Paris: With Pen and Pencil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about Paris.

Everything being ready, the cardinal-legate left his throne, went to the foot of the altar, and commenced the Veni Creator, which was taken up and executed by the fine orchestra.  The music was inexpressibly grand.  When it was concluded the masters of ceremonies saluted the altar and their majesties, and then waited upon the legate, who at once catechised the sponsors.  He then conducted the royal babe to the font, holding the baptismal robe.  Napoleon and Eugenia ascended the throne.  The duchess of Baden, representing the god-mother, advanced to the font.  The god-father was the pope, represented by the legate.  The baptism was then proceeded with.

When the rite was performed, the gouvernante presented the babe to its mother, who at once handed it over to its royal papa, who held it up to the crowd of gazers, and then the cries of “Vive le Prince Imperial!” came near destroying the solid masonry of Notre Dame.  After this the royal pair soon took their departure, though there were many ceremonies after they had left.

A magnificent banquet was at once given to their majesties by the city of Paris, in the Hotel de Ville, and it was probably one of the most luxurious the world ever witnessed.  All the male guests were in official costume, and the ladies were dressed with great richness.

The next day—­Sunday—­was the great day for out-door fetes, though this was widely celebrated.  The day was given up to all kinds of enjoyment, and the emperor gave immense sums to make the people good-humored and enthusiastic.  There was a display of fire-works in the evening rarely equaled, and probably never surpassed.  The theaters were all open, free to all who came, and could gain entrance.  In the course of the day more than three hundred balloons were sent up, laden with confectionary and things to tickle the palate, and showered down upon the multitude.  The whole of Paris was gay, and the stranger had a fine sample of a grand Parisian fete, and Sabbath—­both in one!

CHAPTER XI.

THE FATHER OF FRENCH TRAGEDY—­THE JESTER—­THE DRAMATIST.

MEN OF THE PAST.

During my residence in Paris I became very much interested in the history of the great men of France, not only in the present day, but in past years.  I was not so well acquainted with the great French masters in literature, especially of the past, as with the great men of English history.  I believe this to be the fact with most Americans.  I soon found that to know France, to know Paris to-day, I needed to have by heart the history of her heroes of to-day and yesterday, and especially of those great men who made Paris their home and final resting-place.  The influence of these men over the minds, manners, and even the morals of the people of Paris, is still very great.  Nowhere is genius more praised, or adored with a greater devotion, than in Paris.  Rank must there doff its hat to genius, which is the case in no other country but the American republic.  It will then not be out of place for me to sketch a very few of the most brilliant men who in the years which have fled away lighted with their smiles the saloons of Paris.  I will commence with

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Paris: With Pen and Pencil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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