Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Views a-foot.

After all these had gone by, came an enormous triumphal car, very profusely covered with gilding and ornamental flowers.  A fellow with long woollen hair and beard, intended to represent Time, acted as driver.  In the car, under a gilded canopy, reposed a number of persons, in blue silk smocks and yellow “fleshtights,” said to be Venus, Apollo, the Graces, &c. but I endeavored in vain to distinguish one divinity from another.  However, three children on the back seat, dressed in the same style, with the addition of long flaxy ringlets, made very passable Cupids.  This closed the march; which passed onward towards the Place de la Concorde, accompanied by the sounds of music and the shouts of the mob.  The broad, splendid line of Boulevards, which describe a semi-circle around the heart of the city, were crowded, and for the whole distance of three miles, it required no slight labor to make one’s way.  People in masks and fancy costumes were continually passing and re-passing, and I detected in more than one of the carriages, checks rather too fair to suit the slouched hunter’s hats which shaded them.  It seemed as if all Paris was taking a holiday, and resolved to make the most of it.



After a residence of five weeks, which, in spite of some few troubles, passed away quickly and delightfully, I turned my back on Paris.  It was not regret I experienced on taking my seat in the cars for Versailles, but that feeling of reluctance with which we leave places whose brightness and gaiety force the mind away from serious toil.  Steam, however, cuts short all sentiment, and in much less time than it takes to bid farewell to a German, we had whizzed past the Place d’Europe, through the barrier, and were watching the spires start up from the receding city, on the way to St. Cloud.

At Versailles I spent three hours in a hasty walk through the palace, which allowed but a bare glance at the gorgeous paintings of Horace Vernet.  His “Taking of Constantine” has the vivid look of reality.  The white houses shine in the sun, and from the bleached earth to the blue and dazzling sky, there seems to hang a heavy, scorching atmosphere.  The white smoke of the artillery curls almost visibly off the canvass, and the cracked and half-sprung walls look as if about to topple down on the besiegers.  One series of halls is devoted to the illustration of the knightly chronicles of France, from the days of Charlemagne to those of Bayard and Gaston de Foix.  Among these pictured legends, I looked with the deepest interest on that of the noble girl of Orleans.  Her countenance—­the same in all these pictures and in a beautiful statue of her, which stands in one of the corridors—­is said to be copied from an old and well-authenticated portrait.  United to the sweetness and purity of peasant beauty, she has the lofty brow and inspired expression of a

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Views a-foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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