When we reached Paris my trunks were again searched and underwent a short examination, to see that no wines or provisions were concealed in them. A tax is laid upon all such articles when they enter the city, and this is the reason why on Sunday the people flock out of town to enjoy their fetes. In the country there are no taxes on wine and edibles, and as a matter of economy they go outside of the walls for their pleasure.
When my baggage was examined, I took an omnibus to the hotel Bedford, Rue de l’Arcade, where I proposed to stay but a few days, until I could hunt up permanent apartments. My room was a delightful one and fitted up in elegant style. I was in the best part of Paris. Two minutes walk away were the Champs Elysees—the Madeleine church, the Tuileries, etc., etc. But I was too tired to go out, and after a French dinner and a lounge in the reading-room, I went to sleep, and the next morning’s sun found me at last entirely recovered from my wretched passage across the channel.
My second trip to Paris was in many respects different from the first—which I have just described. The route was a new one, and pleasanter than that via Boulogne. Our party took an express train from the London bridge terminus for Newhaven, a small sea-port. The cars were fitted up with every comfort, and we made the passage in quick time. At three P.M. we went on board a little steamer for Dieppe, where we arrived at nine o’clock. After a delay of an hour we entered a railway carriage fitted up in a very beautiful and luxurious style. At Dieppe we had no trouble with our passports, keeping the originals, and simply showing them to the custom-house officials. Our ride to Paris was in the night, yet was very comfortable.
In coming back to London, we made the trip to Dieppe in the daytime, and found it to be very beautiful. From Paris to Rouen the railway runs a great share of the way in sight of the river Seine, and often upon its banks. Many of the views from the train were romantic, and some of them wildly grand. Upon the whole, this route is the pleasantest between Paris and London, as it is one of the cheapest. There is one objection, however, and that is the length of the sea voyage—six hours. Those who dislike the water will prefer the Dover route.
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The origin of Paris is not known. According to certain writers, a wandering tribe built their huts upon the island now called la Cite. This was their home, and being surrounded by water, it was easily defended against the approach of hostile tribes. The name of the place was Lutetia, and to themselves they gave the name of Parisii, from the Celtic word par, a frontier or extremity.