There were a number of persons around him looking on.
There was a sort of box placed near the tree, the bottom of which was
about two feet square. It had a back next the tree, and two sides, but
it had no front or top. In fact, it was almost precisely like a
wheelbarrow without any wheel, legs, or handles.
[Illustration: SINGING IN THE OPEN AIR.]
The bottom or floor of this box had a great many round and flat
plates of brass upon it, about four inches in diameter, and about four
inches apart from each other. The player had ten other plates in his
hand, of the same size with those which were upon the bottom of the
plate. He took these, one by one, and standing back at a certain
distance, perhaps about as far as one good long pace, pitched them, as
boys do quoits, in upon the floor of the box. What he tried to do was,
to cover up one of the disks in the box so that no part of it could be
seen. If he did so he was to have a prize; and he paid two sous for the
privilege of playing. The prizes consisted of little articles of
porcelain, bronzes, cheap jewelry, images, and other similar things,
which were all placed conspicuously on shelves against the tree, above
the box, in view of the player.
It seemed to the bystanders as if it would be not at all difficult
to toss the disks so as with ten to cover one; but those who tried
seemed to find it very difficult to accomplish the object. Even if the
disks which they tossed fell in the right place, they would rebound or
slide away, and sometimes knock away those which were already well
placed. Still, after trying once, the players wore usually unwilling to
give up without trying a second, and even a third and fourth time, so
that they generally lost six or eight sous before they were willing to
stop; especially as the man himself would now and then play the disks,
and he, having made himself skilful by great practice, found no
difficulty in piling up his ten disks wherever he wished them to go.
I could do it, I verily believe, said Rollo. I should like to
try. I mean to go and ask my father if I may.
So Rollo went to the carriage to state the case to his father, and
ask his permission to see if he could not pitch the disks so as to
cover one of the plates on the board. His father hesitated.
So far as trying the experiment is concerned, said Mr. Holiday,
as a matter of dexterity and skill, there is no harm; but so far as
the hope of getting a prize by it is concerned, it is of the nature of
I should think it was more of the nature of a reward for merit and
excellence, said Mr. George.
No, said Mr. Holiday; for in one or two trials made by chance
passengers coming along to such a place, the result must depend much
more on chance than on adroitness or skill.
I will tell you what you may do, Rollo, continued Mr. Holiday.
You may pay the man the two sous and try the experiment, provided you
determine beforehand not to take any prize if you succeed. Then you
will pay your money simply for the use of his apparatus, to amuse
yourself with a gymnastic performance, and not stake it in hope of a
Well, said Rollo, that is all I want. And off he ran.
It seems to me that that is a very nice distinction that you made,
said Mr. George, as soon as Rollo had gone, and that those two things
are very near the line.
Yes, replied Mr. Holiday, it is a nice distinction, but it is a
very true one. The two things are very near the line; but then, one of
them is clearly on one side, and the other on the other. For a boy to
pay for the use of such an apparatus for the purpose of trying his eye
and his hand is clearly right; but to stake his money in hopes of
winning a prize is wrong, for it is gaming. It is gaming, it is true,
in this case, on an exceedingly small scale. Still it is gaming, and so
is the beginning of a road which has a very dreadful end. Is not it
Yes, said Mr. George, I think it is.
As might have been expected, Rollo did not succeed in covering one
of the disks. The disks that he threw spread all over the board. The
money that he paid was, however, well spent, for he had much more than
two sous' worth of satisfaction in making the experiment.
Rollo found a great many other things to interest him in the various
stalls and stands that he visited; but at length he got tired of them
all, and, coming back to the carriage, told his father that he was
ready to go home.
Very well, said his father. I don't know but that your uncle
George and I are ready, too, though we have not quite got through with
our papers. But we can finish them at home.
So Rollo and Carlos got into the carriage, and all the party went
home to dinner.
CHAPTER X. ROLLO'S NARRATIVE.
One evening, when Rollo had been making a long excursion during the
day with his uncle George, and had dined with him, at the close of it,
at a restaurant's in the Boulevards, he went home about eight o'clock
to the hotel to see his father and mother and Jennie, and tell them
where he had been. He found his mother in her room putting on her
bonnet. She said she was going to take a ride along the Boulevards with
a gentleman and lady who were going to call for her.
And where is father? said Rollo.
