My First Years as a Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about My First Years as a Frenchwoman, 1876-1879.
of them occasionally with a child on their shoulders.  Frenchmen of all classes are good to children.  On a Sunday or fete day, when whole families are coming in from a day at the Bois, one often sees a young husband wheeling a baby-carriage, or carrying a baby in his arms to let the poor mother have a rest.  It was curious at the end of the exposition to see how quickly everything was removed (many things had been sold); and in a few days the Champ de Mars took again the same aspect it had at the beginning of the month of May—­heavy carts and camions everywhere, oceans of mud, lines of black holes where trees and poles had been planted, and the same groups of small shivering Southerners, all huddled together, wrapped in wonderful cloaks and blankets, quite paralysed with cold.  I don’t know if the exposition was a financial success—­I should think probably not.  A great deal of money came into France (but the French spent enormously in their preparations) but the moral effect was certainly good—­all the world flocked to Paris.  Cabs and river steamers did a flourishing business, as did all the restaurants and cafes in the suburbs.  St. Cloud, Meudon, Versailles, Robinson, were crowded every night with people who were thirsting for air and food after long hot days in the dust and struggles of the exposition.  We dined there once or twice, but it was certainly neither pleasant nor comfortable—­even in the most expensive restaurants.  They were all overcrowded, very bad service, badly lighted, and generally bad food.  There were various national repasts—­Russian, Italian, etc.—­but I never participated in any of those, except once at the American restaurant, where I had a very good breakfast one morning, with delicious waffles made by a negro cook.  I was rather glad when the exhibition was over.  One had a feeling that one ought to see as much as possible, and there were some beautiful things, but it was most fatiguing struggling through the crowd, and we invariably lost the carriage and found ourselves at the wrong entrance, and had to wait hours for a cab.  Tiffany had a great success with the French.  Many of my friends bought souvenirs of the exposition from him.  His work was very original, fanciful, and quite different from the rather stiff, heavy, classic silver that one sees in this country.



There had been a respite, a sort of armed truce, in political circles as long as the exposition lasted, but when the Chambers met again in November, it was evident that things were not going smoothly.  The Republicans and Radicals were dissatisfied.  Every day there were speeches and insinuations against the marshal and his government, and one felt that a crisis was impending.  There were not loaves and fishes enough for the whole Radical party.  If one listened to them it would seem as if every prefet and every general were conspiring against the Republic. 

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My First Years as a Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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