He has gone to bed, and is asleep by this time. You must be careful
not to disturb him.
And Jennie? asked Rollo.
She has gone to bed, too, said his mother; but she is not asleep,
and I presume she will be very glad to see you. You can go in her
Well, I will, said Rollo. But, mother, I should like to go and
ride with you. Will there be room for me?
Yes, said his mother. There will be room, I suppose, in the
carriage; but it would not be proper for me to take you, for I am going
on an invitation from others. The invitation was to me alone, and I
have no right to extend it to any body else.
But this you can do, if you please, continued his mother. You can
take our carriage, and let Alfred drive you, and so follow along after
our party. Only in that case you would not have any company. You would
be in a carriage alone.
Never mind that, said Rollo. I should like that. I would put the
top back, and then I could see all around. I should have a grand ride.
I'll go. I wish Jennie had not gone to bed; she could have gone with
No, replied his mother; Jennie is not well to-night. She has got
cold, and she went to bed early on that account. But she will be very
glad to have you go and see her.
So Rollo went into Jennie's room. As soon as he opened the door,
Jennie pushed aside the curtains, and said,
Ah, Rollo, is that you? I am very glad that you have come.
I can't stay but a little while, said Rollo. I am going to take a
ride with mother.
Are you going with mother? asked Jennie.
Not in the carriage with her, replied Rollo; but I am going in
the same party. I am going to have a carriage all to myself.
O, no, Rollo, said Jennie, in a beseeching tone. Don't go away.
Stay here with me, please. I am all alone, and have not any body to
But you will go to sleep pretty soon, said Rollo.
No, replied Jennie; I am not sleepy the least in the world. See.
Here Jennie opened her eyes very wide, and looked Rollo full in the
face, by way of demonstrating that she was not sleepy.
Rollo felt very much perplexed. When he pictured to himself, in
imagination, the idea of being whirled rapidly through the Boulevards,
on such a pleasant summer evening, in a carriage which he should have
all to himself, with the top down so that he could see every thing all
around him, and of the brilliant windows of the shops, the multitudes
of ladies and gentlemen taking their coffee at the little round tables
on the sidewalk in front of the coffee saloons, the crowds of people
coming and going, and the horsemen and carriages thronging the streets,
the view was so enchanting that it was very hard for him to give up the
promised pleasure. He, however, determined to do it; so he said,
Well, Jennie, I'll stay. I will go out and tell mother that I am
not going to ride, and then I will come back.
For the first half hour after Mrs. Holiday went away, Rollo was
occupied with Jennie in looking over some very pretty French picture
books which Mrs. Holiday had bought for her that day, to amuse her
because she was sick. Jennie had looked them all over before; but now
that Rollo had come, it gave her pleasure to look them over again, and
talk about them with him. Jennie sat up in the bed, leaning back
against the pillows and bolsters, and Rollo sat in a large and very
comfortable arm chair, which he had brought up for this purpose to the
bedside. The books lay on a monstrous square pillow of down, half as
large as the bed itself, which, according to the French fashion, is
always placed on the top of the bed. Rollo and Jennie would take the
books, one at a time, and look them over, talking about the pictures,
and showing the prettiest ones to each other. Thus the time passed very
pleasantly. At length, however, Jennie, having looked over all the
books, drew herself down into the bed, and began to ask Rollo where he
had been that day.
I have been with uncle George, said Rollo. He said that he was
going about to see a great many different places, and that I might go
with him if I chose, though he supposed that most of them were places
that I should not care to see. But I did. I liked to see them all.
What places did you go to? asked Jennie.
Why, first we went to see the workshops. I did not know before that
there were so many. Uncle George says that Paris is one of the greatest
manufacturing places in the world; only they make things by hand, in
private shops, and not in great manufactories, by machinery. Uncle
George says there must be as much as eight or ten square miles of these
shops in Paris. They are piled up to six or eight stories high. Some of
the streets look like ranges of chalky cliffs facing each other, such
as we see at some places on the sea shore.
What do they make in the shops? asked Jennie.
O, all sorts of curious and beautiful things. They have specimens
of the things that they make up, put up, like pictures in a frame, in
little glass cases, on the wall next the street. We walked along
through several streets and looked at these specimens. There were
purses, and fringes, and watches, and gold and silver chains, and
beautiful portemonnaies, and clocks, and jewelry of all kinds, and
ribbons, and opera glasses, and dressing cases, and every thing you can
Yes, said Jennie, I have seen all such things in the shop windows
in the Palais Royal and in the Boulevards.
Ah, those are the shops where they sell the things, said Rollo;
but these shops that uncle George and I went to see are where they
make them. We went to one place where they were making artificial
flowers, and such beautiful things you never saw. The rooms were full
of girls, all making artificial flowers.
Why did not you bring me home some of them? asked Jennie.
WhyI don't know, replied Rollo. I did not think to ask if I
could buy any of them.
Then, after we had gone about in the workshops till we had seen
enough, we went to the Louvre to see the paintings; though on the way
we stopped to see a crèche.
Rollo pronounced the word very much as if it had been spelled crash.
A crash! exclaimed Jennie. Did a building tumble down?
O, no, said Rollo, it was not that. It was a place where they
keep a great many babies. The poor women who have to go out to work all
day carry their babies to this place in the morning, and leave them
there to be taken care of, and then come and get them at night. There
are some nuns there, dressed all in white, to take care of the babies.
They put them in high cradles that stand all around the room.
Were they all crying? asked Jennie.
O, no, said Rollo, they were all still. When we went in they were
all just waking up. The nuns put them to sleep all at the same time.
Every cradle had a baby in it. Some were stretching their arms, and
some were opening their eyes, and some were trying to get up. As fast
as they got wide awake, the nuns would take them up and put them on the
floor, at a place where there was a carpet for them to creep upon and
I wish I could go and see them, said Jennie.
You can, replied Rollo. Any body can go and see them. The nuns
like to have people come. They keep every thing very white and nice.
The cradles were very pretty.
Did they rock? asked Jennie.
No, replied Rollo; they were made to swing, and not to rock. They
were up so high from the floor that they could not be made to rock very
well. We stayed some time in this place, and then we went away.
And where did you go next? asked Jennie.
We went to the Louvre to see the famous gallery of paintings. It is
a quarter of a mile long, and the walls are covered with paintings on
both sides, the whole distance.
Except where the windows are, I suppose, said Jennie.
No, replied Rollo, there are no interruptions for windows. The
windows are up high in the ceiling, for the room is very lofty. There
is room for two or three rows of paintings below the windows. It is a
splendid long room.
Were the pictures very pretty? asked Jennie.
Not very, said Rollo. At least, I did not think so; but uncle
George told me it was a very famous gallery. There were a great many
other rooms besides, all carved and gilded most magnificently, and an
immense staircase of marble, wide enough for an army to go up and down.
There were several large rooms, too, full of ancient marble statues;
but I did not like them very much. They looked very dark and dingy. The
paintings were prettier than they.
There were a great many persons in the painting gallery at work
copying the paintings, continued Rollo. Some were girls, and some
were young men. There was one boy there not much bigger than I.
I don't see how so small a boy could learn to paint so well, said
Why, he was not so very small, said Rollo. He was bigger than I
am, and I am growing to be pretty large. Besides, they have excellent
schools here where they learn to draw and to paint. We went to see one
Did it look like one of our schools? asked Jennie.
O, no, replied Rollo; it seemed to me more like a splendid palace
than a school. We went through an iron gate into a court, and across
the court to a great door, where a man came to show us the rooms. There
were a great many elegant staircases, and passage ways, and halls, with
pictures, and statues, and models of cities, and temples, and ruins,
and every thing else necessary for the students.
Were the students there? asked Jennie.
No, replied Rollo; but we saw the room where they worked, and we
saw the last lesson that they had.
What was it? asked Jennie.
It was a subject which the professor gave them for a picture; and
all of them were to paint a picture on that subject, each one according
to his own ideas. We saw the paintings that they had made. There were
twenty or thirty of them. The subject was written on a sheet of paper,
and put up in the room where they could all see it.
What was the subject? asked Jennie.
It was something like this, replied Rollo: An old chestnut tree
in a secluded situation, the roots partly denuded by an inundation from
a stream. Cattle in the foreground, on the right. Time, sunset.
And did all the pictures have an old chestnut tree in them? asked
Yes, said Rollo; and the roots were all out of the ground on one
side, and there were cows in the foreground of them all. But the forms
of the trees, and the position of the cattle, and the landscape in the
back ground were different in every one.
I should like to see them, said Jennie.
Then, said Rollo, when we came away from this place we walked
along on the quay by the side of the river, looking over the parapet
down to the bank below.
Was it a pretty place? asked Jennie.
Yes, said Rollo, a very pretty place indeed. There were great
floating houses in the water, for the baths, with wheels turning in the
current to pump up water, and little flower gardens along the brink of
the stream. At least, in some places there were flower gardens; and in
others there was a wall along the water, with boys sitting on the edge
of it, fishing. Presently we came to a place where there was an opening
in the parapet and stairs to go down to the water. You go down two or
three steps first, and then the stairs turn each way. At the turning
there was a man who had fishing poles, and nets, and fishing lines to
sell or let. He had some to let for three sous an hour. I proposed to
uncle George that we should hire two of them and go down and fish a
And what did he say? asked Jennie.
He laughed, and said that for him to spend his time while he was in
Paris in fishing in the Seine would be perfectly preposterous. He said
that his time in Europe cost him not less than a dollar for every
A dollar for every hour? exclaimed Jennie.
Yes, replied Rollo. He says that his two passages across the
Atlantic will have cost three hundred dollars, and the other expenses
of his tour as much as five hundred more, which makes eight hundred
dollars, and that he will not have more than one hundred days,
probably, from the time of his landing in England to the time of his
sailing again. That makes it about eight dollars a day. Now, there are
not more than eight hours in a day suitable for going about and seeing
what is to be seen; so that his time in the middle of the day costs him
a dollar an hour; and he could not afford, he said, to spend it in
However, continued Rollo, he said that I might look at the man's
fishing apparatus; and if I found that it was different from that which
the boys used in America, I might buy some of it to carry home.
And did you? asked Jennie.
Yes, replied Rollo. And so saying, he put his hand in his pocket
and took out a small parcel put up in a piece of French newspaper. He
unrolled this parcel and showed Jennie what it contained. Jennie sat up
in bed very eagerly in order to see it. First there came out a small
This net, you see, said Rollo, is to be put upon a hoop or a ring
of wire when I get to America. I did not buy a hoop, because it would
fill up my trunk too much. But I can make one when I get home.
Then here are the fishing lines, continued Rollo. I bought two of
them. They were very cheap.
The fishing lines were very pretty. Each had a small round cork upon
the end of a quill. The corks were red, touched with blue. There was a
sinker for each, made of large shot.
The man put in several spare sinkers for me, resumed Rollo, in
case these should come off. So saying, he opened a small paper and
showed Jennie several large-sized shot, each of which had a cleft in
the side of it for putting in the line. The intention was that the lead
should be closed over the line, after the line had been inserted in it,
by means of a light blow with a hammer, and thus the sinker would be
secured to its place.
I like a net best to catch fishes with, said Jennie, because that
does not hurt them.
True, said Rollo, a net is a great deal better on that account.
You see I put a hoop around to keep the mouth of the net open, and then
fasten it to the end of a long handle. Then you stand on the bank of
the brook and put the net down into the water, and when a fish comes
along you dip him up.
Yes, said Jennie, that is an excellent way.
Then you could put him in a small pail of water, said Rollo, and
carry him home, and then you could put him in a bowl and see him swim
Yes, said Jennie, I wish you would give me this net.
Well, said Rollo, I will. I shall go down by the river again some
day, and then I can buy another for myself.
So you can, said Jennie: or, if you don't get another, I can lend
you mine when you wish to fish with it.
So Rollo put up his fishing tackle again, and then Jennie asked him
where else he went.
Why, we walked along the quay, said Rollo, a long way, past
several bridges, until at last we came to a bridge leading over to an
island in the river, where there was a great cathedral church, which
uncle George said he wished to see. It was the Church of Notre Dame. It
was an immense great church, with two towers very high; but it was very
old. The outside of it seemed to be all crumbling to pieces.
Did you go in? asked Jennie.
Yes, replied Rollo. It is open all the time, and people are all
the time going and coming. We went in. There was an old woman sitting
just inside the door, with a string of beads in her hands, counting
them. There were two or three other old women there, knitting. I could
not see much of the inside of the church when we first went in, there
were so many columns; but I could hear the birds flying about and
singing away up high among the vaults and arches.
The birds inside the church! said Jennie. I should think they
would drive them out.
I don't know how they could drive them out, said Rollo, it was so
high up to where they were flying. The arch of the ceiling seemed like
a stone sky. There were so many pillars to keep up this roof, that,
when we first went in, we could not see any end to the church at all.
However, we walked along, and after a while we came to the end.
There were a great many curious things to see in the church,
continued Rollo. There were a great many little chapels along the
sides of it, and curious images sculptured in stone, and people doing
curious things all about in different places. We walked about there for
half an hour. At last we found a congregation.
Yes, said Rollo, we came to a place, at last, which was divided
off by a kind of railing; and there was a congregation there, sitting
in chairs. Some were kneeling in chairs, and some were kneeling on the
stone floor. They were reading in little prayer books and looking
Was any body preaching to them? asked Jennie.
No, said Rollo, but there were some priests at the altar doing
something there; but I could not understand what they were doing. We
stopped there a little while, and then we came away. We walked along to
another part of the church, and at length we came to another enclosure,
where a great many people were collected. Mr. George went up to see
what it was, and he said he believed it was a baptism; but I could not
get near enough to see.
And what did you do next? asked Jennie.
Why, we came out of the church, and crossed over by a bridge to
this side of the river, and then walked down along the quay till we
came to a place where there was a tall bronze column, somewhat like
this column in the Place Vendome. Uncle George said that he wished to
see it, because it stood on the place where a famous old castle and
prison used to stand in former times, called the Bastile. He said that
the people made an insurrection and battered the old prison down,
because the government was so cruel in shutting up innocent prisoners
in it. They built fires against the doors, and battered against them
with heavy timbers until they broke them in, and then they let the
prisoners out and set the prison on fire. Uncle George said that I
should take great interest in reading about it one of these days; but I
think I should like to read about it now.
I should, too, said Jennie.
They afterward took away all the stones of the Bastile, continued
Rollo, and made this tall bronze column in its place. There is a
figure of a man on it, standing on tiptoe.
I should think he would blow down in a high wind, said Jennie.
I don't know why he does not, I am sure, rejoined Rollo. I wanted
to go up to the top of the column and see how he was fastened there;
but uncle George said he was too tired. So we came away. In fact, I was
very willing to come away, for I saw a great crowd at a certain broad
place on the sidewalk, not far from there, and I wished to go and see
what it was.
And did you go? asked Jennie.
Yes, replied Rollo, and I found it was a man who had made a great
ring of people all about him, and was trying to get them to give
fifteen sous to see him shut himself up in a small box. The box was on
the pavement, all ready. It was quite small. It did not seem possible
that a man could be shut up in it.
How big was it? asked Jennie.
O, I don't know, exactly, said Rollo. It was quite small.
Was it no bigger than that, said Jennie, holding her two hands a
few inches apart, so as to indicate what she would consider quite a
O, yes, said Rollo, it was a great deal bigger than that. It was
only a little smaller than you would think a man could get into. The
box was square, and was made of tin, but painted black.
[Illustration: PERFORMANCE ON THE BOULEVARDS.]
There was an organ at one end of the ring, with a man playing upon
it, to draw the crowd together. In front of the organ was a woman, with
a baby in her arms, and another little child playing about her. The man
said that this was his family, and that he had to support them by his
experiments. In front of the woman was the box. In front of the box was
the man, who stood there, generally, telling what he was going to do,
and calling upon the people to throw in their sous. In front of the man
was a carpet, on the pavement, and in the middle of the carpet a tin
plate. From time to time the people would throw sous over into the
circle. The man would then pick them up and put them into the plate,
and tell the people how many there lacked. There must be fifteen, he
said, or he could not perform the experiment. He kept talking all the
time to the people, and saying funny things to make them laugh.
At last all the fifteen sous were in, and then the man went to the
box. He brought out a soldier who was standing among the people, and
placed him near the box, so that he might shut the cover down when the
man was in. The man then stepped into the box. The upper edge of it was
not higher than his knees. He then began to kneel down in the box,
crossing his legs under him; and then he crouched his body down into
it, and curled in his head, and then
Jennie! said Rollo, interrupting himself. He observed that Jennie
was very still, and he was not sure that she was listening.
Jennie did not answer. She was fast asleep.
She's gone to sleep, said Rollo, without hearing the end of the
story. However, the soldier put the lid down, and shut the man entirely
Rollo thought that, as he was so near the end, he might as well
finish the story, even if his auditor was asleep.
CHAPTER XI. CONCLUSION.
Rollo's adventures in Paris were brought, at length, for the time
being, to a somewhat abrupt termination, by an invitation which he
received suddenly at breakfast one morning, from his uncle George, to
set off with him the next day for Switzerland. Rollo was very eager to
accept this invitation from the moment that it was offered him. It is
true that he was not at all tired of Paris; and there were a great many
places, both in the city and in the environs, that he was still
desirous to see.
Rollo had only one day's notice of the proposed journey to
Switzerland, and that day was spent almost entirely in getting the
passports ready. This business devolved on Rollo himself, as his uncle
was engaged in some other way that day; and he proposed, therefore,
that Rollo should undertake the work of getting the passports stamped.
Rollo accordingly did so. He took a carriage and went round to the
various offices, and attended to the business very well, though he
encountered some difficulties in doing it. His uncle George was very
much pleased when he came home that night and found that Rollo had got
the passports all ready. Carlos went with Rollo to the passport
offices, for company, though he could not, of course, render him any
[F] A full account of Rollo's adventures in getting the passports
stamped will be given in the first chapter of Rollo in Switzerland.
Rollo dined that evening with his uncle George and Carlos at a
restaurant. There are hundreds of these restaurants scattered all over
the city of Paris, and many of them are furnished and decorated in a
style of splendor that is magnificent beyond description. Mr. George
took Rollo and Carlos to one of the finest of them. It was in the
The aspect of the room, when Rollo entered it, was very imposing. It
was lined on all sides with mirrors, with carved and gilded pilasters
between them, and a richly ornamented cornice above. The ceiling,
overhead, was panelled, and was painted in fresco with the most
graceful and elegant devices. The floor was laid in a beautiful mosaic
of wood, brilliantly polished. The room was filled with tables, all set
out for dinner in the nicest manner, with silver plate, elegant
porcelain, and glasses that reflected the light in the most resplendent
manner. A great many gay groups of ladies and gentlemen were seated at
these tables, taking dinner; while the waiters, with snow-white napkins
on their arms, were walking about in a rapid, but in a very gentle and
noiseless manner, to wait upon them. At the back side of the room there
sat two beautiful young women, behind a sort of counter, which was
raised a little above the rest of the floor, so that they could survey
the whole scene. It was the duty of these young women to keep the
accounts of what was ordered at the several tables, and to receive the
money which was paid by the guests, the waiters carrying it to them
from the different parties at the tables when they paid. These ladies
were the presiding officers, as it were, in the saloon; and the guests
all bowed to them very respectfully, both when they came in and when
they went away.
Mr. George selected a table for himself and the two boys, and they
had an excellent dinner there. There was a printed book, large though
thin, on every table, giving a list of the different articlesmore
than five hundred in all. From these Mr. George and the boys selected
what they liked, and the waiters brought it to them.
The party remained at this restaurant, eating their dinner and
taking their coffee after it, for more than an hour; and then they went
That evening Rollo went into his father's room to bid his father
good by, for he expected to set off for Switzerland the next morning
very early. He found his father sitting in an arm chair by a window,
reading a book. Mr. Holiday laid his book down and talked for some time
with Rollo about his proposed tour in Switzerland, and gave him a great
deal of preparatory information about the mountains, the glaciers, the
torrents, the avalanches, and other wonderful things that Rollo
expected to see. Rollo was very much interested in these accounts.
I am very glad that uncle George invited me to go with him, said
So am I, said his father.
Because, added Rollo, I expect to have a very pleasant time.
True, replied his father; but that is not the reason precisely
why I am glad that he invited you.
What is your reason, then? asked Rollo.
I am glad, replied Mr. Holiday, because his asking you to go with
him into Switzerland is a sign that you have been a good boy while
under his care here in France. Boys that are selfish, troublesome, and
disobedient, in one ride or journey, find usually that their company is
not desired a second time. It is now two or three weeks since your
uncle George invited you to come with him from London to Paris, and
during all this time you have been mainly under his care; and now he
invites you to go with him on a still more extended tour. I think you
must have conducted yourself in a very considerate or gentlemanly
manner, and proved yourself a pleasant travelling companion, or you
would not have received this new invitation.
Rollo was very much gratified at hearing his father speak in this
manner. So he shook hands with him, and bade him good by.